Adapted from a recent online discussion.
Carolyn: Six years ago, I got involved with a guy. It was brief, intense and ended terribly, with me devastated and hurt. I never received any acknowledgement that he'd been so callous.
Anyway, I wouldn't get involved with him again if he wanted to - not out of spite, just lack of interest - but I find myself resentful of his apparent happiness. He was recently married, and I keep thinking, "Why does he get to have that happiness and I don't?"
This, coming from an existentialist, who doesn't believe in things like karma.
Nevertheless, I am plagued by what feels like unfairness. He was cruel and now he seems to have one of the things I've wanted my entire conscious life. I suppose it seems strange that a brief interlude would affect me so profoundly, but I was honest and vulnerable with him - the first time in a long time - and given how quickly and absolutely I became an afterthought, I may as well have been Longfellow's crushed wild flower to him. It was terrible.
MOVING ON (OR NOT)
I don't think cruel people hit the lottery or, at least, my definition of it, which is a life of emotional intimacy.
Alternately, someone who received a comeuppance or two for bad deeds done and grew from the experience, is capable of intimacy. It would be as deserved as anyone's happiness is.
There's a shorter answer, of course - the course of his life has no relation to or bearing on you. That's a connection your hurt feelings (and soft spot for romantic narratives?) are nagging you to make.
Re: Moving On: Both the question and response seemed very petty to me. She's not happy because someone she feels wronged her past has a happy life and she doesn't. You try to comfort her by saying an anvil may drop on his head.
A breakup is rarely one-sided. Perhaps she should reflect on why her happiness seems to be contingent on the relative happiness of others. Maybe this guy's happy because he moved on. Perhaps she should do the same to find her own happiness.
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