Happy Sunday, y’all.
Got this one in my inbox this morning. Thank you, dear Anonymous, for sharing your story.
I remember when this happened to me. Four terrible months of crying daily. And then, in the span of a few minutes, the change. The realization that life could go on. That love is our only endlessly renewable resource, the one true currency. And that if you body can heal a gash, your heart can heal its emptiness.
It’s not just likely. It’s inevitable.
You don’t need to find a new person to love to have this happen for you. The “snap,” as I like to call it, can happen with a new person in your life or completely on your own. It can happen when your friend makes that comment that just strikes you to the core. It can happen watching clouds pass over your head after a really grueling crying session. Or it can be that one line in a book that stuns you, and makes you realize that you can’t suffer for another moment. Enough is enough.
It might feel like it takes forever to get there, but it WILL happen. And for years now, I’ve gotten these comments of when it happens for people, and I never stop being awed by how powerful it is. A two-second “snap” will change your whole life.
The next one you find might not be The One. But the Next One is the one you’ll stay grateful to, even years later. Because your Next One teaches you that happiness is the ocean wave returning to the shore: much as you try, doubt as you may…you simply can’t hold it back or keep it away.
Let go, or be dragged. –Zen proverb
You can still be swept off your feet. 🙂 Too true, Anonymous.
Wishing you joy today + always,
I’ve been meaning to write this for a few days now (I posted another comment under “Anonymous” a few weeks ago). For almost three years I thought that my ex was my life, that I couldn’t possibly live without him, that my life was meaningless without him in it. And the three months following the end of our long term relationship (and almost engagement) have been the most difficult of my life so far. Never have I felt so broken, so low in self-esteem and so anxious and depressed. Waking up was painful, eating was almost impossible, studying even more so. I thought I was always going to remain an empty shell, the shadow of the girl that I was before. I did everything they tell you to do to get better. I exercised, I went away for a long time, I stopped stalking on social media (even though I haven’t deleted him), I spoke about the breakup almost constantly just because I needed to get it out of my system. But when I got back to the place I had to move to after our breakup I wasn’t better in any way. I cried that whole day, thinking “this is not my life”, “it’s not supposed to be this way”, “what have I done to make him stop loving me so suddenly”, “I will die alone”…the whole list of negative shit that accompanies you after a traumatic breakup. And for two days that didn’t stop. I thought I will never meet anyone like my ex ever again, that I had lost my soul mate, that I had to have done something terrible for him to walk away as if the last three years meant nothing. I hoped and hoped and hoped and hoped and HOPED that he might call, hoped that he may come to reclaim me and that he will say he made a mistake.
Fast forward to a few days later. I grudgingly went out for drinks with some new-ish friends to celebrate something and BOOM. I met a guy. Now, let me just say that meeting someone was the furtherest away from my mind at that point. I didn’t even want to imagine myself with anyone but my ex and I vehemently refused to believe there was any light at the end of the tunnel for me. I convinced myself that I was going to die alone and depressed with equally alone and depressed cats. But the connection I had with this wonderful new guy…I cannot describe it. It felt so, so, so right and we had so much in common. I even had butterflies in my stomach. For the first time in months, my ex was not on my mind at all. Anyway, long story short, this guy kissed me. Did I feel guilty because I felt like I was betraying my ex? Absolutely. But it only lasted for a few minutes and then I kissed him again. And the second time around, the ex was completely absent from my mind.
And that is what it took. Ever since I met this new guy (two weeks ago), I haven’t shed a single tear for my ex. I’m not entering into a new relationship or anything like that (although I wouldn’t say no to hanging out with him and having fun) but it showed me how much more there is to life than sadness and despair. It showed me how much life can change in a few hours. It showed me that there can be love after heartbreak, even when you feel like you will never meet anyone like you ex ever again. To be honest, I think I could grow to like this guy so much more than my ex and that’s saying a lot (I always considered my ex my soulmate, I was certain we were supposed to be together and that the universe would fall apart if we ever broke up. The universe certainly didn’t fall apart when we did though).
Looking back at our failed relationship now that I have detached myself from it almost completely, I can see things that I didn’t want to see before. Sure, I was a bit too emotionally dependent on him, I was a bit young minded and naive and yes, I was probably a bit needy from time to time. But he was a selfish narcissist in the way he broke up with me, he never gave a damn about anyone but himself, put the entire breakup on my shoulders even though I never did anything to hurt him, and even if he were to come back, I probably wouldn’t take him back anyway. While the thought of him with someone else still bothers me a little, I think it bothers me more because of my wounded ego than because I want him back. I think I am reaching a point where I don’t give a damn about what he does and who he’s with any more. Not today, but soon. I can feel it.
Anyway, the reason why I am writing is because I wanted to thank you. You once told me that one day I will snap and I will grow tired of being so pathetic, of crying for him, of wanting him back, of feeling so low. And that moment came to me when I least expected it (and I honestly never believed that another guy (anyone who’s not my ex in fact) could cause this snap in me (and butterflies in my stomach)). I am such a pessimist and the fact that I’m writing this amazes me too….haha. There definitely is light at the end of the tunnel. You can let go and move on. You can live your life to the fullest even though your heart may be broken at your feet. You can heal. There is hope. And you can certainly like someone as much as your ex…perhaps even more. You can still be swept off your feet.
I am so touched by this–thank you so much for your wonderful words. ❤
"Let go or be dragged" indeed. Couldn't agree more.
Wishing you an amazing day,
“But he was a selfish narcissist in the way he broke up with me, he never gave a damn about anyone but himself, put the entire breakup on my shoulders even though I never did anything to hurt him, and even if he were to come back, I probably wouldn’t take him back anyway.”
Anonymous, this sounds too familiar. I too went through this realization and it terrified me but also liberated me. I couldn’t understand how he just up and left and so coldly told me he was unsatisfied and that it was over so naturally I blamed myself. But then as time went on and I began to read about gaslighting and narcissism, I realized that the guy that I had so easily put on a pedestal and thought was so amazing wasn’t so amazing after all. My heart and mind likes to make excuses for his behaviour but reclaiming my power and finally realizing that I wasn’t a bad person and I didn’t do anything wrong (and more importantly accepting that I was just human for those short moments of neediness or clinginess) has helped me to release the pressure I put on myself and once again see my worth.
Wishing you so much love and helaing! I don’t know where you are in the world but you have a soul sister here in Canada working through the same things you’re working through. Thank you Jen for bringing us warriors together and allowing us to connect with one and another. The collective feeling of this blog has brought me so much healing.
Amen lovely sarah 🙂
My mind and heart made excuses for him too. “So what if he’s a bit selfish, he’s only human”, “So what if he did this and did that…we cannot all be perfect”, “I love him with all his flaws and imperfections”. In fact, I didn’t even see his imperfections because I was so in love with him.
And what did he do?
“A, I have doubts about our relationship because you are not like this, or like this, and you lack this and this (insert check list), and I NEED a partner who has all the qualities that you lack, since I really feel like you haven’t grown as a person and I cannot possibly be with someone like that.” A normal person would have probably smacked him right there and then. But what did I do? I just sat there and listened to everything he said to me, wholeheartedly believing that I was too damaged to be loved that my character MUST lack something important for him to fall out of love with me so abruptly. If he said all these things to me they MUST be true because he was so perfect to me. I had placed him on such a high and dangerous pedestal that he just couldn’t be wrong in my eyes. The man who had been by my side for three years would just not say such things if they were not so detrimental to our relationship, right? NO!
I see now so many things that I didn’t see before. I see HIS flaws so clearly now, I see his narcissism which is so much worse, so much more damaging than my moments of insecurity and neediness. For someone whose girlfriend had never been with anyone else before him he should have known better. He could have broken up with me much more tactfully, without shattering my self-esteem together with my heart just so that he could make himself feel better. He used my insecurities against me in order to justify the breakup to himself, just to make himself believe that he was making the right thing (for him). In so doing, he amplified his doubts to a point where I became an object defined by my insecurities and flaws. He only cared about himself, much like a typical narcissist.
I’m so sorry you are also going through something similar, Sarah. It really sucks because on the one hand you love them for who you thought they were, and on the other hand you have to come to terms with the fact that whilst you loved them with everything you had, they more or less used you as a commodity (probably without even realising it). My ex is NOT a bad person…he just didn’t end up being a good person for me. Sometimes it’s as simple as that and it sucks but I want to believe that the future holds something much, much better for people who have been hurt like you and me and several other people out there.
Wishing you rapid healing and much joy,
Our stories are so similar! And I’m so grateful to have “met” you.
The future does hold something so much more! In fact, this universe loves us SO much, that when things fall apart so drastically and so abruptly and so tragically, it is because there is something greater than your wildest dreams just around the corner! Believe that with all your heart, it’s true.
I’ve also learned that when people leave us (like our exes did) and place blame on us because they are unable/willing to see their role and take accountability, it is because we are being asked to step up to the plate and support ourselves! The outside is a reflection of the inside and if you weren’t supporting yourself or being there for yourself (with self love, etc, etc) there is no way he was going to be there for you. That is the greatest lesson I have learned. Since the breakup I have done Reiki, started a crystal collection, and upped my meditation practice. I also started hot yoga, bought a juicer, and started seeing a counsellor to learn how to be assertive and set boundaries. All of these things affirm how important I am and guess what? I have attracted 2 wonderful, wonderful guys! But, my happiness is so important to me now that I have chosen not to date.
We come into this world alone and we pass out of this world alone, we NEED to be our own best friend and our greatest support. The ex and whatever is going on with him is the result of his own insecurities. Don’t for a second believe that anything he said was truth. Use his actions towards you as a starting point to reflect inward and see where you can fully support yourself.
Forgive him by realizing that you can’t change him and understand that he is on his own path. And you deserve SO MUCH BETTER than to be a doormat for his lessons.
I haven’t had the chance to write you personally but I will say that I connected with your words so much. I am about to write a novel, so I hope you’re ready! I knew from the beginning that my ex had commitment issues and that he was the type who loved attention from women. I became friends with him first and so I believed our relationship was different. I don’t chase men and I think he found that a nice change because girls were always throwing themselves at him. We are both actively involved in our congregation, so we would always find ourselves placed in the same group of people or would be the only ones ‘volunteering’ that day. It enabled us to develop a spiritual connection because we both felt we were doing good things for other people. That is why I fell for him, he is a very beautiful man physically (not going to lie) but he does have a kind heart and that is what drew me to him.
We fell hard for each other when we finally started dating, he would call and text constantly saying he couldn’t believe how much he thought about me throughout the day and that he had not let anyone get this close to him in years. He constantly wanted to be around me and needed me to be close. He was going through a rough patch in his life and for the first time I saw the broken child – trapped in a mans body. I had a glimpse of his deepest insecurities. He is well spoken, well-dressed and exceptionally charming but the man I came to know is struggling with some major childhood issues. There were times he would be curled in a ball crying and I would be there to pick up the pieces, running around doing whatever I could to make this poor man feel better. Then when the episode was over, he would be back to his old-self, as if nothing ever happened.
All (yes, all!) of his relationships before me were for the most part sexual, so it was difficult for him to finally connect with someone on an emotional level, it scared the hell out of him. He would constantly say he didn’t know if he could let anyone Love him and I just kept thinking my Love would change that. I gave and gave and gave. I did so much for that man, I may have been his second mother.
Eventually, he began to put me down and he would always say his teasing was a way of showing his affection for me, even though it made me feel like crap. I put up with it because I loved him. He would always joke about other girls wanting him and him flirting with the idea to get a reaction out of me and that would add to my insecurities. If I ever threatened to leave he would plead for me not to, saying he was just joking. Throughout our relationship I put up with his unfiltered mouth and I never got angry or said hurtful things about him in return. We have similar friends and they would tell me that when I was not around he would talk so highly of me and praise me but the moment I was in the same room with him, his actions towards me did not reflect those words.
My problem is, I see the good in people and I choose to magnify their strengths instead of focusing on their imperfections and weaknesses. I loved the fact that he was good to his mother and his family. He would let his guard down and become this sweet, generous and thoughtful person but whenever he seemed to be getting close, he backed off and would revert to his duechy behavior. It was a constant Push and Pull. It was like a wall, a protection for him, so he never got to close to me. The last few months – prior to breaking up, he talked about marriage and starting a life together and said that when we hit our one year mark we would start taking steps in that direction. I believed this man cared because he would take me around his family and was proud to call me his girlfriend. That is just something he doesn’t do.
I don’t think its a surprise to say the year mark was almost here. He said he wasn’t happy anymore. I was a woman who needed affection and love and he isn’t affectionate or sensitive. The way he spoke and the way he acted around me was not going to change because he likes who he is. He finally realized we are not compatible. He said he didn’t know if he loved me and he should be certain of it by now.
I don’t know how he could look me in the face and say all that he did before leaving: He said that I was a smart, beautiful, kind and loving person.That he felt I was always supportive and that I had my life together – in that I have a good job and take good care of myself. He said he knows I will make someone really happy one day but it isn’t him and there was nothing I could do to change his mind. He was saying kinder things about me while he was breaking up with me than he ever did while we were together. But then after all that praise – it switched to putting me down and I believed every last word he said – like you, I listened to him go down a list of things that were so wrong about our relationship and me.
I’ve spent the last 9 months trying to dissect this man’s brain, because I desperately wanted to understand and empathize with why this man is the way he is. I felt he was deserving of love, so I had to figure out his issues and mend them. I wanted to take up the challenge because obviously no one ever cared enough to stay and help him, right? I probably sound completely delusional but I think that I was in love with a dream. I struggle with knowing if he ever truly cared about me or if he was just too damaged.
After all of this, we had our last conversation last week and I finally told him to stop calling/ texting me because I no longer wanted to be friends. He broke it off, so he doesn’t get to keep me around to appease his conscience. What kills me the most is that he had the nerve to say I ended things and it was me that didn’t want this relationship. (gaslighting?) I was blind-sided by this and thought to myself, how in the hell is he saying I ended things? I didn’t even have the energy to argue, I just said he knows that isn’t true and I left it at that. I honestly don’t know which part of him is the real person. Is he the kind and generous person but closed off due to his fears? or Is he really a jerk that has no heart and was pretending the entire time? I feel like I have just had the biggest Mind F@!! How can parts of a person be in complete opposition to the other?
I had to be the one to finally stop communication and I have avoided him at my congregation as Jen suggested but I have an overwhelming feeling that it isn’t over with him. I have forced myself to move on and not look back. I cant worry if he will return but it does make me wonder if a man like him could ever change. Anyway, I needed to splurge these thoughts from my brain because I feel a sense of weight lifted off my shoulders whenever I do. I think we all assume our situation is unique but I am truly disappointed in myself for becoming so emotionally involved with someone like him and its probably so strange to others that I still love him. I just hope his wounds heal and he allows himself to be happy one day. A part of me knows that he will regret what he let go of (don’t ask me how I know, its just my intuition). Where I will be at mentally and emotionally by then has yet to be seen.
On this journey I am trying to discover why the Sensitive soul is so attracted to the wounded bird.
I am sorry to hear your story… but I think you were involved in a relationship with a man whom suffering from a psychological diseas called “manic depression” or “bi-polarity” . I see so many similarities between your ex and mine!
never try to understand what was inside his mind cause you will fall in a mindtrap with shitty overthinking and no luck to what you are looking for.
human mind is much more complicated than we think. just let it go sister.
don’t waste your time in this mindtrap, I was there and I can promise you that at the end of the day someone should come and take your body and mind togather and you still dont have the answer.
so ,long story short. put all your attention on yourself. do the excercises that jen suggested and never give up till your really over with all the stuff and the past.
I know damn true that it is not easy, cause im still dealing with it, but as sarah said, we are the warriors and never give up.
wish you health, love and joy. take care of yourself … youre the only one who matters and never forget to love yourself at the best
with love and peace
I believe that everything happens for a reason. I strongly believe that there is something much greater for people like me and you than what’s-his-face and all the sh*t that came in the same package.
Jen is right. You need to experience heartbreak before you can learn to love, truly love. You need something to really break you before you can rise from the ashes and construct a better, stronger and wiser version of yourself. It’s inevitable.
I think this is what I am learning from this breakup. I am learning to put myself first, to love myself more than I did before. You don’t need a “better half” to be happy. You are whole just as you are. And when another whole comes into your life…that kind of love is so much stronger than what you knew before.
“You deserve so much better than to be a doormat for his lessons.” You are right…nobody should be a doormat for anyone. Someone who treats you as one doesn’t love you–they’re just using you.
No worries about messaging in private.
I think the best thing you can do is leave your ex behind and move forward with your life. I know, easier said than done. But you have to choose to leave him behind even when he’s constantly on our mind. You have to choose to leave him behind even when you crave for him, miss him, still love him. Because the truth is, you are not really leaving him behind. He already left. You are just walking away from an empty space. You deserve SO much better than someone who is scared to commit. You deserve someone who is PROUD to call you his, someone who loves you for who you are, with all your human flaws and insecurities.
Your ex, like my ex, sounds a bit like a narcissist looking for trophies rather than meaningful relationships. He praises you to his friends in order to come out of the relationship looking like a good guy. What he believes about you is irrelevant. In fact, to a narcissist anyone OTHER than themselves is irrelevant.
I think that you need to stop trying to understand him, because you won’t. There will always be questions that you will be unable to answer and if you spend your time trying to dissect every little detail of the relationship as though you are writing an analytical essay, you will only hurt yourself. Hold on to all the good things that happened in your relationship and CHOOSE to ignore the rest. Rationalise that it’s over, that the problem is his not yours (you did nothing wrong) and that you deserve so much better than someone who changes his mind and makes up facts that are untrue.
You were attracted to him (wounded narcissist) because you loved him. You are a kind human being who wanted to be there for him and he was unable to appreciate it. You tried your best, your best wasn’t good enough for him (nothing is ever good enough for a narcissist) and he ended up hurting you.
Choose your own happiness now. Stop thinking of him, trying to understand him and just focus on yourself. It’s all you can do. And one day you will love again and it will be so much better than this time round.
Thank you again for your response and I believe you are right-on-point. If my experience helps anyone else, that is wonderful! Having another individual experience something so similar and still display a hopeful outlook on their future is encouraging. I will choose my own happiness and stop trying to understand someone who cant be understood. Loved what you said: “if you spend your time trying to dissect every little detail of the relationship as though you are writing an analytical essay, you will only hurt yourself.” LOL, why do our brains work like that?
I tend to sense and absorb other people’s pain and I will often take it on as though it were my very own but this is the first time in my life that I have been strong enough to set boundaries (and I am in my 30’s) so it is never too late. It’s okay to say, No! and its okay to tell someone to give you your space to heal and we shouldn’t feel guilty about it.
To all those struggling with a broken-heart. You are extremely valuable and worth every last drop of Love that you would be willing to extend to someone else. Keep remembering that you are an amazing human being and its okay to feel sadness during this time. Allow yourself time to grieve (everyone’s grieving period is different) but then when you are strong enough, pick yourself up and take care of yourself the way you would someone else. If it helps at all, here are few things I have been doing to bring happiness back into my life: I cook a nice dinner for myself every night. I signed up for an 8-week fitness program and if I feel like getting my nails done, guess what? I do just that! I spend time with people who love me even when I would rather sit in my sweats and sulk in sorrow. I am not interested in going to clubs and being a party animal. I have always been a homebody and would rather lay and cuddle with my dog. So, believe me when I say – I understand if being alone sounds so comforting right now. But being with people who care about you and who you can vent to is so important in the healing process. If having a social outing is too difficult right now, at least go for a hike and be alone with nature – just get out of the house and surround yourself with beautiful things. I just purchased an airline ticket to that place I had been putting off just so I could accommodate someones else’s schedule and guess what! The day I purchased my ticket a good friend, out-of-the-blue said she wanted to take a trip and decided to join me. Don’t wait – it always ends up working itself out! Not that I wouldn’t have gone alone.
I am a sensitive soul and I struggle with insecurities like everyone else but through this pain, I realize how strong I am. With every hardship comes growth and it sucks major balls to experience gut-wrenching pain but please remember that every day we are given another chance at life – is a blessing.
I look forward to the day I meet that special person. Its all about the give & take, so, I will make sure the next time around I accept nothing less. I know right now I am not ready to date, I still care too deeply for someone but life experience has taught me I wont always feel this way. I do believe Jen when she says that the moment you are completely over someone, they will come back and then the decision is yours.
If you were to ask me just a couple of weeks ago, yes just 2 weeks ago how I felt – I would have said my joy had been taken away and I could not see my life without my ex. For 3 days I could not eat with the exception of a smoothie my friend insisted I drink. I cried and cried and then cried some more and I don’t think I have ever prayed so much in such a short period of time. It was that debilitating, crippling sadness where your bed is the only comfort. But I am living proof that it will not stay that way. I am so much more optimistic and you will get there too! It has only been 2 days shy of a month since the breakup and look how far I have come. This blog has become a safe haven where all of us can voice our thoughts, feelings and concerns – so let it out and see that you have so much support here and there is no judgment and no need to feel ashamed. ❤ Rae
” I never did anything to hurt him, and even if he were to come back, I probably wouldn’t take him back anyway. While the thought of him with someone else still bothers me a little, I think it bothers me more because of my wounded ego than because I want him back. I think I am reaching a point where I don’t give a damn about what he does and who he’s with any more. Not today, but soon. I can feel it.”
the same here but I am a man that he was in this situation.
deeply heartbroken, offended with a cold heart girl that one day was told by her that she is not in love with him and don’t want to be with him anymore.
I really do agree with the wounded ego, as we think how deep emotions and love we have to that person and how easily we got dumped and that person did not give a damn sh!t about it!
I tried three or four times to take her back and every time was much a bigger failure than the last time and the last time I was on my knees and she was like a Goddes telling me that there will be no place for me in her palace anymore.
I could not believe it!
I was still broken and devastated and it toke three months of my life until I found Jennifer’s post “how to take your ex back seriously” and after that I got healed with the awesome post about heartheals rituales.
I told my story to my self three times loud and with all the details. I cried alot because of too many unanswered questions ,but sometimes we have to admit that love and emotions don’t know any reasons and they may disappear one day even though we try hardly to rescue them 😦
I am now happy even without her,I am now super organized with time and daily plans.I could finally take my power back ,but I still sometimes miss her although I don’t see any future if she would call me ,so when I miss her, I write her a letter telling her what I miss or what is interupting or irritating me at this point.
I write her in deep details and put them in my drawer and I feel much better after writing all the stuff and I lately write her what I am doing now and what makes me happy instead of writing her sad stuff. (my drawer is still the only reciever of these letters)
another good healing stuff is WATER. go swimming. I swim every weekend about an hour. I imagine that I am really a fish. I tell all my bad stories to the water and it helps me to be reliefed from all negative energies in me. try it and believe me ,you won’t regret it! 🙂
thanks to you for sharing your story and feelings with us ,honestly have such sympathy with you and wish you a fast healing process…it helps much more when you understand that you are not the only person going through all this nasty stuff.
thanks to jen being here as such a lovely medien connecting us all togather. I am so grateful about knowing this blog.
sending my love and bless to you all
I’m really sorry you’re going through this. I guess in any relationship there is always one partner who loves the other slightly more, who is ready to sacrifice more in order to make it work, who wouldn’t give up without a fight. I was like that too. My ex gave up and ran away the minute a problem arose…he didn’t love me enough to want to try and make it work. I strongly believe that one day I will meet someone (and so will you) who will love me at least as much as I love them….if not more. There is someone out there for every single one of us who is WILLING to fight for the relationship when problems arise, who is willing to place you on a pedestal that is as high as the one you placed them on. Only then partners are equals.
It’s very normal to miss her. I no longer want my ex back, but that’s not to say I don’t crave for the little things that made me happy in our relationship…all those times we sat up and talked for hours in bed, all those times we cooked together. It’s the little things that you miss the most when a relationship ends. But that doesn’t mean you miss your ex…sometimes it just means you miss the routine you had with them because routine means safety, comfort and security.
Jen’s post helped me so, so, so much when I discovered it. I printed it out and stuck it up somewhere I could see it every day just to remind myself that things WILL inevitably get better. And they did. 🙂
Wishing you so much healing and joy. This is a wave and you will ride through it. You will inevitably be stronger when it passes and when you find love again it will be so much better than last time.
Kolbeh, Thank you for your kind words regarding my earlier post. I hope the best for you and believe that everything will turn out better than we all expected.
Your words and experiences have really helped me, A (and Jen!). My ex broke up with me 6 months ago today and I would be lying to say that it didn’t hurt, but I’m beyond the point of wanting him back. With the help of therapy, I’m seeing a lot of things that I didn’t see before- the biggest one being that while I was valued, I wasn’t respected. When he broke up with me, he said, “Make sure you go out on dates and take down all of my pictures. The sun is going to shine tomorrow. Don’t worry. If you’re ever missing me, go out with your friends and have fun. If you ever feel suicidal, call me. Don’t be like my friend from high school who still cries about her breakup even after a year” I thought those words were signs of his love. They weren’t. They were signs of his lack of faith in me. The final blows came with the words, “I’m sorry, but you’re weak, you don’t really have friends and it’s a good thing I wasn’t a mean person because I could have made you into anyone I wanted you to be.” Unfortunately, those words will forever be burned into my memory. I agree with missing the little things, but I think the comfort lies in the fact that I’ll have a bunch of new little things with someone else someday. I hope this doesn’t come off as morbid, but I like how you didn’t get your ex back, A. While I LOVE YOU, JEN, the thought, “Well, Jen got her ex back, so maybe I will too!” sometimes crosses my mind. To see someone who has lived the “You can be happy with someone else” part of the advice is comforting and motivating on a different level. Words cannot express my gratitude.
What I’m struggling with the most right now is the guilt. I keep having thoughts like, “Why was I so needy?”, “Why did I cry so much?”, “Did I mentally scar him?”, “Why wasn’t I stronger?” However, I am working through these issues. A, did you ever have any guilt like this? How did you deal?
Thanks for the update on how you’re doing, was so glad to read you’re now doing you’re therapy and things are starting to progressively get better.
You asked how I was doing….well, I took your advice and began dating other people, there’s one person I met in particular who gave me enough of a different perspective to show me that I’ll be okay, whether it ends up working with her or not, I’ll be MORE than okay in the end
I guess for me, all I want is that joy, that untold, unadulterated JOY to compensate for all this crappy pain that me, you, A, and all the rest of us commenting on this blog endured
That would be nice😊
But I feel good, it’s amazing how quickly things can change, A, mentioned that snap when things just changed for her……think I can relate to that too…….that fully fledged joy has yet to come but I’m peaceful and content…..for the most part lol
Similar to the guilt you still feel from time to time Bella, I still hang on to the rejection…..I question why I wasn’t good enough for her, what could I have done better? The rejection still hurts (not in a heartache sort of way) but the thought of it still drives me into deep thought about it and I’d rather just let it all go now
Back to you now though, I really was glad to get an update on how you were doing and you truly are doing great
You’re doing all the right things and are gaining a lot more perspective on the fact that though you played your part in the ultimate demise of your relationship, it was not ALL on you, not even close!
And now that you’ve taken him off that pedestal and can see the lack of respect, and other elements that would make him treat you the way you deserved and deserve to be treated, my hopes for you is that firstly you will give yourself that gift
Treat yourself the way you deserve to be treated and I know that everybody else will follow suit as they will recognise that treating you any other way will result in them not being in your life!
Update me on how you are when you can please
And to A, and every person leaving comments – THANK YOU
Your fearless sharing is so appreciated that words could never express
Be kind to yourselves
Hope you’re well Jen😊
I felt so, so guilty for a while. It was hard not to when he basically implied that my insecurities made me unlovable in his eyes. I remember sitting in the kitchen with my best friend and having a panic attack, constantly saying things like “I ruined my relationship”, “why was I so needy?”, “he’s right in leaving me because who would want to be with someone as clingy as I?” I blamed myself so much that my self-esteem suffered horribly. He even said something along the lines of: “A, I was describing you to X (someone who never met me) and he said to me that he doesn’t understand how I can be with someone like you.” It was like someone slapped me across the face with a wet fish. I was flabbergasted at how much acid was pouring out of his mouth.
But then I snapped out of it (about a month after our breakup). I stopped blaming myself for having been human. He was the one who pursued me when I was 19 and inexperienced. He told me how happy he was for three years, how much he loved me, how “perfect” I was. I didn’t change. He did. He realized he wanted something else and in order to come out of our relationship like a good guy, he put all his dirt on my shoulders. Something along the lines of: “A, I really did try to love you and I am a good guy for sticking with you for three years, but you are too young minded/immature/not good enough for me to be with you.”
In our breakup, my ex acted like a narcissist. It was all about what he wanted, what he needed. He put me down so low and insisted that I was incapable of change and growth. He made me feel like a burden, a pet that he had taken care of for three years just because he was a “good guy.” In reality, I was there for him a lot more than he was there for me. He just chose to ignore all of that (as a narcissist would) because what I did for him no longer matter when he wanted to come out of the relationship.
Stop blaming yourself. It’s not you, it’s him. You attracted him to you as you were. You were not needier or clingier than you were at the beginning. You loved him and showed it to him in the way you knew best. It’s HIS problem, not yours, that he was unable to appreciate that. No one goes out into the world with a check list of qualities in order to find a partner (except for my ex apparently). When you love someone, you love them for who they are. You stick by them in moments of neediness and insecurity…we all have them. If you don’t, then you probably never loved them to begin with.
While my ex hasn’t come back to me yet, I won’t rule out that he might. He was very comfortable in our relationship, I never made him jealous, he never had a reason to doubt me. He knew I loved him more than anyone and used that to his advantage. And one day he will miss that. I can guarantee it. But I won’t be there to welcome him with open arms when he does (and he has implied that maybe in time he will realise that our relationship was the real deal).
Wishing you love and healing. Please, please, please stop blaming yourself for being human. You have nothing to be ashamed of. You just relied on him and thought he would be there for you like you were there for him. He wasn’t and that’s his problem.
My only coaching for your healing would be to be careful how often you’re labeling him a narcissist. Two people are responsible in every breakup, even if one of them was caught off guard. It definitely sounds like your ex has some emotional limitations, but saying “it’s not you, it’s him,” even to yourself, denies YOU the ability to learn how to control some of the neediness and insecurity for your next relationship, whether with your ex or someone else.
I really like that you’re here helping others! Just be mindful that your own healing is still in progress and in time you may have a different opinion about your ex and how he handled (and definitely mis-handled) the ending of your relationship. In a few more weeks, you may find that you have a lot more compassion for him. Or you may simply be able to forgive + release. Because saying someone is a narcissist or “it’s not you, it’s him,” actually denies you & others a bit of your own power. Power to forgive, and power to realize your own responsibility in how your relationship had deteriorated.
You are right, it does sound a bit like I am denying my own power and role in the breakup. It’s still rather recent and I am going through a phase where I am doing all I can to take him off the pedestal and make sure he doesn’t climb on it again.
My ex is not a bad person. On the contrary, he can be exceptionally loving and caring. When we were discussing these issues with our relationship I took complete responsibility for his doubts, for my moments of insecurity and neediness which ultimately put him off. I tried to come up with solutions to make it work, but he just wouldn’t hear of it. I have my reasons to believe that he met someone else, and in order to deny breaking up in order to try things with her, he brought forward my insecurities as reasons why he can’t love me (he compared me to her to my face). I am not denying that my flaws played a part (I am fully aware that they did and that I still have a lot to learn in order for my next relationship to be healthier) but he did behave in a narcissistic way when he ended things. Our breakup effectively took one month to unfold, one month in which he drew up a check list (an ACTUAL check list) with what is “wrong” with me, what he “needs” from a partner and why I lack said qualities. Obviously he sugar coated it and made it all seem like he was saying these things “for my own good” but never once did he acknowledge his own role in the breakup. It was all about what HE needs, what I lack and why it is my fault the breakup happened.
You are right that in a few weeks I may think of him lovingly. No one can just forget all the good things that happened in a relationship…and there were so many good things in ours (which made the breakup so much harder. How can someone who was so, so happy one summer ago not even want to try to make it work all of a sudden?)
Anyway, I am hoping that one day I will be able to think of all the good times without thinking about the hurt that came afterwards, his harsh words. We are both human and we both made mistakes in our relationship. You are right, it ALWAYS takes two people for a breakup to occur. I never meant to come across as angry and disappointed at him as a person, or to imply that I played no part in our breakup…I am just angry and disappointed at the narcissistic way he handled it (because I know he is so much better than that).
Thank you for your advice and all your help. Your words offer so much healing.
Totally! And trust me, I TOTALLY understand 1000%. I was there with C, who wouldn’t even give me a REASON, and he watched me put all my stuff into garbage bags and move out in the middle of the night. Changed our relationship status on Facebook and never called. Only when he’d heard that my dog died did he even text me “I hope you’re okay” and that was months later. So trust me when I say that I get it, and I definitely think your ex mishandled things and I in no way think you deserved that treatment, at all.
In time after my anger phase passed (which is when I was able to take C off the pedestal too) I realized that I’d never had a healthy relationship modeled for me in my youth and as I continued on with therapy I understood that I had placed too much power in his hands, so naturally he mishandled it. I sort of gave him no other choice. We’re not attracted to weak people and I had been quite weak.
Have you ever read The Mastery of Love? It’s by Don Miguel Ruiz, the same author as The Four Agreements. Based on where you are emotionally right now, I think this book could be so great for you.
I want to reiterate that it’s normal and even justified for you to be angry at your ex right now. I just also want to encourage you to know that peace of mind regarding all of this is right around the corner. 🙂
Oooh, I’m going to look into buying “The Mastery of Love”…thank you for the suggestion.
Thank you for your lovely words…it’s good to know that peace of mind is right around the corner. That being said, the anger phase is a lot more manageable than the grief phase…I am thankful either way that the hardest part of it is now over. I don’t think I can get any lower than I’ve been this summer…so the only option now is to go up and reclaim my life.
I too didn’t have a healthy relationship model growing up, so I am sure that affected my relationship with my ex. Like you, I didn’t really know how to be his “equal” in the relationship so I unwittingly placed too much power in his hands…power that he misused. Either way, I have now learned my lesson.
Jen, thank you for this. My heart blesses you for all that you have done. Thank you for everything.
Like you, my split with a man I knew shared a true and rare connection with happened several months ago. I thought I moved on but there was back and forth communication between us which threw me off. Within two weeks of dating a girl he knows from work for a few months, he is sure she’s the one. It devastated me. I need to let go for myself and to move on. I have a few questions out of self awareness I hope you can help me with in the letting go process. Let me know what’s the best email to reach you at.
I don’t accept personal emails anymore since I can’t answer them all, but you’re welcome to post your questions here and I’ll try to respond. I do work full-time and have a one year-old, though, so I’m not as speedy with replies as I once was.
That works. I’m happy you are busy, and I love how adorable a life you have created around you 🙂
So This guy and I liked each other, tried to date across the country – long distance. it was beautiful at first and then lots of on and off misunderstandings happened which made us step away. And the split happened way back close to 8 months ago.
1. How do I let go of the feeling of anger of “I hope he regrets this” , because I am aware this thought is putting my happiness in his realization.
2. Whats the single most powerful thought I can consciously practice or choose when their thought holds you back.
3. How is it possible that the guy who I know shared a beautiful, true connection with just is able to cast aside what’s truly special and call it “nothing”. How is it even possible to move on and find a girl who is “the one” and move on in two weeks of seeing them?
Oh and the story is we have had on and off back and forth communication in these 8 months which haven’t been particularly pleasing. But 8 months is long that’s what I’m getting at. And this guy without changing a thing about himself finds someone new and shiny. It really made me sad to hear from a common friend that he could just not give me that commitment but can jump Into a relationship just like that.
Well, long distance is always a challenge and it so rarely works. I never recommend doing it for long…it works for about six months and then can’t be sustained. We’re pack animals and we need proximity. So it isn’t that surprising, despite the strength of your connection, that it didn’t work out. And that’s how he was able to move on to someone else — it’s the physical closeness, the hormones we release when we hold/are held by someone…those things are very powerful.
1. It’s okay to hope he regrets it, just simply add on to that thought, “…and I hope I heal from this as soon as possible.”
2. “It’s just me now, and that’s who I have to take care of.”
3. Like I said, long distance is a relationship wrecker. It doesn’t mean he didn’t truly love you. It just means that we’re not supposed to be apart for very long. The feeling that the new girl is “the one” is just hormones and their initial strength of connection talking. Around 6-8 months into their relationship they’ll come up on obstacles just like everyone else.
Thanks for being so understanding. It’s so easy to feel crazy and sad. One moment in charge of my emotions the next it’s just so different. I Plan on moving to that area within the year because that’s where my family is and it scares me to. When I met him two weeks ago while traveling there, (and he reached out insisted that I meet him and his friends over dinner at any cost). At dinner his body language was so much in fondness and he was excited when I told him I’d be moving close by. He made sure to sit right next to me at dinner and I didn’t make much of it at that time. He went on to say “imagine how close we’d be when you move here”. And then he lets a common friend know it was just to clear the air between us given the past and he thinks we just need to be friends. A week later he drops this whole bomb of dating someone else and thinks it’s perfect and she’s this shiny new person who is perfect. I don’t get it Jen, it doesn’t add up even if I wanna let go.
I can’t drown the inner voice which has kept wrecking the letting go process, which keeps telling me it KNOWS “he is the one even if I don’t see it now”. I don’t even know if it’s intuition anymore because what it says or feels isn’t true clearly ! I need to let go cuz not letting go IS destroying me.