Updated: Dec 9, 2019
You thought they weren’t listening when you’d beg, plead, nag, and cry. In fact, you’d just about truly believed that they weren’t capable of real love and understanding, despite staying in the relationship with the desperate hope that things would go back to being as awesome as the were in the beginning. But now that they’re gone and moved on, they’re proving that they *were* listening because they’re doing all the things that would have meant so much to you.
Except they're doing those exact things for other people.
They’re dressing nicer, going out more, evidently their career has taken an incredible turn for the better, and they seem to be showing interest in people who you know are exactly what they’re into and also at the same time, inexplicably, your ex- is showing interest in the type of people that they always said they would never be interested in.
It's a mindf*cking free*for*all.
The contrast between their new life without you and your new life without them could not be more sickening.
Sure, there are those fleeting moments when you feel powerful and strong and FREE DAMMIT, and happier than you have in a long time as you rediscover yourself and go out and kick ass…
But the vast majority of the time the heartbreak feels incapacitating and the weight of the grief literally makes every activity the hardest thing you’ve ever done.
I was there: dragging myself to work, dragging myself to the store, unable to enjoy...well...anything, no matter how hard or earnestly I tried, unable to focus anymore, scrabbling for anything to "relieve the grieve" including multiple forms of therapy, re-visiting every painful moment of love-gone-wrong…and there the other person is:
They’re practically prancing around the grocery store, able to afford more than you, smiling hugely even when no one is with them (or worse, when someone else IS with them), non-stop exploits of intrigue, from the state fair to art galleries to awesome vacations (places you begged to go but they weren't interested in...at the time, of course), looking better than ever and dressed to kill, surrounded with buddies….
Could it get more unfair than that?
And you’re left to ask yourself if it was your fault they turned into such an a$$hole while ya’ll were together, or if some other luckier, more attractive, more successful, *everything-you-aren’t person* is reaping the benefits of all the energy, work, emotion, time, and heart that you put into your ex-, who is now transforming into what they should have been all along: fun, accommodating, responsible, kind, reliable, happy, supportive, respectful, THERE….
This person treats acquaintances and people they will never speak to again better than they treated you?
What the hell is going on?!?!!!!????
I can speak from both the perspective of “the one who came after”, and from seeing my ex-’s life both from the outside and from the inside (due to making up and breaking up constantly), and I can tell you:
1.) They’re not better off
2.) They haven’t changed
I am going to tell one of my stories in detail, not to vent, not to air dirty laundry, but because I wish someone would have told me something similar to really illustrate the DEPTHS AND BREADTH of REALITY because I felt so alone and like an anomaly of extraordinary failure when in fact, I had fallen into a relationship formula that more than a few exes use:
Back in high school, my now-ex- dated one of my friends (my future ex- and I were just friends, not romantically involved until after college). They both had issues and they both were immature and the relationship didn’t work out (this isn't a criticism, gosh, we were all immature...we were teens).
But I remember how shockingly emotionally immature my ex- was based on some of the things my friend said (and the friend almost literally worshiped my ex-, they didn't seem to even realize the red flags they were ignoring when they told those stories). And then how incredibly disrespectful and downright cruel my later-ex- was when they broke up with my other friend.
YEARS later, in the relationship with me, the core of my now-ex-'s behavior was the same:
A.) Any pressure to be a responsible adult or planning responsibly for the future (i.e. trying to get a career or even sticking with any sort of job at all—actually, in high school they actually worked a job for years, so they were even *less* responsible with me) led to them feeling trapped and to me being dumped in the most cruel, dehumanizing, emotionally abusive fashion OVER AND OVER.
B.) Hell, take it back even more, here was a GROWN HUMAN still being served their meals in bed by their enabler mother, who also not only was still washing their clothes but FOLDING THEM AND PUTTING THEM AWAY FOR THEM.
They was still bragging about their "glory days", when their ex-lover (my friend) would clean their room for them, and there I was, trying to live up to *my high school friend*, the one they threw away literally like garbage, wiping their ceiling fan blades and putting away their shoes in the same childhood bedroom.
C.) Being looked at and treated with open disdain (which I invited and volunteered for with my coddling and complaining and cajoling, and never stopped by making a graceful and happy exit).
D.) Misogynistic jokes and comments...but castration jokes were "making them fear for their safety" despite never threatening anything. I'm not proud, I'm just saying: Blatant double-standards EVERYWHERE.
I think about my old friend sometimes and I think, “If only they knew”.
At least in their relationship, my ex- had a job and would spend money on my friend and take them on trips.
In our relationship, I worked, constantly would drive across town and well out of the city limits to go see my ex- every day afterwards (when I complained, they replied with: “I thought you wanted to see me. But if you don’t, then don’t worry about it. No one asked you to.”), and I had to pay for almost everything we ever did or we wouldn't do anything at all. I was so desperate and in denial and so emotionally co-dependent and so low in the self-value realm that I couldn't see how stupid I was being...despite my unhappiness constantly trying to wave a neon sign in my face.
They “didn’t feel right about spending their parents’ money” and refused to work any job that was “beneath them” e.g. wouldn’t impress others, so the only way we could go have fun was on my dime almost exclusively.
When we would constantly break-up/make-up, despite all the movie-magic-quality social media posts of their fast-paced, friend-surrounded, event-filled life….nothing had actually changed: Half the trips hadn’t gone as planned and were disappointing, I later found out; the “work promotion” sounded more impressive than it actually was (one of those title changes with no clout), the other half were just that—events, nothing magical or truly exciting; the friends had lives of their own and were mostly work buddies, and my ex- spent the vast majority of their time, both with me and without me…laying in bed watching television, playing video games, going on walks around the block….
The only reason I go into all this detail was to give you a picture that you can see in your mind of the way things actually are.
Your ex- is who they were before you, with you, and they will continue being that way long after you...no matter what stories they (or you) tell yourselves.
That is why, if you are where I was, curled up in a ball, listening to music while engulfed in pain, knowing that other people are enjoying what you invested so much of yourself into…the person your ex- could have been for you but wasn’t anymore…
1.) Use your ex-’s ability to move on as inspiration.
You don’t have to be a prisoner to your misery, or at least, you can be on the work-release program as much as possible.
Seeing my ex- seemingly happy-as-can-be, a "brand new person", helped me in a big way to move on.
If they could do it, so could I.
If they were happy and productive, there was no point in me destroying myself with grief or humiliating myself with patheticness.
WHY PROVE THAT YOUR EX- WAS RIGHT TO LEAVE "A LOSER"?!
Don't be one!
I didn’t feel the need to make a big display because I did it for me.
Their flamboyant exploits gave me all the permission and inspiration I needed to work on building the life I always wanted.
It was the only option at that point.
You too can stop investing in your own relationship poltergeist and start investing in YOU.
2.) Your ex- is exactly the same person they were when they were with their other exes and with you, if not worse (if one isn’t working on getting better, one is degenerating. You either move forward, or backwards).
They may look like they changed, they may have made minimal changes to their lifestyle or they may have made RADICAL changed-religions-“found-my-purpose-in-life”-body-modifications-major-purchases-settled-down-got-rid-of-everything-nomad-lifestyle-career-change-whatever-style changes…
But all these things are cosmetic.
Remember, just like you want to fill the void that they left in your life, your ex- needs to fill the void that *you* left in their life.
3.) If your ex- is in a new relationship and it looks like the bestest, most happiest, perfectest relationship ever, the kind of relationship that *you* had with them in the beginning, the one you tried so achingly and desperately to get back…
Remember that the reason they acted that way in the beginning was to “love bomb”, or hook you in. (***They may have also pedestalled you, which means they held you to or viewed you in a standard of perfection which of course, being a human being, you failed to meet, thus leading to disappointment from this completely unrealistic expectation...and then discardation for being a "dishonest" disappointment.***)
They have to act this way (and yes, it is an ACT) because no one even half-way worth having is going to give even the slightest consideration to someone who overtly and blatantly acts like a complete piece of sh*t from the get-go.
You can be sure that the same red flags that you ignored so well are being waved left, right, and center for the newbie. And those red flags will surely morph into the Christo-esque red-banner-engulfed life that you knew so well.
Will they pick up on them? Time will only tell, but knowing what hell they are in for, you can ultimately pity them more than envy them.
Soon your ex- will be comparing their new lover to you, the way that you were compared to lovers past.
Things will always be entirely on their terms because, unlike people who have empathy, narcissists don’t get truly emotionally invested, which means they have no trouble bouncing from one person and/or situation to another to evade being a reliable, responsible, mature, caring adult; they are takers and the people around them are expected to not only put up with but *appreciate* their hurtful behavior.
The take-away from all this is: Did my high school friend force my ex- to behave in a cruel and incredibly disrespectful way? No.
Did I force the ex- to behave in a cruel and incredibly disrespectful way?
Both situations could have been handled respectfully. But that isn’t who our ex- is.
Were either of us (or anyone else) able to give them a magic personality transplant to fix those toxic flaws?
No. And neither can anyone else to, or with, or because of anyone else.
We couldn’t fundamentally change our exes-, for better or worse. The situations were merely a medium for them to paint their true colors on.
And they didn’t fundamentally change you either. It works both ways. And if they get in a new relationship with someone else…these rules don’t change based on who is involved. They apply to the human race.
One last thing I want you to keep in mind: if you want to get back at your ex- and finally make them see what a dangblasted FOOL they were for leaving you...
If we want to be attractive to success and tantalizing to others…
GENUINELY get happy and GENUINELY move on.
It seems impossible at times, I know, it’s definitely something that we have to do a little bit every day to put space between us and the pain we’re experiencing, and it takes longer than we’d like but...it will happen sooner than we’d expect.
Nothing is more attractive than a genuinely happy person who is out and about, moving in the direction they want, kicking butts and taking names (or at least, faking it until they make it). That’s why the illusion that your ex- is incredibly well off and “fixed” is so damn painful.
Imagine how you would feel if, instead of the Hollywood production their social media accounts have become, they were letting themselves go, laying around, moping, venting, obsessing, feeling sorry for themselves, wanting you back, begging, taking all the blame, even for things they didn’t do (out of sheer desperation)…
It would be a total turn-off wouldn’t it? You would feel oh-so-good to be free of them once and for all by giving them a piece of your mind before kicking them back to the curb, wouldn’t you?
You will be “the one that got away” if you DEMONSTRATE (take action in your life) HIGHER VALUE. You are incredibly, incredibly valuable. You have to believe it so that you can act on it. And when you do, others will see it and act on it to.
Distract yourself by immersing yourself in providing value to others that helps you heal and makes you feel fulfilled.
The most effective way to genuinely get happy and stop drowning in the mire of despondency is to GET BUSY DOING WHAT YOU LOVE.
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Love you so much! I am SO PROUD OF YOU!
You are never alone!
All My Love,