Why are relationships with ex’s so complicated?
That might just be one of the most loaded questions of the century, and I know many a person (male AND female) have spent years, and years trying to figure it out.
My first break-up with X was, to this day, the most painful experience of my life. I can literally and physically remember feeling that I might actually die from it – I sunk into a deep hole, and didn’t think I’d ever find my way out. The only thing that kept me going was my Mom’s constant reminder that “No-one has ever died from a broken heart.” And even still, I wanted to tell her that I was going to be the first. But I can remember thinking that even through all of that – I never once, ever regretted my relationship with X, and that given the choice, I would not have gone back and changed a thing. We had some great times, I learned a lot, and I got to experience what it was like to love and be loved – and even experience the heart break that came along with it.
Now, six years later – it’s the first time in my life that I look back on it and find myself wishing it never happened. I think it has messed me up. I think it has made me so terrified of getting hurt again. I think that it’s convinced me that X is the only person who will ever feel that way about me, and that to this day, it is what has made my relationship with X so complicated. I think it gave me a taste of what being in love feels like – and how wonderful it (and everything that comes along with it) can be. Once you’ve had a taste of that, how can you not crave more? People who have never experienced something in life, don’t know what they’re missing. So once you do, how do you learn to deal with the pain that comes when it gets taken away? The pain of being alone and not being able to share your life with someone you love SUCKS. And it sucks even more because I remember what it felt like when I had it.
X and I went through (and are still going through) the very complicated process of trying to be friends. Initially, we did it because we still worked together and even though we had broken up, still respected and liked each other. Our friendship has certainly had its ups and downs and it’s been a very complex and complicated path we’ve tried to navigate – but in recent years and months, there’s certainly been more downs than ups. A year and a half ago, X and I had a huge falling out – I didn’t speak to him for six months. Funnily enough, it was the first time that I felt like I actully had to go through a “real” break-up with him, and after about the first two months of not speaking, I started to get used to not having him in my life and not talking to him. It only became difficult because his sister B., and her husband C. are two of my best friends and it put them in an awkard position when X and I were in the same room, or all hanging out together. So – we essentially made-up and became friends again. Worst decision ever. I should have just left things the way they were. My problem with being friends with X is that I expect him to treat me like the rest of my friends do – and he always disappoints. He dosn’t respect me, he doesn’t respect our friendship, and he pretty much jerks me around to do whatever is convenient for him – almost always hurting my feelings in the process. But I let him do it to me – over and over and over again. And I know that if this was a friend of mine on the other end, I’d be telling her to stop wasting her time and letting this guy walk all over her – that she’s better than that and deserves more. And I do. But my ‘relationship’ with X is the closest thing that I have to an addiction. I don’t know how else to describe it. I know it’s bad for me. I know the ‘high’ only lasts temporarily. I know that in the end, I end up feeling worse. I know that I’m smart enough to know what it does to me. But I dial his number, I hit send on emails, and I desperately try to be his friend while he blows me off. And no matter what my friends and family tell me, or what I tell myself – I just can’t give it up. I got over my feelings for X, but I never actually let him go. And I’m afriad that if I do let him go, the only person that has ever grown to love me will be out of my life – and that’s what I’m afraid to give up.
So how do you do it? How do you get over an addiction? I have so much anger towards him. I blame him for the fact that I’m screwed up about guys and relationships and being single. I blame him for the fact that I’ve turned into this desperate woman who is letting a guy walk all over her and take advantage of my friendship. I blame him for the fact that I have become a cyncial person who doesn’t believe there’s someone else who will love me like he did. I even blame him for being in a relationship with me – for giving me a taste of what it feels like and then taking it away. I feel like being angry at him is the only way I’m ever going to be able to let him go. I’ve told myself that I’m done with him and his so called “friendship” so many times – and that every time is the last time. But am I ever going to really be able to do it?? Sometimes it feels hopeless – feels like I’m so used to having this addiction in my life that I don’t remember what it’s like without him. But I have to – I have to, I have to. I can’t be walked over anymore. I can’t be let down anymore. I can’t be friends with someone who isn’t going to be the type of friend to me that I am to them. I have to enter my own form of Ex-Rehab. I’m not sure what that looks like, but I’m pretty sure it starts with no calls and no emails – baby steps.