Blame it on the Ex

broken heartWhy 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.


13 Responses to “Blame it on the Ex”

  1. 1 aashton
    July 31, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    hey there,

    i think you are absolutely right about no emails and no phone calls! With your situation, i’d call that a HUGE step! i think you do deserve to be treated better than X is treating you! Just let X go and you will eventually feel better about yourself!

    Keep up with the rehab! if you need any help…let us know!

  2. 3 m
    August 6, 2009 at 9:09 am


    Here’s the thing, by the sounds of things, you have all of you ducks in a row, great family, great friends, great job (probably), and I would bet you’re gorgeous…the problem you’re having is SO common with people like you, because everything else has fallen into place, it doesn’t make any sense that your romantic life would not be all lined up too. But, you’re dealing with human beings, timing, etc.: things you have no control over, and no way of predicting. This is why you put so much blame on X; X is a tangible person who you can be mad at, and take frustration out on; your romantic life is like a formless entity, and it’s much less satisfying to be mad at something when you get no results. At least when your mad at X, you can vent to your friends, have an argument with X, or whatever; but these are all real tangible things you can do, and you’ll get some results. In short, you need to be disappointed and angry at X, because if you can’t be mad at him, you’ll have to resign yourself to the fact that you’re running a race with no definable finish line (it might end tomorrow, it might end in 30 years, but you have absolutely no say either way).

    So, really the only thing you can do it stop worrying all together. If getting mad at X is upsetting you, than choose not to do it any more. You have no choice in the matter of when you’re going to fall in in love, but you have a choice in your behaviour. Believe or not, you have a choice in what you let upset you too. You can choose not to be offended by X’s behaviour, but I don’t know if you will, right any anyways, it’s a comfort in a weird way. Either way, you should try and enjoy the chaos of not knowing, because it sounds like it might be the one area of your life that you’re actually struggling with!

    Whoa, super long comment!!

  3. August 7, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    LOL – thanks m. You’re right, and I definitely appreciate the insight!

  4. August 12, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    I feel your pain. I really do (or did)! When I broke up with my first love, it was the most searing emotional pain I had ever felt. I really didn’t get over it for more than a year, and, like you, I ended up in a long-term dance of faux friendship, sexual tension, and hurt feelings. In my case, it lasted eight years, during which time I entered and re-entered the relationship three more times, though more time was spent out of it than in it. I was, as you said, addicted to him.

    It sounds like our exes may have had some similarities, too. Mine was NOT a good friend to me. He used me time and time again, when it was convenient for him, a fact which I didn’t recognize for a long time because he was an excellent liar. In fact, it only became clear towards the end that he was not a good person, period. I know that’s a blanket statement, but there really are some people out there who are intentionally cruel, self-serving individuals. That’s just the way they are. (Not saying that applies to your ex, though, since I don’t know the guy!)

    I can only speak from my own experience, but I can tell you what helped me to get over him in the end: I stayed in contact with him until the bad feelings outweighed the good. It was as simple as that. You know how you said that you get this high from contact with your ex but feel miserable afterwards? Well, if you’re miserable enough for long enough, that starts to outweigh the momentary high. Instead of looking forward to the next encounter, you start dreading it. It sounds like you’re on the verge of reaching that point now. When I reached that point, I was so hurt and disappointed and angry and disgusted that the mere thought of him made my stomach clench…and not in a good way. After that, it wasn’t so hard to stop calling, emailing, and texting because every time I started to, I got that sick feeling, that certainty that this was about to HURT. So I didn’t do it. And the longer he was out of my life, the less I missed him. You know how you said that when you didn’t speak to him for six months, you got used to it? Well, that’s how it will be again.

    I really wish you the best of everything as you try to disconnect from this man once and for all!

  5. August 12, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    Hi Singletude! Yes – it would seem that our exes certainly have a lot in common; X is not a good friend to me either.

    Thank you so much for writing such a thoughtful comment! It truly helps me to hear from others who have been there, and have lived to tell the tale. Especially to give hope that things will happen for the best, and that there will be an end to it as long as you stay strong. I will certainly take your advice to heart! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  6. August 23, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    I almost wound up on Prozac when my Significant Ex broke up with me. Losing her was unbearable. We tried, for over a year, to make it as just friends and carry on occasionally IMing etc.

    A few months ago, we admitted it wasn’t working, and agreed to sever all contact. No IMing, no reading each others’ blogs, no facebook friends, nothing.

    The thought of losing that last vestige of contact was horrible – completely losing her from my life was the last thing I wanted.

    But once it was done.. it was a huge relief. I’ve felt better in every way since we’ve been cut off from each other. Even though there’s nothing stopping me reading her blog and just checking up on what she’s doing.. I haven’t done it once. Because, horrendous as it seems before you do it, finally letting go of an ex completely really is the best thing to do.

  7. August 23, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    Thanks for such an honest response, Dominic. It’s a reminder for me that it CAN be done and it WON’T kill you – as painful as it might seem at the time. And although Ex and I will always be intertwined because of my friendship with his sister, I know that cutting off all other contact is the best thing I can do. I’m certainly getting better at it, but pushing through those weak moments is really tough. However, hearing about your experience makes me crave the relief that you say will come – let’s hope I can do it! (I’ve already faltered once since I wrote that post 😦 )

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