“How Do I Let Him Go?”

 

At times, life can be really tough.

Editorial note: This is the most requested article on THM.  I’ve given it a minor rewrite and added a bit of music. Enjoy.  Crash, crash, boom. :-)

The simple question you asked me …”how do I let him [or her] go…” is one that is full of contradictions.  Holding on to the memories, letting go of the pain; holding on to your self esteem, letting go of the sense of loss.  Letting go of someone you have great attraction, passion, love, like or even history with is difficult under clear circumstances, harder when there is unfinished business between the two of you.  Still, dear one, I am asked this question nearly every day at THM.  Let’s see if we can shine some light in that dark place that has hold of your heart.

First know that you’re not alone on this day or any other.  You have a bright and shining life to lead once this storm cloud passes.  How do I know?

Once upon a time, in a different life, as a different girl, I once loved someone with every cell of my person.  Like star crossed lovers, we were not meant to last. He left me…not just once, but left, came back, left, came back….you get the picture. I will be honest with you…I would have changed my whole life for him, given up things that I adore, just to be with him every moment of every day.  I loved his soul, his smile, every thing about him.  I loved his mind, his brokenness….everything.  Just as he was.  And then there was a great open, gaping wound when he simply vanished for the final time, shooting one last arrow my way in favor of someone that enables his disease.  So it was me,once upon a time, I was asking “how do I let him go?”   I was shattered beyond surviving.

I survived.  So will you.  It gets better in time.  Hold on.  Don’t let go.

This is what I learned in the intervening time.

1. Your story is about you….and you alone. I have a saying that I live by…what is buried alive will never die.  Allow yourself to feel the grief, and let the pain flow freely out of you.  Letting go is a self discovery journey, not an action that you take.  The person that you have parted with is not the real problem; the way you perceive yourself and your life without them is the thing that makes you ache.  I know this side of the cliff very well, and have been there several times in my life.  Letting go requires that you come to a place where you allow the grief to come out.  Yes, I lay for days on the floor crying for all I was worth.  The pain inside of me was from being betrayed, being left like an unwanted rag doll along an expanse of open highway without dignity or honor.  But that was not the truth either; life is life.  We separate for a million different reasons, and the heartache comes.

In the tears I began to recall that I was here before there was him; I once was a beautiful, carefree person that loved being alive, was learning new things and had all the hope in the world.   I was a person worth falling in love with.  The tears still fell, but the image of him began to fade from all that I wanted in my life to a more realistic picture of a man.  More importantly, I began to see myself without him in the picture; I could see things that I know I am destined to do, adventures to experience, love to give.  I developed faith in myself through faith in the Divine nature of life.  I used meditation, candles, massage, therapy and lots of great coffee with friends that stand by me no matter what.  Today, when I have a bout with clinical depression, those same people are here for me, and we have history together.  That kind of love makes all the difference in the world.  Think about cultivating those deep friendships with the right people.

2.  Be honest with yourself. Many people who write in tell me that this was their “soul mate.”  That link can take you to my article about soulmates, but in short – no, he/she isn’t.   By definition, a soul mate communicates at a deeper, honest level.  A soul mate encourages you to grow.  I call it “wish vision” how we look back at that ex-love that has left us.  We bestow on them qualities that they haven’t earned, honor that they cannot possess.  To this day, if you ask me about my ex I will tell you all the wonderful things that he is capable of, but in the back of my mind I see his suffering, his unhappiness.  We think that the moon and the stars and the sun are all part of their greater plan and that without that “him” [or her], we are in a barren and empty emotional universe.  The truth, hard as it may be, is that the only love you cannot live without is self love. Dr. Phil has a pretty upfront statement about endowing our former flames with superhuman qualities. 

“There are times when you break up with somebody and you start missing them and you start thinking about all the good things. And then you’re back with them for about 10 minutes and you go ‘Oh yeah! Now I remember why I hate you!’” Don’t kid yourself about what it was really like or glorify the past. You can read more from Dr. Phil here.

Okay, so there are moments that I still come to that realization that he left…and I feel the pain of it in every single cell of my person.  I get back up again.  I realize that he made choices without me. I realize that I made choices.  It is all behind me now, and I love my life as it turned for the better, my family, the people of now.  I realize that he is the past.  Every so often, I fall apart.  Just for a moment, but then I  get back up.

30 Seconds To Mars – 10 – Alibi

Thirty Seconds to Mars: Alibi

3.  Start living your life. Yes, you are still holding on to the hope of love.  Okay, I did the same thing.  You’re not stupid for wishing that he or she would return, that love would win in the end.  Truthfully….chances are that it’s not going to happen.  Can you set it to the side, there with you on the front seat of the car of life, but not blocking your view of the dashboard in front of you?  Can you focus out of the window?  Don’t put the life that you have on hold, but do take time to examine your choices.  What brought the two of you together?  What is it that you’re looking for in a relationship?  What is it that you don’t want?  What do you need to change to not wind up in the same relationship with the same type of guy all over again?

You need to be really clear on this if you want to be in a romance, marriage or even a deep friendship.  Early in our courtship, Brian and I sat down and really talked about what we felt was imperative to our life; what dreams and goals we each needed to accomplish to feel fully satisfied.  The key is: get out there and live life. Don’t hang around waiting for this guy to “come to his senses.”  The best predictor of what he will do is his own past behavior; what we’ve done before, we will do again without major intervention.  You’re not going to change him, no matter what love exists.

4.  Have goals and dreams. Goals and dreams come from a mixture of your faith and your personal needs.  They are not dependent upon someone else.  Realize that your dreams and life destiny are more important than he is, to your faith, your family, your future.  He is not the beginning and the ending of the world.  He’s not even important in the overarching picture.  As I examined this great love of mine, I had to face the reality of his actions, words, broken promises.   I chose not to see the reality of him at the expense of my own self esteem.    I accept full responsibility for my part in dragging “us” out for so long.  Even with the love that we had, the truth of it is he acted cruelly toward me; I acted stupidly for loving him as I did ~ and still do.  I acted cruelly toward myself for holding on so long when he will never be able to be the man that I need to fulfill those dreams of mine….and so, I let him go.  Once I remembered the destiny I was made to live out, I could see things in a different light.  I just let go.  How do you do that?  I wrote the article “Breaking the Habit” just days after losing a close friend that I loved deeply.  You will know when you have successfully “let go” when you are no longer his option. Take yourself from playing board, remove your chips from the game.  Be unavailable for his life, for good.  That’s right, love, you must be willing to walk away even if he started it by leaving you.  You need that closure and control. Back in the day of my heartbreak,  I considered in prayer these things:

He was no longer the charming, beautiful man that I adored;In the real light of day, he was much, much less than what I deserve out of life.  He chose to be unwilling to give that 110% in truth and honesty; I let go.

I am beautiful, unique and cherished by God.  I am worthwhile and worth loving; I let him go.

This union isn’t the one that “completes” me; I am completed in faith.  I don’t need someone who is unstable in all of his ways. He chose to act this way.  I need a love that is consistent and true, that doesn’t falter or wander.  That is what I need in a person….is that what I had?  No.  I let him go in peace.

I am not a victim of life or circumstance.  These were my choices, this is my result.  I can validate that we were here, together, that there were moments of great beauty and tenderness.  None of those cancel out the outcome; it’s over.  I let him go with grace, as a lady, with her dignity intact.

If your person has been cruel to you, broken your heart and left you high and dry, you might consider that they to are less than you deserve.  The posting “She” might also help you.

5.  Time changes things. Instead of focusing on your loss, give yourself permission to move on.  I’ve grown so much as a person and a woman that my ex would never fit with my psyche now.  I saw him not to long ago – he was smaller  than I remembered, less put together, no where near as mesmerizing. The flame in him is gone for me.  He was a shadow of his former self.

I am finished with you. Now, I am starting to know....me.

I’m even more passionate and intense ~ all that would be wasted on his self absorbed existence.  Engage with your time and raise the bar.  Don’t set your expectations low in matters of love, but hold out for that person that really fires with you on all cylinders.  Be the best of friends in a non-codependent way, encourage each other, laugh together, talk through life.  There are so many lonely quality people out there who are looking for that person to actually share life with.  That is the key; relationships are about sharing the heart, the mind, the soul, trust, honor, self.  Take a good look at the  person you are missing.  Would you trust him/her with all of that an expect that they’d give 110% in return?  You cannot love someone without the most basic element of relationship….trust.

6.  Get ready. Learn new things.  Learn a new language, change your look, engage with relationship materials.  I took up studying the Karma Sutra (I truly doubt I would ever have enough trust with my ex that I could show him such things.)  Go to the gym, get a punching bag, go for long walks and think about possibilities.  When the loss invades your mind, focus on your current goal or dream….on getting yourself into 150% of what you know you can be.  Leave them behind you, in the back seat.  Take down anything and everything that reminds you of them.  I have successfully rearranged every room in my house as a declaration of my own self expression after graduate school; I am a new creature, born of faith and grace.  Yes, I honestly love him…and I always will in my own way, but this is over.  I need it to be over. You have to remove yourself from the playing board if you want out of the game. Change things up, give yourself a fresh start. If you’re haunted by his ghost and images of the two of you, change your habits and hangouts.  Give yourself space to start over.

7.  Confront reality. Can you look yourself in the eye and say “it’s over.  I love myself.  Go in peace.”  One day in the near future, it will be okay that he/she is gone.  Don’t let your grief overwhelm you and send that text or email.  Don’t interact, just go forward with your life.  My ex could have fallen from the face of the earth and I would not know.  Any time that I have lowered myself to groveling, it’s turned out badly.  As I have said, the best indicator of future behavior is past behavior.  It will be okay that your world continues forward, and that there is life to be lived.  Parts of you will always remember with fondness those few moments that you keep.  Let them be part of your memory box, but not part of your active life.  One foot in front of the other, one day at a time.

Most importantly, wrap your arms around yourself and begin with a big hug and an I love you.  Go out today and leave the broken relationship apart from your for a while.  Let his/her name pass from your active conversations and talk of other things.  Remember:  Where your focus goes, your energy flows. So make yourself feel like a million bucks and go see a movie, drive a race car, climb a rock wall, play miniature golf, shop…something with friends, just as yourself.  Reinvent the you that is dying to come outside.  I want to meet her and have some great java, talk about getting on with life and see that the light has returned to your eyes.  Until then, breathe, and be kind to yourself.

Letting go is a journey of self discovery.  Fall in love with you….what you are, who you are, what you have to give, what you deserve.  Accept no half ass substitutions.  Yes, there are compromises in life….your self esteem isn’t one of them.

When you understand that it is really about you and how you feel, you’ll find the sun again.

My love to you as you stand in the storm and learn about you.  You’ll be fine…you’ll be stronger, wiser, more whole than you can imagine.  Take this time to discover, to cry, to learn, to be.

Set.

Yourself.

Free.

No one else has that power.

16 comments for ““How Do I Let Him Go?”

  1. Want to let go...
    October 23, 2012 at 12:46 am

    Thank you so much for your article and encouraging experience with getting to the other side. My experience is similar to yours and it seems that my personality is quite similar. I’m intense, excited by life, responsible, resourceful and creative (and a whole lot more).

    My husband of two years, is “out” again. Before we got married, we did five years of off and on and I took him back every time without hesitation. In fact, I was in ecstatic denial every time and I knew it. The last time, I insisted that we get married in a desperate attempt to “keep” him and at the very least, make him pay – literally. He left me high and dry, without remorse, repeatedly. This time, I trusted him when he told me to quit working and go to school. Then he decided he was out and really didn’t care that I only had $100 in my checking account. Truth be told, I started to stash a little cash last year when he was screaming divorce. I’m not in the clear, but at least I’m not as desperate as I could be.

    I’ve known for a long time that I would have to end it for myself and by putting off the inevitable, I think I increased the price by quite a bit. I love him so intensely, but I’m getting clear that I bestowed my love of self on him thinking I could catch back up one day. Now I’m depleted and the truth of that love is all twisted up. I DON’T know how to let go and it’s mostly selfish. I want the security of a relationship, the stability of a home and the fun mixed in with the hum drum… I want, he doesn’t (for now). My dignity is on the line. He’s ill and refuses to address it and I can’t make him better. I have to stop. I have to be responsible for the outcomes in my life.

    I haven’t ever been involved in an abusive situation and it’s taken a long time to get honest about just how much abuse I’ve tolerated. Things just started to get escalated beyond the emotional and verbal and at the urging of one of my closest friends, I moved out. Fast and furious and complete. I left the things he gave me that I loved. I can’t take anything of him with me.

    I’ve been horribly self obsessed-my friends have got to be fried. Ive also been trying to read something positive and Tao ish every day. My conversation changed a little today although it taken weeks. I started to bargain with him in my head and suddenly I realized that I don’t want to be a wife to a man that doesn’t want me as his wife. I’m a catch and although the though of a new relationship is repulsive to me right now, I know that something really sweet is in the cards.

    I’m sorry to everyone that is experiencing the struggle of a break-up. This is quite possibly the most painful thing I have ever experienced and I’m still confused about how to actually follow through. I trust the suggestions of my close people and barely get one foot in front of the other, but at least it’s forward.

    Be well and thanks again.

    • December 1, 2012 at 10:36 am

      Howdy, Silver.

      Man, you’re one brave woman. Doesn’t feel like it at times, does it?

      I’ll write a posting for you soon. Until then, know that it really does get better in time.

      With great hope,

      Alison

  2. lostheart
    August 29, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Hi,

    I am so glad I found this page. I am so lost.
    Until November 2010, I was in an abusive relationship that somehow lasted 8 years. I write “somehow” because I can’t believe I stayed with him and allowed him to beat me, put me down, lie, cheat. I was in denial for so long. We had a lot of great times together, but I knew early on it was a relationship that would not go anywhere. And it didn’t. It just crashed (after I came out of my denial about his being a meth addict for the last 5 years of our relationship), as did I. It took me some time and antidepressants and a lot of therapy to move through the fog after it all came down. I even dated someone nice for a short time, but wasn’t ready for a relationship. I knew I needed time to heal.

    Until I met him. We were friends. He was separated, wanted divorce. I knew his wife, too. even took care of their child. They invited me into their bed, their marriage. I was lonely, trying to heal, and wanted to be needed and to care for others. So I took on the job of substitute mom when she went away for a while. I was invited to be his “companion” during their separation. he had a big crush on me. It felt weird, not a smart thing to do, but we became very close. Best friends, he and I. and we shared the daily routines of life, of caring for a child. We helped each other grieve. Eventually I noticed I had feelings for him, too, but it took a while. And I tried to stuff them down, told him to wait for the divorce. But We kept it going. Our compatibility was amazing. the chemistry became intense. it was wonderful. Then one day, He wrote me a letter professing his love for me. How he felt about me. I looked deep within and realized I, too, had fallen for him.

    He didn’t tell his wife right away, for fear she would threaten to take his son. He wanted to wait to tell her after the divorce. Then I got pregnant. He told her. All hell broke loose. She moved back, refused to leave, begged him to stay. He made it clear he was done. They went through an amicable divorce proceeding at first. Then she’d take it all back, refuse to sign forms, not let me near their son, make it impossible for my love to see me. He gave me a promise ring, and told me he would take care of everything. We were both ecstatic about my pregnancy. He took me on a vacation so we could both relax and have bonding time together. It was beautiful.

    When we came back it got worse with her. I tried so hard to be patient. To be there for him. He was so worried about his son, and afraid to lose him. She made his life a living hell at home. We did what we could to be together, to keep our relationship alive. It was very difficult but we loved each other.

    Then I found out, at my 12 week scan, that my baby had died a few days before the scan. I was devastated. He came to me, stayed a few days and we grieved together. He was there for me the following week for the D and C, stayed a few days then had to go back to be with his son. I went into a black hole of grief after the D and C. then a week after (I had only just gotten back on my antidepressants), I lost it. something came up about her…he was processing the breakup of the marriage (while also grieving the baby, I think), and I was trying to get out of the black hole. But it turned into a text argument, then a phone argument, and then some nasty words were said. I freaked out. Lost it. and He told me to never speak to him again. Next day he decided to get back together with his wife.

    I fell into an abyss. At this point I had lost my job (a month before the baby), my baby, the love of my life, and all thehope I had for happiness after so many years of feeling unloved. My world that I thought finally had hope, was upside down. Everything was gone, and I couldn’t move from the couch for a month.

    Then, a month after his nasty text, telling me he was getting back together with his wife, he wrote me an email (from a secret email address) asking why I hadn’t read his letter. Turns out, I hadn’t opened my mail that month, due to my severe depression. So I found the letter. It was beautiful, full of regret and sorrow and questions. And in it he told me that his time with me was fullfilling, sweet, and the happiest of his life. But he needed to be around all the time for his son. He couldn’t stand the thought of only seeing him certain days of the week. etc. He had fallen apart after our split and got into drugs and drank heavily. He got in some trouble at work because of this and was going to outpatient rehab. He wanted to stay married, he said, but had to see me, smell me, look into my eyes once more.

    So we met, we talked. sex ensued. We tried to just be friends after that. He then told me to give him 3 months to see how it worked at home. I told him, be free, I love you, I forgive you, do what you must to be happy. I knew he’d never leave his marriage, but I was prepared, now that I had some closure, to let him go.

    He called the next day, telling me he couldn’t bear to not have me in his life. It’s been almost 5 months since that letter, and he still contacts me every day, always finds a way to see me. Sometimes he cries, telling me how he regrets his rash decsion he made out of depression and anger toward me, but that he needs to keep trying for his family now. And yet, he can’t be intimate with his wife, there is still constant fighting, he feels like i am the one for him, i get him while she doesn’t, and if things were different, he’d be living with me right now. and he cries and cries. ad nauseum.

    Most days I long for it to be like it was when he was in the process of divorce–as difficult a situation as that was. I am sad the days I can’t see him, though he calls and texts me daily, and I am ashamed to admit I am sad and anxious when I think of he and her together. and yet I am thrilled for every single moment I get to spend with him.

    It’s making me crazy, and I just don’t know how to get out of it. I feel like it’s a catch 22, but for now it’s easier to be with him in this situation than not at all.

    Thanks for reading. I will keep reading your site for advice. I hate to know there are others as lost and confused and sad as I, but it is nice to relate.

    • admin
      September 2, 2012 at 10:08 pm

      All I can say….please, think this through, and find a counselor. If it does work out, you’re going to want couples therapy as part of the agreement to help with all the existing pain. Find a Gottman Method certified therapist, or read John Gottman’s Relationship Cure book. It will help.

      Prayers and love to you….

  3. Melissa
    August 19, 2012 at 3:27 am

    I have been in two consecutive serious relationships. One which was 5 years and the second which was 2.5 years, totaling 7.5 years of non-stop relationship since I was 19 years old. At the end of this last relationship, which I have made my world, I find I don’t even know what I enjoy in life. I haven’t been motivated by anything but love and relationships and don’t know what I have to offer the world. I don’t have much of a social life and am searching now for a place to live and a job…which is additional stress to the loss of this person who was once my best friend and lover.
    I am now faced with the challenges of moving on from him, and discovering the meaning and direction of my new, single life. Many of us women are so focused on love, relationships, families and these futures that with the loss of these relationships we are left with what can seem like nothing. For those of us without support systems, I am still figuring out the steps to rebuilding our lives so that we can move forward from a very different past, and not make the mistake of making a man our entire world over again. I feel women have it especially hard as we often give much more of ourselves to the men we love, our time, our gifts, our bodies, our lives…while men are more likely to maintain a career and sense of self separate from the relationship.
    I currently feel exhausted trying to figure out where I will go, what I will do next on top of the excruciating pain of loss… I realize that the future is likely much brighter than the past, but how do we focus on the many tasks at hand while all we want to do is hide in bed and cry. Without support, social or financial or other…how do we push forward without losing our minds?

    • August 19, 2012 at 10:53 am

      Hi there.

      You ask the question that so many visitors struggle with at THM… how to move on, healthy and well. How to not be in this position again. It’s a lonely crossroads that you’re standing at, but also an exciting one…you’re taking the first steps on that “yellow brick road” of self discovery, self actualization. I know that it feels like the rain of life’s heartbreak will drown you now…but hold on, hang in there. given the chance, that special, unique soul within you will lead you out of the rain and into a life more clear and happy.

      I drank my coffee at my office window and thought back to days when I was really just trying to survive the day and not lose my mind. I keep a journal, so glancing back at it affirmed what I am about to say…I made a simple plan and stuck to it. Worked out every day, got some sun, read something that was helpful that didn’t deal with thoughts of my ex…and lived life, one day at a time. I’d let myself think of him, then honestly say “this is over, Alison. He’s toxic, we’re toxic, and it’s over.” I fought with myself over it, tooth and nail. Wow, I was mad, pleading, sorry, self blaming, everything. I realized I was taking all the responsibility on to myself for it ending…truth is, we should have never been in the first place. I have to accept that I bought into the excitement of “being in love” so much that I ignored all the warning signs and bells going off in my head. That was a choice.

      I believe in being very real and honest. I don’t let myself worm out of what is the truth, especially when it’s uncomfortable. People tend to grow in uncomfortable times, and I tend to get a little stupid when I’m carefree. I stopped lamenting his absence when I realized that getting into a relationship with my former flame was a violation of all that I really wanted in my life. Ask yourself why you got into this relationship in the first place. Was it because of love that you’d vetted out, spent time on, and grew from seed? Passion, ignorance, reaction, situation? Compatibility, laughter, hope and dreams of a future? I knew going into it that it was going to fail, I knew that there was a limited time of bliss that would require a heart-wrenching sacrifice later. I kept saying “I really do love him.” I kept thinking that I’d be enough to help him conquer his addictions, to change his past influences and to help mentally stabilize his tortured soul. Oh, my. That is God’s job, not mine. Yes, I loved him. Wasn’t enough to counter the fact that he was the wrong guy for me… and I wasn’t the girl for him. Why did I do it? Good question. Savior impulse? Desire to have someone love me? Proving to the “one who got away” that I really was worthwhile? I am not sure that I will ever know for certain that his presence in my life wasn’t just the catalyst of someone and something else, finally coming to a conclusion within me. Still, I nearly rearranged my whole life to be part of his. What an idiot thing that would have been. Why do we females do this? Love, acceptance, fulfilling that internal desire to make a home and family, to love and be loved. To gain self worth and emotional acceptance. All the things that we could do on healthy terms, but in our codependency, choose not to. I’ve been married since I was 19, albeit not to the same person. I am 45. I’ve been a parent for 26 years, although if you were to ask my daughters, you’d find a wide range of “good mom/bad mom” feelings. In all that, I have finally learned that the way that we keep our mind intact is to first, know ourselves. Then, stick with who you are, stick with learning and growing.

      The quick and dirty for not having this happen again? Small moves. You will be exhausted if you try to wrestle this elephant to the ground. The key? One step at a time. Don’t try to fix everything overnight. Pick the most pressing, realistic life problems…say, the job issue, and solve it. Stretch your imagination on support systems…connect with family, friends and people that you might strike a temp rental arrangement with. Be creative. Given the opportunity to rent that spare room for a couple hundred bucks a month, many people are happy to have a renter for six months or more. Get your feet under you slowly, as not to fall.

      Next: fall in love with yourself, even when you’re lonely. Get to be your own best friend. Immediately after parting, jumping into a relationship with someone else is a whole like acting out your issues with the former mate. Unless it’s just a relationship of convenience that you’ve left, you’re not emotionally ready to commit again. Two books to read: one faith based the other not. Boundaries, by Could and Townsend, will help you learn about how to erect healthy life style boundaries in and out of life. The other is called “Self Esteem” and includes worksheets in it. It’s a good place to start. If you look on Amazon, you should find a copy of it for anywhere from 8-25 $, depending on what you choose to order if finances allow.

      I have a series that I have been working on that would probably be helpful to several people that have written in, so I will get it posted over the next few weeks. Here’s my best girl to girl advice….know that you’re a special, unique person who is worthwhile and loved. Love yourself. Give yourself permission to breathe. Have some constructive, building fun.find a museum that is free, walk in the park before the snow flies (in my world), ride a bike, get some air. Get a library card and let your brain take you places that you haven’t been yet. Don’t sit there and read soppy love stories (unless it’s my book Soul Thief!) but instead, explore. It’s time to tend, feed and care for you. Be your miracle, sweetie. I will be right here if you need a listening ear.

      Finally, if you’re near a college or university with a counseling program, many of them offer counseling services for almost nothing. Find someone that you can talk with, a licensed professional who suits your faith, financial and social needs. I can offer you friendship, but as a nonlicenced person, I can only give you girl to girl advice, not real professional counseling. It does help.

      I hope that your day is filled with anticipation that you’ve embarked on a journey…it’s a reframe of feeling like you’re starting over. It all depends on how you see it. First steps are the hardest, and your inner life will determine your own outcome…you’re worth it.

      On to the yellow brick road of discovery, we brave few. Lions and tigers and bears…oh, my. :-) Now, two years later I’m glad I stepped onto the surface, almost crazy or not. I like the person I turned out to be, and find myself oddly thankful for the past pain I suffered. Brought me to here and now. All in all, it was worth the journey to become, and it’s still worth it to continue. I wish that for you, dear one. I hope that soon you look in the mirror, smile through those tears and say “I am worth it.”

      Alison

  4. Wendy
    August 4, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    Reading this article is inspiring. I just ended my 11 year relationship. He was my high school sweetheart and my first boyfriend. So in my eyes, he was my world. We broke up because he was in a relationship with someone else for 5 months. He just told me there has been 6 girls since we have been together. I was always in denial about other women because I never had physical proof. This time I met a girl. She and I had no clue about each other. We both let him go. My life was him. We talked about marriage, kids and a home we would build. We started talking again and tells me how great I am and how he misses me and he still loves me but does not want to be in any relationship right now. He also tells me he is going to go to counceling to seek help for his infidelity and hopes one day I will be by his side. I just found out that he started to talk to the girl again. I called him to confront what I knew and realized he has no plans of changing his life style because according to him he is happy with his life and he knows there are things that he needs change about himself but wants to do it on his own pace. After finding out that he is talking to the girl again I told him I wont call him anymore. I have to let go because I’m hurting myself more. This time I know I can’t speak to him and I need to learn to be ok with letting go. I always had low self esteem and always depended on someone to keep me up. Now I realize I need to love me first and find out who I can be without him. He will always be my first love.

  5. Saree
    July 6, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    Hi Alison,
    I love this article. I’ve jotted down some things on a sticky note and I’m trying really hard to follow them. But even now, I’m having an extremely hard time letting go of a particular ex of mine who cheated on me the majority of our relationship. He is still with this girl and it upsets me to see them together. My biggest fear is that they seem very serious and might even get married. Even though he apologized four months after the break up, somehow I just don’t feel satisfied. I tell myself that I’m fine and over him and I remember all the crappy qualities about him, but for some reason, I have this image of us meeting again years from now and falling back in love with each other, but this time our relationship actually works. I have a very vivid imagination and I know that this will probably never happen.
    Whenever I look at the other girl, I say to myself “that could be me” and it isn’t, and I’m so thankful I’m not her. I’m no longer attached to him and I don’t have to worry about where he is and who he’s with. I keep telling myself that the biggest difference between me and that girl is I got out. And she didn’t. She’s still stuck with him and here I am, free.
    Even now, saying all of this, it sounds like I’m over him, but deep down I have this contradicting feeling inside me. I have a very vivid imagination and it always gets in the way because I have an idea of how my life should be, and somehow I always end up being disappointed because I’m not being realistic.
    This experience has led me to things that I never thought would happen, like building a strong faith relationship and discovering new things about myself. I have become braver. I actually had the chance to sit down and talk with the girl, and it went a lot better than I thought. Even though I know I’m a strong, independent woman, and deserve better, I can’t get rid of this ongoing fire in my heart for what this guy did to me. I’m finding that this anger interrupts my mood towards my friends and family and I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I still pretend to yell at this imaginary guy and accuse him of the things that I wish I could have said to him when the moment was right.
    The biggest sign of getting over a situation is when you’re done being mad, and I’ve noticed that I’m still angry and I want to let go of that so bad.
    You mentioned that time heals and I just pray to God that time will take care of my situation. God has already amazed me as it is, and I pray that he will help me in this final transition.
    Thank you for this fantastic article, and I look forward to reading more of them.

    • July 23, 2012 at 12:24 pm

      Howdy, Saree:

      First, thanks for writing in. You’re among friends here at THM. I’d like to take the time to really affirm the work that you’re doing and to encourage you…and to ask you if you’re ready to let go of the “mad.” Let me explain.

      It sounds like you are having a hard time letting go…not of the guy, but of the imagination of what “should” have been based on what you’d given and how much you loved this man. Like so many of us you have a mental picture of what society and your own rules tell you that life should look like…and that is rarely the case in reality.

      I know what it’s like to wonder, “why not me?” I understand what it’s like to give it all and have it fall apart. It’s okay that we do this in life, to dedicate time life and energy to one another and simply have it cave in around us. Life is about the steps that we take, the love we give and the lessons we learn along the way. It’s not always going to turn out like it “should.” Even when it goes south, we often find that there is beauty amongst the ashes…if I hadn’t had myself shattered, I’d have never met the people who make my life really worth living. If I hadn’t screwed everything up, I’d still be working toward a faith I no longer find substantial enough for me. If parts of me hadn’t died, I wouldn’t be the me of now.

      Here is a way to reframe that I just used in my own life….my sister was diagnosed with a malignant tumor this past Monday…I told her after a while of talking that it is actually her ally, not her enemy. Instead of killing her…and prayerfully it is only one surgery then a life of living free and in love….it is teaching she and all around us about the value of now. This threat can also be the catalyst of change and meaning seeking. You must understand that how you choose to frame your thoughts, what you choose to concentrate on, those are yours alone. You and you alone have charge of your mind and heart. Where your focus goes, your energy goes.

      Some hard thoughts:

      ~Are you made…or are you jealous of his seeming lack of pain at hurting you? Is it okay for you to be mad within your own skin?
      ~The difference between you and this girl is not that you escaped and she didn’t…it’s that your life id your treasure and she has no part of that…or you of her. She’s not your issue. Wish her well and forget she exists. Not your problem, or your business.
      ~Do you want to make him miserable because you were hurt for no good reason at all? I did for a while. You may still feel like he owes you an explanation that makes sense…and it can’t be “I didn’t honestly love you as a life-mate, or I would have been faithful. Maybe I can’t do that at all for anyone, ever. Maybe I can. With you, I didn’t.” The truth is the truth.

      I know why I am who and what I am…and you’re learning. Good for you, be blessed and happy in that knowledge that you’re a unique creature who is worthwhile and special. I am so damn glad that I am the person I am today. I don’t want my ex – any of them – back. When my former flame scurried away that last time, I was relieved that he was gone for good…and today, I simply don’t care. No fire, no longing, no worries, no address, no concept of how fortunate I am that he’s been removed from my life. I don’t care about the woman/women he’s with, if he’s standing on one foot or back to hours of porn. Nada. How did that happen? Becoming grateful, seeking peace. Loving me more than “shoulds” and changing what I really seek in life to what I really wanted all along.

      In the end, beloved, who cares if they stay together or go move to the moon? Why do you need to speak it all out? Yes, get it out off your chest in the form of letting go and actively stride past it. Mad keeps stuff alive. Let mad go. Become INCREDIBLY grateful for the tumor that caused your eyes to open, for the potential future that is readily out there for you while you journey to it…and pursue peace. I mean stalk the crap out of it. If you feel that negative vibe come on you about him, breathe it out like the black cloud of death it is…instead, think of the good things that you know now, that have come in your life because you’re the woman who survives and thrives.

      It’s not an easy thing, and it’s not like a switch that you pull. you’re going to have to be willing to choose being incredibly grateful, present in the moment and dwell in forgiveness. Again, I am sending you all the thoughts of affirmation and hope I have today…and I am proud that you’ve come so far. It’s going to be okay, I promise, in time and with self love and appreciation. Take care of you…you’re worth more than you know.

      All the best,

      Alison

  6. Pri
    February 19, 2012 at 2:01 am

    I am currently trying to get over my ex who I have been with on/off for over five years. Although this article made me cry, I have faith that life will go on and that it will grant me what I deserve with time. I really want to break down and crawl back to what we had, but after reading what Dr. Phil stated, I am just remembering the good times and I am losing perspective of why we were not working out. I hope that the pain, sense of loss, and helplessness will seize with time. Thank you for your wonderful advice. It gives me hope.

    • February 19, 2012 at 8:25 am

      Hi Pri …

      It’s a journey, this becoming yourself anew. In time, the pain will fade and you can choose to remember there once was love; its okay that you remember the good. What we all need is to be able to face the truth….this love isn’t what we need….along with the ability to smile at the beautiful memories as snapshots that it wasn’t a waste of time. I honestly wish my ex peace and race as his journey goes on…just separately. I can wish him well, no matter what he was…I have my inner power back. He can’t hurt me. You know what, Pri? I rarely think of him anymore…my life is amazing. If anything, I guess I feel sorry for him. From a much preferred distance all the same.

      Last night I had the chance to see a truly important male… :-) baby Mason, Brian’s & my grandson. I can’t possibly thank God enough for the ability to let go. I understand that like you I am a unique work of divine art – a designers original. You will find your happiness as it becomes your focus. I hope that you also find that there is honest, fulfilling hope after letting the pain and the person go…and that too is a journey. Seek that hope, Pri. Focus on the possibilities of today.

      A new article series on reclaiming your personal power posts this week. I hope it helps you.

      Blessings,

      Alison

  7. Autumn
    November 13, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    Alison,

    Thanks so much for the updated version of this already fantastic article.

    I recently went through a breakup with a man that I quite honestly thought was going to be my husband, the father of my children and my life-long partner in the good, the bad and the ugly. The breakup came out of nowhere (at least in my mind) and it has been a struggle since day one of this “new” life to remind myself that I am beautiful, deserving, whole and worthy of love. It’s terribly difficult to get any sort of positive perspective when you’re hurting and grieving, but this article has helped.

    Luckily I have had a good support group, and I have avoided the depression that most go through. I have kept up good eating habits, a gym schedule, am on the hunt for a new job and am rediscovering who I am … without anyone else.

    I still miss my ex terribly and am aware that truly moving on from a nearly three year incredibly intense relationship will take time, but this article is a beacon of hope… and one which I return to often.

    Thank you for taking the time to write it, and to share your personal stories. I can only hope that I come out of this as strong and at peace as you did.

    Autumn

  8. November 8, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    Thank you very much, it really helped me. I found out that he might be a father with another female.

    • November 8, 2011 at 10:13 pm

      Jeannie:

      I am sorry to hear that you’re experiencing what has to be a tremendous hurt to your self esteem and to your relationship overall. Know that this time will pass as you focus on good self care, experiencing life as a confident and beautiful woman whose definition comes from your own strengths, your character and your inner self. Each of us have these moments that we’d rather never live though; I join you in prayer for peaceful and fulfilling days in your life. It is my great hope that if there is a child involved that the people responsible for the life created treat it with the dignity and grace of new life; I encourage you to take time and really get in touch with your own feelings, thoughts and internal emotional life that you are living your most authentic, well life now. Yesterdays posting has links for great articles on active forgiveness and also a sample of affirmations. I encourage you to look at them and incorporate both into your daily walk of life.

      God bless, dear one. Know that you’re never alone, and I send you thoughts of love and light.

      ~Alison

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