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Thread: One Year On - Thoughts and Advice

  1. #1
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    One Year On - Thoughts and Advice

    It's a year since I was ditched by my ex-fiancee after seven years so I thought I'd put down a few thoughts that may be of use to those who are just now struggling to crawl out of the wreckage.

    First of all, although it may seem unthinkable right now you can survive. It seems unlikely, maybe not even desirable, but if you hang in there you will make it. 12 months ago, being here today feeling somewhat better seemed like a ridiculous fantasy, but it can happen.

    I think it's very important to go easy on yourself. You need to show yourself tenderness and care. At first you will - hopefully - have friends and family rallying around. But we are only human and after a while their natural sympathy and compassion will wane. Indeed one needs to be a little careful as you may actually lose people if you lean on them too much. It is a sad reality of human life, but there it is. So that is why you must learn to be nice to yourself, not necessarily overly indulgent, but you must learn to be your own best friend.

    Contact with the ex - avoid it whenever possible. For many of us this is only an ideal, myself included. The only message you want to hear from your ex right now is "I think I made a huge mistake - can we talk?" Alas, in 99% of cases this is not going to happen, so you must try and not give in to false hope. Again, this is nigh on impossible, but will hopefully come with time.

    I am aware there are many here who advocate firm NC from the get-go, blocking all possible avenues of communication, but I myself never had the strength for that. If a gradual letting go works for you, then let it be that way.

    Another thing - you will hear all the time that the best thing is to throw yourself into the world. Join a gym, take up a new hobby, reconnect with old friends, travel etc. Now while indeed sitting alone in a room brooding is certainly not the ideal way to cope, I must say that the other advice about plunging into this and that may have only limited effect. The bottom line I found was that the only answer is time and its current, which will slowly but surely carry you away from your ex and your pain. At first this passage will be imperceptible, but if you can slog it out you will feel an effect. So don't worry about not becoming Mr or Ms Sociable.

    Another vitally important bottom line is that every case is different and you must find your own way, no matter what generalisations you may hear. Do not pressure yourself to do this or that. I am not saying it will be easy - quite the opposite! But you can do it.

    Rebounds and dating - I had an embarrassing rebound episode a couple of months after my break-up. Ended up having a kind of episode with a lady who was just looking for a fling, and I thought I was falling in love with her. This may happen to a lot of us. If it does, do not crucify yourself for making a fool of yourself. You are still raw, your body and soul is still in relationship mode, which means looking to give love and receive love in return. It is natural that the first person you encounter after a traumatic break-up who shows you even a hint of affection will become the object of these urges, but be warned, you are in an extreme state. Whatever you think you may be feeling is 99% guaranteed to be a kind of delusion. Try not to do or say anything foolish if you can help it!

    Dating - once I had got my rebound out of the way, I tried a bit of tentative dating last summer. Only one of the people I met did I really like or think there may have been a future. Nothing transpired in the end, and overall apart from that one case, my heart was not in it. It can provide a bit of relief and distraction, but I do think it wise to avoid anything serious for a good long time. Your soul needs time to reconfigure properly, it is almost like resetting a laptop to its factory mode or some such. I am currently dating a nice girl I met a few weeks ago, but I am being ultra-cautious. If you've been burnt, caution is the order of the day. Hope for the best, but prepare yourself for the worst! But if you do meet someone wonderful, then good for you! One of the best things that may transpire from your current trauma is that you will have gained a lot of wisdom for future affairs of the heart.

    Finally, and this may sound a bit cheesy, one of my favourite scenes in the Batman trilogy from a few years back comes in the second one, where Bruce Wayne is in anguish at seeing his world collapse. He asks Alfred "What can I do?" Alfred answers with one word: "Endure." That is the word to live by: your only aim right now is to survive and endure. Each day you put between you and your trauma is a triumph and will slowly but surely contribute to your healing. So all you have to do is get from dawn to dusk, that's all.

    To compliment the Batman line, here's a more upmarket line from Virgil: Durate, et vosmet rebus servate secundis - "Endure, and save yourself for days of happiness!"

  2. #2

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    Thank you for coming back and updating the community. This helps a whole lot. I’ve never posted my story on the forum, but it’s seems similar to yours. “Ditched by ex fiancée.” What a soul crushing thing to have happen. But like you said, “endure”.
    Last edited by RoJo5; 03-05-2019 at 07:59 AM. Reason: Error

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    Hey Mike, its good to hear back from you. Im so glad you've come out of it finally. I remember your story as we were on here at roughly the same time and had similar circumstances.

    All of your advice is spot on. I especially like that you sort of "call out" some of the other common advice and show its limitations. We all heal differently and we have to accept that and just go with it. It bothers me sometimes that people can be so forceful with their opinions about what you should and shouldn't do. People come here in their weakest state, desperate to try anything. When you try the common advice and it doesn't seem to work, it can make you feel inadequate and you end up being harder on yourself than you need to.

    But best of all is your quote from Virgil; "Endure, and save yourself for days of happiness!" This is exactly what it's about. Learning to suffer well. That doesn't sound like an appealing thing to do but you will have to endure regardless. It helps to think you that if you can just endure the pain, however long it may take, one day you will be happy again.

    I'm still not where you're at but I can see some light at time. Your post definitely gives me inspiration.

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    Hey, Teddy. Good to hear from you, buddy:-)

    Yes, I mean there's no doubt how horribly difficult it all is. I might not have got that across in my original post but I was just trying for a more constructive and hopeful tone. I still have my awful phases and total despondency periods. That may never go away, but as I said survival is the name of the game and I was just trying to pass on a few pointers from my own experience.

    And yeah, the normal advice can strike you as really weird when you think about it. You've just had your heart crushed and soul destroyed and a lot of people urge you to leap into the world as if you're Superman/woman! A bit like telling someone who's had a triple bypass to get out of bed and run a marathon.

    Hope you're doing alright, man, and you also Rojo5.

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member Carus's Avatar
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    It's a good post Mike*
    Originally Posted by Mike5
    Durate, et vosmet rebus servate secundis
    Hmm...I feel a tattoo comin' on ;-)
    Originally Posted by TeddyPSmith
    But best of all is your quote from Virgil; "Endure, and save yourself for days of happiness!" This is exactly what it's about. Learning to suffer well. That doesn't sound like an appealing thing to do but you will have to endure regardless. It helps to think you that if you can just endure the pain, however long it may take, one day you will be happy again.
    ^^This whole passage resonates with me. Thanks Teddy*

    Carus*

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    No you definitely got your point across and I appreciate you posting. I hope I didn’t come across as critical of your post.

    I was attempting to say that it sounds like you found your own path and that it may have looked different from what others experience. I wasn’t in any way accusing you of dishing out the common advice. More that your experience illustrates how we have to find our own ways.

    Also, the current of time...yep, that ultimately works it’s magic on you. But damn it takes so long!

  8. #7
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    Hey Carus,

    Thanks, man. How are you doing, brother? I hope Bali is bringing some relief.

    Thanks also, Teddy. No, I didn't take it as a criticism, don't worry.

    Yeah, it does take forever! I'm feeling marginally better because I've been on a few dates with a nice girl lately, but if that evaporates, I'll doubtless take a plunge! Such is life. Endure, endure, endure.....

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    Thanks for this post Mike5 - I needed that! Gives me hope.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member Carus's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Mike5
    Hey Carus,
    Thanks, man. How are you doing, brother? I hope Bali is bringing some relief
    Hi Mike, Sorry, I just came back and saw this^

    I always like to make a point of answering people if they ask me how I am...except maybe when I'm at those dreaded lows and then I just feel like a burden...especially after so much time. But I know you understand*

    Life in Indonesia is culturally and spiritually rich which is part of the reason I came here. I feel that spirituality and resetting to zero was the only way I was going to survive.

    Also returning to the ocean and surfing is also basically saving my life right now...although today was very big and heavy and I got smashed on the reef! So now I'm applying lots of antiseptic and can hardly walk :-/

    Kind of ok though. It's a different kind of pain which takes priority and also heals quicker :)

    As for my breakup wounds, I guess they're slowly healing too. I've still had some vivid naztee dreams lately with her in them but I push on. Remnants of a traumatized mind I guess*

    She's like a dull pulse in the background now...Still there but not as prominent. Hopefully this will fade with time.

    I've also been seeing a cute local girl. We've only just met so we'll see how it goes. I do like being around her though and I think she feels the same.

    Heart is still encased in ice but perhaps it will slowly melt away.

    So we're getting there...wherever 'there' is....

    Would love to know how you're getting on Brother...You too Teddy if you read this.

    Ever Forward

    Carus*

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    Hey Carus - glad to hear youre enjoying Indonesia. Also congrats on finding a local cutie! That can do wonders for the self esteem.

    I completely understand what you mean about resetting to zero. That's something that's been on my mind a lot lately. I really do think that this is a form of surrender which ultimately leads to healing. We've spent quite a bit of time "trying" to get over this. We are just so da*n tenacious! But we can only toss and turn so much before it's time to just pull inwards and lick our wounds. This goes against the common advice of "be social! work out! eat well!" In fact it can be the opposite of those things. But I do think that addressing and accepting the unsettling feelings is really the only way to deal with this. All of the other advice is great but it doesn't mean much if you've only distracted yourself. It just takes a certain amount of time to get comfortable with the bad feelings. Once you get there, the only place to go is up. It sounds like you've found an ideal place where you can continue this journey. I wish that spirituality was accepted in the US as it is in Indonesia. We tend to look down on that a bit here and its so unhealthy.

    Something I want to add. I've read so many books over the last year. At first they were mostly about breakups and heartbreak. They've now shifted to deep personal growth. Eckhart Tolle and Tara Brach have been very helpful. I've started to entertain the idea that my past relationships were really just a reflection of myself. The people I was with were a projection of what was going on inside of me that needed to be fixed. The recurring themes, the insecurities, all were just parts of me that were crying for resolution. These women weren't evil and to blame for everything any more than I was. I, too, was a reflection of what was going on inside of them. We were both the people that fit together in that point in our lives, be it toxic or not. I think in a way I owe them some gratitude for ferreting out the things in me that needed addressing. So that said, I now think that without properly addressing our demons and finding deep inner peace, we can not have a truly healthy relationship. I don't think it's wrong to have relationships when you aren't at peace. We can still learn lessons from these relationships. But I don't think you can have the relationship that you deeply crave until you are resolved.

    Anyway, I'll get off the soap box haha. Im really glad to hear that both of you are doing better* (better being a relative word!). I hope we can all keep up with each other on this forum. I think there is so much we can learn from our experiences.

    Take care guys!

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