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What does acceptance feel like?

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Hi Everyone...


I'm four months past finding out my ex went back to his previous ex. He did not dump me for her; we had already stopped seeing each other romantically at that point, but it was still devastating for me because up to that point, I still hoped there was a chance. He and I work together, see each other for a few minutes here and there, approximately three times per week. We talk a little, and 99% of our conversations are work related. The other 1% are mostly things like "I'm having my yard landscaped this weekend" or "I just read a great book," stuff like that. We do not have contact outside of work, other than two e-mails awhile back and one very brief IM conversation, initated by him. We never had the "final talk" that so many people talk about on here. We agreed to have it, but then I changed my mind and told him to forget it. At the time, I felt it was pointless; it wasn't going to change anything, and there was nothing he could tell me that would really help me -- his taking his ex back told me everything I needed to know. And, I didn't want to sit there blubbering and weeping in front of a guy who had chosen to be with someone else over me. I felt I would just be reinforcing his choices, and I wanted to keep my dignity. We did end up going to lunch -- he indicated that he really wanted to do that, even if we weren't going to have "the conversation" -- and we did have lunch and talked about almost nothing outside of work and politics -- it was definitely very different than how we used to be.


It has been a tremendous rollercoaster since January. It started with absolute devastation -- crying, not being able to eat or sleep, thinking about him constantly. Then, it moved to a feeling of euphoria -- a feeling that I was taking back my life, confidence that I will meet someone else, etc. I wrote down 50 things I like about myself, and all sorts of reasons why he isn't the right person for me. I felt triumphant, energetic; I was starting to get my hope back. Then, things swung back the other way. I started to feel sad again, and stressed, and contracted a nasty flu that hung on for over three weeks, and I know it had to do with the stress -- over him, my terminally ill pet, and a few other things. Then, came a period, shortly after my recovery from the flu, of feeling like I was moving forward. That lasted a few weeks. I started to want to do things again -- to socialize, to eat better, take better care of myself. While I still lacked energy, I was starting to feel positive again. I was exercising hard, eating better, pampering myself, etc.


Now, it feels as if I'm back to square one -- or at least nearly square one -- again. I'm not crying a lot, but I feel anxious and stressed, and sad -- not depressed -- but sad, as if I were grieving. I think I know why: In a little over a week, the school year will end, and most likely I will not see or hear from my ex for three months. I know this is for the best. I have no intention of initiating any contact with him, and I suspect he won't go out of his way to contact me (unless, of course, things go sour with him and his former-ex-now-girlfriend). I know this will be good for me, but when I think of it, it makes me feel terrible. I dread the last day of class because I don't know how to handle it -- whether to say "Have a nice summer" or "Bye" or whether to just leave work without talking to him at all, or whether to act like that last day is just another day -- I just don't know. Part of me was/is hoping he'll take some initiative to ask me to lunch or at least initiate some sort of final conversation before we part ways for the summer; I guess I just want to end things on a positive note. I know that once the initial pang of sadness/despair passes, this will be a good thing, but...for now, gosh, it hurts. I want to get to that point I was at in February, where I was confident, knowing that all of this was for the best and certain that I could find someone who is really right for me.


Is it normal to go back and forth like this? Something tells me that this is the road to acceptance -- that this messy rollercoaster is taking me down that road, albeit in a very roundabout way -- and that I'll get there. While I'm on the rollercoaster, though, it's extremely painful. I'll admit, there is still a tiny part of me -- maybe 5% -- that hopes that someday he'll realize he made a mistake. I do not expect it to happen, and I have not done nor will I do anything to try to get him back, but part of me still wants it. I'm hoping that this summer will help me to get even closer to acceptance, if not completely 100% there.


I'm not even sure I have a question; I guess I just want to know if others have had the same experience on the rocky road to acceptance. All responses welcomed!

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Well that rocky road to acceptance definitely sounds familiar from my own experiences.


When I was struggling with getting over my own ex leaving me for someone else, I also bounced back and forth between sometimes feeling incredibly down to sometimes feeling very energetic and very positive about things, and it lasted for months for me. I also went through all the classic phases - sadness and depression, denial, anger and bitterness.... though not all in order, and again, just like you, I bounced back and forth.


I think when you finally start to hit acceptance though, the big clue is that you just simply won't care as much. You will start to feel genuine indifference, and you will let days pass without thinking of him as much or even at all.... and it will be such a relief!


Better yet, you will finally feel able to free to give your heart to someone else.

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Acceptance is when you think, "I'm tired of this bs. What kind of loser dumps me anyways? I don't care about losers!" And then you never think about them again. Well, you do think about them but you don't miss them.


In my experience anyways.

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These words are partial of what I wrote when I started facing acceptance. Like said above this is a roller coaster and it is filled with the ups and downs. I hope some of this I wrote once will help you when you get to the point of beginning acceptance. Don't feel rushed, we go through this in our own way and time. The important thing is to go through it and come out the other side.


Eventually you find yourself thinking less and less of the past, more and more of the now, what is happening now, how your life is growing.


When I knew I had crossed the boundary of dwelling in the past was when I quit thinking of what was within him that made the relationship futile and started thinking about what within me allowed me to ignore the red flags and choose such a destructive path. Energy is simply wasted thinking of him, I have no control to change what the past was with him, and dwelling was destructive, keeping me from embracing my life in the future.


I am not a "relationship", I am not defined in totality by a man I once loved. I simply am who I am. I need to dig in the dark corners of my mind and heart and find the garbage that kept me from seeing clearly and making good choices. If I can find honesty with myself, see my decisions and choices without painting them in some false rosy glow of romance, maybe, just maybe, I might go beyond this past to a present and future that is honest and aware.


I need to find acceptance within myself for who I am, and not look into the eyes of another to find myself. I was here all along, I allowed myself to be swept under by his needs, I can vent and rant about emotional abuse, selfishness, etc., but I am the one who will define what happens to me next. What I allowed was wrong, why I allowed it was wrong, but it is past, done and can't be made different by all the analyzing in the world.

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I think final acceptance comes when you finally meet someone else that knocks your socks off. You may get over the previous relationship and let go, but there is always going to be a small part of you that wonders, thinks, hopes, etc., that maybe there is hope down the road, or else wonders why you lost them and wonders what's wrong with you.


I know people say it is not good to use another person to get over an ex, but no matter all the letting-go exercises you do, all the improvements, etc., you really don't COMPLETELY let go until you meet someone else.

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Good question, sort of put a smile on my face too


Acceptance, to me personally. It's calm, soothing, understanding the situation, maybe not completely but in my very own ways that I can appreciate what happened and carry the good things and this precious life skill (acceptance) with me for the better rest of my life.

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Hey browneyedgirl -


Yes, still navigating the rocky road to acceptance. You are definitely not alone!


I can relate to to the changes in how you communicate. I often feel stilted when talking to my ex, and I still have that 5% chance of hope. (Ok....I'll admit mine is probably more like 20%. But it should be more like 5% if I'm being honest with myself.)


I also got sick after my break up - with pneumonia! The stress on the immune system is real....emotions can wreak havoc on our systems.


I think you might be feeling the reality of not seeing him for 3 months. I hate to admit that the time when I'm not with my ex is WORSE than the time with I'm with him. It's like I get my fix, and then the time in between is fodder for my mind running amock. I actually do quite well when I'm around him.


Even though it is probably painful to think about, I think it is the best thing that could happen to you right now. 3 months is a good long time and if you have complete NC, I think you'll be a lot further along than you are in your healing.


I also agree that it takes someone else to fully get over the ex. At least that is how it works with me.


My ex called me yesterday. I was taking a 45 minute hike in some lovely, serene woods near where my mom lives, prior to going to her house with my siblings for mother's day. I was really trying to live in the moment, enjoying the beauty of the day and the woods.....but I was about 2.5 miles from my ex's house, and I know he also enjoys hiking in a different section of these woods..and I felt terribly lonely and had to fight back tears. I was successful in fighting them back and as I walked back to my car, my cell rang....it was him. Seemed like serendipity but it mean nothing. He stated he knew it was a busy day most likely with mom's day but wanted to know if I wanted to meet him to do some promotion. I said I could not meet him at this coffee shop we often meet at...he then suggested I come to his house to pick up the stuff (!!)...I haven't been there since he broke up with me. I told him I did not have time (the truth). I told him I could meet him later....he said he would check in with me later....he did not. So around 6:00Pm I called him as we had made tentative plans to do this business. Reached his machine, left a message...as of this writing, more than 24 hours later....no call back.


Whatever. I'm letting it go. Or at least I am trying. Often people don't call back and with our friends, we don't worry about it and then EVENTUALLY they explain why they didn't call, and we let them off the hook and everything is fine. But when it is an EX who doesn't call back, it is infused with so much more meaning. But for him, there is no meaning and that is what I must remind myself.


And tomorrow is the class, the one I told him about, he's gone to the last two weeks...I have NO idea if he'll go or not. Or even if I will go. Again, I will play it by ear and see if I feel like going.


So, yes it is a rollercoaster and I think the 3 months will give you a break from that ride. The first two weeks may be rough but you'll get used to not having to see him, and all the anticipation that goes along with it. When you see him again in the fall, if you do, I bet your feelings will be lessened. I think you will feel a LOT more confident after this summer, I really do.


I wish I could get 3 months off!


Hang in there, we're all in the same boat. Here's to a great summer for us all!

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hey Rap, I do admire you for your patience and your extreme self-control.


I'm not sure if I could be like that, esp if I were to still want to reconcile with the ex.


Thanks Ren, I have been patient, I'll give you that. I'm not sure I exerted self-control in this particular instance. Although it was about business, I now somewhat regret calling him Sunday to check in. He said he was going to call me and he did not. Then again, we did have tentative plans so it was well within my rights to call him....but to not get a call back...well, like I said, I'm letting it go. Out of my hands.


One of our colleagues suggested to me that my ex is acting "not himself' and that something is going on with him. Our colleague doesn't know about us so I just shook my head, and of course, I don't know. My ex does seem more subdued and a little bit more distant, quieter.


Browneyedgirl, I hope you feel better soon. I can relate, as you know, as I also see my ex weekly and never got a long period of NC. He still consumes my thoughts because of this, I'm sure. I am functioning at a high level but the anticipation of seeing him is usually looming...and thoughts of the past still plague me. I am hopeful that I will meet someone else that I'm attracted to, I think that will be the cure.


Again, I think maybe you're feeling an acute sense of loss coming up due to the summer break and not being able to see him. I'll bet anything by the time you see him in the fall, you will be SOOO much better and probably at acceptance.


Me, I'm not quite at acceptance yet. So I don't know exactly what it feels like but I'm working on it....every day.

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Acceptance is a good feeling, it's when you can think in your head that you are tired of feeling like this, tired of the struggle and things really are gonna be ok [with or without that person]. It is acceptance of things you cannot change and the acceptance is when you can think like this and it does not hurt so much, just a twinge.


thats my experience of acceptance anyway.

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YIKES. Check into co-dependents anonymous, or look it up.


But people do agree with me, one does not truly and finally get over someone until they meet someone else. Even though you have moved on and gotten over the BREAKUP, there are still residual twinges (hard to explain), like a bit of an ache, when you see them with someone else, go somewhere where the both of you used to hang out, etc.


We humans need interaction with other humans. It is life. We are NOT meant to be solitary creatures.

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Acceptance is loving yourself, no matter what. As long as you can accept yourself in your own skin, mind, heart, etc... then you will be able to accept other people's view of you, whether good or bad, what you want it or don't want it to be. I think that is truly the most important kind of acceptance.


Your 'roller-coaster ride' is very common. I went through it (and am still going through it!) myself. You have moments of triumph, then moments of sorrow. In your mind you get the courage to follow your dreams, then you may turn it around and want to go back to what you are comfortable with, your past relationship. It's just a matter of letting go of those memories and continuing to work on yourself in all aspects of your life - just always look forward to the future.

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I agree. Nice way to put it!!!!! =)


Acceptance is loving yourself, no matter what. As long as you can accept yourself in your own skin, mind, heart, etc... then you will be able to accept other people's view of you, whether good or bad, what you want it or don't want it to be. I think that is truly the most important kind of acceptance.

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UPDATE: Hard day today. Today was the last day I'll see ex (at work) for a long time -- several months. Oddly enough, he called me last night. I didn't hear my phone ringing, so I didn't get his message until several hours after he called. It was a strange message, something about how he hadn't gotten a chance to talk to me at work yesterday, and he just wanted to check in with me. He asked me to call him back. I considered NOT calling him back, but I did, and he didn't answer, so I left a message telling him that I'd be in the next day (today), so if I didn't hear back from him, I'd talk to him at work. It bothered me that he called me. He hasn't called me in FOUR months. As I mentioned in my original message on this thread, we've not talked outside of work at all since January save for 2 e-mails and two VERY short online conversations. So, his call last night was a surprise, for sure.


Anyway, today at work, I confronted him sort of -- I asked him why he had called; he kind of stammered a little and said "Well, I just didn't get a chance to chat with you yesterday." Whaaaa???? He hasn't "gotten the chance to chat" with me LOTS of days, and he never called me on those days. So, we talked in the hallway for about 20 minutes, mostly about work, but then he asked me what I'm doing for the summer; I gave vague answers -- to be honest, I'm not really sure what I'm doing; I haven't been able to really think about it. I've been pretty overwhelmed lately. He then proceeded to tell me what he's doing, even though I did NOT ask and do not want to know. I got the impression that he's going on vacation with his former-ex-now-girlfriend, though he didn't come right out and say it. I wasn't sure how to end the conversation; clearly, he wasn't either. We left it at "see you later," and it was strange. There was no "bye" or "Have a nice summer." We left things pretty much as we always do when we're going to see each other in a few days, though I know we're not.


Right after the conversation, my stomach hurt, and it hurt for several hours thereafter. Right now, as I type this, I still feel sick. I want so badly to be able to move past this. I know that today, being the last day we'll see each other for at least three months, should be the start of that moving on and really achieving acceptance, but God, it feels AWFUL.


I know that it takes time, but I really wish there was a way to speed up the process, to fast-forward to when I'm happy with somoene else and don't care anymore what he does or who he does it wtih. Heck, I'll just settle for fast-forwarding to when I'm happy, even if it's not with someone else.


I hope it gets better soon. I really do.

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