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STUPID! STUPID! Wrote an e-mail to ex... How do I get over this?


All I Ever Wanted Was to Love You
All I Ever Wanted Was to Love You

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Hi everybody,

 

Four months ago, I broke up with my boyfriend of 1.5 years. The relationship had been having problems for some months, and maybe it was for the best, but we also had our good times. Anyway, after a big fight last January, we decided to take a "break" (we live in different cities), during which we didn't see each other in person, but we kept speaking almost daily on the phone or through IM. In this month, I did a lot of thinking, started seeing a therapist to work on the issues (jealousy, insecurity...) on my side that I knew were hurting the relationship. I became convinced that we had a chance and that we could make it. He, on the other hand, used this time to make up his mind about breaking up, and when we finally met about one month later, I was expecting a sweet reunion, and instead got dumped. It was painful for both, I guess, and afterwards we kept in touch a few times through e-mail. He actually wanted us to remain as friends, but I saw that contact with him was hurting me and giving me false hopes, so after about one month I asked him not to contact me anymore, told him I needed time to heal, etc. We have not been in touch since, and I also made a huge effort not to search for him on the Internet (I used to read what he posted in a couple of forums), to give me time to heal and forget. It has been painful and lonely, but I had been more or less ok, my life keeps going on, I keep going to work, maintaning the few friendships I have here (I live and work in Germany, but I'm originally from Latin America) and seeing my therapist every week.

It's been now four months after the breakup, and last weekend I thought I could be ready to go back to the dating world. So, I decided to set up a profile at a dating site (I don't know that many people here, so meeting someone "in person" is quite difficult for me), but while I was filling the profile, I got overflowed with memories of my ex, of how we met (we also met online), how sweet and happy it was, and ended up crying every time these memories came. Needless to say, I had a very miserable weekend, and I also started fighting an urge to contact him again. But I was mainly afraid to find out if he has already moved on, if he has a new girlfriend, etc. His birthday is tomorrow, so I started wondering if I should send him a short "happy birthday" email just to see what he replied.

Talking with my therapist today, I decided that maybe it was not such a bad idea after all to find out if he had a new person in his life, and that maybe facing this truth could help me recognize it's 300% over, close this chapter of my life and turn the page. But instead of contacting him right away, I decided to read again the forums where he posts, and found out that, yes, almost for sure he has a girlfriend, and is even helping her to renovate and move to a new place (not together with him, I think). So, he's moved on... as I've found from his past relationships, he does that fairly quickly...

Getting the news was hard, but not so bad as if I had found out immediately after the breakup. I mean, I got sad and cried a bit, but I don't feel it was devastating, I guess because I kind of expected it. But, stupid me, instead of accepting it as it is, letting him go, closing the chapter and moving on, I stubbornly decided to contact him! :sad: I just wrote him a short e-mail to wish him a happy birthday, so I guess on the outside it doesn't seem so pathetic, but it DOES feel pathetic! I feel like such a loser! I should've just let it go, but somehow wanted to see what he would reply... I sent the mail just a short time ago and he hasn't replied yet, but now I'm hating myself for doing it... I had been so strong and had kept so well with not contacting him/not reading anything about him, etc...

I guess my question is, how do I get over him? How do I move on? Sometimes I feel like I need to hire an exorcist, just to "exorcize" him from my mind! I wish I could just like press a button, forget him, find someone new and move on, just like he did... How long does this take?

 

Thanks and sorry for the long post!

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Basically, the most fundamental way we move on from any loss is to grieve for it - really cry your eyes out, rage and really take on board that there's no going back. Let yourself grieve until there's nothing left to come out - the way you describe how you felt when filling out your online profile actually sounds very healthy, although being painful. That's the only way you can really exorcise him; you can obviously make the whole process easier by being nice to yourself and ensuring that you have things to look forward to, as well as look back on.

 

Don't waste any more time worrying about the birthday wish; it doesn't sound as though you did anything humiliating, as long as you're not waiting and hoping for a reply which may never come.

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Well, I think you should try to put your emotions about him in a deep-freeze until he responds to your greeting, if he does. If he doesn't then take it as a sign that the relationship is well and truly over and you can now totally move on.

 

If he responds - see what he says.

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Hey hunn! Do NOT feel bad for contacting him. You made a mistake. Its fine! He is gone from your life, so who cares!? The first step is to accept its over. Realize you will find another. Throw out all those sweet feelings and see him for what he really is. Come on, you no your better! Get out there again. Start doing things for you. Forget about ever getting back together and live your life to the fullest. He is with someone else? Good for him, my ex just had sex with a girl yesterday. You know what? I am heartbroken. But I am better then him. So are you. We will find our guys, and they are going to come when we least expect it. Just bring out that strong innerself. Say to yourself " * * * * him!". Disconnect him from your life again. Its a new start. This new start will have a better ending though. You felt raw emotion, because you loved. Be thankful. Work towards making your life complete to the fullest. You don't need a guy! Just be confident in your own skin. That guy is going to come. Don't even worry about it! Keep your head up. Your better and you know it!

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I just had this talk with my father...he said to me "You can sit there and wait to heal, or you can give it a push". In your case, the "push", being checking for sure to see if he has someone new, brought on events that made you hurt even more. That's why I think healing should just come naturally and people shouldn't force themselves to see the ex or things like that.

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Hey everybody, thanks for your kind words and good wishes! This has been really helpful. I guess I will be getting better with time... I still have bad days and have cried a lot lately, but I guess at some point I'll see some light at the end of the tunnel.

My ex hasn't or didn't reply to the birthday wish. No idea why, but guess it has to do with him being in a new "relationship". This is really funny, seeing how after we broke up he was the one who insisted that we remained in contact, how he told me many times how important I was to him and how he wanted me to remain in his life as a friend, etc, etc. I guess it was all bull**, or he was just saying it to ease his guilt feelings. Anyway, I have to do my best to completely take him out of my mind and move on. It has been difficult in the last couple of days, but I've felt like this for other people before and I've gotten over it eventually, so I guess what I have to do is wait for some more time to go by.

 

Again thanks and all the best,

 

A.

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I think people very often do mean it when they say they want to remain friends after a breakup but when they get into a new relationship their new partner usually has something to say about that and it usually isn't anything supportive. There are hundreds of threads on here from people who are concerned, angry or insecure because their partner has any form of contact with an ex.

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Hi Ada...sorry about the pain your in...but don't beat yourself up....we've done what you have done here, broken NC in what seemed like such an innocent way, only to find that it caused us to take some steps back in recovery. Grief is not a straightline process....I found a bookthat really has helped me is Susan Anderson's The Journey From Abandoment to Healing is really helpful in breaking down the grief process and helping us see it's more than just the immediate relationship breakup that is causing us to struggle so to let go.

 

Also, a comment on the long distance nature of your relationship. LDR's are tough..I had never really done one until I too met someone online awhile back...I thought we had fallen in love and she had made plans to move the 200 miles to my city...but the difficulty of getting to know each other only on weekends and the strain of putting so many expectations on such a new relationship were too much and she broke it off by e-mail about 6 weeks ago...the pain is the same for me as in past breakups, but I know I'll likely never see her again unless one of us writes or calls and I know that won't be me. There's a good forum here on long distance relationship...it took reading a few threads there to help me see that, despite how we felt (I believe we were in love), LDR's, especially those that start out that way, almost always fail. I think you will feel differently about this as you consider that part of it, hard as that is, as we all want those to work when we are in them. Also, I think in some ways we create a fantasy about our ex, because we did spend so much time apart anyway, that is not really who they are. Stay off the forums and such, there's nothing there but more pain. And try to just keep moving on....it does get better.

Coyote

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Update: My ex replied to my birthday e-mail today, one week after I sent it. He apologized for the late reply, said he had been on vacation and basically said, thanks for the birthday wishes, hope you're ok too.

I first got the usual symptoms I get when I see a mail from him or read something about him: I felt like paralyzed, my hands were shaking, and I lost my appetite (this was around lunchtime). But I decided to answer his mail, asked if he had been out of the country, and told him to say hello to his family (I actually miss my former "in-laws", who would have thought...). We exchanged a couple of friendly-but not-too-much mails, he told me about his family and how everything with his sister's divorce is going, I told him about my work plans, and that was it. The last reply came from me, and I don't really expect him to write more. He didn't mention anything about new GF, which I'm kind of thankful for. Though I cannot deny his mail stirred something inside me, I feel strangely calm. I wish I would keep feeling like this and not fall back into sadness and feeling miserable. I just wish it can get to a time in which I see a mail from him or get an update about his life and react as it was news from an old school classmate or someone from my past I have almost no contact with and don't care that much about. Or even to get to the point where I can truly feel happy for him when I hear he is happy with someone or that his life is wonderful. I guess I still need time for that. But we'll see...

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Do you thinking hearing from him has given you renewed hope that you might get back together? Is that realistic or do you think it's just going to prolong the feelings of withdrawl? I only ask because I can imagine the relief that comes in some strange way from hearing from an ex, only to have to turn right around and climb up the hill of denial again...at least that's been my expereince in the past when I've had contact with ex's I'm trying to get over...

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Hi Coyote! No, I don't think getting an email from my ex has given me false hopes. I didn't really try to read between lines to somehow conclude that he may still want to see me. I think if he wanted to get back together with me he would have contacted me already. I guess he felt he had to reply to my mail and did so in a way that wouldn't give me much room to catch some hope. Hell, he even let one whole week pass before answering me, though by his own admission he was home during the days he took off from work. He didn't even show that much interest in me or how is my life going, he asked a couple of questions about my life and plans, but I think it was out of politeness.

Actually I was amazed yesterday that I was so calm, but today it has been a different story. I have cried a couple of times already, and along with the sadness I feel rage. It angers me that he has found somebody so fast; that while I cry myself to sleep some nights, he sleeps next to a new person. That while sometimes I feel I could die of the loneliness, he has somebody to hug and kiss and call when he wants to talk. I know he is not an entirely evil person, but I just feel he doesn't deserve it.

I've also noticed that I'm absolutely not ready to date again. Even though I feel really lonely and sometimes I feel I could use some company, these feelings are still too overwhelming. I posted a profile on an online dating site, and I've gotten a few contacts and messages (which I guess means I'm not so ugly or unlovable), but first I haven't found anybody I'm interested in, and second I feel I'm not being honest, as I'm most probably not ready... I think I'm gonna remove that profile...

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I have done the same with online dating...but quite honestly, when we are in such a vulnerable state, we don't attract the right people and that makes is even worse, at least for me. In a way, the information you found out about him, and his slow response to you, does give you information that he's clearly not interested, which even though it hurts in the short term, might help keep you from falling back into patterns of longing, since the reality you now know is that he's not available or interested. My recent ex is a total mystery on the other hand, now contact now from either side after 2 months now. Hard to believe it's been that long. I am on emotional pins and needles...not expecting a contact from her so much, but wondering how it turned so fast for her and ended with an e-mail. The long distance nature of our situations protects us on the one hand, as we won't just run into them or see others that know how they are doing. But on the other hand, it's hard to move on because it's a freeze frame of the times that we did feel loved and appreciated. For me, that turn around came is less than two weeks...with little hint that she was going to pull the plug.

 

Feel your feelings, cry, rage, it's all part of the healing. I have not been able to cry...I just feel stuck...like there's this big ball of emotional pain somewhere between my stomach and my throat that just sits there and aches. I have been exhausted, sleeping as much as 10-12 hours a night sometimes. I'm on vacation for the next few weeks, but I don't really feel like going anywhere or dooing anything other than taking care of my house and dog...dating as I say just makes the hole bigger. I have been exercising every day, and would encourage you to do the same, although I have lost about 10 pounds I thnk since the breakup because I just don't have a lot of appetite.

 

Hang in there my friend...you are not alone, and you are loveable...get through this and each day hang onto something that you have done the marks a bettering or yourself and your process.

 

Coyote

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Thanks for your encouraging words! Yeah, I guess I have to hang in there until it gets better...

It's great that you have a dog! I wish I could have one. On the days when I'm feeling really down I think about getting a puppy, but it's just not possible for me, I live in a tiny apartment and I spend all day at work, so I'm home only in the evening and I don't think I could take proper care of a pet. But I think they really help us feel better and keep us company on those bad days.

I hope things get better for you soon! I hope soon we will see the light at the end of the tunnel (right now I'm not even sure there is one).

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