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Punishing yourself by fearing letting go

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Northpickle recently said this to me and it really struck a chord with me .

I think a lot of it for me was a fear of "letting go" - like if I let go of him from my mind then it would be like I never loved him, he never loved me and our relationship never happened, it wasn't real. But what happened will always be there, and over time the hurt goes and we think of it less and less. And it's not at all scary, it is in fact liberating!


I think this is true for so many. I miss my ex dearly and still want to reconcile despite him saying 'we will not be getting back together'. I know I'm going to cop a lot of criticism for saying that, but it's what is in my heart.


I'm trying to move forward and make positive steps but have really noticed that I've gone backwards in the last few weeks. There have been external factors, like finding out my ex and friends are all going to a party that I'm not invited to because he will be there., I think I'm at day 42 NC and whilst I'm not having any trouble not contacting him, all I can think about is him and him not contacting me.


I keep telling myself that he is happy with his decision and he seems fine, going out meeting lot of new people, partying, etc etc so I have to let it go. His actions speak loud and his final words to me (after months of saying otherwise') 'we will not be getting back together' speak even louder. He has not contacted me, so he must be happy to go forward with his decision to erase me and get on with his own life. He has made visible steps to erase me.


When northpickle Wisely said the above- I realised that it related directly to me. By holding onto the pain, he is still in my life in some capacity. If I stop the pain, then he's gone and I don't want him to be gone!


Has anyone had any luck finding a way to let go despite still wanting to reconcile? I keep telling myself that it is not going to happen, and I think I know that, but I also know that if he were to come back- I would want to try to work things out. One part of me says -"playstheblues- he is not coming back" whilet another scours these forums snd thinks 'surely he must regret his decision at some point" I don't want to let go and erase everything like he's done to me.. Any advice appreciated..

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I feel exactly the same. Today I reached 4 months NC ... and everything is fading in my mind. I'm kind of scared of letting go too much. It's like I'm scared that I wouldn't be able to reconcile if she wanted (not that she tried or is going to though).


So I try to let go with this thought: "Everything is going to be ok. If she comes back, I know the reasons why I loved her, so as long as these reasons are there I'd be able to reattach emotionally. If she never comes back, I'll find someone else. So I'm gonna be ok anyway"

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It is hard letting go and now that I am in the acceptance stage I must let go even though I do not want to. I just want to keep hoping he will realize what a giant mistake he made but I am realizing that is never ever going to happen and I need to accept that. Letting go is the hardest thing anyone can do and I am learning it is the best option we can do otherwise we will be miserable.

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Letting go is very hard for me too.


I think it's actually worse when the dumper realizes they might have made a mistake, because they basically ruined a good thing for no reason. I'm not sure how either party is supposed to get over that, other than by letting go. I'm not a very forgiving person when it comes to this kind of stuff. If you are capable of reconciling, then it is still best to let go since it makes no sense to suffer even while waiting for them to come back. If you have really forgiven them, then you should be able to welcome them back with a open heart.

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I also think part of what makes letting them go so hard is that our own egos are struggling with failure. We failed in our relationship, and part of the reason we pine for the ex's so much is to prove to them and ourselves that we can "get it right". The ex moves on, finds a new partner, and yet we still have this crazed desire to win them back! The ego dies a hard death. I agree that we hold onto the pain as a way of being connected to our ex. But why do we also rehash every detail over and over until we're crazy ...we can't leave it be. Why is this? I think it's because our ego's want to "make it right" somehow.

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I also think part of what makes letting them go so hard is that our own egos are struggling with failure. We failed in our relationship, and part of the reason we pine for the ex's so much is to prove to them and ourselves that we can "get it right". The ex moves on, finds a new partner, and yet we still have this crazed desire to win them back! The ego dies a hard death. I agree that we hold onto the pain as a way of being connected to our ex. But why do we also rehash every detail over and over until we're crazy ...we can't leave it be. Why is this? I think it's because our ego's want to "make it right" somehow.


This is right- but for me, more about my ego- its disappointment in myself for choosing someone who could do this to me. I still don't thi he is capable of it..... I still keep wondering when it will be that he realises he wants to come back. Not healthy, but honest.

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I think it is not so much about ego --- but about realizing that we cannot trust our instincts or decision to let this person into our heart. How could we have been so wrong? How can we trust again, in the future? It leaves us with an unsettling feeling that we cannot trust ourselves.

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Aww plays, you quoted me


I think a lot of sense has been spoken in this thread. For me, letting go didn't just "click", it was a very slow process from thinking about the ex 24 hours a day, questioning everything both he and I had ever said and done, to today - I haven't thought of him or the relationship once. Screw him!


In fact I did have a bit of a "eureka" moment yesterday, I was walking down the street, the sun was shining and I had a fleeting thought about the ex and you know what, I smiled. I smiled because it just doesn't hurt any more. I'm finally completely OK with the fact that he's gone and, like you plays, he erased me too.


I think it is a combination of many things that make it hard to let go, I read a lot of posts on here, including people above, who like me are natural born analysers. When you combine this personality trait with losing someone you love dearly, then we are in a world of pain. It's a hard process to come to terms with what happened, why it happened, what we could have done differently and why our exes didn't want to fight for what WE thought we had. It's a tough journey.


But if I can do it and smile again, I know you all can too x

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I highly agree being a thinker + a dumpee is a bad combination. I can't help but over think things. I have a hard time letting go mostly because of disappointment that didn't work out, my own ego, and my own attachment issues. I have a problem wanting to get close to others. I have my fair share of disappointments and being a military brat who moved around a lot doesn't help. Once I do get attach and the person "rejects" me, it's hard to forget the pain.

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Rejection can really mess up one's head. You can't help but analyze what you did to be rejected in such a manner. Want to fix or do better...



This is so true. Rejection and abandonment, as has happened on some level to my here, are extremely difficult to deal with. Sometimes Harder than the breakdown of a relationship that you know is happening (sometimes not though)

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For what its worth, the dumpers in our lives don't deserve this much attention or mental anguish on our part.

They left us, right or wrong.

Rejection is a part of life; from not getting picked to play kickball, to not going to the prom with the head cheerleader....to not getting a promotion at your job....its part of the life cycle we all go thru.

Don't take it to heart, and have it define you and impede your healing.....really think about the relationship as it ended....how the dumper treated you/said to you...is that person really worth all this?

I know this is a little harsh...but really - think about all the energy you are wasting on the dumper....they aren't spending 1/10th of that on you.


The reality is this:

We are hurt - our egos are bruised.....but when you pull back and look at the person who rejected you...REALLY look at them....you may find you didn't really lose that much to begin with.

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I am 38 days in NC from a 6 year relationship.....i know all too well what it feels like to beat myself to death with questions and cry my eyes out and wonder how much of this was all my fault.....


I think that over time, we go back and forth thru the stages of recovery....and its always easier to romanticize our ex's, glossing over the bad and focusing in on the good.


Remember that if you allow enough time to go by where you are not CONSTANTLY pining/ruminating/wishing for things that you have no control over....your heart will let go.


Seems impossible right?


The only thing that is impossible is that you WONT get past this; from what I've read of your posts, you are a loving, warm, special person and any guy would be lucky to have you.....and i base this purely on your HEART, and how you have poured out here...I have never seen your face, your smile, heard your laugh....and i think you would be a wonderful girlfriend.


Keep your head in the game...and stay outta his head too.


Do yourself another favor.....try to give yourself a break - can you try to put this on the backburner for maybe the weekend?

If you can do 2 days...then next week you can do 3....and so on.


Give yourself the challenge to "unplug" from him and this...even if its for a torturous 24 hours....it may lead you to some much need downtime in that pretty head of yours.....

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2ndChance67 is dead on. It feels very personal when involves affairs of the heart and someone that we trusted. Part of the risk of being in a relationship is allowing yourself to be vulnerable. When you are rejected (broken up with) that risk is realized. It feels terrible. You question what you could have done differently. You questioned if there is something wrong with you. You question if you will ever be "good enough."


You have to allow yourself to feel all of that. I found that the more I tried to avoid feeling that and desperately try and push through - willing and forcing myself, I just prolonged the inevitable. For some reason, you have to grieve. If you think about it, you are grieving for you more than you are grieving for them. You are grieving being rejected more then the loss but we tend to focus on the loss. Putting the focus on you, putting your attention that you once invested in someone else back on you, allowing yourself to feel, to cry, to vent, etc.... is all necessary. And eventually you tire of it - exhausted of feeling like that. If you can find your motivation to keep busy, it helps a bit. Takes some of the edge off. When you come to the end of your grieving, the balance in your life shifts and you eventually are more focused on what you are doing, etc. and less so on the emotions tied up in the process.


The hardest part is letting go which is acceptance - for various reasons. But you will get there. Even if it feels like you ever will, you will. You kind of have no choice. Some get there sooner than others but everyone eventually gets there.


Where I think 2ndChance67 made some excellent points - is in reference to the amount of credit we give the ones that walked away from us. We all miss them in the beginning. We all are licking our wounds from the rejection but you have to put yourself first vs. put them first. After you have allowed yourself to feel the pain, try not to get sucked into it for any serious length of time. You are giving them too much credit. You are choosing them to be the judge of you and your ability to experience happiness and love. As if they are the last judge and jury. No one is perfect. There are all things we can learn. But we have to love ourselves enough to turn that attention and focus inwards on us to take care of ourselves - to give ourselves the credit (not them) and to have hope for our future (not hope for their return). When we allow ourselves to go down that bunny hole - and stay there, we are investing all our energies in them when they are no longer worth the investment. They don't deserve it. We were giving it to them and they chose to reject it. If you can look at it objectively, you can see it - NC helps with gaining objectivity.


The best that you can do is to learn to love yourself if you haven't yet, learn how to create and enjoy your own happiness in life. In reality it took two to make the relationship and it takes only one to quit the relationship. Just because they quit doesn't mean that we failed. We tend to look at it as failure. If you can't shift your mind to understand that you didn't fail - that they did by quitting then try and forgive yourself for the perceived failure to allow yourself to put it behind you.


In the end, you learn more about you through the experience. You learn more about your wants, needs and desires as well as your reactions to them. You have valuable feedback to then change things if you choose to - if you want to. At very least, invest in loving yourself. There will be always be loss, rejection and pain in life. There are also no guarantees. Once the pain and hurt of this loss fades, you will gain strength to try again. A little wiser and possibly more cautious with your heart. Don't stay in the bunny hole, in the dark, where fear prevents you from taking risks and finding the love you deserve. Nothing worth having ever comes easy. Most of all, you deserve it! We ALL do!

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