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How do you kill all hope of ever getting back together?

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Obviously letting go of hope is a key to healing and truly moving on, but it seems much easier said than done. I'm now 8 months post BU and my ex has moved on (actually went back to another ex I believe he was cheating on me with). Despite all the signs pointing to us being done (new gf, he's never tried to contact me, made no attempt to salvage our relationship), I still have this crazy thought in the back of my mind that one day he'll "wake up" and realize what he lost in me. I know I need to get rid of all hope, but even knowing he's in a relationship now doesn't seem to be able to do it for me. I have never been so stuck on an ex before and it is really maddening.


For those who have been able to let go of all hope, how did you do it? Did you have an epiphany? Perform a ritual? Give it time?


I'm open to ALL suggestions.

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I called Dr. Bigwame Astaka who cast a spell....


No, just kidding... don't do that. Seriously, here's what I did. I tried to reach out a few times (spaced over 2 months). I tried until I didn't want to try anymore. Once I saw that I wasn't going to get through, I began the process of letting go. You'll reach that point. However, in hindsight I would have rather had my dignity than to keep getting burned by the fire every time I reached. I think the learning experience helped.

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Hope is a dangerous thing to have. I believe hope, no matter how small of a shard of hope or how irrational it is is one of the main reasons that hold us back from moving on. For myself I couldn't (and still to this day) have a hard time letting go of hope. I've had a lot of back and forth moments with my ex that encouraged these feelings and it's hindered and continues to hinder my healing.


Trust me when I say they are doing you a favor by staying away from you. Yes it really does hurt that they don't contact you and miss you. So you sit and wait for them to wake up. Even them having moved on, gotten into a new relationship- that doesn't stop you from hoping, wishing that one day they'll wake up and realize things. You even convince yourself that they WILL eventually come around. So you wait, wait to hear that they miss you, they were wrong, they want to try again. But it's best that this doesn't ever come trust me. They are doing you a favor by staying away. I held out hope for SO long, and it did come for me. Several times, and well I'm still on here in the healing section so you can see how well that worked out for me lol.


Hope is so dangerous. Do what ever you have to do to tell yourself that there is NO hope. Zero, zilche, NONE. Because you can literally spend years of your life waiting around for hope. Every time my ex has come back into my life (too many to count) its given me more false hope. That's why NC is important. Getting distance from them is a blessing and if they are out of your life and not trying to be in it, as much as it hurts and may make you feel sad and like they don't care- they are doing you the BEST thing they can possibly ever do for you!

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Yes, as long as your ex is rejecting you and seems happy without you, then you should hold no hope. You should see your chances with your ex as equal or less than the next random man you see today. What I am saying is that there are many more men out there that are willing to put in more effort than your ex into making a relationship with you work. Why waste your time and energy on something that might not even happen.

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After getting rejected and finding out my ex is with someone else, I pretty much gave up hope. Losing all hope was freedom in my eyes. Now, I can finally talk to other women and I feel excited about every day. Now, I just see my ex as a woman with a boyfriend so why should I even put effort on that? It is not worth it at the moment.

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After getting rejected and finding out my ex is with someone else, I pretty much gave up hope. Losing all hope was freedom in my eyes. Now, I can finally talk to other women and I feel excited about every day. Now, I just see my ex as a woman with a boyfriend so why should I even put effort on that? It is not worth it at the moment.


This is it with me. My ex is single. As long as she's single, I feel there is hope. Also the fact that I've asked her if there is hope and she says that she's not ruling out anything for our future. There may be a future for us. She just wants to be single.


Problem is, I don't even WANT to be with her. Its the memories and I am not attracted to anyone else. And I don't feel like going through the process to get to know someone all over again.

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I've been thinking about asking this question myself. I can't offer an answer but I can share some of the angles I'm considering this from.


Like a lot of folks have said, if I found out she was seeing someone else that would probably be it for me, although it wouldn't mean instant acceptance. I think I would still have to process it. For me though, I know even if we did get back together, that she had been with someone else would be too much for me to get over, so I know it wouldn't even be worth trying. This doesn't mean I want to know though. For all I know she is seeing someone else, but I positively do NOT want to know if she is. The closure it might bring is not worth the pain.


Another angle is to consider how things were bad, if there were things that were bad for you. For me this is important because I nearly ended things with my ex twice before she finally pulled the plug. There are good reasons I didn't leave, but good reasons I almost did, and I know things wouldn't have worked without some changes, so it helps me to consider that maybe things would have never changed, and I'm better off getting busy moving on. Still it's hard not to hope she wouldn't come back with a new perspective ready to work on improving our relationship.


The perspective that seems to be working best for me, at least when I can clear my head and experience it fully, is to try to accept her as her own person with needs and a path in life that I can't fill. Of course this isn't going to be of much help to anyone who's ex left them for someone else, but if your ex was experiencing some confusion about life, some stress, or they decided to focus on some purpose in life, it can help to remember they are a complete person with their own life, and more than just a player in your life. My ex wasn't completely clear on her final reason for leaving, but I know on some level she desired a greater degree of independence. I had a lot of frustration around the fact that she couldn't clearly communicate what she wanted, and I always told myself she was making a mistake because I would have given her anything if she could have learned to communicate what she needed, but then I thought: what if she had said she just needed to experience life as an independent person? I have a feeling that on some level this was true, and what then? Could have have given that to her? As the old saying goes, if you love someone, let them go....


Finally, the last thing I'm considering is to reach out to her one last time, to get a better picture in my head of who she was and what she really wanted. This could be very dangerous because I know I'm setting myself up to be drawn in, but there is a potential for some closure. I think most of us have found we tend to create these idealized memories of our ex's in our heads, and sometimes it can help to go back and get another look at the real person, especially after a bit of healing when we're starting to think clearly again, and realize that things were a long way from perfect. It can also help to get a better understanding of why they left, to help with acceptance. You have to be very, VERY careful though, and don't let this become an excuse to break NC just because you're desperate to reach out. Also, you have to really be ready for whatever comes back. If your ex comes back and affirms their decision, you need to be in a place where their affirmation will help you move on, not in a place where you'll just use that understanding to try to change their mind. I'm only considering this idea with the help of some close confidants and my therapist. Its not one I trust myself to follow through with without people to help me stay grounded.

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I have the same feeling sometimes. Every time it happens, remember the mean stuff they have told you in their head and remind yourself that NO, THEY DON'T WANT YOU. It is hard though as who knows what will happen in the future. I think hope also dies slowly, at a natural rate....I don't know of any way to kill it really

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This is a relatively disgusting technique but it might work for you. Every time you start thinking about that hope, about how maybe you might get back together with them, about how you can't stop holding a candle for them in case they "wake up," use the dog vomit analogy. Having thoughts like that are akin to a dog puking, and then going back to eat it's own vomit. Yes, it's disgusting, but that's the idea. If you start to associate those thoughts with something that is gross and harmful to yourself, you can start to move away from them.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm quite a pessimistic person. I'd call myself "A slightly pessimistic realist." But one thing I do have a small glimmer of hope for, is my ex and I getting back together, for numerous reasons. Toward the end of the relationship, she talked a lot about people breaking up and then getting back together after however long (be it months or years). When we did breakup, she said something like "this doesn't mean it's it for us, who knows what will happen in the future." She seems to be keeping me very close at hand (ie insisting I stay for tea whenever I go to her place to collect mail or whatever). I sent her a sort of thank you/sorry letter about a month after breaking up, in which I flat out said "I want to try again, and I think you do too, at least eventually" which she did not deny (and she's usually quick to tell me when I'm wrong, believe you me!). So a lot of small "hints" point me in the hope direction.


She recently called me up to tell me that she's seeing someone. Initially, that destroyed my hope. But then she was quick to add "but it's nothing serious, we just see eachother a lot" (they work together). So on one hand I'm getting "I'm with someone" but on the other hand I'm getting "But it's pretty much nothing right now" which both destroys my hope and gives me another wee glimmer at the same time. Go figure.


But here is the main reason for my hope I think - we only split up 2 months ago and I'm just still in that "stage" I guess.


I am trying to kill hope, but I can't. And I also think I shouldn't, and here's why. Hope can be a really painful thing, because all too often it'll set us up for a fall, big or small (woo that rhymed). But without hope, can things really happen?


I am NOT saying that we should live in hope, but I mean to say that I'm of the opinion that we shouldn't completely rule things out. But DEFINITELY do not let the thought take precedence over anything. Unless there are REAL reasons for the hope, it should be of least priority.


But another thing about hope, is that while it can be really unhealthy, it's nice to dream. Same with memories, they can really hurt, but it's nice to sit and reminisce. You wouldn't try to block happy memories out would you?


But that's my advice, I have a feeling that I'm coming accross as really hopeful when I'm actually not, I'm just saying that I don't believe in completely ruling things out.


Hope this helps

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Hope dies Last ..... famous war quote which rings true for relationships. It will disappear over time but you won't get very far trying to force it as it will become your focus, if you get my drift.


Some here will kid themselves that they have a plan to lure an ex back , saying they are going NC to play mind games. From experience, only the ex can bring the ex back and often it happens the second you stop thinking about them and actualy moving forward with your life without them in your peripheral vision.


The hope will go , things will brighten up for you but it will take time. How long depends on a variety of factors... you can make it a little easier on yourself if you stop contacting them , either personaly or through little status updates via mutual friends on social media etc


Focussing on other things to rid them from your mind will only get you so far , it's like kicking a can down the road. Trips to the gym to make you feel better about yourself = good, trying to make yourself look ripped so she / they / him think they made a mistake = bad


It's all about the silly little things that can remind you that you're still emotionaly attached. Visual reminders should be hidden away for a period of time and anything that stops you from you giving it your best shot in moving on needs to be dealt with



Sorry but the biggest cliché you find on these boards is actualy the truest... time heals all wounds. So less watching the clock, counting the days and be kind to yourself

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Some here will kid themselves that they have a plan to lure an ex back , saying they are going NC to play mind games. From experience, only the ex can bring the ex back and often it happens the second you stop thinking about them and actualy moving forward with your life without them in your peripheral vision.


THIS. I've seen a lot of threads "my plan for getting him/her back" etc. Now, you've probably read my post up there and found it plain to see that I'm one of the fools that wants my ex back, but I'm not making a plan and I'm not waiting and I'm not chasing her or anything like that. That's silly. Anyone thinking properly can see that's just setting themselves up for a fall. And that's my advice, if you don't want to give up hope, well don't, it's your choice, but for your own sake, don't wait for them and don't focus all your energy into getting them back. Focus on healing. That's what I'm trying to do

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I have the exact same problem. My wife of 13 years (married for 8 years) has left and has started seeing a work colleague who she believes ticks all the boxes for her (and he may well do). We seperated in December and she started dating this colleague soon after. We had a difficult last 18 months and I understand why we got to breaking point. That said the previous 11 years were, as a rule very happy ones. The breakup, whilst being extrememly difficult for me was not hostile in any way and we can still talk openly when we need to.

Although my wife has moved on and is happy I still have this belief that one day we'll make it work. This is making it so difficult to move on and no matter how many times I try and tell myself that it's not going to happen there's still this part of me that holds on to this hope.

It's a very destructive force but one that I cling onto everyday. It seems like some sort of defense mechanism which relieves the overwhelming pain associated with the breakup.

For me I have done the following to try and start moving on:

I initially wrote my wife a letter to express my sadness at the breakdown and to let her know that if she ever wanted to tallk I wouldn't shut the door on her. The reason I did this is so that I know I did everything I could following the breakdown to try and resolve our issues. It will be important for me to know in the future that I did everything I could to try and turn things around. I don't want to have regrets about things I didn't do.

Since then contact has been kept to a minimum by both of us so that we can try and move on. We both have a lot of respect for each other and do not intend to intentionally hurt each other as we try and move forward.

I am also trying to focus on learning and becoming a better person using the experiences from the relationship - I think this is probably the most important thing you can do.

I'm also trying to focus on doing a couple of things for self growth such as travelling to help me re connect with myself.

At this point I'm not sure if I will ever give up all hope of a reconcilliation, no matter how unrealistic it is. It's something I think I'm going to have to live with as I try and move on. I wish I could switch off the emotions I feel for my wife but I have come to accept that I will never completely stop loving her and I guess thats the price you pay for true love. It's funny how, once you tell someone you truly love them, you can't ever take it back.


Sorry I can't be of more use - I know exactly how you feel.

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The more I go through this the more I believe it's the doing that matters, not the thinking. As long as hope doesn't stop you from doing something, just let it be, let it go. Hope dies when you don't care anymore, and when you have a life that's full enough that the void your ex left is gone, then hope will disappear.


As soon as your ready to do something, do it, weather it's travel, get a new job, a new hobby, start dating, whatever. As soon as your ready, do it, and don't let hope get in your way. I find as I'm making plans, occasionally a little voice will come in and go "well wait, that will make it harder if you get back together..." That's the line, that's hope F'ing with me, and that's what has to be ignored. Live YOUR life, live it as best you can, and eventually you'll build a life where your ex doesn't matter anymore.

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Markie is right "hope dies last" ^^^.


You've had what I call the 'Desert Island Moment' - the moment when you stop running down to the beach to light signal fires for any returning rescue ships, and SURRENDER (key word in all of this) to the fact that this new life you were thrust into is now your ONLY life. You then reside to building a new existence in this new strange place, because it's all you have. You can stand and stare at the horizon all day, hoping for a rescue ship, but you know it isn't coming.


This can be a VERY sad period, and can be like starting the breakup all over again ("they're really gone...forever!") and this is where you have to make your mind master over your heart (easier said than done ...it takes constant effort). You will probably never get answers to your questions, nor any consolation that will cure the pain of the loss. It's a puzzle that cannot be solved, simply because there is no solution. IT JUST IS. That slippery statement won't sooth your troubled mind, but it is the smooth center of truth where you can rest your mind and take a break from focusing on a fantasy where the ex returns (hope).


Healing for me (16 months) has not been what I think most of us expect it will be. It has not (for me) been moment of huge relief that came in a sweeping revelation, but more like a very slow numbing process. I wouldn't say that I'm filled with happiness and joy (not even close to how happy I was in my relationship), but I'm no where near as broken as I was even six months ago. Again, we all hate to hear it, but TIME is all that helps. SURRENDER to the process and the time it requires, and it will help relieve that anxious "How do I get out of here?" feeling. You'll be "here" for a while - and that is normal. You are in good company ;-)

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Free, good post. Actually, John Bendix calls it Acceptance instead of surrender. For me, acceptance seems better. Continuing to have "hope" can be viewed as denial. Sad as it is for me to admit it, I am still in denial because i still have hope that one day my ex will call me wanting me back. I've heard of SO MANY situations where a wife goes through a MLC, has an affair, thinks the "grass is greener", then ends up regretting it and tries to get back with her ex. I guess I'm still one of those hopeless romantics where I want the family back together again. I don't like missing her but I still do. ...sigh.

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Good post. I agree although like Stillwanther said, I would be reluctant to term it as "surrender". That seems a little too suggestive of giving up or submission. Acceptance is better I think because it really is the only path. I blamed myself a lot at first when my ex left because she became a dream given up on (to marry her) and although it was completely beyond my control I, being a goal oriented person, hated myself for "failing". I still get upset about no longer having the chance but I take comfort knowing I did all I could and she was the quitter, not me.


OP- to answer your question, what I just said is part of it I think, at least for me. Giving up hope almost seems like an admission of defeat. It sucks, I know. There's just nothing else for it though, there's no easy option and pain is forced no matter what you do. The quickest way through that pain is to try to give up that hope. I try to discourage hope by remembering all the terrible things my ex did to hurt me I tell myself she doesn't deserve me and I don't WANT her back anyway. That's what helps me at least, I hope it's helpful.

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For me, it was when I texted him a link to a funny video, and he replied with "Busy right now running around *new city* with *friend*! But if I have time I'll check it out."


That was my kick in the stomach. Basically, he told me "Busy moving on with my life, but if I ever get around to it, sure I'll humor you by watching your dumb video."

I then stalked his twitter and saw a flirty back-and-forth with a girl in that city. The feeling made me sick to my stomach and I realized that I just didn't want it to hurt anymore.

I had sent him a lot of texts of videos, jokes, etc, trying to maintain some sort of contact in hopes that one day he would have that "wake up" moment. That response, polite but oh-so-dismissive, made me see that we were on completely different pages now. His life is no longer parallel to mine. Like it or not, we are moving in different directions and that realization made me accept that he is not coming back. This is my life now, and if I want to be happy in it, I have to focus on myself.

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"A feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen"


Yeah that little gremlin that tends to hide in your mind determined not to be evicted, leaving you floundering at times leaving you with this false expectation of something happening, that may never occur, and should it materialise will it really be what we thought or expected, no probably not.


Everyone has had a differing journey, but hope does seem to be one of the key threads that fails to break until we have the ability to accept what has happened emotionally.


Having experienced a sudden death in the family I guess I can draw a similarity to the denial phase of when someone dies... and when we think we see them in the street our mind is helping us by softening the harsh reality, by playing tricks on us. The blow of finality that we struggle to fathom (at least in my experience) we never fully come to terms with, the pain lessens, of course it does, but when we think about it it does come back.


In breaking up there is a degree of finality, but we all struggle to categorically write-off the relationship and that something may happen in the future. Whether they leave in a plume of hatred, or leave you for someone else there is still a degree of hope...


I am 12 months out of 9 years and am "content" with progress, but is hope dead, have I moved onto a new chapter in my life, nope, I keep reading the last page of the previous chapter that has hope written on it 10 million times in small print.


Why? I guess my mind is like the sea on a sharp stone, trying to soften the edges until it isn't sharp anymore and then hope will fade and I will eventually move onto the next chapter.


I don't think there is any magic answer in letting the hope go, it just fades and is replaced with new happy memories, perhaps with someone else...

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I used a very good technique to convince myself that it is over and there is no way back. I turned myself back into someone I was before the marriage. I realised how much I missed being who I was and this feeling took me by surprised first. Now, I understand that I put my life on hold for a while and I do not want to do this for anybody. It is over and I am very happy with getting myself back. If my ex fell for me when I was me then someone else will do as well one day. It took me 4 months to realise what I want and it is not her. May I suggest to you to spend a quality time with yourself to understand yourself and your own desires. Good luck

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