Updated: Sep 7
Photography by Fiyako
I remember it like it was yesterday…that faithful day I showed up to my boyfriend’s house only to find his mother and younger brother standing on the inside of their apartment with a perturbed look on their face. Why were they so confused one might ask, he and I were together, four years together. Well, they were confused because he told them he and I had broken up, not only that, but he and his new girlfriend were preparing for the birth of their daughter and a life together in Wappinger Falls. Everyone got the memo…except for me.
I stood there as his mother allowed the shrewd lines to slip from her lips telling me all but what I needed to know: her son was having a child, to which she accepted knowing that he had fathered this baby whilst in a relationship with me. It was bad, really bad and before I knew it, I was exiting in panic mode because in my gut, something was missing, the truth. Was he leaving me for someone else? If so, why was I not informed? Neither by my boyfriend or his mother, his little brother tried but was immediately shushed. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten the chance to thank him for his willingness to speak up, well, thank you, Charles.
*names have been changed to protect the identity of those involved.
So, there’s the tip of the iceberg and now you’re here because your ex left you for someone else. There is a lot of coping needed, healing, and of course growth. If your ex left you for someone else the first thing you need to do is accept that it happened. This is easier said than done, believe me! Maybe you’ve made a fool of yourself, chasing him or her, calling constantly, texting non-stop, begging them to take you back, begging them not to go, hell, maybe you just wanted them to ACTUALLY break up with you properly. Maybe you’ve even gone as far as agreeing to be the side chick or side dude to win them back one day. All of this is plausible. When someone leaves and you beg for them back you are telling them that your value is based on their perception of you. In other words, if they leave so does your value.
It hurts, I know! But the best thing to do is send them off with good intent to be happy with their newfound love. Therefore, you must keep your pride and self-esteem intact. A way to do this is by understanding that this person to whom your ex is leaving your for is not new, they have been in the picture for quite some time, maybe he or she was a friend to your boyfriend/girlfriend during your relationship, you could have been privy to this, or not. Either way, it is almost always premeditated, never an abrupt decision (cheating in the first degree for 500 Alex!).
It makes no sense to think of this as a “one-night stand” or “an accident” or “mistake”. Even if you’re told that it’s all lies. Never in the history of breakups has anyone been left for a one-night stand lol. I mean, it’s almost comical because when my ex and I finally had a sit-down, that is what he told me. But I was so emotionally distraught, I bought into it, well, I won’t let you make the same mistakes I did, so I’m telling you, that’s all bullshit.
The beginning stages of cheating is not physical, especially if the outcome is them leaving and deciding to take a chance with this other person. Emotional cheating is first! Even between friends, the guy and girl may start as friends, perhaps she’s in a relationship and he’s with you, so things are platonic, then the friend maybe end their relationship and thus the flirting begins with your boyfriend and instead of shutting it down, he engages. Next, she becomes his confidant, the girl he tells his relationship problems to, if ever you and he have problems, she is there to lift his spirits and, in his eyes, she becomes more desirable. Next thing you know they’re dancing between the sheets and you’re the villain. So no, it wasn’t an accident or a mistake.
When an ex devalues you, leaving you for someone else and you proceed to chase and beg, you are killing any chance you may have of ever relighting that flame. Your ex no longer sees you as a prize, they see this new person as both mental and physical stimulation, making you eh, just something to do until they make things official with their new love interest. The worst part is your ex couldn’t wait to get rid of you—hence why they may be short with you, stopped doing nice things— he or she stopped loving you and was in such a hurry to move on they probably didn’t even break up with you. They just left. This is a hard pill to swallow. You must consider your ex’s actions towards you so that you can accept it, but to accept something you must understand what has happened.
Ex’s who take this approach to ‘end’ a relationship are emotionally dependent on others for validation. They leap from one relationship to the next (rebounding), incapable of standing on their own two feet because they may have low self-esteem and the feeling of having someone in their life eases their insecurities. If you were to check back into your ex’s relationship history you may be surprised by what you will learn. (1) he or she has cheated on every partner they’ve been with. (2) he or she has never been single. This is not someone you want in your life and you should be thanking the heavens they left you. Normally by the time an ex like this walk out of your life to venture into something new they have already built chemistry, attraction, and feelings toward a new person. Anyone who can emotionally hurt another person like this is a despicable coward! And bear in mind, no one on earth takes a random leap of faith into something new without laying the foundation first.
You were belittled.
You were used.
You were misled.
You were undervalued.
Do you really want someone this selfish person in your life at all?
During this time you need to begin healing. Here’s what I did, I went 90 days no contact after a dramatic episode involving car crashes and domestic violence.
While doing no contact I learned so much about myself, about relationships, about love, and even found a new sense of relief, most importantly, I forgave myself. I had to learn that my actions post-breakup was not okay, it was needy, controlling, sad, and desperate. I also had to learn of the mistakes I made whilst I was dating this person; this time also allowed me to learn the importance of taking things slow. The more I thought about it, the more I began to realize that all of the signs were there from the very beginning—his aggressive behavior, jealousy, insecurities, history of indiscretion—that I was dating a dishonest, unstable person and I chose to ignore them. I had to forgive myself before I could forgive him.
To accept things have ended you have to take this step backward to analyze the relationship overall. Take accountability for the role you played and the decisions you made. I’ve read many articles on going no contact for 30 days, I did 90, but truth be told, it should have been forever! I encourage you to do no contact and STAY no contact. This person did not see your value then, they will not see your value now! They will only continue to lack respect for you in every which way, setting off your triggers and undoing any progress you’ve made towards healing. Not to mention, why would you want to be with someone who left you for someone else?
A person who made you question whether or not you were good enough, pretty enough, loving enough, a person who devalued you, spoke negatively of you to a stranger rather than resolving the issues between you both. A person who showed you that the feelings of someone else mattered more to them than yours. If someone can leave you once feeling the grass is greener on the other side, they will no doubt leave you again if the opportunity were to present itself.
My ex feels guilty for hurting me
Down the road, you may be introduced to a new version of your ex, the one who is feeling guilty of their actions after having realized that their shiny new toy isn’t all that grand. They just want the chance to alleviate themselves of the guilt, NOT TO FIX THINGS WITH YOU! They do not love you! They do not value you! They did not wake up one day and decide that you were the one that got away! Do not engage. Forgive them for yourself, but continue on your path to healing.
Some dumpers when they’ve cheated and left don’t have it in them to fix what they’ve broken. It’s hard to rebuild trust, and if they didn’t have it in them to end things with you properly how can you expect them to have it in them to fix something? It’s always the path of least resistance for people like this: instead of working on my relationship problems, I will find someone else to make me feel good. Instead of breaking up with this person, I will just leave in hopes that they will forget about me. Your ex has to forgive themselves, once they do, they may come around, again, due to guilt. Cheating and leaving can weigh heavily on one’s shoulders and can be overwhelming. But don’t take on that burden. Be the wonderful person you are and your Mr. Right will find you sooner rather than later.
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