Thought Catalog
March 13, 2017

To The Girl Dating My Shitty Ex Boyfriend

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God & Man

I heard about you this weekend, I heard about your life with him and I honestly have to say I’m not totally shocked but a little bit surprised.

When I dated him I thought what we had was love and it took me over a year or so to realize it wasn’t love. It was never love.

I’m surprised because my old relationship with him mirrors your current relationship with him. It’s like all these years have passed but not a single thing has changed with him. He still has that stupid charismatic charm about him that reels you in. But he never learned, he never changed, he never realized how horrible he is.

The stories I heard were the same stories I used to tell. The same bullshit I heard you were going through was the same bullshit I went through. He’s gone through multiple relationships with different girls since me and they’ve all left him and I understand it completely.

But you, I heard you were different. You want to marry him and at one point I did too. I did until I realized just what my life would be like if I stayed. It would be filled with misery and control. It would be filled with me fulfilling his constant need for attention and admiration. It wouldn’t be filled with love and laughter. It would have been a life I resented because I would never have discovered myself if I stayed with him. I wouldn’t have done more than half the things I’ve done since I left him because he wouldn’t have let me, and if I learned anything from him it’s that the last thing love should be is controlling and restricting.

I went through what you’re going through now and since I’m being honest, it doesn’t get better and it never will.

He’s always going to try to control you. He’s always going to make sure you bow down to him. He’s always going to make you feel guilty for wanting to go out and spend time with your friends. He’s always going to make you feel like a piece of shit because deep down he knows he’s a piece of shit. But he will continue to criticize you and your decisions because he believes he never does anything wrong.

The one thing I’m certain about is he’s never going to change.

Even though I don’t know you, I know you deserve better. You deserve someone who trusts you, not someone you have to beg to hang out with your friends. You deserve someone who respects you, not someone who talks shit about you behind your back to his friends because, you know, he’s allowed to spend time with his friends. You deserve someone who tells you the truth, not someone who tells you lies to ‘shut you up’. You deserve someone who loves you with his whole heart, not someone who makes you feel like you’re undeserving of him.

You deserve someone who would care if he lost you, not someone who would immediately jump into the arms of the next person he sees because that’s what he does.

If only I knew then what I know now.

But I didn’t and that’s fine because I learned what it’s like to be with someone who doesn’t care about you. I learned from him what love truly is because he taught me it’s everything he never gave me.

Love doesn’t control you, it doesn’t take away your independence, it doesn’t call you names, it doesn’t accuse you, it doesn’t hurt you intentionally, it doesn’t lie to your face, it doesn’t make you feel like you’re trapped. But I was convinced enough by him that I was loved and that was what happiness felt like. I was brainwashed into believing that was what love felt like.

But I was wrong, I was so wrong.

I was the furthest thing from happy but I desperately loved someone who moved on three days after we broke up because he never truly loved me at all. But he liked having control over me and when he couldn’t have that anymore, he liked to hurt me. And he will hurt you, too.

I know I don’t know you and you probably don’t know me either but you deserve better. I promise you deserve better than him. The chains he’s holding you down with aren’t strong enough to break you. You can still leave and you should because that boy is toxic and he will ruin your life if you let him. TC mark