Just recently, my circle of friends were talking about our worst exes. There are different things to consider when evaluating relationships like that, and we all had our own way of going about the question.
Even weeks after our get-together, the question lingered in my mind. I tried imagining running into mine at some random place when I’m alone, and he with his wife and son. I wondered how I would feel and if I would even be able to mutter actual words at that time. It’s been years since our paths crossed. Truth be told, I would not want to see him ever again. Not because I’m harboring any ill-feelings about us; I just don’t think anything good would come out of it for either of us.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t have anything to say. In fact, I ended up with a few things because I realized I’m completely over him. When you’re ready, here are a few things you should be able to say if you’re really over them.
1. “I was hurt.”
The acknowledgment of how you felt during the relationship is a big step to moving on. Most often, this is the only way for people to get over exes – focusing on the negative, remembering how much pain they caused, etc. That’s probably our most natural coping mechanism for a heartbreak. But to be able to say it as a matter-of-fact, with little to no tears, is unburdening in itself.
For all the times you had me wait until the coast was clear to walk together…
For all the times you spoke low of me in front of our friends…
For all the times you didn’t value my work…
For all the times you talked over me without listening to my side…
For all the times you made fun of things and people important to me…
For all the times you made me feel small, I was really hurt.
Admit it. To him, and to yourself. Why? Because its an important part of the healing process. If you don’t know why you’re hurt, it would be very hard to move on. You are able to pinpoint exactly what hurt you from the relationship (or what made him a bad ex) and find a way to get over each action, and eventually, get over them. Acknowledging that you were in pain and verbalizing things that caused them allows you to eventually say..
2. “I forgive you.”
They say that forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. I cannot emphasize how true it actually is. We usually depend on whether the other person asks for forgiveness before giving it. But what if they never do? Then you’ll be the one holding on to something painful and negative in your life. While they, for all you know, don’t even care about how it made you feel.
I forgive you.
No conditions, no strings attached, nothing but forgiveness.
And it isn’t just something you say; it takes a leap of faith. We cannot wait until our heart stops hurting before we forgive. Instead, it’s the other way around. Once we decide and pursue forgiving someone, that is when the pain will start to disappear. Your heart will feel a little lighter everyday; your smile a little bigger. The gift of forgiveness is bestowed upon the forgiver.
3. “I’m sorry.”
You cannot play the victim card all the time. In fact, in any relationship, both will always have faults because we’re all human. You’re probably thinking, what if s/he was insane?! (Unlikely, but let’s just swing with it.) Well, perhaps a fault would be letting them take advantage of you, or not standing up for yourself, or not leaving earlier in the relationship, or even not seeking the appropriate help. Easier said than done, I know.
Especially if you are in in the middle of the emotional roller coaster. But if we are able to believe that asking for forgiveness is an important step, then we’ll eventually find a way to accomplish it.
You remember our anniversary? I forgot about that, too. I’m sorry.
I know how much you enjoy hanging out with your friends. I’m sorry I was feeling insecure.
I didn’t mean to start a fight. I apologize.
I shouldn’t have walked away and disrespected you like that.
I’ve been cranky a lot of days. And I didn’t mean to take them out on you.
For all the times I hurt you, I’m really sorry.
People often think one way in relationships during conflict. We sulk on what they have done and overlook our own shortcomings. It’s easy for us to find excuses trying to rationalize our own faults. And yet find it so difficult to resort to reason when understanding the action of the other. That’s one of our flaws as humans.
So as we find time to ourselves trying to heal, evaluate your actions objectively. You’ll learn a lot not just from what they have done to you, but how you acted as well. Hopefully, you’ll take those lessons to heart and find your next, and hopefully last, relationship for the rest of your life.