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“My ex got engaged and it hit me like a ton of bricks”

Home Forums Get Advice, Give Advice “My ex got engaged and it hit me like a ton of bricks”

This topic contains 9 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by avatar Essie 3 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #846150 Reply
    Dear Wendy
    Dear Wendy
    Keymaster

    From a LW:

    Hi. My ex(first love) got engaged a couple months ago. We have been broken up for 5 years although he lead me on for two years after our break up. I’m in my late 20’s. When i found out i didnt think much of it. I thought i was fine with it and i was proud of myself because i thought that meant i was completly over him. I was busy with school in the spring and i guess i didnt have time to process. Summer came and i start wondering how the new girl looks. I stalk for a few seconds and then stopped myself. I felt fine. Later I listened to a song I dedicated to him and it made me tear up just thinking about things he left unsaid just “what if’s in my mind.” The tears were brief and i thought that was it. Weeks later im listening to sappy songs again and the song comes up and “jelause” from laberynth comes up right after and the tears came back. I collected myself and started taking a shower. While taking a shower i fell to the floor of the tub sobbing(ugly crying) and the pain in my chest like the one i felt for three months straight after our break up came back. I kept trying to figure out why i was crying. If because he found someone else or because I wish he had stayed in contact in the span of the three years after we last saw/spoke/texted so that I could freely write him a letter wishing him the best without feeling petty. And it would hurt more thinking about it because I know he kept in contact woth his other exes. Why not me. Our relationship wasnt toxic. Our breakup was painful for differences in culture/long distance(he was moving for school)/ my parents being racist towards him and other smaller details not because of out pf love. Which is why he still lead me on for two years when he would come and visit.A year after our break up he got drunk and told me he loved me. I was strong and ignored it but he kept visiting another year. I stopped him completely after tealizing he was just killing time and not really wanting a future wirh me. But I was his second great love after his first. So why didnt he reach out to see how things were in my life. Realizing that just hurt me because my desire to tell him that i wish him the best and that i missed our friendshipp couldnt be satisfied because I would seem like I am begging to have him back or get in the middle of his engagement. Now it just felt like we never met. I was really thinking of ways of getting a letter to him without contacting him online. But after talking to some friends and having to study made me stop having those thoughts. Today I am feeling better and will not be contacting him. But what i want to know is that if its okay to feel the way i feel. It doesnt mean that im not over it right? Could it be that i simply wished i still had him as my friend and not feel like i lost him as if he was dead. Or am i lying to myself?

    #846152 Reply
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    Kate
    Keymaster

    I think your feelings are certainly within the range of normal, and you’re probably grieving a bit for what you see as the lost potential of your relationship.

    I would say, don’t reach out to him. That’s not necessary at all. Relationships end and people aren’t in your life anymore and that’s normal and okay. I think maybe you have some more processing to do, so just feel the feelings and acknowledge them, and also acknowledge that this is all normal and fine, it didn’t work out because it wasn’t right for either of you, he’s moving on, you’re moving on, you’re no longer in each other’s lives and that’s cool. The relationship served a purpose for you, you learned from it, and you’re on a path to find a better one.

    #846164 Reply
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    LisforLeslie

    I think this is pretty normal. Someone from your past is hitting a milestone and it’s dredging up feelings. I think you are grieving for the relationship that you used to have. Not that you want that now, but it’s just resurfacing feelings of loss. This closes the door pretty firmly. Let it stay shut. Don’t contact him.

    #846170 Reply
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    Ele4phant

    In addition to what Kate and LisforLeslie said (feeling the finality of a door forever being closed, even if it’s not a door you really want to go through anymore), I think it’s also a little bit about competitiveness.

    Here he is with this very outward sign that he’s moved on, that he’s hitting this big milestone before you. We all, at some level I think, want to be the “winners” at life after a breakup. He won this round.

    Of course we all know that life isn’t really a zero sum game, nor does the fact that he’s ready to get married mean his life is better than yours.

    But all this to say, I think what you are feeling is totally normal and will pass.

    #846171 Reply
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    Ele4phant

    And yeah, there’s no need to reach out. In whatever is motivating this impulse to reach out, he has moved on, so should you.

    #846176 Reply

    Don’t reach out, stop listening to songs and music that reminds you of him, stop stalking him. You can wallow and feed these feelings, or you can use your willpower. Feel it, feel all the feelings, cry in the shower or in public and then…stop. Stop yourself when you think of him and don’t waste anymore time grieving what could have been.

    Yes, it sucks when the last person you were really, really into gets married to someone else. Maybe it seems like they’ve got their shit together and things are great for them now, but you don’t know that. And even if it’s true, that his life is perfect and great now- you don’t have to compare yourself to that. Your life is different than his. You can’t live in the past of what-ifs.

    He may not have reached out anymore because of how long and drawn out your breakup has been. And the racist parents might figure into that. Maybe for his mental health (or even yours)he had to stop checking in with you. It doesn’t matter why. Wish him well.

    You weren’t a good match. It’s been over for some time. Maybe this is stirring up feelings because you aren’t happy, or you’re not in a relationship and you wish you were… I think maybe it is a good time to make an appointment with a therapist. If you don’t understand why this is hitting you so hard, why not talk it out with someone who can ask the right questions to help you get to the bottom of these feelings? It’s been weeks of you ugly crying, right? Talk about it with a professional for a session or two.

    #846215 Reply
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    brise

    He didn’t contact you to break the news because he moved on. Your story, as strong and beautiful as it was, belongs to the past. There were obstacles, so it made it even more difficult for you to de-invest. But take it as a sign that this love story was your first and is now fully in the past. So you can move on too.
    If you are to do anything about it, it would be, in my opinion, speak of it with a therapist, in order to let go of all the negativity connected with this experience (racism, long distance, …).
    Life is made of such steps: separation, renouncement. You will be fine later, once you accept to let go and open yourself to a new encounter.

    #846218 Reply
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    Fyodor

    I will also add to everyone else’s comments, is that it’s easily to idealize relationships when they’re over. You guys broke up for a reason and stayed broken up for a reason. Leave him alone and move on with your own life.

    #846242 Reply
    Copa
    Copa
    Participant

    I think weeks of ugly crying and crumpling to the bottom of the shower floor is a bit excessive, tbh. More generally speaking, I think it’s normal and okay to be upset when you find out a significant ex is about to get married for the reasons others have stated above — I myself have been there! But it sounds like it’s been a couple months since you heard the news and the grief is getting worse and more intense, not better. It may be worth your while to speak to a therapist. It’s okay to feel what you feel and it’s not necessarily a sign that you’re not over him, but if you find these thoughts continue to linger and impact your life. There may be some unresolved feelings there that you need help sorting out and therapy can be a great tool for that.

    #846244 Reply
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    Essie
    Participant

    Sure, it’s normal to be sad when ex has moved on, and old feelings get stirred up.

    You can’t be friends with an ex after a breakup that hurt you so badly. It’s really just not possible. It’s pretty clear by your reaction that you wish you were still with him, so any “friendship” would just be you looking for little signs that he still loved you, wanted you as his girlfriend again, etc. That’s not a real friendship. That’s hovering in hopes that he changes his mind, and it will make you feel sad and desperate and needy and ugh. Don’t do that to yourself, ever.

    This is your first big breakup, but it very likely won’t be your last. It’s OK to feel sad, but it’s also time to get on with your life. Don’t over-analyze your feelings. Don’t dwell. You’ve had a good cry over the engagement, OK, that’s done. Go out and do something fun and put him out of your mind.

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