Many of us have existed in ‘complicated situations’ where a romantic relationship has ended, but an ex or former lover is still trying to maintain ties to our everyday lives. Often times, this individual views themselves as the victim in the demise of our romantic liaison. In every conversation the two of you have with one another, he or she is constantly talking about how they cannot forget what was done to them. They go on and on about not being able to forgive you and fearing the risk of being hurt if the romantic relationship was given a second chance. This ex claims that they have moved on to someone new, and constantly talks about how happy they are to ‘finally’ to be with an individual who loves, respects and honors their commitment.
You have tried your best over the past few months to apologize for your wrongdoings. You’ve also verbally acknowledged the mistakes you made during the romantic phase of your relationship. However, your ex will not own any of their faults or character flaws that also contributed to the demise of what you two were building together. Instead, he or she focuses on their broken heart and all of the things you may have said or done to violate their trust. As a result, you have begun to accept the fact that the two of you will not reunite. Though you are dealing with a great deal of suffering yourself, your heart is processing all of your disjointed feelings. Mentally, you are preparing yourself to move on to either another relationship or spending time alone, with friends or surrounded by family.
Since you haven’t changed your number and have not blocked your ex from being able to contact you, they are still texting and calling your phone. The communication isn’t occurring on a daily basis, but enough to interrupt your ability to let go completely of the thoughts that surround this individual. Even though the ex is now romantically involved with someone new, he or she still makes tiny references to the possibility of a future between the two of you. There’s often mention of, ‘remember when we use to…?’ OR, ‘wouldn’t it be so cool if we…?’
Each time you receive an early morning text or midday Instagram ‘like’ from your ex, there’s a rush of feelings that filter through your heart. In that moment, you feel a sense of happiness; memories of what was and excitement of what could be. It also strikes you as being odd that your ex still reaches out to you to request the password to their online banking, or even to ask for the number to that really great mechanic you once used to have your car fixed.
You finally ask the ex why they still randomly reach out to you. It’s not that you mind, but the inconsistency sort of sends mixed signals regarding their intentions. After all, they’ve opened their wounds in numerous face-to-face conversations and have seemingly moved on. Basically, you want to know what’s going on; are the two of you working towards reconciliation or is this just supposed to be a friendship? Your ex tells you that they still care about you and definitely want to solidify a friendship. Though you were hoping for a second chance, you find comfort in the idea of the two of you remaining friends.
Then, the day comes when you finally initiate contact with your ex through a simple text that says, ‘hey’. Hours go by and your ex fails to respond. You don’t receive a reply until the next day, as your ex is in the car alone and driving to work. It’s at this moment that you realize your newfound ‘friendship’ has been a secret. Your ex has only been contacting you during moments when their current ‘boo’ isn’t around. Their new love interest has no idea that the two of you have been keeping in touch; even more so because the ex has been initiating communication for months. Not only are you bothered by the fact that you’ve been kept a secret, but you’re also upset with yourself for allowing this person to prevent you from securing a peace of mind.
It isn’t fair that your ex has only been contacting you during moments in their day when the new lover is working or out of the house. If the two of you are supposed to be establishing a true friendship, the moments you associate should not intentionally be hidden from the person they are currently involved with.
To cope with their turbulent, uncontrollable emotions, your ex has been using you to fill the void of their present instability. The breakup of the relationship has left your ex feeling sad, scared and unable to make sense of living their life without seeing or hearing from you daily. In comparison, they are using the new ‘boo’ to fill the void of past hurt and disappointment. In their warped, little mind, jumping into a new relationship will somehow cushion the pain of losing you so abruptly.
Your ex wont consider giving a second chance to the romantic relationship you two were building, but refuses to fully let go of the strings that tie you both together.
It is now time for you to stop worrying about what that other person thinks, does, wishes, plans or feels. You can no longer carry the guilt of what you may have done to contribute to the demise of the relationship. The fact remains that the two of you are no longer together, and the ex is now romantically involved with someone else. The two of you have not been broken up long enough to truly establish a healthy, beneficial friendship.
Stop torturing yourself by accepting their every-so-often advances. Since your ex can’t seem to forgive your faults and acknowledge their own, you have no reason to maintain any form of communication. Only time is going to provide the space for the two of you to grow separately and examine the things that went wrong from an honest point of view.
You should also already know that their new relationship isn’t going to last. Already, your ex is keeping secrets from someone who they supposedly, ‘love so much’. You certainly can’t control his or her decision to lie by omission, but you can control the role you play in their game of deception. Remove yourself from the situation by simply telling your ex to STOP contacting you…altogether.
Letting go of that person we love so much is tough, but losing our own ability to live each day without emotionally suffering is a lot worse.