Letting go of the past and looking toward the future

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    I was in a 6 year relationship, which was BEYOND complicated. Throughout the whole thing, my ex had several other relationships with girls who were anywhere from 3-6 years younger then him (at one point, we were 24 years old and the girl was 17 years old).. The whole relationship was completely unhealthy; he manipulated my feelings and brought me down from the person I was, and made me feel unworthy of his love and attention. I was harassed and threatened by girls I didn’t even know. To the point where I was worried about going to the mall alone.

    I was never that kind of girl who was afraid of my own shadow. I was vibrant, and funny. I enjoyed laughing with my girl friends (which of whom I no longer kept in contact with) and meeting new people. I turned dark, and unhappy.. While slowly slipping into a dependant, unhealthy state of myself. Now, while I made the choice to stick through this relationship (even with having known he was cheating on me- even though he never admitted it) for 6 years, I also made the choice to end it. Which was the best decision I’ve made, ever.

    I’ve lost a part of me somewhere between losing my old self and gaining this new self. I’m terrified to love, and to open my heart to someone; to have them love me. I feel something for someone special, and it scares me; it throws me into a panic attack. I’m so afraid of getting my heart broken again, because I gave myself fully to someone and they took advantage of it. I don’t want to be alone, I just need to learn that it’s okay to let someone in and to let someone love me.

    I guess I’m writing this to seek some sort of reassurance – some advice on how to move forward, and to keep positive. I want to live my life to the fullest and learn to love again.


    I still haven’t been in any kind of relationship but I do know what it’s like to feel like you’ve lost an “old self” or part of yourself and from my experience it’s not completely lost, but it takes time to get it back and while it’s never really exactly the same as it was, that old self returns stronger, wiser and better than before as part of something new.

    So I suppose the advice is don’t rush it, don’t feel like you have to get it back by tomorrow, let it rebuild itself with time and care and better than before.


    Dear Sarah, I truly understand what you are going through. Take a deep breath. Let your self heal first. Try to enjoy your self think about your self. Love your self. And be your self don’t think about relationships or new men yet. Try to be your self who you were before that relationship. Completely put him out of your head. I know it is easy to say but what I did took long walks. Got in to a train and visited cities when to museums, musicals that gave me the strength to be my self who I was be fore my night mare marriage. I think that steps would help you too.


    Hello Sarah,

    It’s crazy that I just came upon your post. I never really look at the forums on this website, but the first one I click was yours. Why it trips me out is because I just broke up with my boyfriend of 7 years and he also treated me really bad and cheated on me multiple times. I feel the same as you, that it will be so hard to trust somebody again, but I think it will be different. I think now we have learned what the red flags are if we look back onto how the relationship started. By learning what the red flags are it will make us more vigilant to spot them in future relationships.

    Everything happens for a reason. I think I had a bad relationship so I will be more appreciative and aware when I have a good one. It’s so hard to detach from guys like that. I understand, not many can unless you have been through it.

    I am here for you if you ever want to talk. : )


    Two years ago I went though a divorce. This came a shock to me. I had no idea anything was wrong. Anyways, long story short. I was devastated. I loved her more than anything in this world. For a long time I believed that I was never going to be able to love again. As it turns out through counseling, working on my self-esteem, and practicing some mindfulness I was able to open myself up again. I had been seeing someone I really enjoyed and allowed myself to be vulnerable with. On Saturday she broke things off with me. It hurts, but I know I will feel better and I am happy I was able to open up again. I’m not going to let it prevent me from living my life. Sometimes things just don’t work out the way we had hoped.


    Hi Jessica,

    I hate to say I’m glad someone knows what I’m going through, since heart break is never fun. Although, at the same time, I’m happy I’m not alone… It disgusts me that people like this exist; people that don’t realize the effect they have on others, and how their actions can really break a person down. I’m happy to have gotten out of that relationship, and it definitely made me realize what I won’t settle for, and exactly how I want someone to treat me. I just don’t have it in me to be open to someone else. It scares me really, because I don’t want to be alone and I want a family in the future..

    You’re right, everything DOES happen for a reason, which is what I’m trying to hold onto. That this was a lesson, and that because I am a good person, I am deserving of love.


    Thank you memm for your response. You’re right. Don’t rush it; I will slowly (but surely) rebuild the person I was. Some days I get a bit impatient.

    And don’t worry about not being in any kind of relationship; the most important one you can have, is the one with yourself. You’re the only one who can make yourself truly happy. 🙂


    Thank you Sahara.

    Some days it’s hard to remember to love myself. I let the negative parts of my old relationship, eat away at me.. As though there is something wrong with me, and that’s why he did what he did.

    One day at a time, one foot in front of the other. I just moved to a new part of the city and I am looking so forward to drowning myself in the culture and nature that surrounds me.


    I came on here to ask for help today while I am still struggling with my breakup from two months ago. But this seems like the perfect post to add to. I am so sorry for your heartache Sarah. I too am experiencing the pain of moving on from a relationship that I had given my whole self. My boyfriend of 3 years left me one night, and had an apartment set up and everything without me knowing. I had supported us for the whole relationship as he built the gym he wanted to run. He was unhappy for a while but stayed, and for selfish reasons now as I look back. He wasn’t financially able to leave me when he found out he was unhappy and there was no future for us. So, he’s been moved on for some time now and I’m left to pick up the pieces of my broken heart (and broken life as I dramatically see it right now). I’ve been getting better it seems, but had a breakdown at work today. I just couldn’t hold the tears in as I saw a post on Facebook with him, etc. Heartbreak sucks. It just sucks. I would not wish this feeling on anyone. I read a thousand times since he left that time heals everything, the pain lessens with time, etc. But in the mean time, the heart will take its share of punches. I don’t have much advice to offer, just a hell of lot of empathy for those of you who are also suffering.


    Hi Sarah,

    It’s interesting I ran across your post, as I was coming here to seek the advice of something similar.

    First though, congrats on seeing your worth and moving forward with your life. When I was 19, I got into an unhealthy relationship with a man who also cheated and manipulated me. I allowed him to make me feel less than I am, and I stayed for far too long (surprisingly 6 years as well) Eventually, I had had it, and ended it. While it was one of the best things I’ve done, I still struggle with the residual emotions and feelings of feeling not good enough, and I still have trouble trusting and letting people fully into my heart. The best advice I can offer you is what you’re already starting- healing and taking care of yourself. It took me far too long to look internally and begin to grow as a person.

    You’ll get there, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you’re taking longer than you anticipated. There’s no time line as to when you’re going to be ready, but just know you will be. Remember to give people chances, even if they don’t work out, you are learning little by little and that’s important.

    My post I was going to write was going to inquire on how to be on the other end of someone who was hurt like you. The man I’m seeing now can’t let go of his ex who hurt him just like yours did you (so similar it seems like he was dating the female version of your guy) He struggles back and forth with intimacy with me because he panics when he starts feeling too close or too open. He clings on to the time he had with his ex as a way to not let anyone fully in. He admits he doesn’t want to be with her, but isn’t strong to fully let go of his feelings for the past. He’s a good guy, he just doesn’t know how to let go.

    Don’t be this person, girl. See what happened with your ex as the lesson it was and find someone who truly appreciates you for who you are. You don’t want to end up being closed off to someone who does love you for you just because you’re worried it’ll happen again.

    Best of luck 🙂


    I am going through a breakup also. It’s been four months and he still doesn’t seem to miss me or show that he cared. I know right after the breakup he was with some girl, and they were dating or seeing each other for some time. I was heartbroken when I found out but then I told myself that I just need to work on myself to become better. I was hurt because we dated for a long time, how can he leave a relationship, without explaining why or letting me know how I could have fixed things. I know a lot of times I really don’t listen, and I don’t try to work on myself, and that is why I am left here, but I really wish he would give me a chance one day. I really wish that if I worked on myself, he would see and one day he would come back.


    You’re right Tony, things don’t always go as hoped.

    I saw my life laid out in front of me, and when I finally came to terms with the truth of the relationship; I was heart broken. It’s been 2 and a half years since my break up, so I’m hoping one day that I’ll be able to open my heart to someone and be vulnerable.

    Thank you for taking the time to respond to my post, I’m feeling better by reading all of these.


    Hi Shelli,

    I am so very sorry for the heart ache you are going through. I can’t even begin to imagine what you’re going through. Please know that you deserve much much more out a relationship..

    My dear friend always says to me, “right now you have an ex boyfriend shaped hole in your heart, and eventually, one day that hole will shrink, and be filled with memories with someone else who is much more worthy of yourself” I really do believe that. Even though it’s 2.5 years later, and that hole doesn’t feel to have gotten any smaller; I know it has. The easiest way to let go of someone, is to fully let go. Start over. Get rid of things that remind you of him, delete his facebook, his twitter, and his number out of your phone.. Even those tiny social media connections; even though they seem so large… and heart breaking, it will be a bit easier to start your healing process. I actually had to have my best friend delete my ex bf off of my twitter account for me, because I was terrified to make that “break”.. It’s also freeing in a way.

    I am sending you all my love, my support and positive vibes to you, Shelli. And know, you aren’t alone.


    Thank you so much Danielle. Hearing it from your point of view, by being on both sides, it gives me a different perspective of how I could be coming across to people.

    These are the best responses I could ask for. Who knew that one website could bring people together to offer support from all different areas of the world.

    I hope for you in this relationship that he begins to let go of the past, as I am trying. I know it’s not easy, but I’m giving it my best shot!


    First things first wishluck, if he left you girl.. You don’t want him. You want someone who accepts you fully for the person you are; you don’t need to make any changes for a guy. Make them for yourself. Sometimes, not knowing the reason for the break up, you find out in the long run is better then knowing.

    You don’t want a chance with him, you’ll realize that one day. The only advice I can give you is a quote from Chuck Palahniuk..

    ‘That’s the best revenge of all: happiness. Nothing drives people crazier than seeing someone have a good fucking life.’

    Go on and live your life for YOU. Even though I don’t believe in revenge, as much as I do karma.. Living your life the way you want, really does drive people crazy. I hope you come to realize your worth, wishluck. Know that you are much too beautiful of a person to settle for less then you deserve. And you, do not deserve someone who picks up and walks away without any explanation.

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