Realizing I was someone's " Project Fix "

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    Dear Readers,

    I recently posted a few questions up here and got amazing response from everyone. Thank you for taking the time to read my post. Lately, I am slowly recovering and healing from a long and torturous relationship . I have been trying to focus on myself and have had no contact with the person for a month or so. However, I do keep getting frequent email messages from him after I decided that I will maintain no contact. The emails are nothing but short one liners of ” how are you? please talk to me ” ect I strongly feel that this person is not missing the person that he was in relationship with (me) but the person that he always had around him, bending over backwards ( me again) . I was always a project fix for him, never being enough in totality. He always looked at me as weak and someone in need of help . Eventually over the years, I did develop a victim mentality for myself fulling that self fulling prophecy of his. Even though deep down my inner self knew it was lethal to stay around, I stayed because he was “helping me” on issues that only he recognized .

    Long story short only when I stepped out and decided to completely cut contact I realized my own shortcomings and work I had to do on myself to change my own image of not being good enough and of someone in need of help and fixing by this person.

    After some crazy amount of work on myself and a lot of determination, I am beginning to finally get back up and be comfortable in my own skin. But lately after having this realization few days ago and sort of like an epiphany, I have been wanting to respond to his emails and tell him that he can no longer treat people as projects to be fixed. I notice some of us tend to go overboard in fixing others / helping them by being overly critical. Putting everything in retrospect, In reality I realize he was struggling with a lot lower self esteem and I was nothing but a project that gave him a sense of self control over his own life. Fixing me was like fixing himself – he did mention this a few times that he often looked at his own self as a failure. Coming back to now when everything is over and I am not in any contact with him. My mind has been preoccupied with writing him one last email and telling him that it was very wrong unfair and messed up that he treated me like a project. Tell him that ‘I didn’t need fixing – not at least the way he saw I.e everything from my physical appearance to my personality traits. Even if I did need to improve on certain things for example – (being a little indecisive about my career, having a sense of uncertainty ect Gee I was only a student back then) even if I did need to work on certain things. I think it’s only fair that we allow each other to make our own discoveries in life . That is how we form our identity and realize our passions after all . Don’t we ?

    Being here and now , I fluctuate between moments of calmness ( healing moments ) and sheer anger where I must write back to his email telling him to find himself first and then try and attempt fixing others. Off course sometimes we help ourselves by helping others but there is a fine line between genuinely helping someone when they are reaching out and making them feel really low and weak to the point they are completely broken.

    I have conflicting feelings about this – If it is a good idea for me to write this email as much as it’s bothering me, I also think it can be a bad idea if he responds back then it will just drag on back and forth. Given I am already recovering from mental fatigue and exhaustion I don’t have the energy to tell him anything beyond this last letter. But then again deep down, I know his intentions weren’t to hurt me ( atleast I would like to give him the benefit of doubt ) and maybe I should bring this to his attention, perhaps in time he will give it a thought and control his urge to fix others . I don’t know for certain. I almost want to respond and tell him about my discovery about how he had a need to fix me but then again, I also have to allow him to make his own discoveries in due time . And perhaps he will come to an understanding that how he treated me, has roots in some underlying disturbance within himself. At this point he is so closed and arrogant, I don’t expect an understanding from him . But I am so restless and almost feel the need to tell him off . I don’t know if its my mind playing games with me ( I know it sounds awful but somewhere my mind is like ” zita he always told you what’s wrong with you now it’s your turn, do it genuinely and politely though ” but i do feel my mind is tricking me. Or perhaps the purpose of his email was to instigate a response after I went cold turkey and that’s exactly what I am about to do. He got me thinking about it for sure ..

    What do you guys think @jasmine-3, @elliedodge, @theruminant and others please feel free to share any wisdom/ advice you might have. I will really appreciate your insight.

    • This topic was modified 10 years ago by Zita.

    Hi Zita

    I am so happy for your transformation πŸ™‚

    If I were you, I would mind my own business and stay away from any form of contact with this ex. When we have clear boundaries for ourselves and others, we stay out of trouble. When there is no expectation, there wont be any disappointment. When there is no disappointment, there wont be any misery :). We are not here to fix anyone or let someone fix us. We are perfect as is and some know this as soon as they enter this world, while for others like us, we are learning as we grow from each experience.

    Life is beautiful and enjoy that journey. Let him go and let him enjoy his journey. Offer prayers for him so that you can truly move on in life. Trust me as I say that in a few years, you will be laughing at all of this and making few beautiful babies with a lovely partner πŸ™‚




    Hi Zita,

    If you write back to him at all, I would say, “Everything’s great! So many new things going on, one day I’ll tell you all about it! Blessings! :)”

    But that is purely, utterly, optional.

    There was a line in an old movie: “I don’t want to hear from you. I want to hear about you.” Of course, he wants the opposite! He will find out for himself that you are doing just fine as you are, and just fine without him. Your silence is its own answer, after all.

    Some people get angry when we bust out of the small box they have made for us.

    Deep deep down he knows you are all that. It’s like in a martial arts class there’s always someone who has taken a class ten years ago and assumes their partner is new. So they try to “help” them. The partner politely listens, and goes along with it. But at the end of the class, everyone knows where everyone really “is”.

    I don’t know you, but I can tell you are doing great!!




    Hi Zita,

    Yes I think your mind may be playing tricks on you in regards to emailing him and telling him about himself. In this regard, you are trying to justify yourself as being the victim and seek some closure and also make him feel as bad as he made you feel. I totally get this because I want to do the dame thing to my ex. I want to show them what they missed out on or how I still became happy after then when they thought I would not. They always felt I needed them and for once and for all I wanna show them that I don’t need them anymore but what will that prove. Wouldn’t they still be controlling my life and validating my self esteem if I feel I must always prove something to them. What it comes down to is loving yourself and being gentle to yourself and realizing that he was not the one for you. He could not love you how YOU needed to be love. Your relationship with him did not make you a better person like relationships should do. I understand the anger and it comes and goes as you remember moments of how you were treated so cheaply and do wrongly. I have those moments too. Whatever it is, remember you are worthy to be loved and treated with respect because YOU matter πŸ™‚ Keep pressing!


    You’ve already received some great responses. I could personally relate to Cyd’s thoughts.

    You may find this article helpful:

    Telling Them All About Themselves – Why It’s Not Your Job To List Their Flaws and Crimes

    I, too, would encourage you NOT to send the email. I know how tempting it can be, but I would put money on it that you will not feel any better afterwards, and in fact may feel worse.

    Keep healing yourself, honey.



    It’s ultimately your decision to send an email response or not. But believe me, you will be VERY VERY HAPPY that you didn’t. As seconds, minutes, hours, days, etc. go by – you constantly change your perception about everything. Time not just heals, time – helps. As you continue your journey, there will be a moment when you will laugh at your past desire to respond.
    A person can only hear and comprehend his own internal voice, including your ex.
    You’re going through a tough time right now, and it’s not that your mind is playing tricks on you, but your ego (identity) is just in an defensive mode, as it always is. But don’t judge it, it’s just trying to help you.
    Peace to you.



    Jasmine, your replies always put a smile on my face. I am learning to respect and create boundaries for myself and others. And I can already see the impact it has on me, things are so simple when boundaries are clear. And yes I did realize expectations are the core of my misery. It feels much lighter to have no expectations of anyone but myself. I did not contact or replied to him, even though my mind often takes me back to that urge and I can say not doing so is already making much difference. It takes me some time to comprehend the messages and register it in my mind. And the most awesome part is most people here gives a similar advice that I somewhere deep down, already know is the right thing to do. I often come back here to read all of your words over a few times and it helps me keep going. Many Thanks for your lovely prayers.


    Inky you mentioned that some people get angry when we break free of the box they have created for us. It is true, the box can be created by them. But we choose to stay in it. Must be our short comings though right ?. I know I know lots of work to do for me:)


    Cyd your words did resonate with me deeply. Just that overlying and overbearing feeling that takes me of track at times. That feeling of ” I wish I can make you understand what you did was soo wrong” – This takes over me so much, as much I try to resist, it persist. As the saying goes. And you are right, perhaps that will be seeking validation all over again but overtime your heart and mind gets so used to having that mentality that any chance you get calling for a change and anything that makes you look and feel powerful supersedes rational logic. I know it is none of my business to tell him what is wrong with him. But I have had that done to me for so long that my mind automatically reverts back to its egotistical ways.

    Kelly Thanks for sharing the website. The author has pretty awesome practical and relatable insights. I loved it !!

    Mann, It is my ego indeed. I do recognize it more clearly now than ever. It really seems like a work of a lifetime, my automatic way of thinking is defensive these days. But when I look at the bigger picture I do try to zoom out and snap out of the tiny details that were keeping me tied up in this vicious circle.

    • This reply was modified 10 years ago by Zita.
    • This reply was modified 10 years ago by Zita.

    Hi Zita,

    Let’s say the mental box he had put you in was “This girl needs help”. If he’s the one helping, he must know what he’s doing, right?? LOL

    Now, clearly, you don’t need help, but he has to be in the power position, so he texts to see how you “are”. Again, LOL.

    Our Primal Selves always seek balance. You wanting to show him, “I don’t need you, numb chucks!” is just you instinctively seeking balance. In the reality, when you tell him or when he sees that, his common reaction will be to think, “Yeah, right!” to protect his mental status-quo. What he resists, persists, too! It goes both ways!

    Mother Nature, Time, Karma, Dharma, common friends even down to FaceBook stalking will eventually, inexorably, put him in his place: Of no account in your reality.

    Good for you for not replying!


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