Open Letter to my Ex

Open Letter to my Ex

I don’t know why, but lately I’ve been feeling like I want to say some of the things I never said to my ex.  It’s been two years and I’ve never really felt this urge.  I’ve never wanted to call and tell him what went wrong.  I’ve never wanted to blame him.  But now, I suddenly feel like it’s important he understand the things he did wrong.  Maybe it’s because he’s finally dating again, and the first thing I thought when I saw the nice girl ‘oh honey, I hope you’re okay.’  She seems so nice, so pretty and soft.  I instantly worried that he would harm her in the way he almost destroyed me.

I’ve maintained since the break-up that I’ve never once regretted my actions.  I still believe that.  Even learning he was dating again made me feel mostly relieved.   The ‘well he called her his girlfriend’ words made me sit back in surprise, because I felt a little chunk of guilt break off that I hadn’t realized I was still carrying.   I found her picture on Facebook, and saw her pretty shy smile, and I felt sick for her.  All that fear I used to have of falling back to that dark part of me came back, but I felt it for her, not me.  I’m not afraid for me, because I’ve learned my strength.  I’m afraid for her, because I don’t know her, and I worry she’s like I was when I first met him.

I’m writing this open letter to my ex, saying the things I never said, because I didn’t think they were important for my own mental health.  But they’re important now for her sake.

Dear M,

I have some absolutely wonderful memories about our time together.  Our trip to LA.  The road trip down the coast.  Lazy days in my apartment downtown.  So many good memories to choose from.  Unfortunately the bad memories are strong enough that even now, two years later, it makes the good memories not worth it.  So many times in life I can say the good outweighed the bad.  With you, I can only say that after all was said and done, I’m stronger.

I’ve heard you’re dating again, and I’m worried about this new girl.  Will you treat her better than you treated me?  Will you learn from our mistakes?  Despite the years apart I know you, and I know in the end you blamed me for everything.  At the time that was okay, because I knew without a doubt that my decision to leave was right.  I’m happier now then I ever was when we were together.  But now I worry that letting you put all the blame on me means you haven’t learned anything for your next relationship.  So here are the things I never said to you.  Please make sure you understand them so you can give this new girl the best of you.

The first thing is so important that I can’t stress it enough.  Learn to say ‘I Love you’.  I know it makes you uncomfortable, and I’m not going to even get into the emotional damage your parents caused you, but you have to figure it out.  It matters.  Yes, I knew you loved me.  But even someone who is sure one moment can start to doubt the next.  You don’t have to say it often, but you have to say it.  Make sure she knows, don’t just assume she does.

Figure out how to be there for her when she needs you.  Remember that trip to England we took?  You were so emotionally distraught dealing with all your anxiety that I spent the entire trip focused on you.  I made sure you were comfortable.  I put effort into the arrangements.  I spent hours stressing about you and lying awake at night.  I knew you were struggling as you always do with your anxiety, and most of my focus was on you.  None of this would matter if not for one very, very important thing; we were there to burry my dad.  Think back to it.  Think back to how emotionally fragile I was.  Think back to how hard it was for me to lose someone so important.  Think back to how much I loved my dad, and how much losing him hurt.  That trip should have, without question, been about me and my family.  Even now I feel the emotion pushing against me telling you this.  I have resented you since that trip.  If you couldn’t be there for me during the very worst time in my whole life, you shouldn’t have come at all.

Understand that you’re an emotional drain.  With your anxiety problems, I know that you struggle, and I spent hours and hours supporting you.  Did you ever once think about how hard it was on me?  When someone is working that hard to help you, recognize it, don’t take it for granted.  Get that person flowers on a day other than her birthday.  Make her dinner just because you want to say thank you for putting her own life on old to support you.  At first I wanted to be there for you.  I didn’t care if it took extra effort, or if I had to make special arrangements to accommodate you.  I researched and studied your emotional issues so that I could find a way to understand them, and be there for you when you needed me.  At first I just wanted to be there for you.  After awhile, I felt like your mother taking care of you, getting absolutely noting in return.  You never once acknowledge how hard it was for me.  It was all about you.

I need you to truly understand why the ‘you never give me blow jobs anymore’ conversation was the biggest dick move you could have ever pulled.  You ended our relationship that night even though we stayed together another month or two.  You told me you’d noticed I’d stopped giving you blow-jobs.  I responded with the truth.  I hadn’t gotten any sort of satisfaction from you in a very long time, so I felt a little resentment at having you ask me for more.  You told me it didn’t work that way, one didn’t pay for the other.  Okay… I’m going to say this calmly, even though I wanted to shout it at you at the time.  You’d failed to give me a single orgasm for almost two years!!!!  So go suck your own dick.  Seriously dude.  Read it again.  You were still getting off.  Every time we had sex you got off.  You barely lasted long enough for me to get excited.  So I stopped trying.  I didn’t want to have sex with you anymore because it was frustrating, and uncomfortable, and all about you.  I dreaded it because I knew I wouldn’t get off and you would.  And you wanted more blow jobs??  Yeah, you self-absorbed mo-fo.  Way to prove to me you were only interested in your own satisfaction, and didn’t give a f*&$ about mine.

That last paragraph is angry.  There’s a lot of resentment there.  You didn’t care that I wasn’t getting pleasure.  No doubt you thought it was my issue.  You were wrong.  I stopped being sexually attracted to you as a direct result of your selfishness.  

There are obviously parts of our breakup that I’m angry about.  I think that’s normal.  But I don’t really want to yell and scream at you.  In fact, other than recently, I’ve stopped thinking about you at all.  I’m happy.  Hows that for incredible!  And you know why I’m happy?  Because when I feel one way in the morning, I let myself be that way.  If I feel girly, I curl my hair and wear lace.  If I feel mellow, jeans and a sweater.  Do I feel sort of punk?  Black nail polish and a headband it is.  I change ever single day and I love it.  Sometimes I love to run, so I do.  Sometimes I like to watch Netflix, so I do.  I’m pointing this out to you because my biggest problem during our relationship was complete and utter self doubt.  When I told you I wanted a tattoo, you convinced me that I was too ‘classy’ for that.  When I put pink in my hair, you said I was too ‘old’ for that.  When I bought a graphic t-shirt, you said it wasn’t my style.  It became clear to me that you had a very particular kind of partner in mind, and when I didn’t fit into the box, you critiqued me until I shrunk back into it.  I don’t even think you knew that you were doing it, but because I wasn’t strong I slowly shrunk back until I couldn’t even remember who I was anymore.  All I felt was this failure of a person, because I wasn’t what you wanted and you kept pointing that out to me.

I did so many things wrong in our relationship, mostly because of the resentment I felt towards you.  I started to turn in on myself, and I would tell myself that if you did ‘this’, it meant you loved me.  But of course you didn’t know what I was thinking, so you rarely did the right things.  That’s not really your fault.  I pride myself in being honest, but I couldn’t be honest with you.  When I told you something that bothered me, you always, every single time, turned it back on me.  I was resentful, and you were defensive.  Not once did we ever communicate properly, and that is on both of us.

Here’s what I want to tell you about your new girlfriend, having never met her.  She deserves to be loved.  She deserves a guy who tells her he loves her, and shows her, and makes her feel cherished.  She deserves to feel good about herself, and be supported in everything she does.  She deserves to be recognized for supporting you, because I know that anyone you’re with will have to support you.  She deserves pleasure, and to be with someone who wants to figure out how to show her pleasure.  She deserves to feel cherished, which isn’t your strength.  She deserves someone who can be there when she’s upset, and support her when she’s nervous.  And more than anything, make her feel beautiful, because she is.  She doesn’t need you to tell her who she is.  She’ll figure it out, and then your job is to love her for her.

Unfortunately I think back to our relationship with sadness and resentment.  I found rock bottom.  At the end, I was as unhappy as I’ve ever been.  I accept that a lot of it was my fault, and I’ve learned from my mistakes.  I’m glad I’m stronger now.  I can stand up for myself now, the way I didn’t know how to when we were together.  But if someone asked me if our relationship was worth it, if the good made up for the bad, I would say no.  We were together 7 years, and for me, it wasn’t worth it.  Don’t let your new girlfriend feel that way about you.  

Very sincerely,

your ex-girlfriend who has been happy since the day she left.

 

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