How To Let Your Ex Go
Most people had relationships in their past that didn’t work. Most people have at least one such relationship that is very hard to let go of. This is the one that got away, but shouldn’t have. This is the one that felt as if it was meant to be. This is the one that felt like true love yet just would not work. How do you let go of a relationship like this?
When your partner in that relationship was at his or her best, he or she met all of your needs. He or she was the perfect fit for you. If he or she could have been that way with you 100% of the time, rather than just sometimes, you would be in the relationship still. The times he or she was everything you needed are hard to let go of. You have been looking for that kind of love all of your life.
Here was a person who could meet your needs the way you have always wanted. You knew he or she could, because sometimes he or she did. But he or she wouldn’t. You wanted to make, force, remind or talk him or her into it. You did everything possible to make him or her be the way you wanted 100% of the time. You may have asked him or her to go to therapy. You used all of the tricks in the book you could come up with to evoke the behavior you wanted.
Finally you left the relationship. You knew you deserved better than just some fraction of what you wanted. But the attachment to your ex lingers. It lingers because you never succeeded in making him or her fulfill your needs completely. It feels as if you failed. You feel that somehow not getting what you wanted was your fault. If you were only good enough your ex would have given you the love you wanted, all of the time. After all, he or she did give it to you some of the time.
It is not easy to move on to another relationship after such an experience. It is not easy to attract love, or give your heart to someone new. It is hard to believe you will have such love and passion with anyone else. At the same time, it is hard to trust that you will somehow avoid hurt the next time around.
Another thing that keeps you hooked into that relationship is anger. Anger arises when someone has something you want but won’t give it to you, especially when the giving of the thing would seem to be the natural or the expected thing to do. You are justified in being angry, yet anger is a way to stay connected to someone, albeit not a positive way.
There is another reason why it’s hard to let go of the relationship that got away. The person you were in love with truly had great qualities. With him or her you had an incredible connection. Maybe he or she loved you intensely. He or she may still love you. The only problem in the relationship was that he or she could only treat you well part of the time. The rest of the time, he or she acted hurtfully towards you.
It is very difficult to throw away this type of connection. And it is more difficult still when you interact with the wonderful, caring side of him or her. Having to walk away from such a relationship can be the hardest thing you will ever do. Even when you walk away it may still pull at your heart.
It is so much easier to let go of someone when it is clear he or she doesn’t care about you. It may even be easier to let go of someone who dies, because there is nothing that can be done. But to let go of someone who is well and alive and loves you is an incredible task. Yet let go you must if the partner you are clinging to is not willing to meet your needs. If you are ever to be fulfilled in any relationship, you must let go completely of this past partner.
So how do you do this? How do you let go of the living, breathing former partner who may love you, or whom you may love, and yet who is not good for you? How do you let go of the one who seems to have been the one?
The first step is to understand that your partner would have given you the moon and the stars if he or she could have. Even when he or she appeared to be holding back or hurting you on purpose, he or she was always doing the best he or she could. Understand that he or she never intentionally hurt you.
To let go of your past relationship, you will first need to forgive your ex, forgive yourself, and understand that his or her behavior was not your fault. Understand that all that he or she did, the good and the bad all together, comprise the totality of this person. Sometimes he or she was wonderful and sometimes he or she was horrible. And all of the time he or she was the person you cared for.
There is no way you could only have his or her good side. Because you were connected to the whole person, you had to experience the bad side as well. His or her bad side was hurtful, and in the end the bad outweighed the good. Since the bad side was a part of the package and could not be changed, the whole package had to go.
Secondly, do something to honor and cherish the true connection between the two of you. In fact, you may need to honor that connection for a long time. There was a wonderful part of him or her, a loving and nurturing part. There was love for you; there may still be love for you. You may always love that part of your ex.
How do you honor the connection to your ex? Honor your love and connection in prayer, in your heart, in your thoughts, and in your actions. Use the gift of the connection as an inspiration to find more of that kind of love in your future partners.
When you are ready, send thoughts of peace, healing, and joy to your ex whenever thoughts of your past relationship cross your mind. Whenever you miss him or her, send him or her your love. In this way you can still love him or her, while keeping your distance and protecting yourself from his or her hurtful behavior.
You may be hesitant to do this. You may be afraid that it will make you go back into the relationship with your ex. But understand I am not saying your ex-partner will change and become more of what you wanted. Most likely, your ex will remain exactly as he or she is, at least as far as you are concerned.
The reason to honor your connection is not to somehow bring your ex-partner back. Instead, by honoring the good of the relationship, you become free of the anger you feel towards him or her. By honoring the gifts he or she gave you, instead of focusing on what he or she did not give you, you will begin to feel peace and gratitude.
Remembering that your ex came as a complete package, combining the very good with the intolerably bad, will give you the strength to not go back into that relationship. And freeing yourself of anger at your ex will give you the ability to move on and deeply love another person.
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