My ex humiliated me when she kicked me out. How can I get over this?

Our elder has some tips for recovering from a cruel breakup (including: don’t expect an apology).

Dear EWC

Hi, I just went through a breakup and my partner of three years treated me very poorly. The tip of the iceberg was her suddenly kicking me out of our house one night, maybe cheating on me (not sure but I suspect), refusing me closure or even a conversation, and then preventing me from having any dignity or autonomy in the situation by immediately getting a lawyer involved to watch over me as I packed my stuff. There was no reason to involve a lawyer since she already had all the power in the situation and could have easily just talked to me. It was a very dramatic, hurtful, embarrassing, and unnecessary escalation on her part. We used to be best friends and used to have really good communication, so I’m so angry that she chose to be avoidant and get other people to do her dirty work just so that she wouldn’t have to have a difficult adult conversation. I’m so angry that she not only betrayed me, but that she seemed to want to go out of her way to humiliate me as well. Leading up to the breakup she also treated me very poorly, and her apparent total lack of remorse makes me really angry and hurt too. I just don’t know how to stop being sad and furious about all of this, I want her to apologize, I want her to feel bad for the horrible way she treated me, I just want her to have remorse because she said and did a lot of cruel and dismissive things, and I’m having a hard time figuring out how to heal when I’m not getting that from her.

Sage replies

Having gone through numerous breakups, I empathize with you. I know that moving on after a breakup with someone who you really loved is not easy.

It seems that you were heartlessly dumped out of the blue. I was never dumped like that, but I can imagine that makes the sting even worse. There are healthy ways to deal with your grief, which is real and valid, but there are also things that can trip you up and postpone healing.
Wasting time waiting for your ex to apologize is just one of those things that will trip you up and keep you from healing. While it may feel good to play the victim and blame everything on your ex, at least at first (I have been here), eventually, you’re going to realize it doesn’t help that much.

You are not going to get an apology. Understand that we live in a world people are no longer required to apologize for their actions. They can completely cut you off or pretend as if nothing ever happened. I know that this is harsh but that is just the way it is. She does not think that she owes it and she will not consider that you want one. You are going to have to gather enough strength and courage to move on without her apology.

You do not need her apology because there is so much more to accomplish out of life and if you allow her to play a huge part on your emotions then you not living to the fullest but hurting yourself and delaying your healing even more.

You must accept the fact that she is not responsible for your healing.

The truth is only you can allow her actions to destroy the best features of yourself. It can cripple you in ways you may not even know. You have to step back and realize that the apology you want probably will never come. I believe that by accepting that fact, you are actually setting yourself free and giving yourself the chance to fill that emptiness with the love and friendships of others who actually care about you.

So instead of pining away time looking for an apology. Let’s start formulating a program to start healing. Consider these tips and strategies:

1. Don’t fight your feelings – It’s normal to have lots of ups and downs, and feel many conflicting emotions, including anger, resentment, sadness, relief, fear, and confusion. It’s important to identify and acknowledge these feelings. While these emotions will often be painful, trying to suppress or ignore them will only prolong the grieving process.

Remember that moving on is the end goal. Expressing your feelings will liberate you in a way, but it is important not to dwell on the negative feelings or to over-analyze the situation. Getting stuck in hurtful feelings like blame, anger, and resentment will rob you of valuable energy and prevent you from healing and moving forward.

2. Set a time limit to wallow. This doesn’t mean you have 15 minutes to grieve, but you should think about wanting to feel better with your life, which means eventually moving on with it. It depends on you, so make sure you are comfortable with your decision. Do not change the date, no matter what. Even if you’re miserable on that day, you must still commit to making positive changes in your life.

3. Don’t dwell on the past. Leave whatever transpired between the two of you in the past. While you may want to replay every moment with her in your mind in order to figure out exactly what went wrong, when things changed or how you got to this point, obsessing over every little detail of your broken relationship is only going to cause you pain, distress or even regret. Instead, you should accept the reality of the breakup situation, make peace with what occurred and place your focus on the future instead of the past.

4. Take responsibility for your life. Do not develop a victim mentality. You played a part in the demise of this relationship. Own up to it. Forgive yourself for your part.

If you believe that you made certain mistakes in your relationship, make sure you learn from those mistakes and move forward as a person who possesses a better understanding of himself and his interactions with romantic partners. Make sure that you don’t make the same mistakes in the future.

If you want to be happy, being a victim doesn’t serve you in any way. It takes real courage to forgive and let go. It takes courage to take responsibility for your inner experience, especially when someone has wronged or hurt you.

5. Forgive her. If you do not forgive her and continue to hold resentment, you will be bound to her by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Your thoughts will return to her what she did over and over again. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.
When you forgive you will not only release her, you will set yourself free too from all of that agony.

6. Don’t stalk your ex on social media. While it may seem extremely tempting and enticing, you shouldn’t follow her social footprint. Instead of fixating on the happenings in your ex’s life, shift this time and energy toward improving your own life.

7. Don’t contact your ex. Contacting your ex will make it even harder for you to move on from this break. And while your strong feelings for her may be pushing you to find a way to keep her in your life, you’re simply prolonging the inevitable and making it more challenging and difficult to get over him or her.

8. Love yourself. Just because someone she stopped loving you, it doesn’t mean that you are not deserving of finding love. By loving yourself, I mean being good and kind to your body and your mind.

Don’t be too hard on yourself. Remember that your ego and self-esteem are already hurting. Be as compassionate toward yourself as you would be to a friend whose heart had just been broken.

Take care of yourself — exercise, eat well, get proper sleep and rest. Find healthy ways to deal with your emotional pain. Steer clear of excessive eating and stimulants.

If you are struggling to move on or wish for some outside clarity from someone who doesn’t know your ex, consider talking with a therapist.

9. Want something better. Acknowledge that you are a wonderful person, and no one has the right to hurt you or make you feel bad. Expect to be treated well. Trust that your ideal match is someone who will love you and accept you for who you are, no strings attached. Realize that your ex was not that person, but now that she’s out of your life, you are that much closer to finding your true soulmate.

Give yourself a break. I know getting out of a victim mentality can be hard. Some days you will slip. That’s OK. Be OK with that.

Be nice to yourself. If you have to be perfect, then one little slip is made into a big problem and may cause you to spiral down into a very negative place for many days. It is more helpful to just give yourself a break and use the tips above to move yourself into a positive and empowered headspace once again.

Use this breakup as an opportunity to figure out exactly what you want in a partner and what qualities, values, and characteristics are important to you. Let this breakup serve as a learning experience and a stepping stone toward a better and brighter relationship with someone new in the future.
https://www.helpguide.org/articles/grief/dealing-with-a-breakup-or-divorce.htm

Letter #: 435703
Category: Dating/Relationship

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