My ‘Ask Amy’ Column as seen in the 24 Hours Newspaper.
I don’t know how to get over an ex-boyfriend who has hurt me a while ago. Every time I see him and his new girlfriend, I only pity myself. He has given her everything he once promised me. I feel so foolish and hopeless. How could someone who was so horrible to me be so happy and satisfied in his new relationship? Even though I know what I’m still stuck in the past I just can’t seem to get out. – Stuck
Do know that this is a normal and natural phase to go through – and it is just that, a phase that will pass. You are mourning, your brain is still wired with attachment to this person. You can feel physical pain as your brain craves that attachment and doesn’t get it. A study from the book The Chemistry Between Us by Dr. Larry Young notes that relationship separation causes an anxiety and pain similar to what a drug addict experiences when fiending for another fix.
But the less of him you see, the less he will be in your thoughts. And slowly, your heart will heal. Sometimes you’ll go through a setback, and feel like no progress has been made at all. But the journey of healing is one that goes up and down, and hopefully, with a positive trend upward in the grand scheme of things.
Whatever he did to hurt you, it likely came from an unhealthy place. Perhaps one of fear, insecurity, lack of self-worth or disconnection. Hurt people hurt people. So while it may look like he’s moved forward on the outside, the hurt he had in the inside while he was with you, is still likely still within him. And sooner or later, in some shape or form, it’ll out in his present relationship too.
That’s the way unresolved issues go – they keep reappearing, relationship after relationship, until the person finally decides to work on it, heal from it, and move forward.
I know you may not be able to feel it now, but as someone who has been exactly where you are, and has come out of the suffering, I’m telling you – it gets better. And trust that there is a bigger plan out there for you – you were meant to go through this to evolve into the next part of you.
Remember, when it doesn’t work with someone in the present, it’s because it’s meant to work out with someone else in your future. Each relationship that comes and goes happens to prepare you for the next one, and the next – until you finally are at the right point to meet the person you’re meant to be with.
Be gentle on yourself.
With love. Amy
Photo credit: Sara Alfred