I just heard that my ex is getting married. We split up two years ago. He ended it and I was broken. I thought I’d moved on but this has shown me I haven’t. Should I tell him I still have feelings for him? If I don’t I might miss out on something, or he might make a mistake and marry the wrong woman. He says he’s crazy about her but I’m not convinced. My friends say it’s a bad idea and I should forget about him.
When we break up with someone, friends and family are usually supportive. It’s expected we will be upset and maybe need help. Love songs, films, literature, and the self-help market all reinforce this.
Fast-forward months, or years, and it becomes harder to find people who understand if you are still upset. It’s as if you are allowed a short-term crisis but then it’s all about picking yourself up, getting over someone, and moving swiftly on.
There is, of course, a lot to be said for doing this. But is also wrong to suggest recovery after relationships break down happens in the same way for everyone, or there’s always a neat and uplifting path to strength and happiness.
For a lot of us, the post-break up journey is more a mix of good and bad days. Even if you have moved on, being reminded an ex is with someone else, getting married, having children or experiencing other life events can bring up all kinds of feelings for you.
Looking after yourself
This news has obviously come as a shock. You might even feel as if you’ve been transported back to when you first broke up and be strugglingwith eating, sleeping and your emotions.
It is okay to be upset about this; to cry and grieve or feel angry. Give yourself space to have these feelings – maybe writing about them, or talking them over with others.
At the same time you may want to remember why you broke up in the first place, and how you have coped and changed since then.
Do you tell him?
I agree with your friends. I don’t think it is a good idea to tell him how you feel. Particularly the bits about her not being right for him, or him making a mistake in getting married. Might it be these thoughts are based more on what you want rather than what’s actually going on in his life?
Being realistic, what are you hoping for by opening up to him? What are the likely reactions he could have and how might they affect you?
Do you have a sense of how you might cope if he rejects you again, particularly how you struggled when you first split?
What do you do instead
Having processed the news, it might be the need to do anything disappears. Remind yourself that it was tough when you split up previously but that you coped with this so you know you can do it again.
If you have a lot to say you can always write to him. Just don’t send the letter. Rip it up or burn it instead. Or talk to your friends about how you feel and remind them this may not be as painful as when you first broke up, but it’s still a difficult time and you could do with their assistance.
If you’re following him on Facebook you might want to change this, so you don’t hear about wedding updates that could upset you. You might also want to tell mutual friends you’d prefer not to hear about the wedding.
If you aren’t able to avoid contact with him and/or feel you need to say something, you could let him know via email, letter or face-to-face conversation that while you are happy for him, you are finding this news difficult to cope with.
Two years ago you clearly found the break up very difficult. I am unclear if since then you’ve generally been okay but have had a wobble with this current news. Or if you have been struggling consistently for the past 24 months to come to terms with the relationship ending.
If it’s the former you may find in time things get easier even if you always feel sad about the relationship you lost. And conflicted or even resentful over him marrying someone else.
If it is the latter, or if you cannot stop being upset about this and are convinced you are the one for him – even if all other signs suggest otherwise –seeing a counselor might help you feel more confident and put things in perspective.
Focus on finding ways to make yourself happy and pick things that will distract you and bring you joy, rather than dwelling on what he is doing.
Nothing will change the fact that you and he enjoyed a relationship together and loved each other.
He is now with someone else and while you may not be able to be happy for him can you accept his choice and step back? Put your energies into looking after yourself and concentrate on enjoying your own life.
You have an advice for this lady? Share in the comments box.