A friend of mine is in a unique situation.
She’s going through a recent breakup and has to see her ex frequently.
It’s made it hard for her to be able to let go (very little “out of sight out of mind”) and last month she got pulled back in.
She texted her ex after having a new realization and was met with very little response from him. She was disappointed.
I had another friend send an apology video to her ex after doing a plant medicine ceremony and similarly got little response. She’s still not sure if he even watched it.
When my ex and I broke up I intuitively knew I could never go back in. I did blog about our relationship and ask about him to friends. I admittedly would google his name but thankfully, I never did reach back out to him and neither did he to I.
The best thing my ex ever did for me was move on so I could move on, too.
Here’s how I got closure from my breakup that didn’t involve contacting my ex.
Hired Helping Professionals
The beautiful thing about a breakup is that you don’t need the other person to get closure.
I spent a lot of time and money processing our ending with an incredible therapist and group of coaches. I will forever be grateful for their patience and understanding and that they never rushed me along the process. They always listened, encouraged me to see a new perspective, and never made me feel behind or wrong for where I was in the healing journey.
I also saw other healers during this time too.
Somatic modalities such as EFT, EMDR, Somatic Experiencing, and Family Constellation made some of the biggest differences. I never needed to speak to him directly to heal and move on.
Even if one person in a dynamic is doing the work, a connection can be transformed.
The next best thing I did to heal from my ex was to close all the “open loops” in our connection. The unfinished business, the loose ends, all the cycles that were opened but not yet completed.
There were a handful of things quite literally holding energy and keeping us connected which prevented me from being able to fully let go and fully move on.
For example we had a set of shared linens from our apartment I brought to the dry cleaners right before we broke up. I had unintentionally abandoned them when we split and moved out of the neighborhood. I assumed the dry cleaner would throw them out after enough time had passed but it turned out they hadn’t and our shared items had been sitting there for years. They called when the city opened back up post-pandemic to get me to come in and collect them. I realized I didn’t want to bring that energy back into my life so I paid over the phone and told them to donate everything.
After that was handled I felt a huge surge of power come back to me.
Another open cycle still lingering was that my ex and I had planned a trip right before our breakup but we had to cancel it because a hurricane came through the area.
The rental company issued me a credit to use at a future date.
It took almost another full year but I finally booked a one night, solo trip and stayed in the cabin I would have stayed with him but with my dog, instead. I used the time there to write him a letter I burned in a fire that night.
The last open loop was items I had left in a storage unit that he owned. There was a part of me that just wanted to forget about them and move on with my life but I just knew I had to get them back otherwise I’d always be thinking about the things I left him with.
This loop did require that we communicate with each other but I was committed to keeping it strictly business. I got help to craft a simple and direct email (so I didn’t risk trying to reconnect or including anything unnecessary) and it ended up being very short and to the point. He responded back in the same respectful way and eventually sent me my things back with no issues.
Wrote a letter
The last and probably most important thing I did to move on from my ex was write him an amends and a letter. I also wrote his new girlfriend one, too. I wrote out everything I wanted to apologize to him for. All the places I would have wished to take responsibility.
Before I read the letter out loud (and burned it) I went through old pictures of our life, from vacations we went on and let myself have one more trip down memory lane.
I set a boundary with myself that once I read this letter, burned it, and did one last final indulgence of memories, I would no longer think about him. It was me setting a firm boundary with myself to no longer go down rabbit holes or what if’s.
Reading the letter and burning it felt like a true completion. There weren’t any remaining feelings, no stones left unturned, and really any emotional charge left in the space of he and I.
I was ready to meet a new partner and create a new life for myself. Holding onto any piece of him would not allow me to do that.
Not even a month later, I was introduced to my new partner and haven’t looked back since.
I know this happened because I did a lot of work to clean out any remaining energy left in our connection.
Healing and moving on is a choice.
We can choose to move our lives forward or keep ourselves stuck.
Even though there were many days and nights I longed to talk to my ex and have our connection back I’m endlessly grateful he never attempted to reconnect or rekindle our connection.
I’m grateful that he let me go so we both could start our lives over again. There’s so much you can do to heal that doesn’t involve your former partner.
I hope the strength needed to do so finds you with ease.
This post was previously published on medium.com.
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Photo credit: Antony BEC on Unsplash