Note: I’ve used the “he” pronoun in this piece, but feel free to switch it to “she” or “they” as it applies…
Twenty years ago, it was a whole lot easier to get over your ex. The reason? No social media. The only way you’d know if he was dating again was if you physically stalked him, or your friends told you. But even then you only had your imagination to fill in the details. He’s dating that slut, Barbara? Well she can have him! You and your friends could then play pretend about everything your ex was supposedly doing or not doing, while drunk dialing his house and hanging up before he knew it was you. Or your best friend could egg his car, which somehow always made your hangover the next day worth it.
Back in the day, we had the space to get over our ex because once inside the privacy of our home we could hide away and nurse our wounds until the day came when we were ready to leave our cocoon and face the light again.
Today, however, with our never-ending option of the Internet, we have no such privilege. If we’re not careful, any healing and recovery we’re attempting is immediately thwarted by Facebook tempting us at every level to just take a peek at what our ex is up to. What could be the harm, right? After all, you don’t want him anymore, so how could one little glimpse at what he’s up to hurt?
This is *in Julia Roberts’ Pretty Woman voice* a big mistake. Big. Huge.
Here’s why: If we want to get rid of our emotional attachment to our ex and truly move on into the next phase of our life, then we must close all those doors that might lead us into that dangerous territory of Can you fucking believe him? And Well la-dee-fucking-da he seems to have moved on quickly! Seriously, can you think of nothing else to help you heal than become a masochist who enjoys inflicting further pain on yourself after you’ve already experienced so much?
When I left my ex and union of sixteen years behind, the very first thing I did was unfriend him on Facebook. I knew that I had a lot of healing in front of me and I wouldn’t be able to sufficiently move forward if I were constantly dragged back into the pain by posts of how great he was doing…or who.
Naturally, I knew that this was all a front and these types of people who purposely flaunt their so-called awesome “new life” on social media is a desperate attempt to cover up their own insecurities and get attention. Still, I didn’t want any part of it. After all, I already had enough pain to deal with, such as the fact that my abusive ex was messing around with teenage girls while we were married (don’t worry, they were of legal age, as if that makes it any less disgusting). Once I left him because of this, I didn’t want any updates on how he was furthering those relationships. I didn’t need to see who was living in the house we had built together for our family. I didn’t want to know which adolescent Goldilocks was sleeping in my bed. And I definitely wasn’t prepared to see how easily I had been replaced, at the age of 45, by a 20-year-old girl.
Thank you very much, but no. I had a lot of healing and recovering to do. And I had a new life to build after having my old one shattered without my consent. So I knew that after leaving everything behind and moving to a new state to start all over again, for the time during my recovery I needed to get rid of any temptations to go back to the past.
Also, considering Facebook had granted me the anonymity and space to reach out to others and find support in private groups and messages, I also needed to put up that wall in order to keep the bad guys out considering how much time I was spending on it for self-care. After unfriending my ex, I also unfollowed every single person that I knew from the town I lived in. This way I wouldn’t have to see random posts pop up on my feed that may or may not have included snippets of my ex’s shenanigans. At the time, I couldn’t even handle seeing a picture of his face since it reminded me of how I had been duped into believing he was a good man and that I was safe in his hands. In the beginning of my recovery, I didn’t even look at the weather in my old town, so determined was I to make a clean break of where I had come from and where I was going to.
One commonality with all the women I’ve worked with over the years is their attachment to keeping up with what their ex is up to and using Facebook to do it. Call it stalking or spying on or, quite simply, a way to subconsciously thwart the effort to fully recover. However you want to frame it, the fact is that nothing good will ever come by hanging on to what hurt you in the past. Did he cheat on you? Then why on earth would you want to find out that right after you left him he went public with his mistress? Did he tell you that you were his soul mate and would die without you, but then a month after your divorce he got remarried? How do you think looking at his Facebook photos of his new bride will benefit you in any way?
Bottom line: If you want to fully recover and heal after a broken relationship, you need to do some serious cleaning up on your social media accounts, starting with making it seem as though he never existed in the first place (at least by Facebook’s standards). This way you can fully concentrate on all the steps necessary for you to move past your pain and suffering and work on rebuilding your life in the light, leaving the darkness far behind you.
Unfriend. Unfollow. And delete all temptations to go backwards to a place you know deep down you don’t want to be. If Facebook happens to catch you off guard at any point (like it has me a couple of times when I run screaming from my computer as though a cockroach just crawled out of it) and sends you a list of People You May Know where pictures of your ex and that slut Barbara pop up without your permission, take a deep breath, drop a few f-bombs if needed (I find that really helps any situation), and hit the Block button until your finger is sore.
Then it’s time to get on with your healing and using social media to your advantage by adjusting your settings to allow only that which will move you forward visible on your daily feed. Take back control of your life by remembering that you and only you have the power to let in or shut out certain people. And set yourself up for success when scrolling by eliminating all that which threatens to ruin your day.
You can also do as I do and pretend we’re still back in the day and your best friend, without your knowledge, takes care of anything that threatens to disrupt your path forward. “Your car was egged, you say?”
Hmm, but I didn’t see that in my feed.
And just like that, you’ve saved your own day by using the power of social media to move you one more step toward that pop-up free life that you so deserve.
[Disclaimer: The use of the name “Barbara” was simply for dramatic purposes. I sincerely apologize to anyone with this name who is a good person and would never be party to fucking up someone else’s marriage][Disclaimer: As any woman who’s been cheated on knows, it’s not Barbara’s fault that a man is led astray. Only dogs need to be on a leash. So you’re better off letting that one run away and close the gate before he tries to come back.Reminder: switching genders and pronouns is encouraged to suit your story
This post was previously published on www.psiloveyou.xyz and is republished here with permission from the author.
What’s your take? Comment below or write a response and submit to us your own point of view or reaction here at the red box, below, which links to our submissions portal.
If you believe in the work we are doing here at The Good Men Project, please join us as a Premium Member, today.
All Premium Members get to view The Good Men Project with NO ADS.
A $50 annual membership gives you an all-access pass. You can be a part of every call, group, class, and community.
A $25 annual membership gives you access to one class, one Social Interest group, and our online communities.
A $12 annual membership gives you access to our Friday calls with the publisher, our online community.
Register New Account
Need more info? A complete list of benefits is here.
Image ID: 1429628531
Photo credit: Istockphoto.com