I Want My Ex Back - Part 2 - The Why

Break-ups don’t happen by accident. They happen because something is not working for one or both partners and whether or not you can see what that was, it had to happen. I know it hurts a lot when you’re on the receiving end and you don’t KNOW what wasn’t working – but despite how it feels, it’s not about you. Some factor was not in alignment and this is the result of that – your job is to figure out what that was and milk this for all the learning you can get – for the good of your future. Change needs to be made – and that’s a great opportunity! That might be something in you, your partner, or the way both of you related to one another that hit a breaking point. Sometimes things just need a hard reset button. Looking for part 1? Here it is.

If this feels like it came out of nowhere, search for what – if anything, was in your blind-spot – ask why that was a blind-spot. Breakups are truly great opportunities in that they are teachers. They can illuminate change that needs to be made and imbalance that needs to be reset. So if you were kept in the dark, maybe that’s something you should reflect upon – as far as what you missed, that could have told you something. But above all, if you were broken up with, know that there’s nothing unlovable about you.  People make decisions based on their own issues and this has everything to do with whatever they’re going through. Sometimes personal crap comes up seemingly out of where – it could be something in their life stage that forced a shift.  It could be something they didn’t confront about their own feelings that now is coming out at you.  If it’s mystifying to you, let it go for now and focus on yourself. The only important fact for you to know is: it has nothing to do with your worth. What someone else does is solely related to where THEY are in their life, DESPITE you. So you can be grateful that you are existing in the truth of things vs. living unawares. You deserve to have someone who is on the same page as you so that you can continue to thrive in the relationship. I know it’s hard to actually feel that way – and not take things personally, but truly – you cannot control what others do or how they feel. A lot of people hit really random stages where their ish comes out and they act out based on old milestones unbeknownst to them. And a lot of what motivates acting without compassion is fear and deep insecurity. Your view of yourself creates your view of the world. For example, if you feel fat and ugly, you might not be into the idea of sex: it’s because of how YOU feel – not what your partner looks like. Additionally, if you feel reliant on status symbols to know you’re a valuable person, you will grasp for external identifiers.

If they don’t miss you or call you and you miss them, know that break-ups are a billion times more painful when it’s out of your control. I have brought this up before but I’ll repeat it – when two rats were given shocks, the one who could control the shocks did fine, the other fell apart. And that’s because your fight or flight system cannot tolerate random pain. It causes you to be traumatized. So you’re dealing with a lot of the trauma that makes this more painful, but that is not related to your ex. The sympathetic nervous system is activated, which is driven by fear and pain – you’re running away from the badness the best way you know how – by focusing on the cause of your pain (your ex) you are attempting to control the pain’s source. This is an attempt to empower yourself. If I can get my ex back, then I can feel comfortable in this pain: it will be in my control and I will know where I am. Additionally, anything new feels bad JUST because it’s new. Human brains crave what is familiar and will choose it regardless of whether or not it’s good. So part of what you long for is just the familiar.

If you were the one who did the breaking – like you mistreated this person and now they left you, so guilt and agony is driving you to want them to come back – then you are fighting a different set of painful factors. When we break things that are important to us, it’s usually coming from a place of fear – but one we are confused by: misalignments in actions and understanding of those actions signal something buried in the unconscious. In my experience it’s usually something old and unrelated that we are giving the wrong label – it’s not that you are a liar and a cheat, it’s that you are trying to make sense of yourself and that is what your behavior shows you. Whether or not you wish this break didn’t happen, it did – and you should honor it by getting to the bottom of what is at play. Because there is a good reason: one that needs your attention. You needed to do some self-work and growth. It could not continue on as it was, this result is showing you something – it’s giving you a key. You must choose to take it. I want you to hold onto that fact and examine what needs to be untangled. If you were not valuing the person while you were in the relationship and maybe you took them for granted, that’s a clue to something in YOU that needs to be unearthed. If you cheated on them and lived a double life, this is also a clue to the self-work you need to do. Whatever your factors are – write them down because they are gold. They provide maps to happiness and love. And you can and should take them with you to your therapist – because this is how you will be able to make a B-line to the “solved” position. Attack it head on and understand yourself! It’s worth so much in the long run of your happiness. This can be a gift in disguise to both you and your partner. I’ll give you a hint – it’s something very old, like little kid age.

My last why -that I want you to journal on- is this. I want to examine WHY you want your ex back. Just write that question at the top of a journal page and leave it open ended. Leave the answer open to things about them, but also to yourself: how has this made you feel? What are the emotions that are coming out of you now – that hurt? This is a key question for anyone listening to answer, because it will give you insight into what is operating you currently.  Usually it’s either fear or pain, both of which are not tied to the quality of the relationship. Is it because they disparaged you? Is it because you crave the familiar? Is it because they were company and you cannot stand being alone? Would COULD be other reasons you are longing for this person? Is loss always very hard for you? Do you feel like a failure because you’re single? Do you feel like you have no worth in the dating marketplace? Was this just “something to focus on” and now you feel like you have nothing?

All of these questions are not to depress you – they are to get you thinking in a different headspace. One of empowerment. I want you to approach yourself and your pain from a “SELF-HACK” perspective vs. a winy victim or “I’m a born asshole” perspective. Right now you are handing the car keys of your self-worth and happiness over to another person, and in that act, you are limiting your access to your own power in this situation to better yourself and become someone more worthy of chasing. So this is a sideways path to getting LOVE back than it is to getting your ex back. But I can guarantee that if you start to empower yourself and use these tools, you will automatically be much closer to getting your ex back than otherwise. The real answer I want you to consider is whether or not that’s truly what is best for you, at least – from the place you’re both at, right now.

Break-ups happen for good reasons. Either something needs to change – dramatically, in a self-work department. OR it wasn’t tight and stable enough to sustain a lifelong commitment that would feed and grow both of you. Because I will tell you right now – the pain of loss is intense, but choose RIGHT if you’re looking for love that lasts. Life is long and commitment is really hard and not sexy most of the time. You need a bond that’s as BULLETPROOF as possible. And that means you both need to start on the same page – all in. If that’s not the case for your partner, honor your own heart and find someone who wants what you want. Your match exists when you decide you’re going to look for them – that part takes a while. Don’t stop and dawdle at the door – walk into the ballroom and interview each person before you settle on a dance partner. Fate rewards those who learn their lessons and commit to what they want. If that’s deep and rewarding love, that is a truth that you must honor.

If you were on the receiving end of what you thought was “your one” I want to say first, I am very sorry. I know how devastating that feels and I want you to know that sometimes this stuff comes out of nowhere and there’s nothing you could have done to predict it. However, it doesn’t mean your life is over or you don’t have a future with happiness and love – it will just be different than what you thought. Right now you must remind yourself that this is not a judgment of you and it doesn’t remove the validity of what was great in your relationship. Time will give you perspective but you must choose to keep moving toward healing of any kind. For now, don’t try to figure them out – assume it’s something that won’t make sense to you for a long time and make this time in your life – about you, and what you need to do to be good to yourself, right now.

Whatever your situation, I want you to journal about your particular “why.” Ask yourself hard questions and consider them even though your pain wants to tell you the same thing over and over again. A lot of what keeps you obsessed with the person who broke your heart is a biological fixation on a threat: your brain is trying to help you to feel safe in your concept of the world, and right now – this one thing doesn’t make sense. So it can become a painful obsession that appears to be all about the relationship. However, getting your ex back will not give you the solution to the pain – it’s in part the most obvious source of control that your brain can identify to stop this terror. Having a relationship shows us proof that we are lovable and doing okay and when they choose to leave us, it feels like we are nothing, after-all. This pain is truly the most excruciating – feeling not good enough, not lovable. But the actions of the other person are not related to your worth – and the way to remedy this feeling is to know your own worth is valuable, regardless of who loves you. And that is because relationships mask a lot of the pain and vulnerability we have inside. They also overlap a lot of other great stuff about our life - and we feel immense longing for "what was previously, us." You were half of what was great in that relationship - and that half is not gone. It will just go through a resetting and rebuilding process, and that's what I want to help you focus on. So to help you best approach this situation from an empowered position – I want to give you some practical steps to take so you can better grow that core of self-love. It will carry you right to the doorstep of love and a healthy relationship.

Part 3 - the tools will be posted next! xo