Advice: Can You Imagine Getting More Than You Think You Deserve?


I don’t even really know where to begin.
I’m having a really hard time letting go of an ex-boyfriend. I feel so broken.

When my ex and I started “dating”, we sort of “decided” on each other really quickly, fell really hard and fast, and then tried to scramble and put all the the pieces together.  We told ourselves and other people that it was romantic, true love.  I totally bought into it, anyways.  So, I didn’t really react appropriately to the fact that he smoked pot multiple times a day.   And the first few fights that we had where he walked out on me mid-sentence weren’t enough for me to close the door.  I did my best to pave over disrespect and questionable behaviour in my desperation to maintain my ex’s status as my “One”. 
We moved in together. Immediately I noticed that there were money issues from his end. The drug use continued, and I participated as well. Over the next few months, it was an up and down ride.  When we weren’t fighting or trying to “work on” stuff, we were blissfully happy, romantic, passionate.  It was such a rollercoaster. After a few months of this,  I began to realize that this was really messed up.

Finally after a couple of months of this, I finally ended it, packed up my shit and went travelling. When I returned home, right on cue, my ex emailed me. He’s been sober for a week and he’s sorry, he misses me more than anything.

I don’t know how everything became so ugly.  I don’t know why I stayed for as long as I did.  That’s the thing – it’s not just about what he “did to me”, but what I let him do.  I made myself a victim to this craziness. It’s not the first time I’ve mourned a guy who’s treated me so badly that sometimes I’ve questioned exactly how much I even want to keep on living.  And so I’m really, really scared.  I’m scared that this is what I “do”. I’m irritated, because time has passed since this last breakup; I got rid of most physical stuff associated with him and us; I put an ocean between us for a good chunk of time. And yet, just an email from him sent me spinning again into all of this, questioning myself, questioning my judgment.  Questioning if I’ve somehow missed out on The One…

P.S. This is my favourite excerpt from a very well known poem.

“You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves…”
~Mary Oliver

You don’t have to be perfect or together to find a good love. You just have to let go of the bad love like your life depends on it…because it does.

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  1. says

    I adore you.
    Is that too forward for my first comment here?!
    Thank you. More than a few times I have found exactly the solace/kick in the booty I needed here.

  2. Bliss says

    Thanks so much for this.
    I have been hanging on to my husband for an embarrassingly long period of time after discovering his ongoing 2 year affair with a coworker (who knew me and our kids and was sweet as pie to our faces- what a fine person). His actions/choices continue to disrespect, disregard and hurt me, yet I can’t let go all the way and take the final step to divorce him. He has taken no steps towards divorce.
    He would prefer to continue using me as the stable, grounded person in his life that he can count on but also keep his side dish fuck for crazy unpredictability and drama.
    I know logically that I should run and never look back, but 18 years of history, two kids, his trauma issues and him continuing to feed my hopes has paralyzed me into inaction. He pulls me close then pushes me back away- over and over.

    I really, really need to imagine getting more than I think I deserve. I haven’t had consistent reciprocity in this relationship for a long time, and hearing about your new office was wonderful. I’ve had that before- I long for that again, after so many years of accepting crumbs I’ve come to be grateful for crumbs. That needs to stop. I want the whole loaf. Thank you for pushing me to start acting like I do.

    • Emelia Symington Fedy says

      …this makes me think of something. I remember someone telling me in my throes of heartbreak once…”you have to want to heal yourself and be alone more than you want to be in pain with him.” I found this really helpful. I believe you will extracate yourself from this, but be gentle, 18 years is a long time and it makes sense it feels impossible to take that leap. I’m so sorry for your pain.

  3. Chelsea Cartwright says

    I’m starting to feel like a groupie … ! Thanks again (don’t ask why I’m up at 4:42 am !) But since I am, I am so glad I watched this. Your eyes say it all ~ you have what you need. Something about the way your face has weathered some life, but it’s still RELAXED ~ whoa, dude. Yup. Your eyes have a steadiness. A steady glow. Luminous aliveness ! If a relationship doesn’t bring that look into my eyes, compost ! Done. Fine. Except that we are raising a son together, so we will always be relating . . . This is like the Master Class in honest assessment under stress, good boundaries and clarity of direction. (Honest assessment might be: I am constantly sleep deprived and I will not rely on my interpretations of events at this time. Proceed with caution.) I like this: ”you have to want to heal yourself and be alone more than you want to be in pain with him.” Very good. I’m getting there ! I think next time I see him I will quietly repeat, “Whole loaf. Whole loaf. Whole loaf” under my breath.

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