Dealing with breakup

A Letter To My Ex: Effort Doesn’t Kill


I’m writing you this, not because I miss you like you might think, but rather to save all the women who will be with you after me. I’m writing to you to make sure that you won’t mistreat them like you did with me. I hope that you will be able to learn from your own mistakes and never lose a valuable woman again.

There are certain things that you find to be small and insignificant but to a woman, those ‘little things’ mean the whole world. You aren’t able to see how much we yearn for little signs of affection and appreciation. Let me help you open your eyes, because you aren’t able to do it yourself apparently.

We don’t need you to take the stars down from the sky just to make us feel loved. We don’t need you to lock yourself up in the house to avoid every woman who might flirt with you. Those things are overexaggerations men turn into stereotypes because they always think that we are clingy and needy.

But the truth is, we just want you and a little bit of effort. Just look back at our relationship—I never asked you to climb mountains because of me, nor did I ask you to jump off of bridges. I just asked you to be there for me when I needed you. I asked you if you could help me when my computer was broken and when I was sick, tired and not able to get out of my bed. But you weren’t there for me.

Did I really ask for that much? No. I asked of you what I would ask of a close friend, someone I can rely on. But for some reason, everything was too much for you. Everything was more important than me because I was only an option to you.

Effort doesn’t kill. It wouldn’t have killed you to be there when I needed you. I didn’t ask you to be by my side 24/7 and you still weren’t able to give me even the smallest amount of affection a woman could ask for. I don’t know if you thought that you would die if you tried to make me happy or what; however, you are now left without me.

I left because there was nothing more I could do. I talked to you hundreds of times, always trying to make you understand how important our relationship was to me. I was always the one trying to make it work, trying to make it better. But I didn’t get much out of it, except for disrespect and a broken heart.

Why are you confused? Don’t be. I made it clear so many times that I am not able to count them. I don’t want to be with someone who doesn’t want to make an effort. If you want to make a relationship work, you can’t keep on thinking that she should be the one running around and doing everything to please you while you don’t give a damn.

She should be respected, cherished and loved. If you’re not able to give her everything she requires in order to be happy, then you don’t deserve her.

Someone else will come along and steal her away from you, right in front of your nose. And it’s exactly because of the lack of effort and because of the fact that you are not willing to change. But when she leaves you, you’ll end up in the corner of the room, hugging your knees, asking yourself what you did wrong and you’ll remember this letter. You know you will.

It’s not too hard, I can promise you this. It’s just a few text messages or a call a day. Don’t forget that she exists. I know that you love your friends and I know that you love your job but there are more significant things in your life. You will feel empty without her, just like you do now without me because it’s not just about your career or the football game tonight.

Effort doesn’t kill. I’d like to put this on a billboard so that every man can remind himself that the woman in his life is worthy of all the effort in this world. But she will never go around, asking him for everything he has—that’s the beauty of a woman. She always asks for less than she deserves. You can at least make her happy by giving her the amount of effort that will make her happy.

That’s why you need to be careful. Or you will lose her, just like you lost me. She will realize that you are nothing but selfish and that’s when it will be the end for you. I hope you realize these things before it’s too late.

With love,

The girl you didn’t know how to keep.


Category: Dealing with breakup

Roberta Carroll

My approach is eclectic and holistic with a focus on mindfulness. I have received certifications in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Cognitive Processing Therapy (trauma), among others. I spent over 10 years at the Veteran’s Administration in Louisville, KY, working as a psychotherapist with veterans of all ages and genders on a wide variety of issues. Prior to that my focus was on young adults and their families and older adults dealing with loss. Individuals have met with me for help to address depression and anxiety, grief, trauma and relational issues as well as work-related/everyday stressors. The therapeutic process provides a safe place for the client, in collaboration with their therapist, to process distress, discover areas of “stuckness” and move forward into a life of increased meaning and joy. Accepting our imperfections and practicing self-compassion can be a difficult as well as rewarding process. I have lived and worked in different areas of the country, have come to understand how regional differences affect our outlooks and appreciate the contrasts. I have relished the opportunity to assist clients as they carry the burdens of life. It would be my privilege to hear your story.

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