Dealing with breakup

Ex-Boyfriends Are There To Remind You How Much You’ve Evolved


Sometimes it’s hard to accept the fact that every experience in our life has a place and meaning, especially when it comes to heartbreaks.

Romantic feelings are a very sensitive subject and there’s no denying that they affect our life significantly.

When it comes to romantic relationships, the highs can be really high but that also means that the lows are really low too.

They can make or break your life in seconds.

However, it’s true that every cloud has a silver lining but we need time to see it.

The same goes for your ex. You might think of him with anger and bitterness in your heart but as time goes by, you’ll realize the lesson he brought into your life and you’ll be thankful in some way.

You don’t have to be thankful to him as a person per se but for an experience that made you a stronger and better person.

Moreover, you can follow your own personal progress based on the lessons your ex taught you, intentionally or not.

Maybe you have a hard time seeing the good things in such painful and confusing experiences.

That’s why I want to share what I have learned and hope you’ll recognize some of these things in your own experience.

woman working at home drinking coffee sitting relaxly at her chair

The first thing I learned from my ex is that sometimes people hurt you without intent to do so. Yes, that’s possible and very frequent.

Now, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t face any consequences but it’s easier to understand what they’ve done when you think of it from another perspective.

Every one of us has a different understanding of the same things and sometimes that means that one person will end up hurt over something that another person doesn’t find important at all.

This helped me evolve into a more understanding and mature person who steps back and thinks before taking everything personally.

The second very important thing I learned is to recognize abuse in all of its forms.

When we think of abuse, we usually have a mental picture of physical abuse but that’s not the only way toxic people damage others.

There are more subtle ways of abuse, such as mental abuse, which also comes in all varieties: name-calling, passive-aggressive behavior, restrictive behavior, gaslighting and more.

However terrible my experience was, it taught me to stand up for myself and realize my own power.

I learned not to sacrifice my own well-being to mend something that’s not worth it. Nothing that constantly brings you down is worth it.

As soon as I implemented that simple formula in my life, it got better. I would never have realized that so clearly if it wasn’t for my unfortunate ex.

woman holding a cup of coffee thinking deeply and wearing athletic wear sitting outdoors

The third thing I learned is that you always have to be yourself and live your own life, have your own hobbies and friends, no matter your relationship status.

The worst thing you can do is lose yourself in a relationship and in the end become miserable in it for the same reason.

No man has a right to restrict your needs or expression because of his own fears and no love is love if you can’t be who you are in it.

Ironically, giving myself to another person ultimately taught me that I need to get back to myself and embrace myself first.

Only you can truly heal yourself and through healing comes growth and personal evolution.

Finally, I understood that all my relationships were a reflection of how I saw myself in that period of life and that says a lot.

There’s a quote by Stephen Chbosky saying that we accept the love we think we deserve and I agree with that.

That’s what made me revisit my relationship with myself and realize that every relationship is a chance to learn about myself because all the things we miss in ourself become exaggerated once we’re in a relationship.

Take a look back at all your relationships and see how far you come, how things trigger you less and how happier you feel in your own skin.

The more you become aware of your own growth, the more you’ll realize how strangely thankful you are for your life and all the people you met along the way, no matter the pain, because pain is something that can transform and evolve just like you.


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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