I feel shallow and miserable because my ex cheated on me

My ex cheated on me about 9 months ago. There were clear signs and I looked passed those cause I trusted him. But he confessed to having feelings for someone else when I was at my worst.

He emotionally harassed me weekly with (March to May) “I hate you”, “we are growing distant” and “I miss you” texts, all while my mother was admitted to the hospital. He made no effort from his side to comfort or support me during that phase and all along those three months he was sleeping with a mutual friend of ours. We eventually grew distant over the months and finally, in the month of June, he texted me about his infidelity at my still fragile mental health state I agreed to stay friends with him cause I was trying to hold onto something in my life to prove I had consistency and stability. But over the months following the confession (June to Nov), I realized how humiliating and taxing it was for my mental health and I stopped communicating completely as well as avoiding him as much as possible.

For the past two months I have been getting texts from him asking me “what’s wrong?” and “Why are you avoiding me?”. I have made it clear I don’t have the time, energy or wish to communicate with him. As a matter of fact, I want this whole thing to dissipate completely without dialogue. But his texting me again is bringing back those hurtful feelings all over again. Making me feel guilty and miserable for not communicating when I shouldn’t even feel so. I am just looking after my mental well-being. I don’t know what to do. I want to get past this completely. It’s been 9 whole months already.

I am planning to move out of this country. I am making efforts to get a master’s degree abroad. I want to get out of my city. Everything that was good about it has turned sour. I feel suffocated and I cannot go on like this.

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I’m so sorry for all the pain you went through while your mom was unwell. He sounds like a pretty selfish person, and that he sort of gets a kick out of emotionally harassing you. It may be time to block his number to prepare yourself for a future that’s brighter and free from his memories. Keep moving forward, you deserve to be happy and feel peaceful, friend.

Ugh that is rough.

I believe people want to “remain friends” after breakups for a couple reasons: The one who ended it doesn’t want to feel guilty and wants the other to still like them, while the one who was broken up with holds onto a shadow of the relationship rather than break off into alone-ness and instability. Both are reflexive efforts to save each partner from hurt.

You are not weak for having wanted to say friends with him. I admire the self-awareness you have that you did it to hold onto a semblance of stability. Most people don’t have that awareness. I know I didn’t.

You are not a bad person for avoiding his texts–you are strong for setting boundaries so your open wounds can start healing. He feels bad now because he wants you to like him. He wants the burden of having hurt you to be cushioned by the idea that you don’t hate him for it, and as you pull away he will be left to face his unfiltered guilt. As @Sita said, it may be time to block his number so he doesn’t continue to pull the scabs off your wounds. I know firsthand that 1. blocking a number feels like a drastic step that you may feel is more harsh than he deserves, 2. it’s agonizing to cut the lifeline to him and decisively signify that it’s over; but like knocking out a rotting tooth, when the sharp blow subsides, you will begin to heal, and the ache you had been living with will go away.

Your thoughts at this point are incredibly rational. You went through a normal, maybe healthy breakup and grieving process (denial, anger, bargaining). I know you’re hurting now. I’ve been there, and it was awful. Remember that your story isn’t over, it is still being written. Starting over in a new country will cut ties to this chapter of your life, and will bring the hope of new possibilities. It’s okay to grieve as long as you need to, even in a new place, but you are tangibly moving on. In the meantime, we’re here for you. Hold fast :hrtlegolove:

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Your reassurance is a humungous help. I hope you understand how much this helped me. Thank you truly. I hope you are doing well. Thank you again :slight_smile:

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Hi monty,
this sounds like a really draining situation. I am sorry you went through all this and are still going through it.
I am glad that you have decided for yourself that stopping communicating with your ex is the right step. Even after everything he has done he doesn’t even have the guts to tell you in person but rather through a text. I don’t believe you need to hold on to him to prove to yourself that you have stability in your life. If anything, it seems to me that he makes your life more turbulent and unstable right now. Please, please don’t feel guilty, it is your absolute right to cut ties with anybody who is unhealthy for you, who shows toxic behaviour and seems to be manipulating you. He doesn’t seem to understand at all what he has done wrong and how much he hurt you. Your plans for the future sound promising and healthy for you. It is your choice to end this without dialogue, you don’t owe him anything. If you block him for example, you don’t even have to read his messages anymore and feel guilty for not replying. I know it hurts and takes time to get through this, but you are taking good care of yourself and recognised in time what is good for you.
Thank you so much for opening up about this, this is a safe space, and you are loved. :hrtlegolove:
I wish you all the best for the future, no matter where you move, I wish you all the strength you need to take your life into a new healthy direction. Stay strong!

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Hey Friend,

I’m terribly sorry to hear that you’ve had to experience this in the first place and then carry the emotional pain all these months - I’ve been there and seriously feel for you. For context, my wife cheated on me with a mutual friend of ours, manipulated and emotionally abused me, as well as a multitude of other things. This happened two years ago, but here’s what I’ve learned in that time.

  1. the emotional harassment is incredibly toxic. Like huge red flag. There’s a multitude of reasons why he’s doing this, but the majority of those reasons are liked to insecurity. My ex was a DSM 5 (mental health diagnostic manual) Narcissist and did the exact same thing…during moments when I really needed support much like what you experienced.

  2. I totally understand why you’ve kept lines of communication open with him - You shared a number of experiences and time together and you grew together in some way - The connection is what you miss. It’s okay, but it’s important to understand why you needed this, what was the purpose, how did it serve your well being, does it make you happy, etc? asking yourself these questions can help you better understand what it is your feeling emotionally and ultimately help you become a stronger, more aware person for any future scenario like this.

  3. It will take a long time to get over a loved one’s betrayal… so many layers to this. If you can, when you feel emotions associated with this topic, try to spend time with them to understand what emotions they are, and then identify how you can work to move that emotional energy into something that makes you uplifted. Transmuting emotional energy into something is a powerful way to get yourself moving onto important goals for yourself.

  4. Block his number, his facebook, his instagram, his everything and work to move on. It will be hard, but it will be for the better. “What’s in the way is the way.” Do this until you think you’re ready to be able to think of him without an emotional reaction. Then you can work on what the next right thing is from there.

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