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How I Finally Let Go Of My Ex – The Last Step

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When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves. – Viktor E. Frankl

Many years ago, I was on the road to meet a friend who lived in a town quite far away. This happened approximately a year and a half after my life-changing break-up.

I was OK back then. I was essentially over my Ex. I had accepted the fact that it was over and I knew we wouldn’t get back together again. I was already in another relationship, and yes she came to my mind now and then, but I was able to handle it.

Again, I was OK.

Or so I thought.

What happened on that long lonesome trip threw me off my path so completely that I would never have believed it was possible.

But on the other hand, it was a blessing because it was the last step I had to take to completely get over her and finally let go of her.

What happened?

It all started with a song.

Now I know what you think – not an “our song” kind of song. It was something completely different.

The radio played an unfamiliar song that touched me on such a deep level that I never thought was possible. The lyrics and the melody knocked me out completely.

This song brutally brought to my mind what I once had, and what I was missing so dearly for such a long time, even though I was already in another relationship.

It was there all the time, close to the surface, waiting to push through.

I pulled my car over and started to weep like a small child for over 30 minutes.

After I composed myself again, I couldn’t believe what had happened. Wasn’t I over her? How come I lost it so easy?

Please read on.

The Last Resistance

While you move through all the phases of break-up recovery, with every step you bring yourself closer to the ultimate goal or “the big indifference” as I call it.

“The big indifference” is something you need in order to say you are truly “over your Ex”.

Because one fact that remains is that you’re NOT over your Ex and you haven’t let go until you can stand in front of them, talk to them and feel NOTHING. Just a distant memory of a once held emotion. (I know that this seems impossible for you today, but ultimately this will happen).

But before you reach that goal, there is one big bump on the road – the one I was facing at that time, triggered by a simple love song.

What happened that day was that in spite of being over her, I just hadn’t “let go of her” yet.

Where is the difference?

I went through all the phases. I followed the No-Contact Rule. I suffered through the “emotional roller-coaster”. I consciously accepted the fact that we were not together and would never be again. I re-discovered myself and learned to live alone. I found a life-goal, loved myself and found a wonderful girl who I started a relationship with.

And after all that, I still broke down hearing a silly, cheesy song?

A Powerful Belief

My problem was that in my head there was this mathematical equation I had set up so long ago. It was simple but effective and still held power over me.

It looked like this:

[happiness] = [Ex's Name]

and

no [Ex's Name] = no [happiness]

A simple belief that was so powerful that it made me break down after 1 1/2 years of breakup recovery. It was there from the beginning without me even realizing it. Lurking, waiting to come out in the open.

Never underestimate the power of a single belief.

Now that I knew what went wrong, what held me back all this time, I could approach that problem directly.

I did that in two ways.

How To Finally Let Go Of Your Ex

I knew how powerful affirmations are. I used them heavily in the acceptance-phase, so I was certain that they would help me also with this problem.

Affirmations are the best way to change false beliefs, (break-up recovery essentially boils down to one thing – changing a set of powerful beliefs).

So I came up with this one:

“I let go of [Ex's Name] with love and clear myself of chains to the past to make way for new love to enter my life”

Applied as usual: 3 times a day, 25 times in front of a mirror and one time in writing.

Let me tell you – it worked WONDERS.

After only 14 days, I felt a huge relief, as if a heavy weight I didn’t even knew existed was being lifted from my shoulders. The invisible blockade that was lingering in my newly formed relationship was removed so it started to thrive, and an overall well-being flooded my soul.

That was it. Mission accomplished?

Not yet. One last thing to do.

Remember? The “big indifference”.

Well that turned out very unexpectedly.

3 weeks after that road-trip-incident, I received a strange letter. It was an invitation to a wedding.

You guessed right.

The Final Pedestal-Test

My Ex was about to get married, and she invited ME to it.

I don’t have to tell you how I felt at that moment. I mean, even after 1 1/2 years it still was a huge shock. I knew that she had a new boyfriend, but she was getting married?

As much as I was shocked about this I knew that this was THE opportunity to test whether I had reached the “top” of my break-up recovery journey.

So I decided to go.

But I can tell you, to say I was anxious about it is an understatement. I was terrified. But I realized how important this could be for me.

The day of the wedding celebration approached and in my mind I was there a thousand times already. I knew what I planned to do. I would react as if nothing ever happened, putting on a big smile, but I still had that lingering fear of suffering a meltdown like what had occurred on that road.

Luckily it turned out differently.

Fast forward to the wedding celebration, entering the ballroom, seeing her for the first time after 12 months and I felt NOTHING.

Absolutely NOTHING. Like I was looking at a complete stranger.

She seemed to be more afraid of it than I was, because she completely avoided eye-contact at all costs.

At that time, I was in great shape, in fact the best shape of my life. I was confident, cocky, well dressed. In short – I was a catch.

At first I thought, “[her name] look what you are missing out on and look what a jerk you have standing next to you”, and I really smiled thinking this.

But then it shifted.

Suddenly I started to care less and less about what she was thinking of me. I was just in the now, enjoying the moment.

It was as if I suddenly got a good portion of power back that I was missing for so long. Slowly I started to feel free again. Really free.

So I went up to them and everybody was staring at me wondering what I would do, (most of the guests knew my former relationship to the bride).

I stood in front of them in that super cool black suit I wore and I heartily congratulated them both on their wedding. I wished them all the best for their forthcoming life together, and went back to my table. Full of confidence, pride and power.

I never felt better in my life than I did that day.

I had people coming up to me congratulating me for what I did and for the way I did it.

It was a complete victory.

It was the day I finally let go of my Ex and started a new life.

How To Take The Last Step of Getting Over Your Ex

Now, I don’t recommend doing what I did back then as a test whether you are over your Ex or not. The implications could be disastrous. At the beginning of your break-up recovery journey, it is advisable to respectfully decline invitations like the one I got.

Whether it’s time or not to face your Ex solely depends on your progress in your recovery. Do it at the beginning, and you will crash and burn. Instead, do it when you:

  • have accepted the fact that you’re no longer together
  • do not want them back
  • have gone through the emotional roller-coaster
  • basically feel alright

and you will profit from it.

For me, it was 1 1/2 years after the break-up, which was actually rather late. It took me a while to figure out how you can speed up the recovery process substantially.

For me, it was exactly the right time for what I needed to do. If I hadn’t, my recovery most certainly would have gone on much longer.

So what is letting go?

It is a conscious process of discarding the belief that only your Ex holds the key to your happiness. It is the final step you need to take before you can say that you are over your Ex, and you are ready to start a new relationship.

But what if your Ex is not available for confrontation?

Then we must take hold of different measures.

The Desensitization Method

There is a technique where you consciously expose yourself to your memories with your Ex in order to “desensitize”. You do this for one hour by going through your pictures, videos and stored memories.

The most important thing here is to really dig deep, and to completely allow yourself to get into it. Get emotional, cry if you have to. Continue despite the pain you feel, and do this until you feel numb.

It’s basically the same as confronting your Ex, only “virtually”.

After you’ve done this you will feel exhausted and completely numb and indifferent. Good. This means it worked.

But again, only do this if you fit the preconditions I’ve listed above! Otherwise it will throw you miles back. Trust me.

Conclusion

If your break-up was longer than one year ago and you have gone through the main phases of break-up recovery – and you generally feel OK, but still feel there is something holding you back, then I recommend taking this “last step”.

I get many emails from readers asking the same thing. They cannot believe that after that much time, they still suffer:

I do wonder though, why after a full year, I’m still thinking about him as much as I do. I worry that I cannot move on fully.

The reason for this is, in most cases, an unrealistic over-idealization of the Ex.

Consciously letting go means saying goodbye to that limiting belief that only your Ex means happiness and no one else.

I did that back then and it almost instantly improved my life, my relationship, and my view to life.

I am sure you can too.

Your friend,
Eddie

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79 Responses to How I Finally Let Go Of My Ex – The Last Step

  1. Gail August 6, 2013 at 7:14 am #

    Great Advice – Very Heartfelt
    I was married for 17 years & 2 kids and it took me along time to get over my X.
    He was a great guy everyone best mate – but what I thought we had together wasn’t as strong as I thought.
    After 30 he decided he wanted to retire early – and refused to work. We ended up job swapping and he played golf everyday and drank and I went to work.
    I ran a poor 2nd to Golf and drinking & ended up being Mum and Dad to the kids so they didnt miss out.
    It took me 8 years to say I’d had enough.
    Come Sunday morning: If you want me you know where I am on the golf course.
    I felt like a “Big Nothing” He never spent anytime with me, I never received compliments and I sadly I felt like I did not matter anymore.
    When I said I couldnt do this anymore he went and got drunk for 3 months.
    I told him and wanted him to say – No matter what it takes I wont give up you and the kids.
    Sadly that never happened – he just moved on with his life and is now married to the woman he used to drink with at the golf club.
    He then starting doing all the things I asked for and wanted for us with her and her son.
    It took me along time to get over it as it was just re-enforced more that I was worth nothing and I was easily replaced.
    It was like if your a Man you don’t have to put the effort with your wife and kids coz you can just move on with another.
    I felt very used and abused for a long-time

  2. Sue August 21, 2013 at 6:31 am #

    I know I am not even close to letting my ex go psychologically. I am only on day 12 of NC but I know it is my goal to let him go. After 10 years of marriage he left me. We had problems, many of which was his immaturity. He was younger but I am learning men can be idiots at any age.

    I need to be free of him emotionally because it’s killing me. Good news is I’ve had more good days lately than bad days. I still have a long road. I love Eddie’s story because it gives me hope. This website has been my saving grace. We certainly have something better in store for us once we drop this luggage.

  3. Monica October 4, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

    Hi Eddie,
    I am 3 weeks away from the final test of seeing my ex for the first time after the break up. It’s been over a year since I last saw him, was devastated after he dumped me for someone else and your ebook helped me find my way back. I feel stronger and happier than ever. Got a promotion, moved, started doing the things I always wanted, even started a new healthy relationship with a nice man who treats me very well. I could say I am over my ex.
    One of his friends contacted me a few months ago to tell me he is a bad apple and better off without him. He took advantage of his friends too, cheated on all the girls he dated since, even beat them, got one pregnant and left her stranded in a foreign country…

    His friend emailed me again to warn me that he had been transferred to the place where I will be at for 5 weeks from november. He doesn’t know I will be there.

    For the first time in months I looked up my ex and found a few recent work videos. I just wanted to see how I feel, like you say to desensitize. Well… first reaction was… he looks great… lost weight…but didn’t manage to watch the whole thing…, I felt bored…. I will do another proper sesion of desensitizing closer to the date just to make sure.

    But I don’t really know what to do.
    1. Avoid him completely? Don’t really want to keep looking after my shoulder to see if he’s in the right side of the room for me to go left…
    2. Go find him as soon as possible and say hi, I am here too. No hard feelings. We’re cool and then carry on as normal, like he’s just an acquintance.
    3. Leave it to chance. If we meet say hi, but that’s all. Don’t actually approach him. Don’t know if he’d be violent towards me too.

    I would appreciate any sort of advice.

    M :)

  4. Cammy January 19, 2014 at 9:15 pm #

    My heart was so broken n hurt I thought I was having a heart attack n now I still get pains In my heart over a year but the relationship was a distant one towards the end so it was the emotional dependency n shock of his emotional infidelity n shiftyness not necessarily unfaithful in the bedroom that shocked me…why do I still get days when I feel utterly drained and preoccupied but thoughts of my ex!? I miss his help and support but it sucks that he is still close to his ex who expected him to lie to me to protect her drug problems and said he was like a dad to her when he was someone else’s man…privileges should stop with exes when a new woman comes into a mans life…I would not expect an ex of mine to drop everything for me n upset his new woman and risk damaging their relationship…no thanks who enjoys doing things like that? I want a man who is happy to make boundaries as clear as they can be to avoid hurting or upsetting me instead of worrying about exes…who he kept secret n I found out after 4 1/2 years!! I was shocked! I said I deserve better…he agreed so he knew he’d been out of order…so many things he was doing behind my back I had no idea until he got caught out joining fb n an email proved it n he shouted at me that it was ,want to be private lol there were two girls on his friends list n he had not even tried looking for me! Thanks for proving what your priorities are lol I just wish I could let go of his caring side as we had a strong connection HE actually stated…I wish I could meet someone special n kiss n forget the whole past relationship n move on big time but I have struggled…it sucks it really sucks

  5. gg March 7, 2014 at 9:16 pm #

    Thank for publishing this. This has helped put my mind back into perspective and see things as they are suppose to be again not how they used to be. amazing

  6. Angélique April 4, 2014 at 3:07 am #

    Absolutely brilliant. I just woke up feeling incredibly down and anxious. I read your article which really explains so well what I am going through. I need to experience the final desensitisation stage or my life will not improve and I will never experience possible happiness in another relationship.
    Thank you

  7. Mayla June 10, 2014 at 1:49 am #

    Well, i came across this to find out why the one im in love with now is not capable of moving on, and its the same case, after 2 years of break up, he still is stuck in the past..
    they were together for almost 8 years, he was willing to leave everything for her as he told me him when we were just friends, and she was the world for him.
    and when she broke up with him, months or a year later, she got engaged and is planning to get married, they do not communicate..
    but he is stuck in this past that he’s not letting go with me,
    his happiness is with her, and it ended there he says.
    Like he reached a peak of happiness with here, that anything after that would be happiness but not at that level.
    It hurts to hear and know that,
    i feel helpless sometimes, and not strong enough to carry on from there..
    but im still there, he says he loves me and all..and im the closest someone that ever reached this level after her, cause he dated few girls after the breakup.
    I still didnt win him,or win his heart..
    he knows that the past is past.he accepted it ended..
    he meditated.. and did all of that, but what’s written in the article is quite amazing, about ex’s name = happiness.. tht was the missing piece that i cldnt understand..
    but i still dont know what i can do to fix that.. knowing he won’t be able or willing to get that

  8. T June 22, 2014 at 4:23 am #

    fall in love but never ever give your heart away to someone, when you put the other person on a pedestal you will get hurt when they prove they are not worthy… I have moved on from some of the hardest relationships and with each ending I have become wiser and stronger. After 20 years of being on this love journey…I still have no regrets and I always forgive those who have hurt me as well as I hope I am forgiven to those I have hurt.

  9. Izabella July 22, 2014 at 6:34 am #

    Thank YOU Very Much! This article definitely was a wake up call and a great tool to finish off with my pseudo hopes and expectations. Your line: “I let go of [Ex's Name] with love and clear myself of chains to the past to make way for new love to enter my life” truly reach out to me. An equation statement ex= happiness no longer true in my mind. I forgive and forget.This mini death experience made me a new person. I feel much stringer and I started actually living and appreciate Life.

  10. JusB July 27, 2014 at 3:29 am #

    Finding this post came just at the right time. My ex and I broke up four years ago, and for the first two years, I established NC and thought that what I was feeling was the indifference I needed to get over him. What it was, in fact, was raw, heartfelt hatred and rage — not only for him, but towards myself for not being strong enough to read the signs that we would never work out.

    For these last two years, we’ve attempted a bit of a friendship — and it might have worked had my ex, now married for three years, hadn’t all but begged to know if I still loved and wanted him. He has no intention of leaving his wife — and despite my still caring about him, I don’t want him back. The mind games he played originally, whether he realized he was doing it, nearly broke me. I never want to experience that pain again.

    I’m reaching an interesting crossroads where I can almost FEEL the real man of my dreams coming my way, and I want to be totally ready to accept him. I’m going to take your affirmation (if you don’t mind :P) and use it at the recommended frequency. I know that I (and everybody) deserves to have true, requited love, and this would be such a welcome miracle if it works. Thank you again for sharing your story.

  11. cheryl August 26, 2014 at 7:45 pm #

    Im meeting my ex husband tonight. Im glad I came across this artical. I was with him for 6 years on and off. He cheated, lied, faked cancer, several times and i went back each time. I was in love with him. I believed he was my happiness.

    I finally left and divorced him. But still held on to the fact that we would still be together and that he could change. I know deep in my heart that he want. I know he loves me in his own way. again I have started a new relationship with a most amazing man, but i still think of my ex daily. I will use this method and I just want to move on and let him go. I have forgave him and h knows I could never truly trust him again.

    I am a surviour! I know i can laugh again the way i did with him. I put him on a pedistal.. He says he will do anyting for me and that he still loves me.. but i want closure and i want him to know he lost a good thing…

    I have a story to tell and i want other women out there to know the signs for a nartisitc personality. one day I will write the story.

    thanks for the information
    Cheryl

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