What Your Ex Left Behind

What Your Ex Left Behind
Photo by Ryan Woodward

ATTENTION: Don’t watch the video below before you’ve read the following article!

One important thing to avoid, when following the so important No-Contact Rule, is to not expose yourself to things that trigger painful memories.

Like, for example, looking at photos of you and your Ex, or listening to your song, (just to name the most disruptive examples).

The danger that we could get caught up in destructive thought patterns, like the “what-if’s” and “if-only’s,” is simply too great. And the longer we ride this “vicious cycle of thoughts,” the harder it is to escape it.

Yet, today I invite you to watch a video that most likely will make you sad.

But unlike engaging in fruitless self-torturing as mentioned above, this one has a message.

A hidden moral that outweighs the damage it could do.

What Your Ex Left Behind

At the beginning of our break-up, we can rarely see the big picture.

All we see and feel is loss, grief, and consumptive loneliness.

In our pain, we fall for a common misunderstanding that is actually responsible for some of our suffering:

We equate the love we felt for our Ex with the person itself.

The truth is that they are, in fact, two separate things.

Our love we felt was directed towards our Ex, but it exists as an autonomous entity. And as a consequence, it is possible to detach the actual feeling of love from your Ex as a person.

What this actually means is that we can profit from the love we felt/feel and use it to fuel our recovery.

I know this sounds weird, but let me give you an example.

The following, beautiful song lyrics illustrate perfectly what I mean when I say that the power of the love you felt for your Ex, outlasts the lifetime of your relationship:

If I never knew you,
if I never felt this love
I would have no inkling of
how precious life can be
And if I never held you,
I would never have a clue
How at last I find in you,
the missing part of me.

– “If I never knew you” from Jon Sedaca

Once we have felt unconditional love towards a person – and it doesn’t matter whether you’ve made mistakes in the actual relationship or not – once you’ve loved, this love doesn’t get lost.

It continues to live inside of you as potential, as a sleeping giant that’s waiting to be awakened.

It is this giant that gives us strength and makes us grow as a person.

The reason that we don’t feel its presence right after a break-up is that the pain overshadows it all.

The minute it subsides, we feel it … and everything is possible again.

Realize one thing – you have loved deeply and honestly.

And that, my friends, is a splendid thing of which you should be proud of … not everyone can feel that way.

Yes, you have also experienced loss. But isn’t this much better than not having loved at all?

“Love is never lost. If not reciprocated, it will flow back and soften and purify the heart.”
– Washington Irving

Thought of You – by Ryan Woodward

Now, while you watch the following video – an extraordinary piece of art – I want you to keep this in mind:

The love you felt was not lost, but only transformed, waiting to be reborn again.Click To Tweet

[vimeo 14803194 w=610&h=343]

Wonderful, isn’t it?

It is a piece of art that it allows individual interpretations.

Different perspectives will offer different views.

Depending on where you stand in your recovery at this very moment, this video, in particular, will impact you either positively or negatively.

But you have a choice here.

You can see its radiant beauty, and draw strength from it, or you can just feel the devastating loss it addresses.

I’d prefer, and wish for you, that your perspective is the former. So that you can make a stand, when “the world spins madly on.”

Please let me know what you think in the comment section below.

Your friend,
Eddie Corbano

  • I felt both things as I watched the video. More of the sadness though because I am only a little over a week after my break up and only two days of no contact right now. I did identify, however, with the guy just walking away at the end. Thanks, Eddie. Don’t know where I would be without this course and the support I have found here.

  • Norma jean says:

    Thank you❤ this was a very beautiful video. I was married for 40 years, I’ll be 60 in Sept. never thought my life would be without him, didn’t see any signs. He wanted a new life with a woman he met through work. It’s very true though life goes on, I thank the Lord every day for my family🌸 I live life one day at a time. Good thoughts.

  • Adrian Lian says:

    It has been push and pull month for me and i did it all to myself.

    I failed.no contact as we work together. But inalso went out of my way to show my affection. There was little response and I thought I was malong progress….

    but I realized… she has not madr any effort. Part of me probably the insecure side wondered if she really had someone else.

    I want to be the guy at the end of the video….. am hurtibg so much here…

  • 2 days ago I would have cried after watching this. But within 24 hours my interpretation has changed from one of defeat to awakening. Wow, I cannot believe I have allowed myself to be blind for so long. Thank you Eddie.

    • I’m happy to hear that Joanne… now it’s important to keep up the positive thoughts!

  • Beautiful clip. Thanks Eddie. In a couple of days it will be exactly 1 year since the day I walked away. When emotions and feelings are hard to express and you finally take a chance of saying I Love You but your love is unrequited after 2+ years then you have no other choice but to walk away. Love is a gift never a punishment. I am not fully recovered but I’m slowly getting there. Thanks for what you do.

  • Hey G. Thank you for the response. It seems that we both were in love with female narcissists. I’m a pretty academic guy and I’ve done some research since the breakup and it is absolute in my case. Of the twenty attributes of female narcissism this one author published, she had 12, and the other eight would have surfaced if I had married her.

    I was madly in love with my Ex, but one thing I learned early on in the relationship was that she’d never verbally express love. Even to the extent one day I said, “I love you” and she looked at me, waved a hand in my face and said, “As long as you never expect me to say it in return!” I tried to get her to talk about it one night in bed and she said she was abused horribly when she was younger, started to cry, and refused to talk more about it. All that served to do was make me get in deeper, which made the breakup all the more painful when it happened.

    My Ex broke up with me in a similar way. One day, out of the clear blue she said, “We’re broken up and we can see other people. But this is not Goodbye!” But what else could it have been? It wasn’t until weeks after that I started to put the pieces together and recognized the distance she had been putting between us. I found out that it was an old boyfriend who had dumped her around the time she met me who she admitted she still had feelings for. I guess that fizzled out quickly because not long after a mutual friend said that he was back on the dating sites looking for a new boyfriend, another behavior very typical of female narcissists. They move from one guy to the next with literally no time in-between often overlapping. She actually admitted that to me too in a text message! What I found I needed to do was stop finding things out. Just remove myself entirely from that circle of people and stop reading stuff that I could relate to her. I was just hurting myself and I don’t want to end up hating her. I look forward to being completely indifferent someday. And if she wasn’t sabotaging my 60 days NC, I was.

    All of this was excruciating to find out, but there was that long period of time when I know it was just us, and it was and the memories of that time are wonderful. And that’s where this video takes me.

  • Hey Leo, buddy you sound like me and I feel for you. I’m on a rollercoaster of emotions. I loved my ex more than I’ve ever loved before. And I was abused mentally, verbally and physically by her. I took it because I thought I could save her from her childhood abuse. I thought I could love her enough to make her feel safe and secure enough to love herself and begin to heal. All it did was nearly destroy me. She punished me for her past abuse when all I wanted was just to love her. I hurt so bad I just wanted to die and often daydreamed of causing just that. Good friends, this site and the grace of God have helped me so much.
    I still love her and always will. I feel sorry for her because she threw away a good man who loved her unconditionally. Truthfully. I was a true friend to her and sacrificed so much for her and never asked for anything but to love her with every fiber of my being. It wasn’t enough though.
    I no longer put her on a pedestal.I see her for what she truly is, but I’m learning to forgive her. I thank her for leaving me because I never would have left her. I would have died otherwise. I’m learning to love myself again and trying to forgive myself for letting her abuse and use me. I’ve been bombed and shot at in a war and scared for my life, but I’ve never been through anything this damaging, painful or tough.
    I’m making it though and even laughing when I can. One of the last things she told me was that I just needed to date other people and that I deserved someone better. I thought, gee, thanks for the relationship advice. I deserve someone better? No shit.

  • It was actually entirely too soon in my breakup recovery to watch this. It brought me to tears instantly and I continued to cry and grieve as I watched it several more times in a row. The important thing is; I grieved; I got the negative energy out. And that was very beneficial to me.

    The video was interesting for me as it illustrated the last month of our relationship where we were together, but I couldn’t really get to her. And then she was gone. And I did lay in bed wishing I was dead, for days! But as I examined the relationship through the recovery process I identified that she had been putting distance between us for several weeks before she finally broke up with me. I was just blind to it. I was so madly in love with her I missed months of warning signs.

    But what I drew from the video, was that although the relationship failed for a multitude of reasons on both sides, there was a long time where it was beautiful and passionate for us both, and I believe we truly did love each other. There was a long time where we were both happy. And then life got in the way.

    And it reaffirmed that I’m sure the breakup was difficult for her too. While she broke up with me, it a pretty cruel way. It was unexpected, fast, and with no compassion at all, I believe now that was because of the pain she was experiencing having to do it.

    Thank you Eddie for this beautiful piece of art.

    • Your reply to this video was as if it was written by me. I noticed how long ago you posted it. I wondered how you are now. I hope that you have made great progress and are healing.

  • Hi… U have a great website and im really getting help by reading ur posts…im having a really hard time gettin over my ex.. He s a jerk and now I feel im so angryyy and full of hate…im trying all the things that u said but its really killing me…

    • Hi my ex left me 3 years ago and I still miss him …don’t know how much longer I’m gonna feel like this .

  • It has been 5 months since we broke up. We’ve been together for only a month. But until today I’m still shaken. What happened to us questioned my whole being. My worth. I can’t even tell if I really loved her. I’m still thinking of her. But I’ve already cut our ties ( unfriended her, deleted her number…). Not because I hate her. She doesn’t deserve hate. But I need to. For myself. I need to love myself. I need to move on. Just thought this would be the only way to help her. I’ll be a hypocrite If I say that I’m not aspiring for her anymore. Yet I need to be far. Far from us. The whole concept of us.To look for new answers in life. And leave everything to God. As it is the only way.

    I love you Meg…Thank you for coming into my life…

  • Hello Eddie,

    This video has touched me and reminded me how vulnerable I still am yet its beautiful because it brings the promise of a new better life to come.
    I found this site and have been glued to it because a couple of weeks ago I made “the decision” I asked myself “the question” and my answer was also “I don’t want her back”

    My story is long and I won’t give details because its too long. Bottom line is my marriage of 16 years is over, divorce basically final, separated for more than a year, and 2 beautiful children. My situation is different because even if we were separated and working on the divorce, I always thought we would be back. That is until the day she said she is with another man and in love with him. That was the day my break up really began…about 6 months ago.

    So of course I did all the major mistakes, I invaded every part of her space and privacy and texted her like a terrorist. This pain was unbearable and I thought I was going to die. I begged, I cried, I even became the dumpee who would stick around and did everything to prove to her I had changed and could make her happy. And she was the dumper who wanted me around, for the casual sex, helping with the kids, the house and everything else. the last 6 months have been a nightmare and even though time has helped me slowly to accept the situation, I am still a mess.

    Two weeks ago she said you are my friend…and I lost it… I told her… I am not your friend, don’t try to put me there.. That weekend also, I found out things about her and the other man that made me realize… this is not the woman I married, she has changed. I’m hurting myself and I’m fed up, I had to let her go and move on. My no contact began 2 weeks ago, and I feel the strength and control coming back to me little by little, day after day. I am still very vulnerable and I know I need plenty more time but I will get there. The little video above showed me that my heart is still hurting but I also see the light in the end. Thank you for the support on this site, it gives me strength with every article I read, along with every other member who is going through this. It hurts, but I’m worth it. to everyone else, say it..you are worth it.

  • Hi Eddie, my ex and recently broke up, 3 days ago to be exact so I’m definitely in agony right now. I’m following your words, guides and so forth. I watched this video and began to cry intensely immediately. I know you know what I’m feeling right now. This being said I saw the video as positive. He was fantasizing about her the entire time until the end when he felt he needed to let her go. This resonates with me and does give me hope that even though my recovery journey is going to be long, I believe that I will get there one day. Thank you for everything you do.

    • Hay Pat,

      This video really touched me too. Did you notice at the very end, The one left crying was her… This is how we must think, that in our agony today, we are building a new stronger person, one that will be a blessing, a gift to another deserving person. In doing this, our future seems brighter and we will never be this hurt ever again. In the end, our ex’s will see what they did leave behind, and yes… they will cry.

  • I was in a relationship almost three years.two months ago he told me he didn’t love me like he did when we were young people. It was my second time being with him. In twenty five years. We tried for a month after the breakup to work things out but they fell apart. He turned off the phone and hasn’t spoken to me since.i view the video as what happened to me.he was on love with a memory of her and who she was and as soon as she became a real person the idealistic version of her fell apart. So he turned around and walked away. That’s what happened to me I didn’t even remember who I was almost thirty years ago. When he walked into the relationship I changed and he didn’t.i will always love him for who he was and is but unfortunately sometimes we are forced to move on…bless you all and remember there is always a light at the end of the tunnel and thankyou Eddie for helping all of us……

  • I watched this video over half a year ago–right after I was dumped, and I posted a comment. I am looking at it again, and my take is so very different than it was back then. Now, when I look at it, I see him walking away from the memory of her, as it is pointless to relive all the good times; it serves no purpose in healing. Sure, there were good times, but those memories can put a stranglehold on your recovery. The way I interpret it now is that he is done suffering the loss of her, and he is walking away in order to recover. The woman is crushed– how dare he leave her memory behind?

    I now see it as him having the strength to walk away from the past. So, you all might want to revisit this video in half a year, and see the difference. I am still in some pain, but I am no longer struggling to live. Hang in there, it gets better little by little. And one blessed day, we will no longer care.

    Merann

    • Thank you for sharing this Merann… I think that video tells a different story depending where you are in your healing.

  • michelle hoak says:

    Elena, I had such a chuckle at your comment because that is how I felt. It’s been over a year since he dumped ne like trash after 9 year relationship. I go back and forth from sadness to acceptance to anger again. Peace to you Elena and to all of you suffering this undeserved heartbreak. Reading Eddie’s words of wisdom and comfort many times over has helped me immensely. I felt so bad about myself for being thrown away like trash for another. I am starting to feel better now. Take care and be good to yourself. Hugs and my warmth are wrapped around you. Michelle

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