Hello! It’s been a while since I’ve been here on the blog but I’m excited to be getting back into the swing of writing again!
I thought I would start with a topic that repeatedly arises with clients I work with and readers. One I often would ponder over myself of course too.
The question of whether an ex is happy with their new partner.
It can feel so incredibly brutal when we find out our ex has met someone new. Especially when we feel we have invested so much time and emotion into the relationship and then they just suddenly…well….move on.
So many questions consume our thoughts - ‘Did they love us in the first place?’, ‘How can they be happy when we’re stuck in a cycle of misery?’ and the most potent of all the thoughts ‘Is this new person going to change them/get the best of them?’
This final question can feel like a living purgatory and can ignite so many emotions. Fear, anger, loss, shame, guilt. It’s like a never-ending, not fun rollercoaster and makes it so much harder to gain a sense of closure of the relationship. Let’s be real; a breakup can feel easier to deal with when we know our ex is suffering too. But when we find out they’ve met someone and splashing their happiness all over town, especially if it was their bad behaviour or some kind of wrong doing that triggered the breakup, and yet here we are still engulfed in a myriad of horrible emotions and pain, how can that be fair?
And then we start thinking that maybe if we’d have hung in there that bit longer or compromised just a little more, they’d still be with us and not with this new person who is now going to get the best of them? Whilst we’re here alone and miserable!
Ugh, it’s truly exhausting isn’t it.
Well, the purpose of this post is to try and shed some light on this tough to navigate situation. Let’s cut straight to it - and let’s shout this one louder for the people at the back!
Just because your ex is with someone new, this doesn’t mean that they will now gloriously transform into a new person or that it will eradicate their previous bad behaviour or habits that contributed to the breakup in some way.
Even if they end up getting engaged to or marrying that person, this also doesn’t mean an automatic remedy for toxic behaviour and will only serve as an expensive, elaborate and drastic bandaid/plaster. That’s an important one to remember.
I get it though - it still feels so tough but what you have to keep reminding yourself is that whilst your ex is probably in the honeymoon period now and putting their best foot forward, their same patterns will start to surface with this new person eventually. By then, you will feel so relieved that this isn’t you and understand that even if you got shot by the bullet whilst in the relationship, the next time round you most definitely dodged it. You will be grateful for that, I assure you.
I just want to add here that this isn’t about taking glory in the fact that your ex and their partner might experience relationship turbulence and unhappiness later down the line. That’s not what I’m about and it’s not good for any of us to revel in that kind of thought or emotion. Your happiness should be the priority and focus. But what I do want to offer you is some perspective. The new relationship can trigger us into questioning our judgement. It can make us believe that we should have compromised our boundaries more and feel like now we’re going to have to pay the price for letting them go.
The truth is, if your ex hasn’t resolved their issues, the happiness they’re showing now is temporary. If they need to change in some way in order to know what it means to be part of a healthy relationship, only they can do that. New partners or other people can certainly inspire us or be a positive influence on us and be part of the reason why we want to change if that’s needed, but ultimately, the desire and motivation to change has to come from within. That’s why you will see so many people - and maybe you’ve done this too (because hey, this isn’t about ex-bashing, we all have stuff we could do with working through!) repeating the same patterns in each relationship. Your ex isn’t going to be an anomaly.
If it’s the type of situation where your ex didn’t really do anything wrong and you find yourself wondering if they’re happy with someone else, I think it’s key to find a way to make peace with the fact that yes, they might be. It doesn’t mean that they weren’t happy with you but as I always say, if a relationship isn’t right for one person then it isn’t right for the other either. What you need to do is find your own sense of happiness again as an individual and regain that sense of owning your life force. We can often look to a partner to fulfil this and breakups can be the perfect catalyst to really understand how to take ownership of ourselves once more.
The answer to both scenarios is to try and shift your thoughts away from your ex and onto yourself. You have too much of a life to live and that must take priority over worrying about the happiness of your ex. Allow the thoughts to come if they do, but then stop, remember the perspective you now know, and choose a different thought. That’s how the rewiring of eradicating the ex-obsession will start to form.
I hope this has helped anyone who needs to hear it.