An Open Letter to My Ex as I Leave ‘Us’ Behind

2018 was the year I learn’t what heartbreak really was. I thought I’d experienced that agonising pain before but going through my breakup this year has taught me that I’d never been in love until now and I’d certainly never felt true heartbreak.

September 2018 saw my 3-year relationship come to an end and not through my own choice. It’s fair to say I’ve struggled to come to terms with the breakup and the thought of moving on sent physical pain through my body, as i’m sure anyone who has been through this situation can relate.

As we say goodbye to 2018, I’m making a point of leaving that relationship behind but I wanted to write this ‘open letter’ to not just my ex but anyone’s ex as a form of closure for myself and anyone else struggling to know what to say to comfort themselves or how to leave the hurt behind.

To my ex,

Thank you aren’t words I ever thought I’d utter in your direction again yet as I find myself drawing a line under our relationship and leaving it behind, I do want to say thank you to you. 

Thank you for the good times because although they seem so far away now, they did happen and despite the negativity between us now, they’re fond memories I’ll hold dear in my heart forever. 

I also want to thank you for showing me an inner strength in myself I never knew I had. In choosing to leave a relationship I thought would last forever, you made me make a choice. I had to decide to either allow myself to be swallowed by the depression and fear I felt when you left or stand up and get on and it took every ounce of strength I had to make the choice to carry on. 

Your exit from my life left me feeling so unfamiliar with my surroundings, it was like I’d been thrown into a world I didn’t recognise when in reality, I was just being forced to live a life that stretched further than the inner circle I’d created with you. I was thrown into a world where it wasn’t all about you, it was about me and other people too and although that felt like a warped version of reality at first, it’s that world and those people that have got me to here. 

You made me toughen up. You made me delve deep inside myself and count on my own inner strength to get up every morning, go to work, socialise, get on with life, I did that for myself.

I want to thank you for making me doubt my own self worth because in making me wonder why I wasn’t good enough, you made me discover that actually, I’m more than good enough. You made me reflect on my personality and who I am by pointing out my flaws and I thank you wholeheartedly for making me regret being who I was for the last three years because I can now see errors I made and can see how my actions at the time weren’t always good enough and I am now a better person for that. 

In taking away my main focus and priority in life, that being you, I have now moved my attention on to things that matter to me like my family, my friends who I had neglected and my work and those things are providing me with a fuller, more enriched life than the one I had with you that at the time, I thought was all I wanted.

I’ve spent days since you left thinking about you and us and what we had. I’ve spent hours crying and I’ve spent countless sleepless nights thinking about how much I loathe you whilst still loving you but now? You’re behind me. What we once had is now behind me. 

We ended in 2018 and that is exactly where I’m leaving ‘us’.

2019 is going to be the year I focus on me. Since 2015 I have cared for someone else more than I cared for myself but the next 12 months are about self care and self progression and I once again thank you for throwing me into a situation where I’ve had no choice but to decide to fly instead of sink.

Heartbreak is cruel. It’s relentless and it causes both physical and emotional pain but if the outcome is feeling richer than I ever have due to the people and opportunities I now realise I have around me then I will forever be able to see some good in you choosing that you didn’t want ‘us’ anymore.

I will no longer make anyone more important in my life than myself, only equal and as I promise to always treat myself with complete love, the people around me will be treated the same. 

So, to end this open letter to my ‘ex’, the hate is over. The tears are over. The resentment is over, all I feel towards you now is gratitude and a genuine hope that you too find peace in our breakup, the relief you always hoped it would bring you. 

Thank you for breaking my heart because as it has healed stronger and fuller than it ever was before. 

Share this letter far and wide. With the ex you’ve spent 12 months fighting, with the friends and family you have rediscovered in light of heartbreak or simply with yourself.

And if you’re not at the stage in your break up yet where you can relate to feeling grateful for the pain you’ve been through, just remember you still have this relief to come. You can stay strong by remembering that one day you will read this letter and wholeheartedly relate.

Holding on to anger and hatred towards your ex is only hurting you because remember, they simply do not care or they wouldn’t have hurt you the way they have. Take the pain and turn it into strength and determination to reinvent yourself and be the best version of you.

A better life is waiting for you and I promise it is going to feel so full and wonderful, you’ll wonder why you ever shed a tear of what you once had.

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18, full time Content and Social Strategist, beauty enthusiast.

7 thoughts on “An Open Letter to My Ex as I Leave ‘Us’ Behind

  1. I was devastated,October 2018,to be told my 30 year marriage was over and that ‘my other half’ no longer loved me. I saw my life crumbling before me and a very long and lonely road ahead. I was bitter,obnoxious and made his life hell. Although now legally separated,we still live under the same roof and my attitude was turning the atmosphere toxic! Needless to say, I was hurting myself with the barbs and sarcasm more than I was hurting him. I wholeheartedly relate to your blog!
    I decided over a very lonely Christmas that I would rise above the feelings of hatred,despair and bitterness and be magnanimous with his decision. I became a better person,literally overnight. We are now civil to each other and I have gained so,so much more than peace of mind.
    I’ve been through and struggle everyday, with the emotions you so accurately describe. I feel so much stronger and I realise how subsumed I’d become by my role as a wife and mother.
    In many respects I should thank him for his decision as I believe I am worthy of much more respect and love than he has shown me.
    Life goes on. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!
    Good luck to you.

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