How Do I Forgive and Get Over My Ex Who Hurt Me?

B98.5 morning show host Tad Lemire recently received a friend request from him ex-girlfriend after nine years. He brought up the situation on his morning show to receive some feedback from his co-hosts, Drex and Kara. So here’s the story in a nutshell:

Back in 2009, Tad and Beth (his ex) had plans to move in together. Beth was living in Texas at the time but on Tad’s second visit with Beth, things went south. She previously told him that she would let her mom know about their big plans while they were headed to the airport. But it was Tad who got the surprise. Beth decided to instead break up with Tad while he was on the way to the airport.

So needless to say, the relationship did not end well.

Fast-forward nine years and Tad receives a friend request on Facebook from Beth. I know, random—but that’s life’s way of keeping things interesting. Now what? Should he accept or ignore? Here’s a recap of what he did, as well as my response to the decision he made.

 

Acknowledging Your Feelings

I was proud of Tad for taking the necessary steps he needed to finally gain closure. Instead of holding on to a grudge, he released those negative feeling in his emotional response. Sure, he could’ve started with “I hope all is well with you,” and then somewhere down the line expressed himself, but he might have lost his nerve in that moment. Sometimes we have to grab hold of that opportunity to free ourselves from certain feelings.

Sometimes we have to grab hold of an opportunity to free ourselves from negativity before it slips away.

I stand by what I said to Tad; lots of people don’t talk about their feelings anymore. She needed to know from Tad that ‘although I accepted your friend request, it doesn’t excuse what you did to me nine years ago.’ That was a hurtful thing to do and it affected his life. Yes, Tad has moved on and is happily married, but his happiness now doesn’t erase the pain she caused him in the past. Once he was able to get that off of his chest, he freed himself of that pain and those negative emotions.

How to Forgive Your Ex

Tad probably wasn’t thinking about Beth for the past nine years plotting revenge, but he still had a decision to make after seeing her friend request. All of the negative feelings resurfaced along with her. And in the moment that he hit the ‘accept’ button, Tad decided that he would let those feelings go and forgive.

It doesn’t have to take you nine years to forgive. You can start the process as soon as you’re ready to be happy again. Here are just a few steps to help you through it.

  1. Write a letter to your ex releasing all the emotions you’re feeling.
  2. Write down or talk about at least three ways that hurt is affecting your life. (If you’re struggling with this exercise, it may require the help of a therapist.)
  3. Take responsibility and apologize for your part in conflicts. This may not happen immediately, but it’s important to reflect back reoccurring emotions your ex has expressed and figure out how you can be better for yourself and your future partner.
  4. Don’t concentrate on the hurt. Instead, think about what transpired between you and your ex, and focus on the better days ahead. Allowing the painful feelings to fester will only bring about resentment and bitterness, which only hurts you more.

If you’ve already taken some of these steps and still have a hard time forgiving, these reasons can explain why you’re struggling.

 

At CWC Coaching, our team consists of licensed therapists, life coaches, and counselors. We assist clients with self-improvement, career development, negative self-talk, psychological pain, self-sabotaging behavior, past hurts and finding your purpose.

If you are ready to increase your self-awareness and happiness, breakthrough limiting behavior and understand your purpose in life, we’d love to help guide you on this journey.

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