My ex-boyfriend was a terrible partner. He treated me like crap until I finally decided to end the relationship. What’s infuriating is that he treats his new girlfriend like gold, and even though I’m happy for them both, part of me still carries some resentment that I just can’t shake.
He slowly became emotionally abusive. Like every unhealthy relationship, my relationship with my ex didn’t start off bad. He was sweet and considerate at first, but as time went on, things changed. He started insulting me, making me feel small, and dismissing my concerns. The man I’d fallen for had revealed his true colors, and it hurt more and more every day.
I begged him to be better to no avail. It wasn’t for a lack of trying on my part that things didn’t work out with him. I tried to communicate with him about my concerns and all the problems I had with his behavior, and sometimes he promised that he’d change. But then he’d go right back to how he was before. When I’d bring it up again, I was deemed “naggy” or “high-maintenance.” I wanted to badly for his “old self” to come through again, but that man was long gone.
I finally decided I’d had enough. After months of hoping he’d wise up and be a better partner, I called him to end our relationship. At first he didn’t take me seriously, but once he realized I wasn’t going to change my mind, he started begging me to reconsider. It was hard standing my ground against the promises he made about how he’d be better to me, but I knew that he wasn’t going to change—not for me, at least.
I wanted him to find happiness, but not at another woman’s expense. I wasn’t secretive about the reasons I was dumping him. I pretty much laid it all out in a list and for once, he actually listened. Even better, he acknowledged his faults and mistakes. It was too late for him to make things better with me, but the conversation gave me hope that he wasn’t just a bad person, just a person with serious issues he needed to work out. I didn’t want him to have a repeat of our relationship with another woman. I had my fingers crossed that he’d use what I’d told him to be a better partner to someone else.
He did exactly what I’d hoped. My ex and I continued to follow each other on social media after the breakup, and a couple months after we’d broken up, I started seeing pictures of him with another girl. Not long afterward, he messaged me to thank me for giving him a wake-up call. Apparently, he’d done a lot of introspection and was making a conscious effort to be a better boyfriend to the new woman in his life. This was exactly what I’d encouraged him to do, and yet the feeling of it actually happening was surprisingly bittersweet.
Part of me is really happy for them both. I really (really!) have no lingering romantic feelings for my ex, and even though he was a jerk to me for most of our relationship, it hasn’t stopped me from being happy that he’s happy. At least from what I can tell, he really seems to be proud to be with his new girlfriend. They look like they genuinely enjoy each other’s company, and it makes me glad that the lessons he learned with me have helped them build a seemingly solid relationship.
I can’t deny that I’m at least a little salty. As much as I would like my feelings toward my ex and his girlfriend to be completely pure, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t kind of bitter about the whole situation. I’d tried for so long to get him to do the little things for me that he does for his current girlfriend. In fact, publicly acknowledging me as his girlfriend was one of them. Even if they broke up and he asked me to get back together, I’d give him a hard no, but I still wish he’d wised up before we got together.
I know he wouldn’t have treated her so well if I hadn’t dumped him. Deep down, I know that nothing I could’ve said while we were together would’ve convinced him to shape up and be a better person to me. It took me breaking up with him for him to realize that he wouldn’t be able to have a successful, healthy relationship if he continued acting like an ass. I have to remind myself of this sometimes when I start feeling resentful about how things worked out.
I’m trying to see it as a learning experience for both of us. Just as our breakup taught my ex to be a better partner, it also taught me that I should never put up with that kind of treatment again. I know one day I’ll find someone else and be a better partner and stronger person because of what my ex taught me. In the end, even though I might be a little salty that my ex didn’t treat me the way he treats his current girlfriend, I know that our relationship (and the demise of it) served a worthwhile purpose for both of us.
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