I Took Him Back At Least Five Times—This Is What Made Me Finally Stop

He was my first love and I was sure we’d be together forever. However, we spent so much time being on-again, off-again over the years that the stress, heartache, and upheaval of it all nearly destroyed me. Here’s how I eventually found the strength to break the cycle and say goodbye for good.

He ruined my view of all men. Looking back, this is what makes me the saddest. There were so many sweet men I met but turned down because I figured they’d hurt me in some way. Once one person taints your view on love and relationships, it’s so hard to get that back. You’re forever left with the worry that it’ll happen again and you won’t realize it until it’s too late.

He was perfectly fine with leaving me hanging. The excuses I made for him perpetually ghosting me were insane. I’d tell myself he was just waiting until he was ready to date me again but that right now he just needed to find himself. I knew in my heart that he didn’t care enough about me to respect me but I would never have admitted that. I don’t think I would’ve been able to believe that a man who seemed so sweet could also be so bad.

He only came back to me when he was lonely. I was his backup plan, always in the farthest corner of his mind. I was never a priority, no matter how many times he tried to tell me I was. When things weren’t working out with another girl he was talking to, I’d be the one he’d run back to. As soon as he hit things off with someone new, though, he was gone. I was there as Plan B, to make him feel wanted.

He couldn’t keep his promisesAnd he made a lot of them. He’d tell me he would come back for me, that he wasn’t talking to anyone else, or that I was the only one he’d ever told these personal things to. He promised, so of course it must be true, right? Nope. I always found out later that he just used those promises to keep me close to him when he wanted me to be. He was a master of manipulation.

He said he’d always be there for me but never was when I needed him. Whenever I had fights with family or friends, he was the one I wanted to run to. I mean, when he said he’d be my rock, I really thought I could count on that. I’d been with him out of rough moments in his life but all I’d get in return was a short text telling me he was sorry for me. Those words always fell short and made me feel like I wasn’t anything to him (which I should’ve realized was the truth).

I never felt like I could trust him. That was the worst part. I’d see pictures of him online with other girls and I just knew something else was going on. If I brought it up to him, I’d get reassurances that it was nothing but a friendly relationship, but I knew better than to trust him. The final straw was when he told me nothing was happening and then became Facebook official with that same girl. I can only hope she wises up a little faster than I did.

He knew exactly what to say to get what he wanted. Here’s that manipulation again. He knew me so well that he could figure out exactly what I wanted to hear. And the more I heard those things, the more I let him win. I let him get away with this for way too long.

He started to remind me of a broken record. After so many times of us falling apart and then me taking him back, it finally started to get old. You can only hear the same words so many times before they mean nothing to you.

I completely lost myself in our relationshipThe sadness that came after it was all over was the worst. It took me months of finally being on my own to realize that I had no idea who I was without someone else to define me. It took a lot of time, but I dug myself out of that deep hole and never let myself fall down into it again. I promised myself that the man I chose to end up with would be the complete opposite of my first love. He is, and I couldn’t be more thankful for that.

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