Today is the one-year anniversary of breaking up with my ex-boyfriend.
Typing out that first sentence felt lackluster, and reading it back sounds even more so. But I won’t change it, because that’s the plain truth. But what it symbolizes is far more important than the actual deed.
Breaking up with Zach* was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. I had been thinking about it for a long time before I actually did it. Our relationship was nothing of what a relationship should be. And I blame myself for that– I should have known better. But that’s another story.
It took all of the bravery and self-awareness I had to finally tell him I didn’t love him, nor would I ever learn to. I had been lying to myself for two years, so finally admitting the truth was both an incredible relief and a heartbreaking shock. In all honesty, I didn’t want to break up with Zach. I didn’t want to be lonely, I didn’t want to make him sad, I didn’t want to feel like a bad person.
I don’t know what finally clicked in my head, but I finally had the revelation that by staying with him, I was doing both of us a disservice. Neither he nor I deserved to be in something that wasn’t real.
When I told him, I felt physically sick. My head was spinning, I was shivering. But I did it. And I cried. And I felt like the worst person in the world. The next morning, I woke up and had a panic attack. I contemplated getting back together with him very heavily. But I didn’t, and thank goodness.
It took me a few weeks to shake my feelings of remorse. What finally put me over the edge was logging into Zach’s Facebook and reading his messages. I wish I could say I regret it or that I’m not proud of what I did. It’s probably bad that I felt (and still feel) fine about it. But I’m much happier knowing what I found out than I would have otherwise been. It turns out he was attempting to cheat on me (whether he was succesful, I don’t know). He had said and asked some very disgusting things to multiple girls both before and after the breakup. It made me furious to read those things. Mostly because he had accused me during the breakup of having feelings for someone else– which, granted, was true. But I wasn’t attempting to cheat on him, nor was I talking dirty to people over Facebook.
However, when I think back on that period of my life, my mind rarely jumps to his attempted infidelity. In fact, this is the first time I’ve even thought about it in months. I fully forgive him for it. How could I not, when I myself had feelings for another person? What right did I have to be angry about it when I admitted fully that I didn’t really love him? Of course it was hurtful. But the part that it hurt was my vanity and my pride, not my heart and my soul. It made me feel embarrassed and foolish, but not heartbroken. So in that respect, along with the others, I am healed and hold no grudge.
One year later, and I feel like a veil has been lifted from my eyes. This relief came many months ago, but I never cease to let the joy wash over me. By turning inward, listening to myself, and acting with complete honesty, I changed my life. I feel like a brand new person. I am!
*name has been changed.