Every day, at some point in the day, I mourn the death of a close family member who is still living and breathing. A family member who has no idea how to apologize.
I remember getting a text from this person months back. The text actually hurt more than what this person did to cause their own death in my life – a death that is so unnatural, unnecessary, painful, and nonsensical – especially given how incredibly short life is and who we are in relation to each other. The text was written as if nothing was wrong. There was no acknowledgment of my pain, no mention of any kind of effect that my heart secretly hoped my absence has had, no connection, no empathy… nothing.
More recently, I received an apology from someone who not only broke my heart, but insulted my intelligence and trust on an unbelievable level.
Years ago, one of the most kind, caring, and incredible people I have ever/will ever know passed away. I never got to say goodbye and ignored the two times that she called me prior to her death. The cheap justification of shutting my instinct down had paralyzed me. I didn’t know how to apologize for the compounded shame, guilt, embarrassment, and fear that my avoidance had bred. It was unbearable. She was in her nineties – no children of her own and completely undefended, defenseless, and in need of a connection. A call from me would have brightened her day to such an extent, I can’t write about it anymore because I’m crying my eyes out.
Every day started out with a guilt cloud over my head that was slightly diminished by, “I’ll call her tomorrow.”
And then one tomorrow, I got a call from my Mom and realized that the tomorrows had run out. She was gone.
I created this blog to provide answers to every question I ever asked Google at my lowest and most lonely points. In that process, a community formed where men and women could get real proof in real-time that they are not alone in their experiences, pain, and feelings.
This blog has never and will never be a platform for how much Natasha Adamo has been wronged, heartbroken, and hurt in her relationships and life.
I want to make one thing very clear:
I have hurt people. I have lied, cheated, evaded responsibility, failed epically, held grudges, burned bridges, buried hatchets with GPS locators attached, acted immaturely, and overcompensated in the most humiliating ways. I have been incredibly selfish in my life.
And the self-hatred associated with the above did nothing but make me a sitting duck for jobs, toxic relationships, and a life that would always end up mirroring just how awful I felt about myself deep down.
I never got into drugs, but I smoked cigarettes for a period of time. This wasn’t because I really enjoyed smoking. It was because I was trying to match death. I knew that the cigarettes were contributing to a physical death that I had already experienced emotionally and spiritually within.
Though experiencing and inflicting a lot of pain, I’ve learned how to master the things that will rob you of a life if left unmastered:
how to forgive, how to apologize, how to apologize to an ex, and how to decipher an apology from the one person who promised you that they’d never give your heart a reason to have to forgive: your ex.
You’ll never learn how to apologize or be able to decipher an apology if you don’t have a firm understanding of what it means to forgive.
What I’ve learned about forgiveness and how to make it easier:
- Contradiction is the root of all misery. This sounds so cliche, but you can’t truly forgive others unless you forgive yourself.
- That holier-than-thou, momentary high that comes from riding your psychological high horse and outsourcing your forgiveness to a toxic person (without forgiving yourself), is never worth the inevitable depletion of your dignity and power. It’s what I call “quantity forgiveness,” not quality. Nothing can ever be high-quality that obliterates the very fiber of your own.
- If you find that you’re more inclined to forgive others than you are yourself, you will ALWAYS be in the midst of rejection, sabotage, drama, denial, disappointment, anger, mixed signals, and abandonment.
- Forgiveness is choosing to ACCEPT. It’s making the conscious decision to adjust your boundaries based on acceptance of who someone has unfolded to be. It’s choosing to embrace the lesson you were meant to learn from them sh*tting the emotional bed. It’s about accepting who someone is in THIS moment, NOW. It is never about allowing emotional nostalgia to rob you blind.
- With acceptance comes the ability to flush, throw away, and let GO.
- Forgive yourself by understanding that the universe will not condemn you for the bad things you did. It will reward you for the amount you learn and how far you decide to run with that newfound knowledge from your mistakes. Karma only comes back around to those who do not learn and continue to devolve.
- Understand what forgiveness doesn’t mean: It doesn’t mean that you condone what happened, it doesn’t mean that you believe the other person’s bullsh*t (or need to call them out on every little detail), and it doesn’t mean that the other person has changed. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you now trust the other person and it definitely doesn’t mean that you need to be in any kind of contact with them.
Bottom line: Forgiveness is about two things – boundaries & respect. The result of truly forgiving is adjusted boundaries that are acted on. Show others (through your dignified actions) that you RESPECT their decision to behave the way that they did.
How to apologize to an ex (or to anyone)…
The denominator of a genuine apology is empathy. You will never know how to apologize without truly putting yourself in the other person’s shoes.
Mastering how to apologize is nothing more than having a genuine interest in the other person’s unique experience and feelings. Yes, remorse involves feeling bad, but it’s the ability to get out of your own narcissistic guilt and WANT to know how your actions (or lack thereof), specifically shaped the experience of and caused pain for someone that you claim to care about.
Here’s how to apologize to an ex (or to anyone you have wronged and hurt):
- Don’t make it about you. You need to assure the other person that you can take care of your own emotional state. Being able to genuinely apologize is about being selfless, not selfish.
- Understand that the pain you are experiencing as a result of what you did/didn’t do, said/didn’t say, is a CONSEQUENCE of those decisions that YOU made. This is not the other person’s burden to carry. You’ve already put enough on their emotional shoulders.
- How to apologize to an ex… apologize for what you specifically did wrong. Don’t ever say “I know what I did wrong.” TELL the person what you know so that they can feel safe, validated, and inclined to keep listening.
- Ask the other person to share their experience with you and how it made them feel. There may be more things to apologize for that you are not aware of.
- Tell the other person the steps you’ve taken to ensure that this does not happen again.
- Ask the other person what they need from you to feel assured that this will not happen again.
- Proving that you know how to apologize to an ex (or anyone for that matter) is not about needing to make excuses because of narcissistic and selfish guilt. Excuses are nothing more than putting salt in the wound that you inflicted.
- Avoid making any kind of grandiose/absolute promises, statements, or assumptions. It comes across as disingenuous and selfish.
- Communicate that you appreciate them taking the time to hear you out and that you have no expectations. You respect the decisions that they have made and will make. There is no pressure.
- Do not try to control the narrative. Your aim should be to non-gratuitously call yourself out (so the other person doesn’t have to) while being genuinely interested from their end, how your selfishness caused pain, and fractured the relationship.
The key to knowing how to apologize to an ex?
Understanding that there’s nothing to really “master” other than being kindly (never brutally), honest.
Honesty is the greatest gift you could ever give to others and yourself. It saves you from shutting off your vulnerability. It disallows agendas, dramas, and the ability to mask your truth. Honesty may be painful, disagreed with, and disliked, but it will always be respected.
Honesty is also the only one-way ticket out of relational amateur hour.
What to do with an apology from an ex
If it’s someone of the toxic species – narcissistic, emotionally unavailable and/or sociopathic, here’s is how these people will generally “apologize.”
Think of it this way –
You were the puppy. And every time the other person came into the room, you wagged your tail from so much excitement, it felt like the floor was falling through. You licked them and showed them love and affection.
Then one day, they stopped petting and kicked you. Hard.
With your tail between your legs and your head down, you walked away – licking your wounds and not understanding why you were kicked.
Time goes by and all of a sudden, they’re back at your door with treats in hand. When they go to pet you, however, you duck down. You don’t know if you’re going to get hit or pet and if you DO get apet, you don’t know what that even means. How could someone pet you who had the capacity to kick the sh*t out of you?
So, you instinctively duck down and recoil.
The proverbial puppy kicker notices that you ducked. And whether it’s out of disconnected remorse, selfish embarrassment, seeing their own reflection, or finally being face-to-face with the pain they caused and what a beautiful thing they messed up… They end up making YOU feel bad for ducking.
They go into this whole thing about how your ducking has caused them so much pain. Although they claim to understand why you have to duck, they can’t help but express how it hurts them and how there’s not a day that goes by that they don’t think about what they did.
Let’s say I hurt you and instead of apologizing, I keep telling you how much pain I’m in every day for hurting you and how not a minute goes by where I’m not regretting it. That’s great and all, but it’s actually putting the burden on you to not only look after your heart that I broke, but also be aware of my broken heart because you’re rightfully ducking every time I try to pet you.
“Apologies” like this are just going to make you feel worse. You are essentially cornered into doing the other person’s dirty work for them – itemizing what they did, how it hurt you, and then having to pull an apology out of a grown adult.
You are now reduced to being the training wheels on a bike that isn’t equipped to ride without them.
If there’s a lack of realness, honesty, maturity, refection, and acknowledgment, my best advice is to see it for what it is, prioritize your peace and fold.
Though a lot of mistakes, I’ve grown. I still mess up and I apologize, wholeheartedly. I continue to learn and grow.
Be with people who love, trust, and respect you – just the way you are. Be with people who don’t have to wake up, look in the mirror, and remind themselves to be honest or to be a good person because they just ARE.
Retain some mystery and whenever you feel the need to advertise, execute.
You got this.
+ If you need further and more personalized help with your relationship, please look into working with me here.
Yes! Boundaries ARE forgiveness ??????
I’m continuing to learn if we aren’t able to act on our boundaries or lessons we’ve learned (in the next relationship, meeting new people, dealing with family, work, etc), it means we’re still being held hostage by a person/situation/heartbreak, which means we haven’t truly freed ourselves from allowing a person/situation to affect us. Thank-you! Love you!
YES. Love you too Amy! 🙂 xx
Thank you so much for this well thought out article. One of biggest issues I had with common tips most people gave for how to move on and how to properly implement no contact was how there was a distinct lack of addressing the topic of forgiveness.
While your previous articles have helped me a lot, this article in particular is now my all time favourite and one that I plan to re-read again and again. I feel like forgiveness is the core component to learning from the end of a relationship. Without it, I will not be able to properly learn and grow from this hurt I currently feel.
I’m going through a rough breakup where my ex has now moved on to a new girl (which he did so in a shitty way – lots of lies and betrayal involved). And forgiveness is the biggest thing on my mind. Because I wanted to learn from this. Where I don’t hold a grudge but neither am I easily taken advantage of again, so that I’m neither a hardened love skeptic nor a doormat. Your article eloquently portrays that balanced view.
Once again, thank you for putting this article out there. I look forward to your future posts. 🙂
Thank YOU so much for taking the time to share and for being a part of this tribe 🙂 I’m so happy that the post helped! xoxo
This hit home so hard. Thank you writing this out. You’re incredible
Glad that the post served you! It takes one to know one SW 🙂 All my love to you. XOXO
This was the best birthday gift to wake up to, whether you knew it or not. LOVE this post and all that it entails. Some of these lines will be my affirmations I write down every day.
Love you Natasha and the strength you show by being honest and vulnerable to all of us.
Happy Birthday Becca! You are my hero. XOXO
Yeah, poweer ! I cannot be thankful enough for your posts, Natasha. Literally, the biggest fan of your writings !
Funny enough, I have just received an ‘apology’ letter from my ex this weekend. I’ve been implementing what you’ve been writing about for the past 3 months since I have broken up. The most important thing that I did – invested all that energy into fixing what was broken into myself. 3 months. Such a difference ! 80% of his letter was blaming me of how I made him feel, 20% apology. I always treated him with all of the love, respect, being kind and supportive. I always had his back. But in truth, when I needed his support the most – he folded. My previous self would feel terrible and apologise back 300 times to him. Current self – answered calmly in gratitude and got away on her white horse. There is so much power in knowing your worth, your values, your standards and what you bring to the table. There is so much power of not proving to anyone of who you are. I realised, that I do not need to prove to him that all I did is cared and loved. I simply know and I simply keep it to myself.
Treat yourself better, girls ! We are extremely emotionally rich and all we do is give. I think the best lesson we can learn is not to forget to give love to ourselves too !
Agreed 🙂 Thanks Kristina – you are incredible. Happy that the post helped!
Thank you for your love, sisterhood and support. It means everything to me. XOX
You are amazing!! Thanks for sharing your insights…helps a lot!! Mainly because you make so much sense…lol…just wanted to let you know you are loved and most appreciated…
Right back at you Naomi 🙂 I appreciate, value and am so grateful for you taking the time to comment and being a part of this tribe. xoxo
Great article! Your words remind me of what I already know but reading it somehow makes it more true.
YAAA 🙂 Best compliment ever. Thanks Melissa! xo
Natasha, I’ve come to anticipate and appreciate your articles arriving in my email, like the gift of a unicorn on Christmas morning! I am nearly 5 months post-break up, still recovering, processing and learning from the experience. I never received an apology from the man whom I gave my deep and unwavering love and devotion. I’m still feeling heart-broken, but getting back to a place of strength and better health, one day (and one article) at a time. Thank you for your honesty, wisdom, badassness and gift of shedding light on the most painful experience of heartbreak.
I’m so honored and so happy to help Sandy. Thank YOU for you love, support and for taking the time to comment. Your comments are a unicorn Christmas gift for me 🙂 Truly. All my love to you sister. xx
My dear friend… the tears as I read this.
Once again, you have managed to tap into my emotions with every sentence in this post.
I am still working on this part and not gonna lie, but this is so damn hard for me.
Can’t really say much more than that without getting too worked up, but thank you as always for reaffirming what I already know in my head. My heart is still catching up to that.
Love you tons my dear Natasha…
I love you too sister. More than words.
Thanks for being you 🙂 xo
Dear Natasha – I’m one of your (avid) male readers. This article was beautiful, spot-on and of great help and reinforcement to me. What I’m so often struck by when reading your work is that it feels like you’re speaking only to me. I’ve done a lot of work to recover from codependency with a therapist, and your words only enhance and strengthen my recovery work. Every visit to your blog brings needed clarity. I’m so grateful for the work that you do. Thank you!
Thank you for taking the time to share, thank you for your love, thank you for your support and thank you for seeing your own pain in mine. It affirms that I am not/was never alone in so many feelings, emotions and experiences that I was convinced I was alone in for so long.
I am honored to help. You’re never alone.
Thanks for being a part of this tribe 🙂
oh Natasha, you’ve done it again… This is one of my favorite posts of yours since the white horse post. I’ve been reading PMS for a couple of years now, and this will be my first comment aside from once on your Instagram.
I really got myself into a situation when I was impregnated by a complete (in my firm belief) sociopath and undoubtable alcoholic. I now have an almost 9 month old baby, whose father has spent 36 hours with since her birth. In addition, I am 34, have MS, and am currently very physically debilitated with active brain lesions and alone with my baby. My situation is devastating every day. I recently joined Alanon, to try to rummage through the wreckage and save myself emotionally and pray that the rest will work itself out. If it weren’t for your posts, as well as the 12 step program, I’m not even sure I would make it anymore.
My ex, who I can’t seem to shake off, over a year after he abandoned me while pregnant, still tried to message me from time to time acting as if we talked yesterday and are on speaking terms. He will never hold accountability for the utter disaster he left me in, but I’m learning that in many ways I allowed this.
His reason for abandoning us, is fake. He basically tried to blame his new found allergic reactions to a pet that I’ve had for 6 years (2 years in a relationship with him before my pregnancy). Im fairly certain that this was the only even remotely “valid” excuse he could come up with for what was actually his fear of responsibility, and was his out.
I feel like I am in no way ready to apologize for the things that I’m not even aware of at this point. I’m sure I wasn’t perfect, though I certaintly tried. If I do ever apologize to him, in an effort to keep my side of the street clean, (and when I make amends to all those that I have wronged), I will be using this post as my format. I am bookmarking it on my desktop.
I have an immense amount of work to do on myself at this point, but your posts give me hope… and that to me is priceless.
Thank you so much.
I admire your strength and courage Gina. Sending lots of love to you and your sweet baby ?? xx
<3 <3 <3
Hi Gina. I also admire your strength. You show great wisdom and courage by choosing to work on yourself. That is a great thing. Stay strong and keep reading. It helps.
Gina, there are positives amongst all of the chaos and hardships you are dealing with.
You’re on to it. You’re working on YOU.
Yes you’re right: fake excuse. Animal allergies don’t break up relationships or disallow someone to parent.
Good for you. Spending time with people who can support you.
Having a baby can do one enormous and precious life changing thing: give you a real and very strong boundary.
You’ll prioritise your sweet little baby girl over him and all others who don’t serve you well. You’ll also benefit because you will no longer be walked over or available in the way you previously were.
Stay strong. Love yourself as much as you love your baby. Keep your circle tight and keep working on your goals and self healing. Motherhood sometimes allows us to love ourselves when we have been unable to as mothering is all about nurturing. When we can nurture a baby we learn to nurture ourselves. Also, how amazing is your body to carry that sweet little bub – I bet you are a beautiful mama.
I wish I could cook you something and invite you over. Give you some flowers to take home. Give you a huge hug and tell you how amazing you are.
Because you are, dealing with all of this – you are simply awesome.
I don’t know what else to say. But I’m touched to tears by your story.
Love and blessings to you, Gina. I think we would all love to hear how you are going. Please write every now and then. People care about you here.
Gina, I am in tears. You are incredible – so strong, resilient and graceful under pressure that I cannot even fathom.
You are not alone in any of this or ever. Keep coming back here to the blog and just know that you are loved, understood, supported and believed in. I am so honored to have helped.
Sending you and your baby girl so much love. XOX
In my opinion I think he sounds like a coward and what you do with cowards traumatize the shithead into adulthood. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a lawyer find out your and your baby’s rights to get the most support you can. Children are amazing, they open up a world of love I never knew existed and holding my son the first time was by far the most amazing moment in my life! But I’m telling you it’s a lot harder to raise a kid all by yourself. don’t let him just walk out and pretend this didn’t happen. I’m sure if it was up to him he would just keep going from one person to the next until he gets too ugly and no one wants him anymore then he settles. I know its hard to keep it objective because you’re hurt and a lot is going on but you need to do it for the future of your baby and yourself. Good luck dear ?
And speaking of shitheads I remember this guy who worked at my building I used to live and was looking at my son who was just over a year old and says “he’s about the same age as my boys” I thought he meant he has twins but then he tell me “no, different mamas”
Hi Natasha. I do not even know how to begin. I will just say I am full of emotion due to this post. It started a new thought process for me. I never expect an apology from him. I feel I need to apologize to him but not completely sure since he was the one emotionally unavailable. Thank you for your wisdom once again. I love your gift of continuous education for me and for being so vulnerable yourself. ???
Hugs to you my dear Linda. We’ve got each other my friend.
Hi Vicki. Thank you and I hope you are well. I come here often and I feel anything but alone. ???
I was thinking of you when I wrote this post so many times <3 Happy it helped. Love and appreciate you so much Linda 🙂 xo
Natasha, compassionate words there about forgiveness. Acceptance of what is – really does allow you the space to move on. I always believed it was about letting the other person off the hook. And while I had that belief I was one angry and hurt soul.
I’m going to say something here that might seem a bit left of centre, but I think anger can be a very motivating emotion. And I believe it can help people connect to their boundaries, especially those who are (or were) professional people pleasers. Anger can result from being hurt and treated badly. To feel it, is a powerful thing. It is really translating as ‘I did nf******* deserve that!’ For me, this was a good thing because it motivated me and when I reached the point of anger it was cleansing. Instead of feeling hurt, I felt strong and found the path to walk away. And wipe that person from my life. I had to. Because it was destructive. It was a labyrinth of dysfunction and pain. This man was actually my father. I had just finished high school.
I think I walked away with a huge sense of relief (he was an alcoholic) but I was unable to see I actually had no compass to navigate life. I was alone though and I had a sense of freedom and peace. There’s always a positive to everything. It did take me awhile ( lol translate that to years!) to find sense of direction that was where I felt most comfortable. I did learn sooooo incredibly much. But it took me a few years longer to really develop boundaries. Whenever I felt anger, I knew I was in the wrong place for me. It taught me a lot about forgiveness but it took awhile longer for me to digest that and truly understand it.
One thing amazes me about all of what you write, Natasha. It always comes back to self love. Always. That’s why Self forgiveness should always come first. Like you say, if we can’t forgive ourselves life will play that out until we do. Patterns repeat until we begin to recognise them and see them coming. For me, anger always helped alert me to my poor choices and helped me choose a new direction. The true freedom came when I quit my position as a pro people pleaser. It took years to see I was important too and I deserved to be loved. It tastes so sweet when you get to that place. It’s worth the trip to make it. Stay on those white horses everyone.
Xxx love to you x???
I love you Lorelle. There is so much truth in your words. My problem is i go from anger to regret and sadness and back to anger again. Although i am learning to forgive myself everyday, it has been a struggle. I am not where i was in the beginning but im still not where i want to be in terms of finding that balance and peace within. I judge myself way more than i should, but I am getting better at being patient with myself and learning its okay to not always get it right.
This place has become my home base when i need some encouragement and support. I never feel alone here. I am truly thankful for that.
Hello Vicki! So nice to read you ?? … I am with you on that swing from angerto other emotions. Sadness is very hard – it’s full of nostalgia and tends to be filtered with rose coloured glasses. The pendulum swing from anger to that is painful. Big hugs. I’m going to sound crazy but I actually wrote a list one day in a situation that this was happening to me. I wrote when I was feeling strong and in the frame of mind of. “I’ deserve to be cared for and treated well. Im worth someone’s time”.
The list was composed of all the hurtful, mean, inconsiderate, and unloving things I had been through.
I just had it on my phone as a draft email, not on the fridge or anything. ?. Anyway, on days I felt sad or missed him (regret) I would read this list! It worked, it would disconnect those sad feelings and my boundaries would be feeling it in my stomach. I had a little mantra going on too – “I deserve to be loved. I’m worth someone time”. It really gave me a sense of empowerment (I’m glad it’s over, because he’s not here now I have peace in my life).
Reading that list would make me feel strong because I stood up for myself. You can’t say you deserve love and then put up with crap. Mixed messages. Incongruent. You are only short changing yourself.
Looking back I hardly read that list but knowing it was there could quickly fade those emotions of pain and feeling lost and sad. Questioning myself stopped.
You’re doing great, Vicki. You soooooo are! But yes, it hurts so much and it does take time to heal. It’s so great you find solace here, I do too. On a hard day, it really can soothe you. Never feel bad though for taking time to process things emotionally. It must happen for us to move forward. You are worth the time it takes to heal. And that’s just where you are. It’s a perfect place right now. It’s safe and you are loved. There’s so many white horses out there, we could have an international gymkhana hehe. ???. But white horse warriors can unite right here.
Big hugs and so much love to you, Vicki. You got this! Xxx ?
Thank you Lorelle. I appreciate everything you said and I am just continuing to work on me. I know deep inside so much of what I’m feeling has alot to do with triggers from my past and my own insecurities. Trust is a big obstacle for me… my own fears keep me from being too vulnerable because I never want to go thru this pain and disappointment again. Yet i dont want to let what happened make me emtionally unavailable for the good things in my life. Trying to find that balance is the bane of my existence. Just when i think im doing so well i fall back a few steps. Patience needs to be my new BFF.
Love you my friend.
This is so beautiful. Your story hit my harder than I can express right now – just in the way that I needed to be <3
Love you Lorelle. Thank you for being you. xx
I received an apology from my ex after I had fallen off the white horse.
We had been in contact for a few weeks after I fell off the white horse until it got to the point I was like, what the hell am I doing? This is bullshit. I texted him it was time for us to both check out completely , that I was done. I was just so over being in limbo with him.
I knew that threw him off but at that point I didn’t care about him anymore. I felt so empowered . I did it for me.
Almost two weeks later he emailed me an extensive apology for his part of not communicating and not being the person he should have been, that I deserved better and that we didn’t ever talk about what happened between us ( I never felt safe enough to bring it up so that’s why I didn’t. Everything was so shaky until I finally said forget this). Well, that opened up communication AGAIN, but this time we did talk about what went wrong in our relationship. The big problem is that he is emotionally unavailable and was keeping me at arms length and pushing me away, this after months of what seemed like us getting closer as a couple. He said he didn’t mean to do that even though he knows that knowing himself, he did. It was good to get it all out on the table.
BUT THEN what happened? We didn’t say we were getting back together, but we didn’t say we were ending things. Limbo again ( my fault for allowing that) We had made plans to meet up at his place the following weekend. Leading up to it he texted for me to let him know when I was done with my friends so I could come over after, that he would be up late, etc. Well, the day comes, I text him..and he cancels on me with a lame excuse. HE’S DOING THIS SHIT AGAIN TO ME.
I went home, called him and I ended it for good this time. There was nothing unclear about what I was saying; I cannot do this anymore.
That was almost two weeks ago and I have felt like I regressed to when I was first grieving. It hurts so much. But I know this time it’s truly over. He has NOTHING to offer me. He fucked up for the last time with me and he will never get that opportunity again. I finally loved myself enough to cut him off and cut him out and make it clear that he is to stay away from me.
I hate myself for allowing him in again and again. But I guess I had to see if things could be changed. They couldn’t. He can’t. He just doesn’t have it in him to be who I need him to be. He wants me in his life but he only wants to contribute the bare minimum. I am worth FAARRR more than that. So now he gets NONE of me, ever again.
I forgive myself. I’m not at the place where I forgive him yet. Right now, I hate his fucking guts and I hope his life sucks ass. I hope he hates himself for what he did to me. Do I have high hopes for that. No, I don’t, but I can still want it
Thanks for writing this. Even though I forgive myself, I need to be reminded that I need to continually forgive myself. I refuse to be mad at me for my mistakes that I made because I know that I am a good person with good intentions. I am not perfect but I am definitely worth hanging around for, and if someone can’t handle me because they have their own issues to deal with , they need to just get the hell away from me. I cannot do anyone else’s self-work.
Thank you, Natasha.
Kim… i have been wondering about you and was hoping yoy were doing well my friend. Im so sorry to hear what has happened. I have been EXACTLY where you are in the past with the ex. Believe me when i tell you that i know how much it can mess with your head and be so unbelievably angry at yourself for thinking this time things may be different. You are human and you went with what you felt at the time. Don’t punish yourself for that. I know you will get thru this and you have all of us here for love and support my dear sister.
Sending you lots and love and strength. Wish i could give you a big hug right now.
Vicki!! thank you! I am sending you a huge hug right back! I am doing well. I am definitely in the “anger”phase of grieving which is actually a good thing, because I’m making progress! I no longer see him as someone I long for, I see him as a damaged piece of shit who needs to deal with his mess but leave me the hell alone. I know I won’t always feel this way and I know I will be over him. I’ve come a long way and I will continue to go forward. It’s done for good this time and I had my closure. I’m pretty sure he feels like shit to drive me away again, but this time I’m gone forever. He disgusts me.
As always, I wish you the best as well! You take care of you and I am sending love, healing, good energy and only good vibes your way!!!! xoxo Kim
I so understand where you are coming from my friend. Almost too much. I definitely feel the anger that you describe and yes when you really start thinking about all the crap you went thru and how truly unavailable they really are it puts things in perspective. They wont change with someone else. Its who they are!!! The disgust factor needs to outweigh any of the “good times” that we often focus on and makes it that much harder to get over. YES you are so worth much more than he or my ex can ever be capable of giving us. I am sorry you had to go thru any more pain but if it helped you in any way to see him for who he really is then maybe its best you know that now in order to shut the door for good.
We are all here for you my dear Kim. I hope you keep us poated on how you are doing.
Lots of love and hugs to you!!
Vicki, thank you. Yes, he is who he is and I don’t expect him to change for me or for anyone, and I don’t care anymore. It hurts but it’s liberating as well to get to the point where I know I want to move on for good this time. He has proven over and over he can’t be who I need to be so I accept that and I am reframing him as not someone I lost but someone who IS lost. I am not lost and I need someone who is also not lost. I am taking time for me and I am going to reinvest in me again because I just love myself too much to be bitter or broken up because of HIM. I refuse to give him that power. I am reclaiming all of me and I am going to look back at this at some point and be thankful for what I learned and what how far I came from it. While I hate that I had to go through yet another heartbreak in my life, I know I WILL get through this. I have done it before and I will do it again, and this time having learned a LOT about EUM and their red flags.
I love you, Vicki. I pray for this journey for you to be full of self love and peace. I hope we will both eventually have good stories to tell!
Thank you so much for sharing Kim. You are loved, supported, empathized with and understood.
I am happy and honored to help. Glad that the post served you. All my love to you sister. XOX
Thanks for this post Natasha. I have always struggled with forgiveness and anger. Now I see that a lot of my struggle probably comes from me needing to forgive myself and not be angry with me anymore.
My struggle for the past two years involves an ex -relations**t which ended that long ago…..I still think about him weekly, although not with the same intense anger as before, and certainly not longing. He did apologize and ask for my forgiveness about a year ago ( i had been no contact for a long while) but the apology was decidedly lacking. It was basically him saying he had entered AA, found a “peace I couldnt imagine” and that he is sorry for all the pain he caused me and “he doesnt hold grudges”……..To me that sounded like he was fishing for me to apologize to him as if I had done something wrong by demanding he be a respectful loving faithful boyfriend and then getting angry when I wasnt treated with respect, love and loyalty. Some background: I had left loving friends and family who needed me and moved to another country for this man only to be treated less than I deserved….
I told him forgivness is a process and I would do it (*eventually) and to continue in his program and take care Mostly I only said that bc I care more about his poor daughter and I would like for her to not have an alcoholic father who ignores her as he had, no one deserves that. I left it at that and havent talked to him since
Well a few months later I see (thanks to indirect connections on fb and insta…….) he has a new girlfriend. Given his past history of asking me for money, and then eventually stealing a large sum from me, I surmise he probably got with her bc she is European and has money. I thought grrrr but well whatever that will probably be short lived like the other two he had been with after we ended. Then a couple of months ago a friend tells me the girl is pregnant…….*But keep in mind all of this is happening after he had taken a vow of sobriety for three years (a vow which he took about a month after our relationship imploded two years ago) so he could focus on taking care of his daughter who’s care he had previously shoved off onto his mother. *WTF, queue face palm and a small nuclear explosion*
So, its fair to say I still had a lot of anger and now thanks to this new info it definitely wasnt getting better. Cause damn isnt karma supposed to kick his a** for all the pain he caused me? Back then in the first months after we split I couldnt eat, I couldnt sleep, I lost about 15 lbs frm not eating, I felt like my soul was absolutley crushed, my confidence was shredded, I went to bed crying and woke up crying, and frankly I just wanted to go to sleep and never wake up because that was the only time my heart didnt hurt………and now what he just gets to skip into the sunset all “la te da” no consequences forgiven and with the one thing I truly want in life… a family!?
But no, its not about that.
Then I read this post and I now realize that while I thought I had been in the process of forgiving I wasnt, really, in that process. I was just trying to forget not forgive, because I had certainly not forgiven myself for abandoning my friends and family, for not seeing the red flags from the beginning, for in my eyes not being smart enough to realize sooner that he was not worth my time and effort, for nearly f***g up my entire career, for wasting my time with a loser, and for letting someone nearly destory me. Forgetting some of that experience is probably good because it was so incredibly painful but I unless I forgive myself I wont ever really forgive, forget, or let go of him and what happened. And instead of keeping tabs on him and what he is doing and oh has karma knocked him out yet? I should be enjoying the great life I have built since I got back. I should be focusing on me and forgiving myself not focused on what he is or isnt doing and what has or hasnt happened to him.And when I have forgiven myself, fully taken back that “control”, and when I am no longer angry with myself then the rest will follow. And its OK that its taking me a long time to do it!
So, thank you again Natasha. Reading your post and being given the opportunity to write this long as hell comment to you and everyone has given me a measure of inner peace and a sense of hope. I am so grateful to you. I have been a reader/follower of yours throughout all of this and I am so glad you do what you do. Keep it up!
Viki – Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing and for being a part of this tribe. You are stronger, more beautiful, resilient, badass, courageous and aware than you even know.
And you are never alone in this – now or ever. All my love to you sister. Thank you for your love and support! xo
I received an apology from my ex six months ago, ten months after he’d broken up with me via text and gone back to his ex. We hadn’t been in contact during that time, I was over him by then but felt the apology helped me forgive him. We built up a ok friendship, then three weeks ago he met a new woman, obvs being EUM he went from 0-100 in a week, I advised that it might be better if he slowed it down and that nothing good came of rushing a relationship (I should know as he’d done the same to me) but all I got was that I was being negative and I should be happy for them because she gets him (rolls eyes!). I hate falling out with people so was going to apologise to him, then I realised that although I have forgiven him I can’t forget the horrible things he did and instead I text him and said I didn’t want to be friends anymore. I’m proud for walking away rather than just apologise for something that wasn’t necessarily my fault just to keep the peace ?
Proud of you too KitKat! No need to apologize for that. XO
I started copy/pasting quotes to save, and I swear I almost copied the whole damn (awesome) thing. You always nail it, but sometimes you hit the nail soooo hard it’s an epiphany! I will have to read this over several times to wrap my head around it. I mean…. this is EXACTLY what I needed RIGHT NOW. Thank you, Natasha!
I’ve never read an article that explains how to forgive and how to apologize in the same breath. And you don’t hold back. I feel like this article is the key to my progress. There’s so much here but this really stood out:
Honesty is the greatest gift you could ever give to others and yourself. It saves you from shutting off your vulnerability.(Reminds me of Brene Brown – The POWER of Vulnerability podcast…. changed my life! So worth a listen!) It disallows agendas, dramas, and the ability to mask your truth. Honesty may be painful, disagreed with, and disliked, but it will always be respected. That is just SO TRUE. YES!!!
Honesty is the key…. to forgiving and apologizing. Being honest with yourself and others, and accurately assessing your relationships/shits. The puppy analogy really hit home. That’s exactly what happened. I’m such a “golden” (retriever) head pats are everything. I think maybe I want to switch to Aussie (avoids head pats like are you kidding me!? And demands play and action. Lol.) To sum it up….. your post ignites a fire in me. And life is too short to not forgive and to not be sorry. Let’s F R E E ourselves…..
Thank you from he bottom of my heart. I am in tears once again – tears of endless joy, appreciation and so much gratitude for you KP. Love you. xoxo
I also want to acknowledge THIS:
PMS has never and will never be a platform for how much Natasha Adamo has been wronged, heartbroken and hurt in her relationships and life. (Soooo refreshing, seriously)
I want to make one thing very clear:
I have hurt people. I have lied, cheated, evaded responsibility, failed epically, held grudges, burned bridges, buried hatchets with GPS locators attached, acted immaturely, and overcompensated in the most humiliating ways. I have been incredibly selfish in my life.
THIS. I say: Me too, me too. You didn’t even have to say it, girl, but thank you for saying it. We KNOW, and that’s why we love you and trust you so much. Bc we have done most if not all of those things. Honesty breeds trust. Btw GPS locators attached… is HILAR.
Too many joyful tears to type right now.
I wish I could put into words how much this means to me.
& lol glad you liked that too 🙂 xx
Hey, how do i apologize for immature behavior when I felt abandoned? We both messed it up, but I want to apologize for my side while still remaining on the white horse.
I was reading this because of a mess I’ve created, and I realised, I am THAT narcissistic sociopath who can’t apologise properly. Real eye-opener, I never realised I was doing that. I will definitely be sure to always check myself until it doesn’t happen again.
Wow, thank you so much for having the courage to share. Wishing you a healthy, peaceful, and happy New Year. You are not alone. Thank you for your kindness, love, and support.
So much to learn and grow from your articles. Each one is so insightful! You’re so bright and helpful!
I am so happy and honored to have helped/help in any way. I live to give what I wish I would have had. Thanks for being a part of this community, S! All my love to you.