Estimated reading time: 10 minutes
With the holidays in full effect, along with the New Year approaching; sparkly lights, items in your online shopping cart, and cheer in your mug, there is a very common, but thus far, unnamed condition. It starts as an involuntary twitch of an index finger and a mindless reach for your phone, all before you are even fully aware of what you are doing and asking yourself, “should I text my ex?”
Suddenly, you are drafting and redrafting nostalgic refrains in your mind. These lines are so interesting, witty, and powerful that you almost believe they will defibrillate a relationship past, like some kind of Christmas miracle.
At this point, much like that incredibly expensive gift in your cart that you’ve tried to convince yourself you can afford by making Affirm payments, you take a pause and ask yourself “what is the true cost of this to me?”
You are a sentient, beautiful human, so yes, the holidays can bring forth feelings that range from joy to nostalgia, to abject misery when we think about an ex (which may be all the time).
Thinking about an ex during this time is totally normal; however, if you feel an unstoppable, involuntary bear of an impulse to text your ex, just to feel like you can live, there’s probably an element of unrequited love and toxicity in your past relationship.
As Natasha has said many times, “a toxic ex is anyone who gets validation by exploiting your hunger for theirs.” A toxic relationship is a relationship in which you were just that – exploited, used, and unseen for who you truly are – because your ex was too ego-driven to be a true partner.
You are starving for closure, love, or acknowledgment because you were in a relationship with someone who could not truly connect with you, respond to you in kind, or support you in the way that you deserve.
Left to its own devices, this starvation lives on, whether you are in the relationship or not.
For many reasons, including your childhood, attachment style, a possible trauma bond, or a myriad of other factors, you are convinced that this one, specific person, is crucial to your emotional survival. This drive becomes a powerful generator of reasons and excuses to text your ex.
But at what further harm to you?
I hope you read the following in that pause when you are wondering, “should I text my ex?”
10 Reasons Why You Should Never Text Your (Toxic) Ex
- Your energy is currency, and this currency is not generated easily.
Your energy is the magnetism with which you attract the good in your life and repel that which will harm you. It’s what makes those around you feel cherished, lit up, and loved. It’s what makes you feel safe, grounded, and anchored when you are enjoying the present moment doing something you love.
Your energy is a gift.
Texting an ex not only depletes YOU of your precious energy, but it also charges up someone who has harmed you in the past. It buoys someone who exploited and used your energy during the relationship, even out of the relationship and in return for nothing. Your energy, given to the wrong person, will not be valued as it should. What’s more, for this kind of person, the absence of your energy will be felt much more acutely, than its presence.
- What you got, is what you’ll get.
Even if the universe conspired to create the most perfect situation – your ex is at his lowest and thinking of you. You text exactly the right words in the right order that pull exactly the right heartstrings, your ex is STILL the same emotionally impotent, ego-driven person who is only capable of responding to connecting with you in a fleeting (at best) manner.
Even if you cash in all your karmic goodwill to create this scenario, your ex is no different than the person you were in a relationship with. This improbable miniature moment when you receive something like a sincere text back will soon disappear, and you will be left with a hope hangover, which will make you feel even worse.
- The worst-case scenario is disgusting.
Your ex is in bed with someone when he receives your message. Your ex is at a bar with friends and passes around his or her phone, to show friends that you are forlorn without your ex. Your ex feels down because he was rejected by someone else, and when he receives your messages, gets a nice little ego hit that he still may be the man.
Ego-driven, unavailable exes collect text messages like emotional currency, which either validate them (when they are at their lowest) or which they use to scorn former exes in private and public ways. If you feel abject disgust from the pit of your stomach reading this, use that feeling to put your phone down. But also know that none of this has anything to do with you or your worth as a partner. Ego-driven people do not discriminate according to worth. You were simply available and an (unknowing) volunteer in a toxic relationship.
You don’t have to be a volunteer anymore.
- Texting your ex is putting off inevitable grief.
The true, necessary, and crucial grieving begins when you realize that for your own health and well-being, you will never interact with your ex again. If the option of texting is no longer there, the really scary part begins.
Sure, you can give up, text your ex, be disappointed, or get back on the rollercoaster again.
But for how long are you going to put off feeling the grief?
What will you miss in the meantime?
Your body needs you to (very carefully, slowly, and in accordance with what you need) feel the pain, take care of yourself, and be there for yourself, especially if you have been through the trauma of a toxic relationship. This is a part of you down to your very cells. It will remain a part of you until you address it, and you can never address it in an environment in which your ex has access to you.
- Who aren’t you texting when you are texting your ex?
When you spend your time thinking about someone who sent you mixed messages, hurt you (whether knowingly or unknowingly), and someone who you could never truly be yourself around, you are inevitably missing out on opportunities to connect with people who will make you feel loved, expansive, and at ease.
Even if you are the loneliest person in the world right now and cannot think of one friend or a single human being who would enjoy your company, you will never increase your chances at your own happiness if you continually go back to someone who has proven they cannot support you on a consistent basis.
- You’ve said enough.
If your ex is toxic, I’m willing to bet you expended all of your empathy, creative resources, verbal and non-verbal communication skills to explain how you feel and to seek connection. There is no perfect way, no word choice in the correct order, no gif, no line right from your heart that will make a person who does not have the capacity for emotional intimacy to conjure up emotional intimacy. One more text message will not do the trick.
You have done enough. There is nothing more to say.
- One last text will not get you closure.
Again, if your ex is toxic, your ex cannot give you closure. Your ex does not have the language for this, much like your ex likely cannot speak Latin fluently. Your ex cannot tell you “the truth” because they barely know what the truth is themselves. You may get something that approaches “closure” at some point, but this will not feed you, because you will know in your gut it is not sincere.
- You are better than this.
You — who has been through so much, who has touched so many people (both knowingly and unknowingly), who has freely given your empathy and love to others – you have people pulling for you.
Even if you feel lonely now, you inevitably have people who wish you so much joy and happiness and who look up to you. These people, even if you don’t know them and definitely the people in this community, want you to get off this merry-go-round and to give your presence and attention to someone who deserves it.
Remember who you are and what you have survived. You deserve more than an SMS back.
- If you text your ex, what are you telling the younger version of yourself, who has been through so much?
When you give your attention to someone who has harmed you, you are inevitably telling the younger version of yourself, your inner child who has been with you all along, that you are willing to continue to put off taking care of her. Not only are you willing to put that off, but you are also communicating to her that the hits will keep coming. That you are not going to protect her, in spite of knowing what you know about your ex.
- If you text your ex, what are you telling yourself and the universe, about what you dream for the future you?
You are creating a life for the future you, right now, this minute, with what you do today. You are investing in your future health, success, and happiness.
If you text your ex today, you are setting your future self up for more of the same, which at best means, exactly this – sitting around and wondering “should I text my ex?”
Waiting for a response.
Your life is precious and short. When other people talk about dreams they have pursued, books they have read, connections they have made, the art they have created, or the fun that they have had, what will you talk about? What will you have to show for your time?
Fully acknowledge that your heartache is brutal and that healing is at times slow. But also, put yourself in a position in which you have fewer days that you will regret.
Now, to address some common scenarios:
Should I Text My Ex Happy Birthday?
No. In the past, Natasha has asked, “Who do you remember on your birthday? All the people who reached out to you or the one person who didn’t?”
Should I Text My Ex Back?
No. You are not a garlic-lemon-brined turkey roasting slowly in the oven. You do not need to have your temperature checked.
Further, your ego-high doling days are over. Toxic people like to test others to see whether exes, friends, and family members will “return” even after those people have been treated poorly. Instead of interpreting a text back as your goodwill, they will take it as validation that they are still a good person or a desirable person and move on.
If your ex, by some very unlikely miracle, underwent a complete personality transformation and not only recognized the error of their ways but genuinely figured out a way to make things right with you, you would not be asking “should I text my ex back?” In this scenario (which is the only one you deserve), your ex will make it perfectly clear this is the case, and it likely won’t come via text message.
What if I genuinely see something that reminds me of my toxic ex and I want to reach out to let them know, just like anyone else in my life?
Your ex is not just like anyone else in your life.
Your ex is someone who exploited your hunger for their validation and made you feel unstable, unseen, and/or unloved.
Would you text a high school bully just because you passed the field where they called you names?
Would you text a toxic ex-coworker who never pulled their weight about something funny that happened at work?
Once you start turning the tide on listening to yourself and healing, you will remember that your ex contributed to your harm and misery. When something reminds you of your ex, it won’t ping some old hunger for their response or approval. Instead, it will remind you that you survived, that you healed yourself, and that you are available for the love that you deserve to come your way.
This post was written by Natasha Adamo Team Member, Irena.
Are you done with toxic relationships and ready to attract (and be attracted to) healthy relationships? Do you want to connect with others on a deeper level than the comments below? Click here to become an Emotional Mastery Member and learn more. If you’re looking for more personalized, one-on-one help, you can work directly with Natasha Adamo here.
Thank you so much for this article, it was a post Christmas gift.
For me personally blocking was the only way that helped me with my toxix ec who humiliated and betrayed me so many times i cant even count . But now i am wondering is it really mean to do it with his bf too who keeps reaching out to me? (having my news so he can tell him and i guess he also cares to some point because he is very aware of what he did to me and feels sorry for me). I tried to tell him several times that its bad for my mental health to stay in touch and i feel like it would be the only way he wouldunderstand my boundary but i dont want to hurt him.
Every time his friend contacts you… you will be reminded of him. Cut the contact with the friend as well. You have a journey in front of you. Clear your path of debris. The friend is debris.
I am healing and have come a long long way down my path. It was brutal at times. But never contacting him or going anywhere near where he would be were part of the process. Natasha and her team helped me so much in my recovery. I would revisit their articles so many times along the way. I can tell you from my survival….my now thriving self….stick to these words. Wear them like a shield. You will come out of this. I promise. I never thought I would and boy did I ever. I have my moments but they don’t last. Sinkholes turned into potholes turned into puddles.
I wish you Godspeed on your journey.
Thank you so much for your kindness and taking the time to reply me. I look up to you and you give me power and hope that maybe i can do it too, stick to no contact forever and move on. The idea of never seeing or talking to my first love again is very scary sometimes but i know i will overcome this. Are you planning to keep no contact forever?
I also come back to Natasha’s article everytime i feel low.
Thank you for reaching out,
Have a wonderful life
I’m so sorry to hear you’re going through this. I’ve been in a similar situation and as much as it pained me, I had to let go (for a while and then permanently ) of anyone close to my ex. It will be hard to move forward when you have someone there that can potentially be feeding your ex with stories about you- good or bad.
Your ex lost the right to know what’s going on with you the moment they became your ex. And, you cannot control what another person in their circle will do with your information.
Energetically there are still negative cords of attachment lingering creating a path back to your ex and a path back to you. Close off that path. Road Closed for construction. Do Not Enter.
I would recommend to stop sharing any information about yourself with this bf; Unless this person is YOUR person, do not divulge any info that can be “shared”.
The key takeaway is that you’re practicing self care and in this case, this is more important than hurting the feelings of your EX’s bf.
Stick to your boundaries. They exist for your safety and mental, physical, emotional health. I wish you strength and love and here’s to a 2022 full of self -care, emotional strength and courage. You got this! 💝
Thank you for your kindness and wisdom, it brightened up my day and gave me strength. You are absolutely right, i need to focus on myself and cut off this negative cord with everyone related to him. Especially that since yesterday i figured out he has a new gf. I think it will help me to move on somehow and cut the contact with everyone related to him forever and stick to my boundaries. Ofc it hurts a lot and this new girl seems to be the complete opposite of me but yea it doesnt matter since he is still the same man who broke my trust and left me on the darkest day of my life, when my momwas in the hospital. Ofc i dont need a man like him, but as Natasha said somany times, its sometimes so much harder to let a toxic person go…
Wishing you all the best,
Happy New Year:) lots of love xx
Thank you so much for sharing your vulnerability. My exes best friend also reaches out to me. On December 26, the ex sent me three photographs of him creating “I miss you quote in the snow with inner tubes in a very romcomesque way.
I too, am grateful to Irene and of course Natasha. Nonetheless, please appreciate and know that your generosity sharing your story is helpful in that it keeps me from feeling like I’m going through this alone.
Dear de Elle,
I am so happy if it made you feel less alone. Stay strong and never look back and give in to those breadcrumbs..
They are just not worth it and life is too short..
It’s 3 years now since I’ve been trying to fix my relationship but is like I’m wasting my time, the guy is like he moved on with his life. I was still waiting for him to come back but no luck. I want to move on with my life can you please help to forget about him I’m still thinking about him always
Thanks so much for writing. Good for you that you had the courage to block your ex! I’m so sorry about the situation with your ex’s best friend. For one thing, I know it can feel really tempting to seek support from someone who was close to the situation. One thing about toxic relationships is that they are really hard to explain to someone else, especially someone from the outside. It can feel overwhelming to begin to know where to start when seeking support from an “outsider.” That being said, I would go with your gut feelings here. You know in your gut that continuing to speak to the best friend is not conducive to your healing. Cutting a connection, even a connection via a third party, can be really hard. It may be just as hard as cutting the connection between you and your ex, in some ways. I get that, but I hope you follow through on your courage and to protect yourself from anything or anyone that prevents you from healing. At least for now.
Secondly, based on what you have written, there is a very obvious red flag here. You have repeatedly told your ex’s best friend that you no longer wish to communicate, yet he has ignored your request. ANYONE who does not respect such a boundary does not deserve your continued time or energy, end of story. Regardless of whether there is any relation to your ex or not. You have tried to explain and to be polite, and at this stage, I would not feel the least bit bad if you decide to follow through on blocking the best friend as well.
Thanks for commenting with this question — you make others feel less alone. Thanks for being here. I hope you have a peaceful new year.
Much love to you,
Thank you so much for your kind reply, perfect timing since that now i am hit with the news that he already moved on and he has a new gf. I ll need to stay strong to stick to no contact in the sense of not stalking their seemingly perfect happy life on IG.
You are not alone, my sister xox. Love you
I know it is mainly women commenting on these posts but, as a man, Natasha’s and Irene’s posts have been helpful in my healing process. I ended a three-year, toxic, on/off relationship recently in which my ex would couple up with another guy immediately – less than a week – after each breakup (we broke up three times) including after this last breakup (the day after!). Enough is enough. I can’t stress how critical it is to cut all pathways for contact. I made the mistake of not blocking her and she would reach out after 5-6 months when her other relationships didn’t work out. I thought she could change but how could she? She was focused on her “new” relationships instead of herself. I have now cut her off completely (including her family and friends which is how I would find out she was with a new guy) and even my family has cut contact with her. Do I miss her at times? Absolutely. Did I make mistakes during our relationship? Absolutely. But I’ve realized it’s not her I really miss… it’s the version of her that I wanted her to be and I’m certain there is someone out there who is much, much better and I’m now focused on how I can improve on what I did wrong. For you, I would recommend completely cutting ties with your ex and his friends/family in order to speed along the healing process and to not sabotage the work you’ve done months later when he’s lonely and tries contacting you – odds are high his new relationship won’t work and he will be looking for an ego hit when he’s feeling lonely and low. It also prevents you from stalking their social media which only prolongs your healing. Best of luck in your healing process and know there are men who support you as well.
Really kind of you for taking the time to reply to me, i really appreciate it and your advice really touched me and i do feel less guilty now about cutting contact with his “bff”. Yes you are absolutely right, i need to protect myself from falling back into his arms whenever his new relationship fails. Its the second time he broke up w me during 6 years, first left me for another girl then came back when he realised i am ” the one ” and then left again while i was in the hospital with my mom…so yep definitely no 3. time is needed…I do miss his version as you said, who i believed him to be, thank you for opening up my eyes. As maya angelou said: when ppl show u how they are believe them the first time…Wish you all the best in your healing process, you are strong and kind hearted, you can do this. Thanks again for messaging me! Have a wonderful day:)
If only I had the ability to never interact with my ex again, that would be the best gift ever. Having a child together means you are tied to that person forever, and the healing takes 10X longer. So if you do have the ability to avoid interacting with your ex, as this article says, avoid it at all costs, it is not going to get you anywhere, as the article says, there is nothing you are going to get back that is going to add to your life. Don’t waste your time. Consider it a gift if you can pick up your phone and put it down again and make the decision not to interact with someone who hurt you, I don’t have that luxury.
Your article was spot on!! You are so wise.
Irena, this was amazing! Thank You! There are the moments where you long for the good old times and want to wish away the things that can never be taken back. And others can’t seem to understand why anyone would reminisce at all. You might say what about this great memory and the other person might say what about this bad memory, and on and on. But then you take a step back, just like you said in this article, and think what will you show for yourself as life is passing you by. Is it I read this book, I traveled to this place, I started a new job or is it I really missed him for a long time. Your article fills me with strength. It reminds me sure I’ll miss him because natural I shared a huge part of my life with this person. But I also gave it my absolute all but he did not (I accept my fault in that) but no more energy from me. I will take care of the girl I ignored for so long. And continue to fill my life up with friends, family, travel, books, and adventures.
Lovely work as always Irena. I love your name also- it means “peace” in Greek.
Lots of Love xx
Thank you, Skevoulla! I so appreciate the love and support. Thank you for being here and being you. <3 I absolutely love Greece and wish I could travel there more often. I hope you have a very happy new year.
Much love to you,
This was a great reminder for me. I am always afraid of everything you spelled out. I have never texted my ex after we broke up. No matter how much I wanted to the fear of rejection and humiliation kept me from not doing it. I did not want to loose what little dignity I had left. We have to respect ourselves and not texting is a good start.
Thank you for writing this. I wish you a very happy new year. 🎊🎈
Thank you for writing. You are so strong! I totally agree — there are so many reasons not to interact with someone who has harmed us — and self preservation is probably the number one reason. I think a lot of times society tells us not to “fear rejection” and “go for it,” but in this case, I think it absolutely makes sense to “fear rejection” and save yourself from humiliation from someone who has actually…brought all those things in our lives! I’m so happy to know you said no to all that, even though I’m sure it was hard for you. Happy new year and much love to you.
I wish I had read this article sooner. I did so well with my No Contact contract but with the holidays I just couldn’t resist replying to his text.
And now when I tried to explain I wasn’t interested in getting back together he is eluding to “he will leave this earth” etc if I don’t talk to him everyday. ( we don’t live in same area) and now the empath in me is broken down and I am trapped again. Should I just block him since I’m pretty sure it’s just manipulative tactics versus real threats?
Elizabeth…you know the answers to your questions…you have to find the courage to just “step into it”…you got this. Stay strong!
It was three years ago when I felt an intolerable agony of an all-consuming struggle to text or not to text an emotionally unavailable user. This article truly resonates but from a very calm and different place that was once considered impossible to reach in December 2018.
Thank you Irena. Much gratitude to these beautifully written, highly insightful articles that made this transformation possible. It is remarkable (actually miraculous!) what distance, time, objectivity, self love, and a supportive community can accomplish.
To text or not to text 2021? Absolutely not – not now and not ever. I now have empathy for my toxic ex who was loved so deeply and so unconditionally with zero ability to reciprocate. His inability to reciprocate mature love has nothing to do with me as Natasha has taught us.
Bottom line: zero tolerance for BS of any sort when the person you see in the mirror has evolved well beyond resorting to “emotional crumbs.” This transformation involved permanently deleting the version of myself that tolerated all of this toxicity.
Thank you again 💕
Sending many well wishes for 2022!
YES YES YES! 🙂 This makes me so happy!
Love you, Stacy <3
And I'm so glad that everyone enjoyed this post (and found value in it) as much as I did. Thank you Irena!
And thank YOU for taking the time to share Stacy (and helping so many others by doing so).
Loving all of these comments. xx
Girllll yes. Yes yes yes. She helped me through a toxic breakup last year (her awesome work) that is. It’s amazing how what she said came true– the rebound (even though I didn’t believe she was right at the time), the emotional unavailability and, yes it has nothing to do with me. That is a freeing truth… Thanks for sharing. Xo
Thank you for this post! I wish I’d read it a week earlier. I broke up with my ex 6 months ago, after which he immediately moved on to someone new. He continues to reach out expecting us to be close friends, which is what he did the week leading up to Christmas, calling me daily and pushing all my boundaries. He even accidentally called me the name of the new girl he’s been seeing and then denied it, making me feel crazy and question my senses. Being back in contact with him triggered all my anxiety, attachment, and addiction to him. It’s taken multiple rounds of contact, getting hurt, and no contact, but I finally blocked his number and know that it’s the only way I can truly move past this and be emotionally safe. Wishing all of you the same ♡
Sis clearly understood the assignment. I think it’s a great post/content in which every bullet point is precise.
Haha, thanks Coleen! Thank you for being here and for the support. It means so much to me. Hope you have a very happy new year.
The cosmos made this article available to me at exactly the right time. Literally to the minute. Love and light to all that read this article and take something good away from it
Hi Jacqueline, I’m so happy this was helpful to you. Thank you for commenting and being part of this community. You are not alone here! Happy new year. Much love and light to you.
Irena, Thank for Happy New Year “Resolution” lol. Kidding aside. Regarding to “No contact at all cost!” I want to share y’all my experience.
For anyone WITHOUT children. Consider yourself lucky! For anyone WITH children involved, depending the level of healthy and toxic level of relationships there is, children’s age, and for toxic part. It’s extreme harder/est to deal with! Healthy? Consider yourself lucky too.
Ex wife identify thief, identify fraud, and identify infringement against (mainly) me that destroyed my reputation, role, and my identity. Our futures destroyed. Irreparable past. Irreparable future too! The most shockingly part that it went beyond me! Children included! My mother too. Hope none of any of you have experienced like this. How would you feel after realize that “We, all, was her/his ATM” all for her/himself! No regards to you, our, or children future! … and realize that my mission to children was to ensure they have wings to able fly up higher, aim higher! (their success) while ex “clipped their wings” to stay “bottom dwellers” of losers? All for herself. Realized she have zero conscience of her actions! Long story short. I made it SUPER CRYSTAL CLEAR that she’s COMPLETE OUT of my life! No expectation! Anything she want to speak me go through lawyer! I emphasized to children and made it clear that I’m not going to alienate them against their mother. Also do not come to me and weep should they get hurt from her. (Continuing drama/cycles they or we went through. I mean). I do not want any toxic drama to drag on rest of our life because of her zero conscience. I was there with my divorced parent and hated being “bargain chip” kid! I’m not placing my adult kids in “bargain chips” between me and ex wife. Yes it was hard when one child invited her mother in her such as “baby shower” or few other occasional. She did good job by keeping us 100 miles apart! Ensure my boundary respected.
Fast forward. Guess what? All children lost respect of her. The last one just drew boundary to her own mother after continuing disrespectfulness/dramas/cycles until she have had enough of it! Till….
Last week before the Christmas. I told children. I’m happy. Relieved. Peace. Worry free of their future. They was puzzled. “What do you mean?” I told them. “There is CLEAR conscience to my sentiments and I have nothing to do with whatever (toxic) happened over the passing times after the divorce and I’m happy they resonate clearly. See for themselves. Strides their own success. Regardless the amounts of forgiveness between their mother. Still NOTHING have better/change her!. Also they have their own strong future ahead. 😇.
Yes I do feel bad for them and myself for having a lousy wife/mother to them. (Wish I had children with someone else much better than ex) Don’t they deserve “better mother” than her? That’s something we are dealing for rest of our life. Hope such those experiences being shared with y’all enable y’all to think twice before having own children from the egg or sperm donors (you/her/him)
“Cut contact at all cost” from any hurtful and toxic relationship do really help for serenity purposes. Rebuild yourself. Yes it take long time to heal depending the level of toxicity. Especially one have zero conscience! Children innocent-involved until they resonates their own perspectives.
From a few lifelong friends of mine even my children too asked me “How can you be able to raise or handled us under those circumstances of situations!?”! 🤷♂️🤷♂️🤷♂️ They all told me “No way I can do like that!” Looked at me like…. Their Astounded-look. Lol. I anticipates peace ahead. 😇.
Wish us the (I don’t know if it will be “best” due to ongoing pandemic 🙄) better Happy New Year! 2022!!! Y’all.
Irena. Thank for brilliant post.
Thank you so very much for sharing your story with us. I got chills reading how you have overcome an extremely toxic and stressful situation and have TRIUMPHED. I hope you enjoy your well earned peace and the bliss of knowing that despite everything you have gone through, your decision to say “NO MORE” to your toxic ex was not only the correct one for your health and safety, but also your children’s future. I know it must have been so hard to stay as neutral as possible with your kids and to not use them as bargain chips. After we have been hurt in this way, it feels so good to reach out to those we love and who are in the situation with us to discuss and to seek support, but you are right, with children, that would be inappropriate. It brings me to tears to know that you care about your children so much that you did the best that you could to extricate them away from a toxic situation, be a dad to them, and to let them draw their own conclusions about their mother.
And you are absolutely right — people always reveal themselves in time. They cannot help themselves. In addition, I believe that people we define as toxic very seldom every meaningfully change, despite announcing that they have changed. Your children soon saw the truth of the situation, without you having to spell it out for them. This was such a wise decision by you. Now they too can do what they can — what you have taught them through your actions and non actions to avoid drama in their lives and to seek love and peace instead. Thank you for sharing your story. I know it is bittersweet and that you have regrets about meeting your ex in the first place, but I’m so happy to hear that you have worked so hard to heal yourself, to make a better life for your children, and to be so generous in sharing your story and wisdom with the rest of us.
I hope you have a wonderful new year. Thank you so much for being part of this community. It would not be the same without you.
Irene, Thank for your kindness and I do feel better to share out to anyone who might have similar situation I went thru. As given circumstances of situations it’s best to cut out all of communication from toxic ex (sadly) including having child/ren if necessary. Yes it’s hard with children involved. Easy without children. Knowing that it’s the best thing for readers that might went thru similar situation or worse. Over the time it heals (depending one’s will to overcome). Please by any circumstance once you realize that ex have zero conscience. Cut all communication. Not worth to waste any more unhealthy time with them. For your serenity. Best wishes to y’all. Again. Thank for the post! John.
Funny thing is that when this article was first written, I immediately sent it to a friend who I thought could benefit from it and she did. Now today I am going through the same situation as her and I am the one benefitting from both the article and what she herself has learned in the meantime. It’s funny how true these words ring when you’re reading them to yourself from an outside perspective. My now ex-boyfriend of 2 1/2 years tried to text me the very next day after our recent breakup, “wyd” and I did not respond. The day after that, he attempted small talk but only came across as cold and unfeeling because I had finally began accepting his true colors as they were. Once again, I did not respond to his breadcrumbs. We have now had no contact for 3 days now. Reading this and saving some of my own notes in my journal is saving me a lot of angst and giving me something rooted in logic that I can rely on. Natasha and her community member’s articles always bring peace to my soul when I am in the middle of heartbreak, even with my relationship before this previous one, I have learned so much about my worth as a woman. I pray for everyone going through similar situations that you remember some of the best advice I have ever been given when dealing with toxicity in relationships, “No response is a response.”
This came at the perfect time. I have cut off contact with a very toxic person but unfortunately still see him at the gym. I refuse to quit something I am passionate about so I just ignore him completely. I was questioning whether or not I should wish him a happy birthday as it is coming up soon. This solidifies my decision. THANK YOU!!!!
Yes!! I was so happy to read this. Absolutely agree with you — there is no need to stop going to the gym you love as long as you approach seeing your ex with total and complete indifference. That kind of energy can be read across the room. And yes — we don’t go out of our way to wish those who have harmed us or other people a warm happy birthday. It’s no different with an ex, but I completely understand that it takes a mind shift to get there — especially if the birthday and the break up occur in close proximity. Stay strong and true to yourself. <3 Thank you for commenting and being part of this community.
I started speaking with my actions and found that indifference on my part has helped me gain my power back 100%. It is SO empowering. I feel on top of the world. He literally looks dumbfounded when I say hi and bye and nothing else. He is truly toxic and it is very sad. I realize now that much of what I was experiencing was pathological jealousy- I am a surgeon and he continues to struggle in his career due to laziness. I was being made to feel small and I am NEVER allowing that to happen again. This blog literally changed my life.
It makes me so incredibly happy to read this. A huge cheers and much love to you. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. It’s hugely empowering to read.
Thank you Irena. I’m just entering into week 4 of grieving the end of a 17 yr relationship/marriage. He was caught in inappropriate texting with a co-worker recently, but the 2nd bomb was his emotional affair of 7 years ago who came forward and messaged me to “clear her conscious of this lie she’s been living with”?! I live in a small town and everyone knows everyone so word got back to this woman about my husband recently living away from home. Yes, I kicked him out. 7 years ago, I suspected an affair but was told by both of them, again co-workers, that it was nothing but friendship. She confessed to all of it and offered to answer any of my questions. As much as it hurt, I asked all the tough questions. Yes, it was a physical relationship, he fed her a bunch of manipulating BS so he could get into her pants. She believed herself in love and thought he loved her too and that he was leaving me. That didn’t happen.
So, like a bandaid being ripped off fast, the wound was finally exposed to the air…..after 7 years. Being absolutely shell shocked, both my 13 yr old Daughter and I both, I then texted yards and yards of messages to him. I’ve never been through such an experience before. I loved this man. Even with the constant gaslighting, manipulation and and lies, I loved the “good parts” in this guy. My last message to him was regarding some recent enquiry about finance and I have vowed not to message regarding anything that doesn’t apply to our Daughter or finances. I am owning up to my own mistakes because this person showed me who he really was in the beginning, but I have the affliction of seeing things through “rose colored glasses”. You know that honeymoon stage where you let a person away with stuff because you’re so enamored with this new love interest, etc….. I’m not saying we didn’t have any great times, we did, but his toxic behaviors chipped away at me slowly and methodically. I let it happen too, I was always taught as a child to “turn the other cheek, be nice, put yourself in their shoes, try to understand their side, etc”. This is good advice but painted me into a corner of being an empath and letting this toxic person suck the life out of me. I was and allowed myself to his doormat. I thought I was doing the right thing by persevering, be patient, blah blah blah.
Years of him showing me that I wasn’t worth his time and effort. He hides behind his alcoholism, workaholism, and his skewed way of validating his behaviors. Well, it may have taken me a while, but I drew the line at infidelity. It happened 7 years ago, but for me right now, it was fresh like stitches being pulled out of the skin too soon. It was a truth that I needed to know, finally. I’m not playing this sick game with him anymore. I am very happy that he does love our Daughter very much, but if he manipulates or gaslights her even once, I’m coming out at him. I’m in week 4 of coping and processing this betrayal and disregard towards the person he’s supposed to have loved and cared for this most. I’m destroyed, but I’ll get there some day. I’ll continue to read blogs on this site for strength. Wish me luck.
My bf has been going through rough patches . He doesn’t have money and it is affecting his way of thinking .last week Sunday I sent him a text telling him, he should stop shutting me out and allow us to figure things out and I am his GF and not a random person . he replied n told me, I am choking him with this kind of msg about a relationship if he’s cheating or having someone else . he said he’s going through a lot and will want space. We haven’t talked for 4days now, all he does is watch my status on Facebook and doesn’t chat or call. what do I do ??? please help me out. he was a happy person when he was having money
Your articles helped me.hrlugh my.breakuo, Natasha and I am reading this one after having recently gone through the rig-a-morall by texting him again. And all of these points ring true, love the energy and power behind your words, Irena.
Irena is INCREDIBLE! Thanks for being a part of this tribe, Megan 🙂
My problem is that my daughter never knew any of the details of the serial cheating for over 45 years, or of the gaslighting, and her dad still has a boyish charm, and still maintains some of the “Top Gun” appeal that she and her friends respond to. My son died while they both were in the same college, so for her, her dad is a connection to the male element of the family. It took forever for me to grow some background because I was so devastated by the loss of my son, and so desperate to hold onto what shred of family I thought I had. Finally, by 2018, I put him out for good. It was a classic toxic-bond relationship in every way.
Her 2 daughters and she know nothing of his cruelty and cheating.
The no-contact thing is so confounding because my daughter loves to entertain for the holidays, and she invites the ex and his GF, as well as me and my new husband (Yes, once I let go of the misery of the ex, the Universe sent me a perfect mate, and we married 3 years ago. I was 79 years old, and am lucky that we have a very fulfilling relationship– in every way, *ahem*!)
So here we come again, to Thanksgiving, and I expect that I am going to have to tiptoe around the situation and be as gracious to all others at the house, while doing my best to navigate around those two losers . It would be SO much easier if I did not have to see them again. Luckily, they will be mixed in with enough out of town guests to dilute the situation, but STILL it takes a lot of fun out of holidays……. Any advice?
I had gone No Contact for more than three months, but we work together (remotely), and I had to communicate with him. I kept to mostly emails, but had to text a few times. He used the work to reach out to me “to talk.” I stuck to my guns, politely turned down the request, and finished my project. A few days ago, after I had returned a personal gift to him (I even left it in the parking lot where his office is), he wanted to call and talk—he asked me three times by text. And I broke. I’m telling myself that at least I got to air my position, that I don’t trust him and that no, we aren’t friends (his way of maintaining our connection). But now, I’m hurting even more. If I’m honest with myself, I miss him. Then I keep telling myself that I just miss who I *thought* he was. Irena’s words are keeping me afloat right now, because I am THISCLOSE to texting him, or emailing him. He doesn’t deserve it, I know, but this is so hard. I really thought he cared for me, and he even said so again on Saturday, but how could someone sho cares about me treat me the way he did? The lies he told, just to use me…. I can’t even believe I fell for it, again and again, sacrificing myself for his pitifully small amount of attention. Sometimes, I just hate myself for putting myself through this. Why did he do this to me? And why can’t I get over him, knowing what he did? I’ve bookmarked several of the posts here. This one is going to be read over and over again as I try to find my back onto my white horse.
Thank you *so much* for sharing (and helping countless others feel less alone). I’m so glad the posts have been helpful – I live to give what I wish I would have had.
You got this. Stay ON your White Horse and IN your dignity. We are all behind and beside you, 100%. All my love to you, Sister. Xox.