Confused About My Ex

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I am a 32 year single lesbian female. I am writing to you because I need help with a situation, maybe a different perspective…and I have a hard time talking to people, even my friends or family. I need some advice on a situation with my ex girlfriend. Please.

We’ve been broken up for about a year now. It ended horribly. Basically, she cheated on me, then left and moved to another state. The break-up was difficult, obviously. I could not get closure and felt my life had just been ripped apart. We were together for 3 years, and she had just asked me to marry her 3 months before the break up. Anyway, we haven’t spoken since February, as she decided she wanted no contact from me. Then in Feb, she was in trouble and needed help…of course she called me. Yes, I helped her. And we haven’t spoken since then. A month after she left me, she was already in another relationship.

Then last nite, she contacts me on facebook…out of nowhere. See, I had hope that maybe one day we can be, well civil at the very least. So I was completely surprised to hear from her. What am I supposed to think?? The thing is, i still love her but have worked hard to move on. Is she just making it a point to hurt me, and why? Please help, I am so lost, hurt, confused, and angry.

A. It is difficult to know what is motivating your ex. Perhaps she is deliberately hurting you. Maybe she misses you. She might also not have been fully aware of what she was doing the night that she was intoxicated.

The issue may be that you too easily allow her back into your life. From the few examples provided, when she contacts you, you respond immediately. You don’t have to do that. Your reaction essentially gives her permission to contact you when she wants. You may be allowing the contact because you love her.

One possible solution is to stop all communications with her. That would be an understandable reaction given the way she has treated you. From an emotional perspective, it would also be a psychologically healthy reaction.

If you are willing to allow some contact, then set the parameters of the relationship. In other words, you set the rules. Blocking her on Facebook is an example of you setting the rules of the relationship. Not taking her calls or responding to her e-mails are two additional examples.

A good “rule of thumb” to remember, with regard to relationships, is to treat others how they treat you. Treat them no better than they treat you. Treat them no worse than they treat you. If you continue to struggle, I would recommend seeing a therapist. Therapy can’t take away the emotional pain associated with the breakup but it can help you to recover from it. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Sep 2011

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2011). Confused About My Ex. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 25, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/09/21/confused-about-my-ex/