Life

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Dear Mary: I’m heartbroken as my ex plans to marry

Published 09/06/2014 | 02:30

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Question: I feel absolutely awful because my ex-boyfriend is getting married next month. I loved him so much that I waited around for a few years after he said he wasn’t
 sure if he ever wanted to get 
married, just in case he changed his mind.

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I found out all about his upcoming wedding thanks to mutual friends on Facebook, and I was absolutely gutted. I know that the best plan is to distract myself and try to forget all about him, but I can’t.  I just want to wallow in my misery but I feel that is wrong too.

Answer: You’ll never forget about your ex-boyfriend because he was an important part of your life for quite a long time. But you will eventually be able to move on, though that is probably very hard for you to believe right now. Sometimes it is really good to wallow, providing you make a deal with yourself that afterwards you will look forward rather than continuing to look back at what might have been. So set a couple of hours aside, and give yourself permission to remember the good times you had with your ex, look at photos if you have them, if you had a movie that you both loved then watch that, and have some treat like chocolate or biscuits, or whatever takes your fancy while you are looking at it.

It would not be a good idea to have some alcohol because if you over-indulge then the depressive effect of the alcohol would kick in and you will be feeling down anyway. Allow yourself to have a good cry, and then write a letter to him telling him whatever it is you would like to say to him.

Spend no more than half an hour writing the letter, and then when you are finished tear it up into little pieces and dispose of it. You will feel quite liberated after you have done this, because you will have transferred some of what you are feeling onto the written page.

I’m not suggesting that this will get rid of all your sadness and regret, but it will help. You will then have to be strict with yourself and whenever you start thinking about him you should occupy yourself with something else and don’t allow yourself to dwell on it. In time, he will come less and less into your thoughts, but it will be a slow process.

Regarding the proposed weekend away, it doesn’t matter whether or not it is very serious between the two of you, your current boyfriend still needs to be treated with the same respect that you would expect from him if the roles were reversed.

Just imagine how you would feel if he were to cancel the weekend without any explanation. It would be very difficult for him to hear that you still have a lot of feelings for your ex, so perhaps you can give him some reason why you will not be able to go on that weekend without telling him the entire truth. Then suggest an alternative date instead so that he does not feel rejected.

You may well be still in shock from hearing the news about the wedding. Don’t make any rash decisions right now, but allow some time to pass and then you will be better able to decide what is right for you.

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