The Cut’s advice columnist Heather Havrileskies answers readers’ concerns about just how to be in the people. Got a question for Polly? Email askpolly


The Cut’s advice columnist Heather Havrilesky answers readers’ inquiries about how to be in the human being. Got a question for Polly? Email askpolly

Dear Polly,

I remained in a relationship for 4 years. I am 31, he is 36. I was unhappy, he was unhappy, however we were scared of being alone I guess. I don’t even recognize what went wrong, really. We had actually some beautiful memories. We were extremely cshed. We went via really tough times together. But at times he made me feel weak and also unlovable bereason of my mental illnesses. He believed if I couldn’t be happy with him, then I’d never before be happy through anyone. We had actually explosive fights. I quit working entirely bereason my confidence was so low, and then I let myself depend on him financially. My friends and also household hated him. I didn’t think I can do any type of much better. I was so depressed.

You are watching: Why does my ex hate me so much

But then something taken place. My crush from college (for over the last ten years, nonstop) asked me to leave everything to be with him prior to we also mutual our initially kiss. He just kbrand-new. I simply knew. No doubt around it. I left my then-boyfrifinish the next day. I lost my financial defense, my house, my dogs, all of my belongings. It was tough yet I knew it was the ideal thing to perform. The brand-new man wasn’t scared of the push. He was all set for it. And thanktotally it functioned out perfectly. We dropped madly in love, and currently we live together. He’s the love of my life. I also have a job! I’m not doing excellent financially but I’m sustaining myself for the initially time. I never knew such happiness was feasible, not for someone prefer me anymeans — someone as weird and also tough and also emotional and sensitive as I am. I’m healthy and balanced. I acquired my ambition ago. I’m in love. Life is so much less complicated now. I don’t bear many type of traces of psychological condition anyeven more. Even my IBS has gone! Just like magic. My friends and also family love my boyfriend.

But obviously the ex is angry. So angry! It was a year back and also he won’t give me my things back (and also I really need them — why is he hanging on to every one of my points still?!), spreads nasty rumors about me, divulges very personal points about me, gets mad at our shared friends for still hanging out through me. I tried to fulfill up in perboy but he ignores my emails or answers via cutting one-liners. The last point he told me in perchild was “I was only with you because of your looks and now that you’re 30, you’re useless!” Great. I always knew he hated women.

I feel favor a boring city legfinish, the “Long-Term Girlfriend Who Left the Guy Who Passist for Everypoint for a Younger Hotter Cooler More Successful Guy,” one that he feels the need to tell everyone. I obtain it. I’d be bitter, as well, if I were in his shoes. But I hate being hated. He’s complete of hatred. He hated all the ex-girlfriends that dumped him. He stalked them obsessively on Instagram, eincredibly single day, and also wasn’t embarrassed around it (even girlfriends from 5 years ago). He more than likely does the same to me. He hates random world he’s never before met yet that thrconsumed his confidence in some means. He’s an angry, bitter person with a substantial ego. It frigh10s me to be at the receiving finish of his hatred. But I’m sorry. I feel guilty. I wish my current happiness didn’t result from leaving him and also thus breaking his heart. It provides my happiness and my partnership feel illegitimate.

He renders me angry bereason his reactions taint our happy memories. Due to the fact that he’s robbing me of four years of my life. Since he renders me doubt that I deserve happiness. Since I couldn’t obtain clocertain as he never wanted to talk points out calmly. Because I’m scared to bump right into him and also I avoid going to the areas I love the a lot of. Due to the fact that he never admitted that the truth I left him for someone else hurt him. Instead he sassist I’ve hurt him by making him unhappy for 4 years, as if I was the one keeping him captive. He provides me angry because he’s said such hurtful points and I can’t obtain them out of my head. He’s keeping me stuck. Maybe I’m the one keeping myself stuck. I know he loved me so much. I recognize he assumed we would end up together. But I had actually to leave!

I am very jealous of my boyfriend’s breakup through his latest ex, a couple of months before we gained together. It was cordial and also unemotional choose nothing had actually ever before happened. I’m jealous bereason he gets to think of her in nice terms. I’m jealous of her, bereason she’s a nice memory to him albeit not a very lengthy one. And I don’t obtain to be a nice memory to my ex, after four long years together and also everything we went with. It renders me feel inferior to my boyfriend’s ex also if what they had actually was nopoint compared to what we have. I’m still dragging the dead weight from my past connection as soon as it need to be the happiest time of my life. I know we’re both hurting from remaining in this shitty relationship for means as well long, I just have it easier because I’m in love with someone else currently.

And yet I need to admit, his hate is so visceral, it’s validation that he did love me and also maybe still does. It’s once I leave the men I am in permanent relationships with that I realize how much they do love me. It taken place the last four times. I wish I weren’t like this. I wish that I might completely take in my existing boyfriend’s love for me without wondering exactly how destroyed he’d be if I left. That’s probably why I complete via my boyfriend’s exes. I deserve to be the love of someone’s life, yet am I really anypoint till I have broken their heart into little pieces and made them cry for months on end? I know this doesn’t make much feeling via whatever I created above.

I recognize my ex knows how a lot I hate being dischosen. So it’s his last power over me. Keeping my points, turning world against me, tainting my reputation, not forproviding me. How do I let it go? How do I forgive myself also if he doesn’t? How carry out I offer myself closure? Should I tell him all these points and also acunderstanding his pain also if he’ll more than likely never before reply? Also, I don’t desire him to think I’m obsessed via him!

Worst Ex-Girlfriend Ever

Dear Worst Ex-Girlfriend Ever,

You and your ex both require therapy. You’re living inside his twisted perception of you, and also he’s living inside your rejection. You wouldn’t be obsessed with this if you didn’t suspect that tright here was somepoint wrong through you. Your shame and your unexamined compulsions are teaming up to haunt you, however you’re just seeing them with the prism of your ex’s ego-propelled fixation. And by the way, his fixation isn’t proof of his love. It’s proof of his damage. His recurring rage boils dvery own to “How dare that unstable, useless, over-the-hill womale get the ideal of me!”

And currently you’re honoring his narcissistic rage by calling it love, and you’re refutilizing to honor your exceptionally sane act of self-preservation in leaving him by calling yourself selfish. The just point that was impulsive around your exit was that you leaped straight into the arms of someone you didn’t understand that well, and also you left your dogs behind. (Sorry, I’m still worried around those dogs. How carry out you walk out on your dogs favor that?!!)

Thanktotally, you’ve discovered someone that accepts you for that you are. I recognize how much of a distinction that have the right to make, yet it’s simply a start. Now your self-acceptance requirements to capture up with your partner’s. That’s going to take some time.

Whenever you leave one perchild for an additional, it takes some time for your emotions to capture up through reality. This tends to muddy the waters of your perceptions and your affections. It’s organic to feel unsupposed and unexamined emovements around a permanent ex. But the way you’re translating these organic feelings — anger, confusion, guilt — into self-recrimination says that you don’t understand what you’ve been via, that you were then, or that you are now. That indicates you also don’t check out the crucial differences between your ex and also your existing boyfriend. I understand you deserve to watch some of those differences, yet till you understand, at a deeper level, exactly how your ex controlled and also demeaned you, you’re going to live in fear that it can happen again. By viewing your ex as loving you favor crazy (as opposed to just being enraged by the truth he couldn’t control you) you’re also going to watch yourself as someone cruel who trampled on that love. You’re going to worry that you’re qualified of doing that all over aacquire, even to someone as excellent as your existing boyfriend.

In order to nurture a long-term relationship, you have to have actually confidence in yourself. When you doubt yourself or question your motives or choose to use someone else’s rage as a prism for your shame, you erode your belief in yourself and also damage your capacity to live in the current and be hocolony via your existing companion.

Being envious of your new boyfriend’s breakup via his ex is just one bad sign among many type of that you have porous, unhealthy and balanced borders and you don’t recognize just how to correctly integrate your previous right into your present. Those porous borders will make it straightforward for you to become overly possessive and also jealous in your brand-new connection. You need to sepaprice your fears, your history, and also your shame from each other rather of lumping them right into one murky swamp of self-hatred and dreview. You have to progressively sift with the pressures acting on you so you can construct healthy and balanced boundaries and view the world via clear eyes. Your concern through what your ex is saying around you is a straight reflection of your lingering fears that there’s somepoint deeply wrong via you. In order to sheight fixating on your ex and his gossip, you (rather ironically!) need to LOOK DIRECTLY AT your disordered perceptions and your damage and your true, actual flaws.

That’s going to take some occupational. It’s going to scare you, to admit that being in love via someone new doesn’t erase the past or erase the worst variation of yourself who lived tright here. That sassist, as soon as you carry out that work, you’ll also realize, for the initially time, that the genuine “magic” of your brand-new life originates from within you and also belongs to you. When you trust yourself and develop belief in yourself, you see the civilization through new eyes.

Right now, that newfound clarity is endangered by your halittle bit of black-and-white thinking. Black-and-white reasoning is a side result of shame and fear. You define your new connection as perfect in eextremely way, which means that any fregulations can suppose that your “worst self” could reemerge and also damage whatever. Your brand-new boyfriend’s connection with his ex should be “nopoint compared to what we have” bereason if his old connection were actually great, that might suppose (in your mind) that he misses his ex or that he might leave you. Instead, you’re living inside a black-and-white fantasy: You 2 are madly in love, your mental condition has vanimelted, and also everything negative is behind you for good.

No wonder your ex’s stories about you feel so threatening. Everything feels threatening when you’re attached to fantasies instead of fact. You can’t combine genuine human beings through flegislations right into your worldcheck out. You can’t acunderstanding that we all feel emotions that we can’t manage. We all miss out on some of our exes periodically. We are all a tiny little mentally ill, bereason we’re all imperfect and also we live in an imperfect human being. Love have the right to still be magical and your new boyfriend deserve to still be exceptional. But you need to learn to live in truth and make some room for fregulations — your very own, your boyfriend’s, and also everyone else’s.

In order to gain there, you need to look closely at the past. You surrendered your power to your ex. Your black-and-white thinking matched his. You were both trying to escape your fears and your self-loapoint. You were both ashamed of yourselves. You were both trying to prove that you were lovable, to each various other and to the external people. Seeing these things plainly doesn’t suppose that you should confess, hash points out, or apologize to your ex. People that are ruled by their shame are constantly trying to apologize and explain themselves, however all it does is make things murkier and also even more complex. Your letter is a clear reflection of this confusion and also shame: You bounce back and also forth in between condemning your ex and worrying around him. You speak to him bitter and also hateful and say he’s robbing you of 4 years of your life, and then you say you feel guilty and also you lament breaking his heart. You blame him and also you blame yourself. You desire to determine a criminal and also you desire to be forgiven.

No one deserve to rob you of your own history. You don’t need his forgiveness. You require your very own. You say you hate being disfavored, yet when you truly favor yourself, you’ll leave this obsession through your ex and also his bad storytelling behind.

Your black-and-white thinking feeds your obsession through your ex’s stories. It makes you think that you’re either good or bad, crazy or sane, flawed or perfect. You think that if you’re really great and also sane and perfect, you have to uncover some means to prove that to everyone that thinks you’re bad and crazy and also flawed. But what if you’re simply a perkid, and prefer all human being, you battle through your emotions, you make mistakes, you fall short, you cry at inappropriate times, and you have a few regrets? What if your new boyfriend is prefer that, too? What if his partnership with his ex was actually pretty great, not “nopoint compared to what you have”? What if he has actually fregulations you haven’t seen yet? What if your fregulations and weaknesses ultimately surpincrease him, too?

Let go of the heaven and also hell of your neurotic fantasies, and also live in truth rather. Living in fact will assist you to honor your worths (which may or may not include making a genuine commitment to your pets and also not leaving them behind ssuggest bereason you can’t take care of a daunting conversation through a soon-to-be ex). Addressing your mistakes will enable you to ultimately let go of this fear that there’s somepoint Very Wrong With You. It’s time to live in the actual world, wbelow we’re all imperfect, we all make mistakes, we all have regrets.

Your poor background with your ex doesn’t have to haunt you. You have the right to use it as a guide to HOW YOU DON’T WANT TO LIVE EVER AGAIN. I’ve been making use of my worst partnership that method for years. Nopoint is worse than living through someone that hates your emovements and feels annoyed by eincredibly thought or opinion that doesn’t come from his own brain. Remembering just how poor it was renders me so grateful for just how I’m living currently. But that history belongs to each of us independently. My ex and I don’t need to agree on anything. He deserve to tell whatever before stories he wants to whoever he desires, and also so deserve to I. Everyone has actually their very own stories. Accepting that will certainly collection you cost-free.

Your ex and also the shit he talks and the civilization that listen to it don’t issue. All that matters is your relationship through yourself. Get yourself a therapist and also strengthen that relationship. Get some clarity around that you are and where you’ve been. Get a trusted friend (not your existing boyfriend!) to negotiate gaining your stuff back from your ex, calmly, without fanfare or drama. Don’t gain associated or define yourself. In maintaining your distance, you’ll make it clear that you’re no longer invested in what he thinks or what he tells anyone else.

Once you deserve to wriggle totally free from every one of this shame and also self-doubt, the magic in your life best currently will certainly multiply and expand also in eexceptionally direction. You’ll desire to spread that love to others. One of the saddest things around being disordered and sensitive is that you too often confusage being full of love and also ideas and also good intentions via being TOO MUCH for anyone else. It’s basic to look at your best gifts and tell yourself that these things make you scary and unlovable and also damaged. It’s as much as you to adjust that story, though. Even your partner can’t execute that work for you. It’s approximately you to honor your presents, and also stand also up for them, so you have the right to share them without are afraid.

Once you can watch the people plainly, you’ll understand that anyone who claims, “If I can’t make you happy, no one can!” is speaking from a location of extreme shame. Nothing is more arrogant than believing that you are the ONLY PERSON that can make another perboy happy. But alert that you also feel this method around yourself and also your existing boyfrifinish. Release yourself from these constrictive fantasies and live in truth instead.

When you live in fact, your ex is just one more human being in pain. Be pragmatic about preventing him if you think he’s dangerous. Otherwise, speak maintaining this drama alive with your own shame. Fill that ex-boyfriend-shaped hole in your life through your newuncovered belief in yourself. Give up this game of Who Is Good and Who Is Bad. Give up competing with other women. Give up being your boyfriend’s dream girl, perfect in eextremely way, devoid of concerns or weaknesses. Give up seeing yourself through other people’s eyes. Give up on black and white. Build a brand-new religion out of self-examicountry and self-acceptance, wright here little bit imperfections and also mistakes are part of the beauty of being alive.

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Seek clarity. Work at it. Demand it. Live in the crystal clear light of day. Your fantasies and also obsessions and shame will certainly only lead you back into the dark. Live right here rather.