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What to write to an ex you love?

For one reason or another you still love your ex. Don’t worry, I’m not judging you. Nearly all of us have been there.

 

You have some things in your heart that keep coming up, telling you that you need to speak your truth. Should you reach out? What would you even say?

 

Depending on your goal and what you hope the outcome to be, we must consider a few things first. This will help you sort through some of your emotions and get a good idea about why you want to reach out, and what you should say.

 

  First things first:

 

 

It’s normal to get your feelings hurt in a relationship especially when drawing boundaries and working through differences. However, intentionally hurting someone whether it be physical, mental or emotional, is never okay. 

 

Consider if they were manipulative and narcissistic? Did they refuse to take accountability for hurting you?

 

Did they ever put your life in danger or lose their temper? Were they physical with you (pushing, shoving, throwing objects, hitting, punching etc)?

 

If so, it’s best not to reach out. Rekindling old flames of this nature will leave you burned again, and you should absolutely do everything you can to protect your heart, body and mind.

 

If you were in an abusive relationship, it’s a good idea to talk to a counselor, therapist, or someone you trust to work through and heal any trauma or damage you may have experienced. This will give you better clarity on why you want to reach out and make contact with the abuser. 

 

  • Were you abusive to your ex?

 

It’s hard to recognize our own faults, because we tend to judge ourselves on our intentions and not our actions. In turn, we judge others by their actions and not their intentions.

 

Most people do not want to be seen as “the bad guy” and will try to create a narrative that fits the idea that they are in fact, not the villain. However, we are all flawed creatures.

 

There are times we are toxic, acted out in an immature and unhealthy way, said or did mean things (especially when we were hurting). It’s important to take time and reflect on the past so we can grow into a better human and move on in the future.

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Let’s say, after some deep self-reflection, you decided you did not handle things in the best way with your ex. What things did you do to them?

 

Were you physically aggressive towards them? Did you physically hurt them?

 

Were you often belittling or demeaning towards them? Were you able to manipulate them to get what you wanted, even if it seems like it didn’t cause any harm to anyone? Do you see any similarities in the way you acted to your ex compared to the abuse or trauma you experienced in your past?

 

If you are leaning towards a confirmation of any of these questions, it’s best to not write anything to your ex just yet. Eventually, you absolutely should apologize for the harm you caused.

 

However, you first need to find a counselor, mentor, trusted friend, or therapist to talk to about these things and work through them. There’s also a lot of readily available resources online you can find with a Google search. You will have better clarity on how to address the situation, if you still find it necessary to reach out, after having done your own healing and growth. 

 

Reaching out to an ex you have deeply hurt, without putting in any work to learn from your behavior or be a better person, is not fair and can trigger both of you if you aren’t in the right headspace or heartspace. It’s not too late for you to get the help you deserve to live a healthy life.

 

  • Are they married or have they been in a long term relationship? 

 

If you don’t know for sure, you can probably find out by scrolling through their Facebook or Instagram. If they are, it’s probably best not to write anything to them and here’s why.

 

According to the 12-Step program in Alcoholics Anonymous (a resource that can be beneficial to all our lives even if you don’t have an addiction), step 9 says “Make direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.”

 

You may still love your ex, but they have moved on. Reaching out while they are married or have been in a committed relationship could absolutely be harmful in several ways and timing is important. 

 

Carefully consider why you want to reach out to your ex. You love them, yes. But what else?

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Are you jealous of their lasting relationship? Do you want them back? Are you hoping they will leave their partner and come back to you?

 

If yes, don’t do it. This will potentially cause harm to your ex, their partner, and any children they may have. Also, you could cause harm to yourself in the form of disappointment while repeating old behaviors. 

 

Maybe you are still deeply hurt by them and can’t move on. Do you think you will get the closure you deserve?

 

Whatever you decide, make sure your heart is in the right place. Goals to break up a marriage or relationship, is never one that’s in the right place. 

 

What are you going to say to your ex?

 

What are you going to say to your ex

 

You’ve thought about it. You’ve assessed your heart, and mind. You’ve done the necessary soul work and thought it through.

 

You love your ex, things ended. Perhaps it was the right person, wrong timing. Maybe you both didn’t know how to properly be in a healthy relationship.

 

You both needed to grow and experience the world apart from each other. But now, you really want to speak to them.

 

Do you want closure? Do you need closure? Do you want to try to have a relationship with them again? Whatever the answer may be, mindfulness is key. Be genuine and keep it short. You don’t want to overwhelm them! 

 

Start with your apology if you have one

 

Let them know you recognize and take accountability for the things you did wrong when you were together. Let them know you have changed and how.

 

What do you have to show that you have changed other than your word for it? Let them know if you feel regret and why. This will show your ex that you genuinely care about how they feel.

 

Don’t come off too strong

 

Your ex might feel overwhelmed if you start professing your undying love. They might still be hurt over how the relationship ended.

 

Let them know kindly what you think of them, and how often you think of them. If your goal is to get back together, let them know you want to reconnect. Perhaps, suggesting getting together in person, starting slow and rekindling a friendship. 

 

Let them know kindly what you think of them

 

Closure

 

Tone cannot always be accurately portrayed through a message. Refrain from telling them all about how they hurt you if your goal is to get back together.

 

No one wants to receive a message out of the blue that says “Hey, I still love you but you hurt me but I really want to get back together.”

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There’s a lot to unpack there and the wounds are tender. You are entitled to your hurt and your feelings.

 

If you want to work through your pain, let your ex know in a neutral way. Something along the lines of “I am hurt how things ended, and I deeply wish some things could have gone differently. If you are comfortable with exploring that, I am too.” 

 

Aiming for tending to a new friendship is a good start, too. Relationships blossom from friendships. You can work through a lot of baggage in a friendship without the pressures of relationship.

 

Avoid using any “you” statements such as “I am hurt by how you ended things.” 

 

“I wish you could have done something differently.” 

 

“You hurt me and here’s how you can avoid that.” 

 

Sure, these are not inherently bad statements to use, but this is not the time for them. Statements like this have a tone of blame, while also having a spirit of attack to them. You are trying to reconnect with someone in a positive way and you want them to be open to what you have to say.

 

If your goal is not to get back together. This can be a difficult conversation to navigate.

 

Keep it simple. Stick to kindness. Take accountability for what you did wrong, let them know you are sorry, if you want a friendship say so. Tell them all the positive things you think of them, wish them well and send them on their way with love. Letting someone go is hard, but when done in a loving way it makes it a little bit easier.

 

At the end of the day, you tried. That counts for something.

 

You put yourself out there and spoke your truth. Even if it is not received well, your ex is on their own journey with their own lessons to be learned.

 

They may need time to process what you’ve said and process their own thoughts and feelings. They deserve the opportunity to take all the time they need, so refrain from blowing up their phone if they don’t respond immediately.

 

You will never regret being kind. 

 

Be mindful when you hit “send”. Keep an open heart and an open mind to the response you may get. Pause, hold your head up high, have grace and move on with peace knowing you tried to communicate in a kind and respectful way. That’s all you really can do. Good luck, friend. 

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