Most people have had some good relationships and some not so good ones. Some may even have been so good that you reminisce fondly on them often. On the other hand, others may have been so bad that you can stop thinking about how hurt you were and how terrible your ex was.
It can be hard to leave the past behind and not let it creep into and affect your future. This is especially true if you have been really hurt. The hurt can be so deep that it may almost feel like a part of you.
When people tell you to move on, even years after the relationship is over, it can feels so invalidating of your feelings. As though they are telling you that your hurt isn’t as bad as you’re making it out to be. Yet you and you alone know how real and bad it is.
The problem with holding on to all this hurt is that it will affect your future relationships. You may feel like the only way to feel validated is to continue to replay all the hurtful things your ex did to you again and again in your head. To remember all the painful words and actions. All the unfulfilled expectations and unkept promises. You may feel this person deserves to be punished, so you do so in your mind.
Who Really Gets Punished
Unfortunately, most of the time, the only people who end up being punished by this mindset is you and those that try to get close to you. You ex is likely out of your life or has at least moved on to some degree. They aren’t feeling this punishment. But you are and so are the men that try to love you.
How He Sees This
When a man meet a woman who is constantly bad mouthing her ex it’s very unattractive and concerning. To the new guys in your life the fact that you are still talking about this person from the past means that you still has very strong feelings toward them. It also makes the new guy feel like he has to constantly compete with the ghost of your ex for your attention.
You’re Still Not Over Your Ex
If you’re in a relationship, the fact that you’re still thinking about this person from the past, even after you have found someone new, is a clear sign that you are not over your ex. This person still has a strong grip on your heart and this is apparent to anyone you date.
Even if what you are saying about your ex is very negative, it’s still attention taken away from your current relationships and devoted to your ex.
You may not want to get back together with that person but you are still not over the relationship.
The Comparison Game
Too often, holding this type of deep-seated grudge for a past partner also leads to comparing your current and future partners to your ex. It also leads to making your new partner pay for things your ex did. You might snap at them for doing something minor because it reminds you of something your ex did.
If you discovered or even suspected that your ex was unfaithful, holding on to that grudge can make you prejudge the actions of the next guy and lead to unwarranted mistrust and unsubstantiated accusations.
The Side Affects Explained
These side effects are all things that are important to be aware of because they usually aren’t developed intentionally. They creep in slowly and become part of the lens you view your relationships through. Once your lens gets tainted it becomes increasingly more difficult to judge people based on their own actions instead of on the past habits of someone else.
It’s important to remember that
forgiveness is like setting the prisoner free, and then realizing the prisoner was you.
People think they are punishing the one who hurt them by holding a grudge. That to forgive them is to condone their actions. But forgiveness is not for them. It’s for you.
Set Yourself Free
You may also need to forgive yourself. Many times people beat themselves up for things they think they could have done to save the relationship but didn’t do. They also beat themselves up for putting up with things they feel they shouldn’t have or staying in a bad relationship far longer than they should have.
It’s necessary to free yourself of these hurtful memories that have kept you prisoner. It’s necessary to rid yourself of the rage and unhappiness. The rage may feel good in the moment but it’s an addictive poison the clouds your judgement and keep you in this cycle of reliving hurts from the past again and again.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Out of sight, out of mind is a great principle and is very effective. If you want to move forward you can’t keep visiting hurt feelings from the past. Each time you do you are building an emotional picture in your minds eye so it is no longer out of sight.
Of course, when a break up is fresh venting is understandable. You need to get those feelings out and surround yourself with love and support from friends and family. But after a while it’s important to put all of that hurt away and keep it away for your own sanity and for the health of any new relationships.
You have to ask yourself
would I rather be happy or would I rather feel validated.
At a certain point if your only means of feeling validated is bad mouthing your ex then you need to make a choice.
Forgiveness is your ticket to letting go of the anger and the hurt and moving to a more positive place where you can allow others to love you and not allow your past to determine your future. This is a place where you can live for today and tomorrow instead of for yesterday.
You don’t need to forgive because you think they deserve it. You need to forgive because you deserve it. Free yourself. Do it often. Do it now.