It took me more than a year before I could say that I’ve fully moved on from my ex. I spent so much time pining for him. I wished that he would come to his senses and ask me to get back together—despite the fact that he cheated on me emotionally, and he was already with someone else.
Recently, I've been feeling like I've completely moved on from "us." For instance, I no longer flinch when I see photos of him. To me, he was a thing of the past. I even un-muted him from my social media because I felt like I can see updates about his life and be okay.
While I was trying hard to move on, there's no denying that I was really sad about our breakup. But after taking my time to grieve and re-evaluate how I felt towards him and love in general, that sadness was replaced by anger. I found myself getting angry at him for multiple reasons—the biggest one being that he cheated on me.
He's still with the girl he cheated on me with, and when he posted about them, it stung. The moment I saw it, I felt my blood rise and I started becoming angry—so mad that I felt like I wanted to cry.
I didn't know why I was feeling this way. I couldn't properly process my emotions, so I decided to talk through it with my best friends. They felt bad for me, and they told me to just acknowledge what I'm feeling. And they were right.
According to an article on Psychology Today, it's completely normal to be angry at your ex and the first step to getting over it is by allowing yourself to just feel whatever emotions you're feeling at the moment.
"The anger is telling you that you are in a situation that may not be in your best interest," Jennice Vilhauer Ph.D. said, "It is often the emotion that gives you the courage to separate from an unhealthy relationship." The anger that I felt in the past and in that moment helped me see our breakup for what it really was. I was cheated on and I had all the right in the world to feel angry about being treated poorly.
I knew that I couldn’t let this feeling get the best of me.
But I knew that I couldn't let this feeling get the best of me, and I needed a proper outlet to air out these emotions. Dr. Vilhauer said that the next step to getting rid of this anger is by expressing it. When this was happening, I went to the bathroom to cry and pour all of my thoughts into our barkada group chat. My friends listened and gave me virtual hugs, and I felt so much better afterwards.
I spent so much of my time wishing things would go back to the way they were all while blaming myself for everything that happened in the past. Eventually, I realized that I wasn't solely responsible for the breakup. Yes, I did some things that contributed to our relationship's eventual end, but my ex cheating on me was never my fault. As Dr. Vilhauer put it, "If your partner cheated on you, it wasn't because you weren't good enough; it was because he/she chose to be unfaithful." This is what led me to believe that I had every right to depersonalize myself from these feelings.
Dr. Vilhauer said, "Learning to release your anger can often happen more easily when you take your focus off of the specific events that occurred and instead try to see the perspective of the people involved." So nilagay ko yung sarili ko sa position ng ex ko, and I thought of all the reasons that must have led him to do what he did. I'm not excusing his bad decisions, but I can recognize that maybe he shared things with the other woman that he couldn't share with me. Maybe, they're a better match.
I haven't thought about him in a while so suddenly being mad at him felt like I reopened old wounds.
Admittedly, I felt disoriented after all of these emotions. I haven't thought about him in a while so suddenly being mad at him felt like I reopened old wounds. But with the help of my friends and being able to properly process these feelings, I realized that this feeling was normal. The anger that I felt doesn't mean that I haven't fully moved on, it just meant that I was human.
Like what Dr. Vilhauer said, "no matter how awful the experience, there is always something you can learn from it that can make your life better going forward, selfishly look for the silver lining."
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