Dear Ex Who Keeps Letting Me Back In,

You’re probably wondering what the hell is going on, what this last go-round was all about, and whether I’m ever gonna change and finally give you the relationship, commitment and love that you desire and deserve.

In short, the answer is no.

I mean, why would you want me after all the crap I’ve put you through?

It’s getting to the point where you’re pretending to people who actually care about you, that you’re not in touch with me.

You rationalise that they don’t ‘get’ me or the relationship and that they’ll judge you/us, but your friends, family, co-workers and even the woman who saw you crying in the park the other day, are totally right about me.

Of course, I’ll tell you that they’re all assclowns and make you feel torn should you so much as hint about their well-placed dislike of me, but they are right–I just haven’t wanted you to agree with them. You might have the good sense to be done with me.

The truth is, I’m selfish.

It’s not something I like to admit, but if I look at my actions in the cold light of day, particularly when I consider how much pain you’ve been in, I realise that if I really, truly loved you, I would stop what I’m doing, even though it would mean letting you go.

I mean, isn’t that what people who genuinely care about and love something or someone, are prepared to do? Be prepared to lose it or them?

I can barely commit to showing up in a week, never mind to do something as bloody scary as genuine vulnerability.

I just want to know that you’re there, like a comfort blanket.

If I get sex, an ego stroke, or some armchair therapy out of you, even better.

In truth, I hate the idea of you not being there, of you not still seeing potential in me.

If you, who’s gorgeous, loving, kind, generous, empathetic to a fault, clever, and the list goes on, is no longer prepared to give me the time of day, what does that say about me?

When you have the good sense to scream at me that you’re ‘done’, to cut me off and refuse to reply to my texts or pick up my calls, or you even try to move on with someone else, I know that you feel bad about it and doubt whether you are right to do what you’re doing (you are).

You doubt yourself and question why you weren’t enough for me [to give you what you want].

I could have told you ages ago and, sure, I’ve hinted at it in various ways, but it’s not you.

This is who I am.

Even when I’ve appeared to give commitment to someone else, I’ve acted up in one way or another.

This is a me-problem, but, OK, I have benefited from letting you believe that it’s something you’re doing or not doing.

I keep dangling getting back together ‘for good’ and so when I crash and burn, yet again, you wonder where you botched things up.

You didn’t, unless you count taking me back in the first place…

The moment that I can’t access the supply of your love, you’re attractive again, because I associate being out of control with desire.

I also, yes, rather selfishly, see you as mine, and if you move on with someone else, I will feel incredibly insecure and fear (or know) that I’ve made a mistake.

Each time you take me back though, it gets rid of that fear.

I like your ‘goodness’ sheltering me from the truth of who I am.

I like knowing that someone like you wants to be with someone like me, even though I also know that I can’t give you what you want.

I like the idea of it, in that moment when I’m not sure if you will respond back to my texts or whether you will believe my promises, which admittedly have all fallen through.

I like the idea of it when I want your forgiveness because I hate the idea of being thought badly of [even though I wouldn’t put that same energy into doing better].

I like the idea of giving you what you want, when I get rejected elsewhere and suddenly, I’m not sure if I’ve still ‘got it’.

I like the idea of giving you what you want when I’m not in control.

Because then you want to give me that power.

That’s it. That’s the truth.

You keep thinking that we’re getting back together because you assume my intention is to get back together with you.

You assume that in giving me the power to provide what you want, yet again, that I will come through.

We get back together because I want the power and control back.

That’s it. That’s the truth.

If I have to lie, beg, borrow and steal in order to get back into your heart and likely your pants, then so be it.

If I have to mess with your head by disappearing, standing you up, cussing you, making critical comments, letting you see me with someone else, sleeping with my ex or someone you know, blowing hot and cold, and the list goes on, I will do it.

The moment though, that you give in or even enthusiastically come bowling back into the fantasy and drop everything for me, I know something isn’t right because you’re giving me the time of day.

I know that I don’t deserve you. How come you don’t know, too?

So, I go back to putting a question mark over your head, because amazing people like you [who I don’t truly respect and value] shouldn’t be fannying around with people like me.

If you let me, I will do this and more to you until the end of time, or at least until you have the good sense to shut me out of your life and move on.

I might even, move on to someone else, appear to give them what you wanted, but then still toy with you. You will wonder, Why them and not me?, even though you need to want better for yourself.

I do not want your heart; I want your attention.

Feck it, I want control.

If you’re serious about being in a serious relationship, stop believing me.

Stop giving me the power.

If you want a mutually fulfilling relationship with love, care, trust and respect, stop lying to yourself.

Stop trying to have the last word.

I know I have all of my stuff going on, but seriously, stop.

You can do waaaaaaay better than me but your unconscious desire to have the last word, to be right, to have what you think is a rejection of you ‘corrected’, is causing you to hang on and call it love.

Stop trying to please me!

Stop trying to show me how to behave and hoping that I will feel guilty enough about how badly I’ve treated you, that I will spontaneously combust into a better person giving you a better relationship.

I’m just not that fricking special. Yes, really!

Stand up for yourself. Don’t feel bad about it. Tell me to jog on, to eff off, to do one.

And I know that you don’t love me in the way that you deserve to be loved by that person who will be there for you when you get me out of your life once and for all.

I’m not saying that you don’t love and care about me, but letting yourself down to be with me, and secretly trying to have the last word, is keeping you with me long past my sell-by-date.

I keep coming back to push you to stop taking me back.

I keep coming back to force you to love yourself more than you love me.

Whether it’s me, or someone else like me, this will continue until you recognise what you couldn’t see before, which is that you can do better and it’s time to stop repeating the past.

I am not the love of your life. I am not the solution to your pain.

Let me go. And, don’t believe me when I get in touch next time.

Are you ready to stop silencing and hiding yourself in an attempt to ‘please’ or protect yourself from others? My book, The Joy of Saying No: A Simple Plan to Stop People Pleasing, Reclaim Boundaries, and Say Yes to the Life You Want (Harper Horizon), is out now.

The Joy of Saying No by Natalie Lue book cover. Subtitle: A simple plan to stop people pleasing, reclaim boundaries, and say yes to the life you want.


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