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High anxiety over an ex

Community Member

My relationship ended over 18 months ago and yet I still haven't let go emotionally. It is really affecting my mental health. My ex and I had an amazing relationship in the beginning (he was my first and only love) things got very rocky, we had broken up and were trying again to make it work until his constant lies and manipulation pushed me over the edge and I broke it off again. 

i recently saw him out at a pub, it was a whole year since I'd seen him. I don't think he saw me. I was surprised that I felt stronger and didn't have a melt down but it brought up a lot of old memories and now I can't stop thinking about him. I play out our break up over and over again in my head, he's the first thing I think about when I wake up and I've started thinking maybe I threw away a chance to be happy. One thing I do know is that he loved me wholeheartedly and I just gave up on it. 

I've protected myself by blocking him completely out of my life, and I ignored his calls a few months after the break up, which I still feel guilty about. 

It's just so painful having someone you love gone from your life. It kills me to think of him having the life we talked about with someone else. These thoughts are keeping me from moving on. I haven't met anyone I want to date. I thought I'd be over him and happy with someone else who treats me way better than him but it hasn't happened. 

Any ideas for setting myself free of this pain would be helpful.


3 Replies 3

Community Member
Hi Amali.  It's always hard when it's your first love.  Maybe because your first love is so intense.  If you weaken and take him back, though how long before the lies and manipulation start again.  The loneliness makes you want to rekindle, and seeing him again would've brought back only the good memories.  I take it he's in a new relationship, that would've hurt too.  Eventually, when the time is right, Mr Right will come along, it'll be when you're not looking.  Usually, when we meet the 'right' person, we're not looking.  When we're consciously looking, we seem to fall for the wrong person.  You said he loved you wholeheartedly, but then you said he didn't treat you very well.  Don't settle for second best out of loneliness.  It's quite on the cards that your ex may start treating his new gf the same way he treated you, too.  The leopard seldom changes his spots.  They put on an act to attract a new girl, then, once they've got her, they tend to treat her the same way they treated previous girl.  How were you feeling before you saw him, probably, as you said, just seeing him brought back memories.  Try to concentrate on building a new better life.  You didn't throw away a good relationship, he did the way he treated you.  You did what was right for you.       

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member


i went through something slightly similar with my first boyfriend. We were together for almost 4 years. He was my rock and he sheltered me as I lived with him all throughout my teenage years because I had a neglectful and abusive family. 

For the first three years of our relationship he was perfect in every way. We were perfect together & I knew I wanted nothing more than to spend the rest of my life with him. 

During the fourth and final year of our relationship he changed. We grew apart. He started lying & manipulating me. He pushed me further & further away. because he was so good to me in the past I felt loyal to him so I put up with it despite knowing I deserved better. As time passed I grew tired of being treated like I was a doormat he could walk all over. 

I began to venture out & made new friends, I met new people. he didn't like that and it put a bigger strain on the relationship but I felt like making new friends was giving myself a better chance at being happy than hoping things would magically work out with him.

eventually I began to form a bond with someone else. Once I began to develop feelings for someone else I knew it was time to let go of the relationship. I knew I had to break up with him.

I asked him if he still wanted to be with me & his answer was a flat out 'no!'. I told him that I felt it would be better if we go our seperate ways & he was more than happy with that.

I understand it is a lot more difficult for you to do what I did because you feel so strongly for this guy & are having a lot of trouble letting old memories & feelings go.

my advice is to make so many new ones that you forget the old ones!!

I know it sounds hard but I believe that you can fake it till you make it 🙂

there is someone out there who will treat you better & love you the way that you deserve, but first you need to give yourself a chance to meet that person!

if your ex didn't treat you the way you deserve to be treated then he is no Prince Charming! so go out, meet new people & enjoy life 🙂 I bet before you know it mr.right will appear.

Community Member

Hi Amali,

I came across your post as I am going through something very similar.

Me and my first love dated for 8 months, I was so devoted to her I felt like nothing would break us up. Bit by bit I found out the real her, she was emotionally abusive, gaslighting me for for just explaining how I was feeling to her, putting me down in front of others. I remember thinking "Ill just put up with this for the rest of my life". I was getting anxiety with her not knowing the reason, not being able to sleep at night. Not knowing what was wrong. Eventually it got to a point where I broke down completely and had to end it, havent spoken to her since.

Fast forward one year and I feel like I am ready and over what had happened. I've met this wonderful girl, the first few weeks were pure bliss and I must admit we rushed into getting into a relationship after 3 weeks of knowing eachother. But on and off I get severe anxiety, worrying about the past.

It started off by me feeling a little bit of doubt in the relationship, which coming from my first ever relationship where I had no doubt we were going to end up together to suddenly feeling doubt about a person was a big shock. I felt myself having weeks where I was so down, having thoughts about my ex, questioning if I was truly over her, Why am I thinking about her? Stop thinking about her? Are you ready for a relationship? Why are you doubting your current relationship? To the point now where I see it so hard to move past this rut we have got into.

Even when I go out, I question whether I will see her and what will happen if I do. All this thinking about her makes me question my current relationship when she is the most amazing person I have met, perfect in every way.

I feel like I am living in the past, a shadow of doubt everytime I think of her. I dont want it to end. But Im so confused as to what I should do