Okay, let me paint a picture for you.
There is a couple, Sarah and Mike.
Sarah and Mike decide to move into a cute little house together.
They are so happy.
It’s convenient because Mike works close enough that he can walk to work. The smallness of the house doesn’t bother them at all because they are just so happy being together.
They wake up every morning to the sun’s rays dancing through the curtains into their little kitchen. Life couldn’t be more perfect. The air in their house almost even feels lighter than the air outside.
It doesn’t even bother them when the sink starts to leak because they work together to fix it.
But, time goes by and the house starts to seem smaller than it once did.
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It like they can’t get away from each other.
Sarah can’t do something without Mike being a part of it, even if he doesn’t mean to be.
They start to argue over who’s responsible for the dishes in the sink.
Their house doesn’t fit them anymore. The walls seem closer together and the air feels stale.
I’m not sure if Sarah asked him to or if he decided to on his own, but Mike packs his things and moves into a hotel up the road.
For the first two or three weeks, he habitually walks into the house several times. Each time Sarah politely makes chit chat as she ushers him back out the front door. She ignores his comments about the small changes around the house and she skillfully dodges all mention of the life they had together.
Finally, she decides to change the lock. When Mike’s key doesn’t work, his feelings are hurt and he pounds loudly on the door.
Sarah doesn’t even open it. She just talks to him through the door.
“Mike, you don’t live here anymore. You can’t keep showing up. I need some time.”
He leaves. The walk back to the hotel seems longer. His feet feel heavier.
The next day, he walks down Maple Street so he doesn’t have to walk past the house they used to live in together. That doesn’t stop him from thinking about it though.
One day, his curiosity gets the better of him. He uses his old route to get home.
He is shocked. She has replaced the dry cracked paint with a new vibrant color, that, frankly, makes Mike a little sick.
If he’s ever going to move back there, that color just won’t do.
He heads to the store and returns carrying gallons and gallons of the original color.
When he returns, he finds Sarah outside on a ladder, fixing a shutter that had begun to off the hinges a few months into them living there. She is quick to tell him that he’s not painting the house. He doesn’t live there anymore, so he doesn’t get a say in what color it is. Why can’t he just give her space like she asked?
Mike doesn’t even pick up the paint. He leaves and finds himself getting more and more agitated. It was almost like he had never even lived in the house. He had thought maybe if he painted the house back the color it was when they first moved there that she would let him help with the other repairs. Then she might ask him to come back.
He stayed away for a few weeks, but he couldn’t stop thinking about that horrible color and wondering what other changes she has made.
He decided to walk to the edge of the neighbor’s yard, where he could see the house without Sarah knowing.
There was a huge fence around the entire house. The “Keep Out” and “Beware of the Dog” signs made it clear that she didn’t want him anywhere near her.
How would he ever get her back? He just wanted to go back to the way things were.
When he looks at the house that used to be theirs, all he sees is the life they had.
Alright. Let’s come back to reality for a moment, because Sarah and Mike are just made up people and their house is an analogy that I will explain in a moment.
Besides, I was starting to get a little agitated at Mike, which is silly since he doesn’t exist.
It’s easy to look at someone else’s situation and just know what it is that they should’ve done. And you can usually tell what actions the should take (or stop taking) in the future.
But looking at our own situations is different. Our judgment is clouded by our emotions and our desires. That’s why we make so many mistakes at the beginning when emotions are high.
It’s usually only after we think we’ve screwed things up that we start looking to others to help us find a little clarity on our situations.
Isn’t that how you ended up here?
The “Come Back”
So, how do you come back from trying to hold on too tightly and driving your ex so far away that it doesn’t seem likely that she’ll ever come back?
Is it even possible?
Well, I say that it’s up to you.
You have to decide to keep your emotions in check.
Am I say not to feel what you’re feeling?
No. Absolutely not.
I am telling you not to let your emotions determine your actions.
If you take what we tell you here and put it into action then your odds of having her come back to you are much higher than if you keep doing what you’re doing or if you give up.
The way I see it, you’ve tried a way that doesn’t work. Now you can try a way that has helped several hundred people get their exes back.
Yes. It is possible to come back after making even the most desperate mistakes.
I know I know, I sound like some Disney yahoo.
It’s not going to be all sunshine and rainbows. I won’t tell you it will be. I can tell you that it will be easier with a plan and people who can support you. We provide both of those things.
Step One: Where To Start?
So, as I always say, let’s dive in.
The hardest thing in starting anything is taking the first step.
I’m sure you picked up on the analogy earlier, but I’m going to walk through it anyways.
The house is the life that the two of you built together. At first, it’s solid and perfect. You don’t mind having each other all up in your business all the time.
Over time, things slip. You get comfortable and you stop putting in so much effort. Hence the peeling paint and the hanging shutters.
The leaving, that’s the breakup, whether she broke up with you or you decided to leave on your own, you decided you wanted her back and you… overreached, so to speak.
Don’t worry, it’s in everyone’s nature to do just that. More people than you can even begin to imagine react by trying to hold onto what they had and driving their ex away.
That first step means letting go of that past.
That’s not what you wanted to hear. Right?
Have you ever heard someone say “The first step is acceptance.” Usually, they are talking about addictions, death, or other things that alter your perceptions of life.
But emotions alter your perception too.
Choosing to fight against those natural reactions though is hard. It takes discipline.It’s a quality that so few people have these days. If you are one of those few, then I suggest you summon every ounce of self-control that you have.
Discipline is about your ability to control your desires and impulses in order to stay focused on what needs to be done to achieve a goal.
I know you think the goal is just to get your ex back and all of your focus right now is on her and what she’s doing. But your discipline needs to be to shift your focus onto your life.
It will feel like it is the most difficult thing you will ever do.
Your mind will wander back to what she’s doing and inevitably you’ll find yourself looking at her social media or driving past her house. The discipline is redirecting your mind to your own life.
First, start No Contact. That is a must. You can’t move forward if you are still looking backward. You can read more about No Contact and how long it should be here.
Once you start No Contact, you should decide what you want to accomplish in your life. Don’t worry about her’s. You can’t control anything she does or anything she has going on in her life. What you can do is control what’s going on in yours.
Step Two: Layout a Plan
So, figure out how to make you are going to improve your life, and we’ll go from there. But you need to have a clear picture of what it is that you’re going for.
For me, when I had to make the distinction, I had to decide to finish up some courses I was putting off finishing. I had to figure out if the hobbies and interests I had in my life were there because I wanted them there or if they were there because I thought they were something my ex had brought into my life. And I had some old college debt I need to take care of. I had put all of it off because it was one big mountain. I was happy so my mountains didn’t really matter to me much at the time.
But then, after you get to a point where you aren’t happy and you are looking backward instead of forwards, you don’t have the motivation to conquer mountains either.
So, get your head wrapped around the things you can change.
Once you get this picture solidified in your mind, you need to lay out what it is going to take to get there. I mean step by step what it will take.
Step Three: Get Rid of Distractions
For me, laying out a plan meant I had to evaluate my student debt. I had to do a lot of studying to knock out my last few classes. And I had to learn how to reset my mind to redirect every time I started to think about what might have been and what my ex was doing that very moment.
It was far from easy.It’s like we are with our phones now.
It’s like we are with our phones now.
Think about it. When you have a moment when there is nothing specific for you to focus on, what is the first thing you do?
You look at your phone, right?
And it isn’t because there is something important on it. It’s just because it has been a source of entertainment ever since you’ve had it.
Kind of like your ex.
At the beginning, when you were bored, you would reach out to her. Then, once you were together, you knew she would be there if you reached out to her.
Breaking that habit is no easy feat.
If you were having a hard time giving up the habit of reaching for your phone and checking facebook every time you were bored, what would you do?
You would remove facebook from your phone or at least log out and make it more difficult to log on. Right?
That’s why it’s important to remove the distractions in this situation too.
Unfollow her on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and whatever other social media you have a habit of checking on her with.
This will make it easier to focus on your goals rather than hers.
I can’t illustrate how important this is for you to be successful.
But this baby does a pretty decent job of it.
Step Four: Stick with it
The hardest part about all of this is not giving up on your goals when you have setbacks.
One of the best things I ever found that made it easier to stick with it was setting up a countdown for the end of No Contact. You know, one that reminded you how much time you had left until you could move into the Texting Phase. The most important thing for you to remember once you make it to the Texting Phase is not to let your emotions take over and drive your actions.
Which you can read about here.
My suggestion on No Contact is to do the full 45 days since you’ve already pushed her away by being clingy.
And if you didn’t go read that article earlier, I suggest you do once you finish this one. Here’s the No Contact link.
All you have to do is stick to the plan and follow it until you get where you want to be.
Feel free to reach out to any of us here at Ex Recovery. We do our best to answer every question.