I went through a breakup about a year ago with someone who I've always considered my "first love." I knew him for six years. The relationship was very emotionally draining. He was manipulative and mentally abusive. I saw him through alcohol problems, most of which resulted in angry fights that he made up reasons for in his head (keep in mind we were both only 23). After cheating on me, he got himself sick from alcohol consumption, was in the hospital for about one month, and then rehab for another two months. I stayed with him through it all. He promised my parents and me that he would turn his life around and be a better man for me. He convinced me that if I stuck with him, he would marry me. About a or so month after leaving rehab, he left me for a girl from Tinder, of all things. Instead of telling me himself, he let me find out by changing his relationship status on Facebook and adding pictures of them kissing.
The pain was debilitating. He blocked me on every form of communication you can think of as soon as he realized I knew, without ever saying anything about why he did things this way. It is blatantly obvious that this person has no love or care for me. Recently he unblocked me and tried to add me back on Facebook, liked some of my pictures, and messaged me. I have yet to add him. Thankfully I am at a point where I realize that there are much better men in the world, more fit for me. I fell in love after him (we have since broken up), and that relationship opened me up to the possibilities the world has to offer. My only problem is, I can't help but feel that although I don't want to be with him, I am bitter about the way the break up happened. He is still in a relationship with the woman he left me for. I can't seem to rid myself of the angry feelings and the thought that I don't want their relationship to work out, just because of the way it started. A part of me just wants him to feel some pain and I need some help ridding myself of these bitter feelings so long after the ending. Friends of mine have told me that the severity of the break up is something I probably will never get over, that they wouldn't if they were me. Any advice for me?
You don't have to wish the best for him. You're allowed to be bitter and, on occasion, very angry.
Getting over someone doesn't mean you cease to have any negative feelings about them. Yes, we hear a lot about how closure sometimes comes with friendship, or, at the very least, the feeling that you hope all goes well for your ex. But not all breakups work that way. You can be totally over your first love while having complicated and persistent bad feelings about him and how he treated you. Don't take your negativity as a sign that you're not moving on – because clearly you are.
All you can do is to stop yourself from giving this too much space in your brain. There is no need to add this ex back on social media. If he wants to try to track your life that's his call, but you do not have to let him or participate in any kind of back and forth.
Also, and I think I've been saying this to a lot of letter writers lately, don't assume he hasn't experienced pain. He can feel loss and kiss someone new at the same time. The fact that he blocked you suggests he cared a lot about what you would think of him. That doesn't mean you should be any less hurt, by the way. All it means is that it's a process – for both of you. Focus on your own, and don't jump to any conclusions about his.
Readers? Should the LW still be bitter about this?