Why Do I Miss My Toxic Ex?
Breaking Free from a Toxic Relationship
Hey! Can you believe that nearly 60% of folks have gone through at least one toxic relationship? It’s crazy, but these relationships are more widespread than we might think.
And you know what’s even crazier? How can we miss a toxic ex, when they hurt us so much? Let’s dive into this together and figure out what’s going on with our emotions.
We will explore the world of toxic relationships and how they can impact one or both people involved. From messing with our self-esteem and getting to feel lonely without that not-so-great ex, we’ll get to the bottom of why it can be so tough to move on and just live our lives.
The Science Behind Attachment
Do you know what’s super wild? How the science of attachment can make our brains do funny things and keep us stuck on someone, even if they’re bad news for us.
Yeah, you heard that right – it’s all about hormones and neurotransmitters, and they have a huge part to play in love and attachment, which can even get us stuck in an abusive relationship.
Hormones and neurotransmitters are important in how we love and attach to others. Even in a not-so-great relationship, these chemicals keep us hooked and make it tough to say goodbye.
It’s weird to feel like you miss your toxic ex-husband when you know he’s not good for you, but that’s where science comes in and helps us understand why this happens.
When we have a blast with an ex, our brains whip up a whole bunch of chemicals that make us feel attached, even if the relationship was all kinds of messed up.
These hormones and neurotransmitters can leave us feeling down, nostalgic, or even craving the company of a nasty person, even though we know they’re bad news.
So, if you ever catch yourself scrolling through your feed and getting hit with a wave of longing for a past relationship that was anything but great, don’t think you’re losing it. It’s just your brain messing with you; many of us go through it.
The key here is to see these feelings for what they are and remind ourselves that putting our well-being first in our current relationships is what matters.
The Power of Nostalgia and Selective Memory
You know, it’s kinda hilarious how our brains mess with us sometimes, right? Our minds are rocking some rose-colored glasses when thinking about our exes.
We’ve got nostalgia and selective memory, which can make us zero in on the good stuff while brushing the bad under the rug.
When a relationship’s over, we remember the happy moments and push aside the not-so-great parts. This is especially true regarding our first love or a past relationship where we had many awesome memories. We just forget the toxic stuff and focus on the things we miss about them. Weird, huh?
Nostalgia and selective memory can mess with how we see the past. So, if you catch yourself looking back at an old relationship with those rose-colored glasses on, take a sec to remember the whole shebang – the ups, the downs, and everything in between.
Trust me; it’ll make you appreciate your current relationship and your real-deal besties even more.
Fear of Being Alone
The fear of being alone is something that hits home for a lot of us. It’s normal to feel that tug of wanting an ex back, even if the relationship was a hot mess. Loneliness can make us crave what we had before, and it’s easy to forget the bad stuff when feeling low.
We all want that familiar comfort, even if it comes wrapped up in toxic vibes. This fear can be even worse in codependent relationships, where one or both peeps lean too much on the other for emotional support. But even in a healthy relationship, being alone can be scary.
Loneliness plays a big part in why we miss an ex, and the coziness of what we’re used to, even if it’s not good for us, makes it hard to say bye-bye. We all want someone to hang with, and when a relationship goes south, it can leave a huge hole in our lives.
Maybe you just ended a long-distance thing, or it’s been months since the breakup, but you still miss them. You might even see someone new, but you still feel that emptiness. Stay strong, and remember why your toxic relationship ended in the first place.
So, how do we shake off those ex-thoughts and move forward? It’s not a walk in the park, but it starts with facing fear and knowing it’s okay to feel sad and miss someone.
Surround yourself with your ride-or-die crew and family, and focus on all the amazing stuff about you. And hey, just remember, someone else is perfect for you and will love you the way you are.
Low Self-Esteem and Codependency
Low self-esteem and codependency are these super-connected ideas that often lead to not-so-great attachment patterns in relationships.
An unhealthy relationship can appear in different ways, like being clingy, always needing reassurance, and freaking out about being left behind.
In this whole mess, low self-esteem and codependency make this nasty cycle tough to escape from. People with low self-esteem might see themselves twistedly, thinking they’re not worthy, lovable, or good enough.
This crummy self-image can lead to a huge need for others, especially romantic partners, to say they’re okay. So, folks with low self-esteem might get super dependent on their partners and put their partners’ wants and needs above their own.
Codependency is when one person leans too much on the other for emotional support, to feel good about themselves, or even to figure out who they are.
In codependent relationships, people might let their partner’s bad behavior slide, like addiction or emotional abuse, just to keep the relationship going and get their validation.
This makes an unhealthy situation where a partner relies on each other for how they feel emotionally.
How to Move Forward from a Toxic Relationship
Moving forward is not easy; it can feel like you’re stuck in a never-ending cycle of so much pain
and confusion. But the good news is there are ways to move forward and heal from the hurt.
Recognize the Status of Your Relationship
You gotta face the truth about the relationship. Yeah, it’s tough to let go of all those happy times and the dream that things might turn around. But you gotta remember how things were and that there’s a reason the relationship went kaput. You deserve way more than being trapped in a toxic mess.
Build a Support Network
Another game plan is to create your cheer squad. It’s super important to have a circle of people who love and have your back, especially when dealing with emotional chaos. Hang out with friends and family, or join a support group with folks who can lend an understanding ear, share some wisdom, and listen.
Practice Self-love and Self-care
Don’t forget to show yourself some love and care for numero uno, too! Do stuff that puts a smile on your face, like trying out a new hobby, going on wild adventures, or getting into mindfulness. Treat your body right with exercise and healthy eats. That’s the key to healing and getting on with your own life.
Embrace New Experiences and Opportunities
Finally, embrace new experiences and opportunities. You might feel scared or unsure about the future, but remember that life is full of possibilities. Say yes to new experiences, make new friends, and explore new parts of the world. The more you step outside your comfort zone, the more you grow and heal.
Missing a horrible person can be a complex and difficult experience. However, it’s essential to recognize that these feelings are normal and valid. If you struggle to move on, know that resources are available to help you.
Seeking therapy, building a support network, practicing self-love and self-care, and embracing new experiences can all aid in personal growth and healing. Remember, you deserve to be happy and fulfilled in healthy relationships. So, take the first step towards a brighter future and book a therapy session today.
Author: Michelle Landeros, LMFT
Michelle Landeros is a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist (LMFT). She is passionate about helping individuals, couples and families thrive.
Last updated: May 29, 2023