over recent years, something i’ve noticed is how some people tend to hold onto the hurt and betrayal caused by an ex. it’s something that’s so common, we’ve just become used to it. and we shouldn’t.

your ex cheated on you?

shit, mine did too.

(fun drinking game: take a shot — preferably a water shot, stay hydrated folks! — every time you read the word ex!)

one of my friends got cheated on. some of the guys i went out with got cheated on. a colleague of mine got cheated on. people i’ve spoken to online and have never met got cheated on.

it’s a thing.

a shitty thing, but a thing.

and it’s not even just cheating.

whatever hurt someone’s ex caused, however they betrayed their partner, those feelings carry over long after the breakup. even after having ‘moved on’ from the goddamn ex.

the last two weeks, i was talking to someone who’d gotten cheated on. this would, of course, cause trust issues. i mean hell, even i’m scared that history will be repeated and i’ll be left scrambling to pick up the pieces of a broken heart again. heartbreak causes so much damage to a person; it takes a long time to recover, but the longer it takes. the bigger the toll it has on you mentally/emotionally. and this guy i was speaking to . . . he was obviously not able to trust anyone else because of his bad experience in a relationship.

i don’t blame him.

but here’s the thing.

my last relationship was me paying for the shit my ex’s ex did. i paid for her mistakes. and it wasn’t enough. and it wasn’t fair. making someone pay for the mistakes of your ex is a horrible thing to do, and completely unnecessary.

like i mentioned in this post, i took some time after my break up to work on me, focus on me; become a better version of myself, so that when i finally was ready to be in a relationship again, i wouldn’t do what my ex did to me.

i wouldn’t hurt someone else because of the pain someone inflicted on me.

i wouldn’t make someone else pay for the mistakes he made.

i wouldn’t let my past experience get in the way of future happiness.

and that’s the thing some people don’t seem to get or understand. which i find weird, so maybe someone could explain it to me?

yes you were hurt before, yes it was a horrible and shitty thing. betrayal is never easy. being cheated on is so damaging and heartbreaking and it makes you wonder if you’ll ever be able to trust anyone again, or love someone else like that again. it makes you question whoever you do end up talking to, if you’ll be able to fully trust them 100%, because what if they do the same thing? what if they lie to you, manipulate you, gaslight you, cheat on you, make you feel paranoid and crazy and wonder why you weren’t enough?

what if? what if? what if?

it’s all just what-if’s. you’ll never know unless you try. because what if that’s not what happens.

what if this person ends up being the right person; the best person?

what if you can trust them and fall in love again? what if you can be in a happy, wholesome relationship where you don’t have to wonder if they’re really out with their mates or fucking someone else or lying to you?

you can’t just let one bad experience give you trust issues for a lifetime or allow it to fuck with your ability to ever trust anyone again.

at some point, you need to be able to let go of the hurt your ex caused you and drop that weight. carrying it around with you forever will only hurt you. it’ll only damage you. because they’ve moved on. they’ve forgotten. they don’t give a shit anymore.

you’re the one still holding on.

even if you say you’ve moved on (and maybe a small part of you will always care for them), you’re still holding on to the pain of whatever happened to end your relationship, on to whatever they did to hurt you so bad.

what’s the point of letting an ex still affect your life, all this time later? your future isn’t yours if you are — it’s theirs. and that’s just fucking stupid.

heal, man. heal.

yeah, this shit is easier said than done, but you can’t just not try. take that leap of faith. not everyone’s out to break your heart.

some people just want to take a load off your shoulders and love you right. let them.

let go of the past. what’s done is done. don’t let what happened affect your present and your future. don’t let it get in the way of the happiness you could have.

heal.

Sumaiya, x

Posted by:Sumaiya Ahmed

Sumaiya Ahmed is a student, poet and freelance features journalist, aiming to break down the boundaries of cultural stigma and shame attached to mental health and sexuality within the South Asian culture, and bringing marginalised topics to light. She is the Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Poised.