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Shout Out to My Ex: 6 Ways to Heal After Hurt and Heartbreak

“Shout out to my ex, you’re really quite the man
You made my heart break and that made me who I am.”
-Little Mix, Shout Out to My Ex

I can’t say I’ve quoted too many song lyrics since the days of AIM “Away Messages” and MySpace pages, but as I was cleaning the other day this catchy song came on, got me dancing, and got me thinking about past relationships…one in particular.

It was my 25th birthday and I was in my mom’s office (thankfully she worked just a few blocks away) bawling my eyes out. I had been going out with a guy I met just a few weeks prior and he was already bringing me to the point of an ugly cry. Full blown can’t breathe, can’t speak, emotional mess.

It’s hard now to even remember what exactly I was so upset about, but it sent red flags flying.

Red flags that I chose to ignore.

What ensued was the most unstable and unhealthy relationship I had ever allowed myself to be in. I continually felt like I had to tread lightly when communicating with him, often taking a full five minutes to text him back in fear of saying the wrong thing. A wrong text, or a wrong word would have him replying that he didn’t think we should hang out again and the emotional ups and downs would begin all over again.

A lot of our time was spent drinking too much, which lead to many nights of him yelling at me to get out of his place. But that’s just because he had too much to drink, he didn’t really want me to leave, right?

We spent a TON of time together, he took me out to dinners, I spent most of my nights at his place, but there was no stability or comfort in knowing that we were actually a couple. This man was a father, yet parented in a way I knew I would never want to raise my children. He called me hurtful names, but yet gave me his time and affection, so he must still care about me, right? Our values and goals didn’t align, my emotions were out of control, but yet I continued with the dysfunction.

I was at his place one day when I received a message from another woman on Facebook who stated very specific things that there was no way I could lie to myself about what was happening. That was the end. It was the last red flag that I could no longer ignore.

I mean… it still hurt like hell, but I finally ran out of excuses.

“These are the doomed spirals of logic your mind will descend when you think being alone means being lonely, and that being lonely is worse than being mistreated.
-Tyler Oakley, Binge

At the time, I was living at home, working a job I loved, but not making enough money to support myself, confused and without any idea of what to do. So the relationship was at least something that gave me some significance and love, even if I was achieving it in all the wrong ways.

I think what hurt me so deeply is that I was living so far from my truths, and had not only allowed but ACCEPTED that kind of energy in my life.

So how did I move forward and find peace? It wasn’t easy and it took time. Sometimes, something still shows up and brings some of those feelings back.

Here are 6 ways to begin the healing after heartbreak and hurt:
1. Don’t ignore your gut.

The phrase “womens intuition” exists for a reason. Ladies, if you are in a relationship you know you shouldn’t be, stop making excuses. Chances are, you already know the relationship isn’t right. We make excuses because that feels better than accepting the truth.

2. Take responsibility.

I clearly allowed this person in my life and allowed him to treat me the way he did. I accepted his “love” because I felt that was what I was worthy of.

As the lovely Christal Fuentes says, “When you don’t value yourself, the wrong people will come along and believe that they don’t have to value you either.”

3. Blame effectively.

There were days, even years later that I would still hold a lot of anger and resentment towards this guy and no way to let go of it. So I stopped to blame him EFFECTIVELY.

No more blaming him for being an asshole, but instead blaming him for inspiring me to get clear on my relationship goals and ideals.

No more blaming him for calling me awful and downright hurtful names, but blaming him for helping me toss away the bullshit and get back to my true, strong self.

No more blaming him for loving me in all the wrong ways, but blaming him for sharing in my life at a time when I’m not sure I even loved myself.

How could you blame someone who has hurt you in an EFFECTIVE way?

If it’s someone who speaking these words to would help heal the both of you, I encourage you to reach out. Remember though you are blaming in a positive way, for all the positives that came out of your relationship with them, even if the relationship itself wasn’t healthy.

If it’s not a situation where reaching out would be beneficial to you both, or if you can’t reach out, then just write it out. Writing is a great way to release bottled up emotions.

4. Get over the story.

Don’t tell yourself that every relationship will be like this, or start with the downward spiral of, “why am I so unlovable?” Instead, get clear on what your ideal relationship looks like. Again, write it out! When we focus on what it is we want our relationship to look like, we attract that energy to our lives.

5. Talk it out.

I knew I was in the wrong relationship, so thinking about telling my friends or family about what was going on instantly gave me feelings of shame and regret. I knew when I was having conversations it was SO obvious that I shouldn’t be putting any energy into this person, which made me ashamed.

However, in those moments of hurt and pain, I needed someone to talk to and ultimately talking about it has helped me to heal.

You never know if a fellow lady has gone through something similar!

If you can’t reach out to friends or family, reach out to a coach. There are so many options for people who are out there to be a listening ear.

6. Trust.

In life. In the Universe. In God. In yourself. In divine timing. In whatever you choose. Just trust.

“What if life was always happening FOR us, not TO us?”
-Tony Robbins

People and situations often show up in our life EXACTLY when we need them. After this relationship, I had a little chat with myself. I got more clear on what direction I wanted to go. I reconnected with things and people that made me feel GREAT. I healed my spirit—even if only a little.

After some time, I landed a great job, reconnected with an ex with whom I now have a beautiful and LOVING relationship with and was able to use my experience to overcome the low points in a whole new way.

Remember, you are a beautiful and lovely soul who deserves the BEST love in all aspects of your life and it begins with YOU!

 Comment below with how you’ve healed yourself after hurt and heartbreak!

About the author

Audrey Robl

Audrey Robl

Audrey is a certified health coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Her love for all things health and wellness led her to share her passion for living a more fulfilled and balanced life with others. She hopes women will find it within them to laugh more, love more, and live more!

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14 Comments

  • Again, with the articles and perfect timing..it’s crazy! Just getting out of a very long, toxic relationship where so many people told me “no” but I wanted to prove them wrong that “this guy” was more than you saw and knew but the truth was? They were right. I was far too hopeful that he would be what I wanted or needed in a relationship and life and the older (and wiser) I got I saw it more and more. I met somebody that said so little but their aura made me feel strong. Strong enough of stand up and say 110% of my thoughts, feelings, needs, and wants…the end result? They couldn’t handle it and it was over. Just like that. I’m still baffled, boggled that a relationship with so much time invested is over in a blink of an eye but it shows that it was never meant to be. I should of trusted my gut and took contold a lot sooner but I’m glad I finally did. It’ll all heal and come together in due time, I keep telling myself that. Thank you for this article, it really hit home and came at the perfect time!

    • I’m so glad it hit home Karen! It is hard to feel like you are “giving up” when you have invested so much time, but the truth is, it shows true strength! I hope that the healing continues for you and trust yourself that you have made room for better things!

    • Wow Karen, me too!! I am currently dealing with the same situation. All the best to you in your journey! Here’s to something new and something great in the future xo

  • This article is right, in so many ways. I’m almost a year out of a very toxic relationship, for the second time running with the same guy.
    The first time I remember feeling so very broken; so when he popped his head up into my life again for a second time I grabbed back onto him swearing it would be different this time.
    The second time it ended; the relationship had spiralled into a much darker space than ever before. I knew that this time it was done & I didn’t look back.

    I put me forward, I poured my energy into my friends, family & job. I’m okay being alone & like who I am today.

    Thanks for the article !

    • Thanks for sharing Erin! That’s what I included the quote from Tyler, being alone doesn’t have to mean being lonely! Wishing you lots of love and happiness!

  • This article is EXACTLY what I needed to hear. Every single point! I LOVED the “Blame effectively” part. I’ve never thought of that. And the “story part” WOW!!
    I remember asking not long ago how to help myself with this EXACT topic. I will re read this again and again.
    Thank you so so much for this. This platform is AMAZING.
    Much needed and loved❤️
    THANK YOU🙌🙏

      • I’ve found it nearly impossible to break free from this past relationship for nearly 2 years. I feel like while I practice a lot of these tips. It feels like this article put years of therapy into precise, clear, loving direction. Amazing. I’m not there yet but I feel stronger just having this extra knowledge and the added security of beginning the work on not attracting the same partner again.🙏🙌❤️

  • I’ve recently been in and out of a 10 year toxic relationship. This article along with so many I’ve kept up with for the past two months have helped me tremendously! To really being able to express what’s really deep down inside in practicing to letting go . Its truly empowered my person, to keep moving forward. This has really been a place where I come to read articles to learn, grow, and practice being aware of all the emotions and feelings that come along with this detachment of such a long relationship. It’s been quite a journey, it’s been two years that I’ve lived alone, but he has been in and out of my life not allowing myself to fully heal and blaming him (not effectively)leaving ME powerless! With that said, Let’s continue this healing process that because of him I’ve become a person that lives day by day wanting a better me for me and truly get to the core of how amazing I really am! 🙌🏽 Thank you so much for sharing! 💜

    • It’s truly wonderful to hear that some of the articles on the site have been resonating with you! I love what you said about living day by day wanting a better you FOR YOU! <3

  • Amen to this article! I have spent 6 years of my life trying to change myself for the toxic person I thought I loved. Tried to conform to his demands and wants because I never felt as though I was worthy of anything more. I hated myself for who I had let myself become. You are so damn straight and on the money with how can we expect anyone else to love or respect us if we don’t love or respect ourselves to start off with! This year was the year I CHOSE to leave the person I THOUGHT I loved so I could learn to LOVE myself. Yes it hurt. Im not going to lie. For weeks I thought I made the wrong decision – but then I remembered how miserable I was because I was always second best. Always that piece of dirt under his shoe – his ‘maid’ if you were to ask him. I’m 23 years old and I have just realised how much of my life I am still yet to live! I have figured out what I want in a relationship and more importantly I found myself! I have no regrets with the past 6 years of my life that I could have been happy with had I realised this all years ago because my lord have I learn some serious life lessons. More importantly I learnt to love myself.

    Christal – a beautiful friend, no, my rock! Told me to follow you on snap chat about a week after I told my now ex to get out of my house. Your words brought me to tears – where the hell were you all my life! I can honestly say your words have helped me deal with possibly
    One of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my life (so far). Walking away is hard – especially when you feel like that (relationship) was all you had going for you. You made me realise I had me going for me. And that was more important than any man who couldn’t see my worth. From the bottom of my heart I thank you! You saved my life! Xx

    • Such a beautiful share! <3 I too found myself acting a certain way or trying to be "better" for that person. In a true loving relationship, you won't feel like you HAVE to be anything but yourself. You may want to better yourself, but only because your partner will be there building you up and encouraging you, not breaking you down. Walking away can be EXTREMELY hard, but there is true strength in walking away from something that is not serving you. Moving on from a toxic relationship makes way for even more light, happiness, and love in your life. Sending you lots of love!

  • This couldn’t come at a better time. After recently getting out of a toxic relationship I’m moving forward with finding myself. I feel I’ve put my energy into so many negative things that I lost myself. I looking forward to having the control of my emotions, being confident, and being happy. Thank you

    • Just reading your comment I feel like I can hear you taking a deep breath and some heaviness being released! I’m glad it came at the right time. Thank YOU for sharing! <3

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