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Author, Attorney, Grief Counselor, Media Commentator, Motivational Speaker, Relationship Expert, Breakup Coach BA English Mount Holyoke College, magna cum laude, High Honors, Phi Beta Kappa M.Ed., Counseling Psychology, Cambridge College J.D. University of California, Berkeley Licensed to practice law in federal and state courts in NY. Licensed but Inactive in Texas and District of Columbia Creator of the Getting Past Your Past and Getting Past Your Breakup programs, seminars, workshops, bootcamps, videos, blogs and podcasts Author of Getting Past Your Breakup, Getting Back Out There and the GPYP Workbook

by Susan J. Elliott, J.D., M.Ed.

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An ex, who was a present at the time, told me that he had returned to his ex-girlfriend over and over again. And each time he could not believe he was back there. Each time he had forgotten how bad it was the time before.

I said, “You have a built in forgetter.”

And he said, “Wow. You’re right. I have to have that removed!”


We all have built in forgetters and we all have to have them removed.

And we have to remove them on a daily basis.

We have to not forget to remember the bad times, the hurtful times, the rejection, the confusion, the pain and the heartache. Going back to the “splitting” post, we have to remember the bad and not get sucked into only remembering the good.

If you caught someone cheating (or talking to someone) and they then spent a beautiful romantic weekend with you…what do you remember? The romantic weekend? If so, that makes you very forgetful.

Yes we WANT to remember the walks on the beach but anyone can do that. ANYONE. I have had people (I talk about this in GBOT) who have said, “I liked the way he put his hand on the small of my back on our second date.” WHAT?????

I was married to a man who adored me for 15 years without ONCE making me cry. He never once put his hand on the small of my back. NOT ONCE. A friend was married to a sociopath who always opened the car door for her and things like that. HE WAS A SOCIOPATH.

If you constantly remember those stupid little things you get SMACKED with the cheating, the lying, the psychodrama.

My husband was romantic to some degree…but not much. But he was honest and funny and he LOVED me – adored me – thought I was the greatest thing since the folded napkin from the night we met until the day he died.

Did he ever hold a car door open? No. Did he ever put his hand on the small of my back? No. Did he ever walk on the beach with me? No.

Did he buy me a house? a Harley? put me through school? YES. Did he give me the wedding of the century at the Plaza Hotel? Yes. Did he give me an awesome honeymoon in Italy? YES. Did he support me going to Italy by myself on a photojournalism trip? YES. Was he there every single time I was awake in the middle of the night? YES. Did he show appreciation when I shared a sandwich with him? YES (yes, a sandwich). DID HE SEND ME FLOWERS? Once or twice and then I said that’s enough. We both thought flowers were kinda stupid (not flowers themselves but Valentine’s Day flowers and that sort of thing.)

I never took my eyes off what was important. The love, the trust, the “I want you to have everything you’ve ever wanted…” attitude. Had he ever texted another woman, despite ALL of this, he’d be gone. And I knew I’d be gone had I done it. Trustworthy people want trustworthy people. I would NEVER forget a mini-cheat for ONE SECOND – and if you think that texting flirtatious things to another person is NOT a mini-cheat, you are fooling yourself. And NO trip to Italy would have made up for a flirty text to another woman. NOT ONE NOT EVER.

I met him because I would NOT put up with any nonsense from anyone. I would not have been available to be with him and be loved like that had I not had my built-in forgetter removed.

You don’t want rude people, that is not what I am saying. Michael was polite to me, the kids and others. He had an overwhelming sense of decency, decorum and respect for everyone and everything. Again, I talk about this in GBOT and constructing your “MUST HAVE” lists. I wanted someone who was polite to me, my kids and others, but not someone who was trying to sweep me off my feet with empty gestures. Yes, I wish chivalry were not dead but I would rather someone staying up with me all night and not complaining that I was keeping him up than someone who ran (like my friends ex did—yes RAN) to the side of the car to open the door for me. Make your priority inventory as it talks about in GBOT and hold people to it.

STOP GIVING CHANCES TO PEOPLE WHO DO NOT DESERVE THEM. Stop forgetting what bananaheads they are!

When we are only remembering the good, our built in forgetter is at work. Our splitter is splitting and what we are seeing is NOT REALITY. When our built-in forgetter is at work, we are being prey for losers. PREY FOR LOSERS.

When we break NC and it hurts, we have to remember that pain. The “normal” reaction is to push it away. To pretend it didn’t happen or to beat ourselves up for it. But the thing to do is to NOT JUDGE YOURSELF for it (Hope are you listening?) but to just take away the lesson from it.

Does it hurt when you do that? (break NC). DON’T DO THAT!

But don’t spend all your time being angry at yourself. Get re-angry at your ex and realize how much BETTER OFF YOU ARE WITHOUT THAT EX.

Don’t spend the whole time beating yourself up. Just resolve to remove that built in forgetter every day…to do your work and to consult the NC calendar whenever you want to break NC. Is it a day that not’s on the list? Then break NC. Otherwise, stay NC.

And work every day on removing your built-in forgetter that forgets the bad side of the bananahead.

And keep being good to you.


Copyright © Susan J. Elliott, J.D., M.Ed.

All Rights Reserved No Duplication is Allowed Without Explicit Permission of the Author

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