The Ghosts of Lovers Past

Can you ever really get free of past relationships? I had it in my head that once I broke things off with Mack for good, I would remake my life and everything was going to be grand. Here I am, nearly three months later, and still I feel terribly stuck. There has to be a trick to overcoming this inertia, but I can’t seem to make any real progress. Is there something I could be doing, or is the trick simply to let time pass? Or maybe even the passage of time won’t do it. Am I doomed to be forever haunted by Mack?

What have I done to get free of Mack? I’ve signed up with a personal trainer, with whom I meet two days a week. I’ve started “running” more consistently. I’ve been drinking less and eating better, although both still could use additional improvement. I’ve cleared my home of most of the reminders of Mack. I did keep a bird statue. I really like birds. I did, of course, toss all things connected to our sex life. Yes, there were quite a few of those. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, good sex was one thing we had going for us. I’ll probably never have sex like that again, but what can you do?

This morning I went a step further and cleared out the hundreds and hundreds of emails we’ve written to each other over the past year and half. I didn’t delete them, I’m not ready to take that step yet, but I did move them to their own private little folder. I read a few of them as I went along, and was reminded that things with Mack, since the very beginning, were a struggle. We were constantly arguing. About everything. It was exhausting. (One of his favorite topics was my ex-lovers. So apparently, I’m haunted by them, too.) It seems my entire relationship with Mack was one long argument. Followed by make-up sex. Even now, post-breakup, we argue. Only now, there’s no make-up sex, so what the hell is the point?

Oh. Now I see now why getting free of the ghost of Mack has been such an arduous process. It’s because I’m still not post-Mack. He’s still a huge part of my life. Even though I haven’t seen him in months, we’re still email-arguing (followed by make-up email) regularly. It’s almost like we never broke up. This has to stop. Unless I stop communicating with Mack, I’ll never be free.

How do divorced couples with children, who have to continue to communicate, free themselves from their exes? Maybe they don’t. Maybe they’re trapped forever. Maybe we’re all trapped forever, whether we continue to communicate, or not. Maybe, no matter what we do, we are forever haunted by the ghosts of lovers past.

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