Cleaning the Exes Out of the Closet

Past relationships good and bad shape us into what we are today. They can also keep us from moving forward or being 100% into where we need to be. How should we handle this dilemma?

You Don’t Need Them!

I often get callers who are either calling about an ex, or the person they are calling about is hung up on an ex. It’s spring! Let’s air out the ex closet!

Address some issues about your ex. What did the ex ever do for you? Maybe the ex cuddled with you while watching the latest Johnny Depp movie. Maybe the ex cooked great food. Or, maybe the ex even knew how to liven up your bedroom like you were a sultan. But was it really all that or are you just lonely and thinking of the good times, forgetting the reason it ended?

But what didn’t they do for you? While cleaning out your ex closet, you need to look at all the items within. They didn’t clean, they only talked and never really listened when you most needed to be heard, and you always felt like the one putting in all the effort to make the relationship successful. Was that how the relationship felt? Why do you miss that partner?

Maybe, in the ex closet, you find the suitcase full of baggage. The stuff the partner left in your soul which burdens you and keeps you from committing to another person. Did your ex actually kindle your flames? Or did the ex mess up your idea of a real love, a true love? Did the ex make you afraid of getting involved intimately again?

Now you’re deep in the closet, going through the special shoe box. The memories which keep you holding on to your ex. These other things mentioned above? Those were the everyday. The shoe box is where you placed the bonds, the special times when you gazed into each other’s eyes under starlight, or danced that one slow dance to your song at your friend’s wedding. The time the ex held you when your mom died, or when you were sick and the ex cared for you.

I don’t suggest you throw away that shoe box, not one bit of it. Not one scrap. But the rest of it in the closet? Pitch it. You don’t need it. The shoe box memories will keep you believing you can find love again, and I advise you to look through that box once in a while, but keep it way back in the closet and only pull it out and dump its contents when you think you’ve never felt love.

I don’t think you should live in that shoe box, but every closet has at least one shoe box. Some, many. Every shoe box represents you caring about someone, sharing with someone, loving someone. And that should never be thrown out or tossed aside, but carefully placed inside your heart so you have more to give the next time around. And you will, especially when you’ve cleaned out the burdens and unnecessary things the rest of the closet has hoarded.

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12 thoughts on “Cleaning the Exes Out of the Closet

  1. Ophelia EXT 5078

    Hi Michele,

    Keep up the writing, nothing like cleaning out the “head closet” like writing. Glad you liked the article. Thanks!

    Reply
  2. Ophelia EXT 5078

    Hi Quinn,

    Thanks! I have one drawing a guy did for me of my favorite movie characters. I kept it for ten years…and now I’m married to him after we’d been apart that long! :)

    Reply
  3. Ophelia EXT 5078

    Hi Miranda,

    It sounds like you are at peace with so much. I’m happy for you! Items hold emotional treasures and I’m glad you see them that way. I do, too.

    Reply
  4. Ophelia EXT 5078

    Hi Trissy,

    Glad you liked the article. My closet is jam-packed full! Some things are delightful and some, well, like the little black dress there’s no way I’ll fit into again, I just can’t quite get rid of yet just in case I lose that 50 pounds. ;)

    Reply
  5. Ophelia EXT 5078

    Hi Chrissi,

    It takes time, especially when the old times hit you hard like with a death. You wonder…There is no chance at reunion, even if you didn’t want it, even if you’re happy. But still, you’ll recall all that happy you once had. I’d suggest not to forget the reason it ended, and let time pass and reflect on his passing and let yourself mourn. Sure, you may have to do it in your private time, but mourning is very important.

    Reply
  6. Ophelia EXT 5078

    Hi Marc,

    It *is* hard to see on the inside. Totally agree. Especially right after the end of a relationship. Glad the article resounded with you. :)

    Reply
  7. Michele

    Excellent article. Short, to the point and offers good advice. I liked how you carried put the theme about cleaning and the closet. I write similar pieces on my website, michelesprague.com

    Reply
  8. -quinn ext.5484

    nice article. i feel ya girl. and it is so true. i have somethings that go back 40 years. and pictures of all my boyfriends – it is fun to look back, also the letters that my guys have written me have been an inspiration.
    a few of my guys are artists and i have pictures that they drew and photos that they took of me. i like those the best lol. it is nice to look back and see how your guy saw you.
    thanks for this walk down memory lane.
    -quinn

    Reply
  9. Miranda

    Love the article & such good advice!!!

    I have a literal box that I’ve kept throughout my life. It contains the tokens from all my best & brightest memories with those souls I’ve had the pleasure of sharing my experiences with.

    Some of the people who have touched those cherished items are no longer on this earthly plane, and it brings me so much joy & solace to hold those precious relics in my hands – to lovingly caress them – and once again be connected to that person, place, or experience.

    Not too long ago I again felt the urge to open my sacred box & reminisce – looking at all the momentos of years and loves past, I remember each time that I am now – and always have been – truly blessed.

    Love & Light

    Reply
  10. Trissy

    Thanks, Ophelia, for your wonderful article ‘Cleaning the Exes Out of the Closet.’ You did a great job honoring both the good memories that are worth saving, and the letdowns/disappointments that are better let go of. I feel rejuvenated after reading, and my inner closet is sorting itself out! Trissy

    Reply
  11. Chrissi Matusevics

    I thought I’d thrown all mine out- had a great big clear-out to make room- thought I’d moved on, till his cousin told me he’d died, and another cousin told me he’d never stopped loving me, he was Indian Asian and his brother married him a wife(in India by proxy) and brought her here, so I thought we’d moved on and forgot what we had-so I’d married too and with my second husband, thought I’d finally got over him, had a son, but in seconds- it all came back, the feelings, memories-over the next few weeks I fell apart, managed to hide it from my family I felt as if I was almost obsessing- couldn’t get him out of my mind-even thought of running out, but I mustn’t, my son’s at uni and my husband needs me- more than ever since he had cancer and had a chunk taken from his leg- we live with his mother and she’s not too healthy either while she was well we didn’t get on either, so I stay upstairs and she mostly stays down(her rooms are all there) I still keep thinking of him but I know there is now nothing I can do even to apologise for the immature behaviour that hurt him when I was with him, let alone anything else left unsaid- and so just have to live with it or, as my mum used to say to me ‘you’ve made your bed so now you have to lie in it’

    Reply
  12. Marc from the UK

    NIce article and common sense, but like all things sometimes we are so far in it we cannot see as clearly as those out side, so and article like this is validation indeed!

    Reply

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