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Why It's OK To Secretly Want Your Ex To Fail

I once read an article that discussed how there is nothing worse on earth than having your ex be more successful than you are post-breakup.

And I have to say I agree. It's one thing for them to move on to someone new. In that instance, you can critique how they probably won't last and how miserable he looks in their latest selfie captioned, “#truelove.”

If your ex hurt you, you usually don't want them to have any form of success at all. You want them alone and poor, in a pit of despair of their own making.

If your ex hurt you, you usually don't want them to have any form of success at all.

But what about if your ex was broken to begin with? The only guy who ever truly got under my skin — the only guy whom I ever really loved — brought with him a whole ton of baggage.

I saw him and loved him not just for who he was, but for who he could be. I saw the potential in him to change his life around and make something great of himself.

I wanted that not only for us, but I wanted it for him as well. I loved him so naturally, and I only wanted the best for him.

Immediately after we broke up, I found myself not only missing him, but worried about him. Was he OK? Was he happy? I honestly wanted him to be happy, even if I wasn't in his life. I loved him THAT much.

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I never spoke badly of him, nor would I let anyone else speak badly of him in my presence, even if they were only doing so to make me feel better.

I trusted that even though we weren't together, he respected and cared for me the same way I did for him. In these moments, I never thought he was capable of hurting me, even though we weren't together.

Like most breakups these days, my initial innocence and “well wishes” were quickly brought to a screeching halt after finding out some really bad things he had done before and after we broke up.

I was devastated, and to make it worse, my view of him as "the guy trying to make things right" (with me and with his life) was instantly shattered. I immediately cut off all communication with him. I didn't look back; it was just over and done with.

At this point, I wanted every bad thing in the world to happen to him. I wanted him to be friendless and alone, for his good looks and charm to vanish in thin air and for him to get some good, old-fashioned karma for how shitty he treated me.

I was hurting terribly, and he seemed to go on with his life.

It's only fair, right? I was hurting terribly, and he seemed to go on with his life without so much as a second of regret for his actions.

A year or so later, with a lot of time and space to heal my emotional wounds and much success in the professional world on his part, I can't help but feel conflicted about his success.

While he is undoubtedly still broken in some regards, he seems to be doing well in most other aspects, all while being a person I know could be better.

Part of me is still rooting for the guy who wanted not only to be successful, but to be a better person (even though he ended up not being a better person at all). I still believe deep down, that better person exists. I want that guy to be a successful, happy and fulfilled person.

I can't help but feel conflicted about his success.

However, I feel completely different about the guy he is choosing to be. I want that guy to fail miserably.

I'm still angry at him because I wanted and expected better of him. I think if you adamantly choose to be an asshole, you deserve to the shit heading your way. Though, it doesn't seem like he's gotten that shit just yet.

I cannot stand to see him succeed, but I also cannot stand to see him fail. Part of me is still rooting for the good in him to shine through, even though that may never happen.

It's a strange thing in life, having been so intimately close to someone, to find yourself looking at photographs or hearing news years later, as though they're a complete stranger.

His success or failure no longer has anything to do with me; it's in his hands now. All I can do is wish him the best... kind of.