Many people come to me for help with their relationships – namely when it comes to getting back together with an ex. They’ve been trying everything in their power to get their exes to realize that they could be so happy together, but unfortunately there are some common mistakes that I’ve noticed. Many people come to me with one specific sentence when they need help: My ex is putting up walls and I don’t know what to do…
We encounter this problem when an ex needs space but doesn’t feel like they’re getting it. It’s usually the direct result of certain mistakes that I will explain throughout this article, but don’t worry. Where there is a problem, there is a solution.
There are various do’s and don’ts that you’re going to need to follow right now, but you’ve come to the right place to find out what all of those are! First I’ll explain why your ex is pulling away and then we can dive into what you can do about it.
My ex is putting up walls: Why?
It’s true that each person is different, so each person will have their own specific reasons, but there are common patterns that I’ve picked up on over the years as a coach.
The most common phenomenon is when an ex begins to feel suffocated. You feel him or her slipping away so you panic and try to become even more present. You do everything you can to prove to them that you love them, and that you’re willing to do anything for them.
It reminds me of one of my clients, Emily, whose ex boyfriend broke up with her because he felt suffocated by the relationship. well, that should have already been an indicator that he needed space, but she panicked and tried to tell him over and over that they could work out a better balance in the relationship – that she would give him more space to do the things that he wanted to be doing (like hanging out with friends, having the apartment to himself sometimes, etc).
She was calling him multiple times a day to talk things over, and she even started sending him letters. Now don’t get me wrong, in the right circumstances and at the right moment, a letter can be very powerful.
But when it’s misused it can actually get you farther away from your goal. If you want more information on the handwritten letter and how to use it properly, I encourage you to click the link.
Back to Emily, she came to me saying, “I can clearly see that he’s putting up walls around his heart an I honesty don’t know how to make things right. I need to show him that I’ve changed but how can I do that if he’s pushing me away?”
She was right… She needed to show him, but more on that in a moment.
There is another common reason behind why a person would put up a wall to protect: that’s how need to heal.
A breakup can take a pretty big toll on a person. Many people think that the person who got broken up with is the only one that suffers, or at least that they’re the one that suffers more. It’s a pretty common misconception.
Both people hurt. The person who got broken up with of course suffers because the person they love chose to leave them, but the person who decided to leave will also struggle with doubts, damaged self esteem, and pain. When you’re constantly in touch with the person you broke up with, it becomes hard to clear your mind and move forward.
You’re constantly being reminded of what you lost, the choice you made, and how you hurt that person. This is why many people will begin to put up walls and pull away.
Whatever the case may be for your ex, he or she needs space.
Don’t worry, though. If you’re familiar with my philosophy then you know that I always stress the importance of putting some distance between you and your ex after a breakup.
For most situations, there is one specific tool that works wonders, and it’s all based on putting space between you.
My ex is building emotional walls, what can I do?
When your ex is putting up walls, the most important thing to do is to give them space. Forcing him or her to speak to you or see is the worst thing you can do right now! You want your ex to talk to you and spend time with you because they want to – not because they feel like they haven’t been given the choice.
You don’t want them to begin to resent you. If you realize that you have suffocated them a little bit, don’t worry. It’s not the end of the world – you just need to stop right away.
Here’s where the famous no contact rule comes in. For more in-depth information on this powerful tool and whether or not it’s right for you, click the link.
To summarize, it’s a tool that is used for a period of three weeks to three months, during which you cut all contact with your ex. The goal is to allow things to calm down after the breakup, let the emotional walls come down a bit, give your ex the opportunity to miss you, and allow you to become the best version of yourself.
By no longer being at your ex’s beck and call, and by no longer suffocating them, your ex will start to wonder where you are. They’ll start to miss being in touch with you, and with time, their positive memories of the relationship will begin to surge up.
It’s crucial that you use this time wisely. You want to show your ex that you don’t need to be in constant contact with them and that you’re working on improving your life. You want them to understand that you’re growing from this breakup. The person he or she fell in love with in the first place is in fact still there, but they’re going to discover a new and improved version!
That is why you’ve got to take advantage of this time and truly work on improving your life. Spend time with friends and family members that make you happy, try out new activities like salsa dancing, pick up old hobbies that got put on the back burner, check out new places in the city with your closest friends, and fill up your schedule with people and things that bring you joy.
Yes, your ex needs space right now but so do you. It’s not uncommon for people to struggle with emotional dependency after a breakup and then to subsequently damage the relationship they had with their ex. Forrutntelfy, it’s reversible as long as you make a conscious effort to analyze the situation and choose the appropriate actions.
It’s hard to navigate a situation like this, but we are always here to help you. Please don’t hesitate to leave any questions you may have in the comments section below, and remember that you can always reach out to us directly right here. Together we can design the perfect plan of action so that you can get your ex back!
As always I wish you all the best,
Your coach when your ex is putting up walls