The Mighty Logo

11 Ways to Break It to Your Therapist That You Got Back With Your Toxic Ex

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

The point of having a therapist is to be able to tell them about what you’re going through in life without judgment. That being said, there are some things that are harder to talk about simply because either you’re ashamed or you’ve gotten some harsh opinions from other people about your choices.

One of those choices that can be universally awkward to talk to your therapist about is going back to that ex. You know, the ex. The one that started your therapy journey to begin with. The one that makes you blast “All Too Well” until your voice is hoarse (the 10 minute version, for the record). The one where you go from saying is the worst person you ever met and thus you’re better off without them to how much you miss them and you’d do anything to get them back?

There’s the walk of shame (which I’m judging you’re familiar with if you’re back with the ex) and then there’s the walk of shame. AKA, the walk you do to the couch or chair in your therapist’s office as you break the news saying “You know that thing you explicitly told me not to do? Yeah. I did that.”

If you’re struggling to vocalize this and find the right words, maybe we can give you some ideas:

1. “Hey! So good news. I drank a lot of water since the last time we talked. I also made some time for myself and decided to finally start listening to my gut. My gut said to text them back.”

2. Make a meme breaking the news and send it at 3 a.m. with the simple word “Surprise!” Here’s an example:

  a meme where a person reaches towards a ball in the first panel and in the second panel it's the person looking behind them at another pink blob, stopping them from getting the ball. Over the person on top is "me" and on the ball is "A healthy stable relationship with a new person" and on the pink blob is "my ex"

3. “You’re going to be so proud of me. My ex texted me this weekend and I didn’t text back, instead I showed up at their house at 2 in the morning and didn’t leave for three days.”

4. “OK, so pick what you want to talk about first. My debilitating imposter syndrome, the fact that my PTSD was triggered by watching a show designed for 2-year-olds, or that I decided to have sex with my ex even after I said I wouldn’t.”

5. “Good news! Paid off my credit card! Bad news, it was my ex’s money that did it because we’re back together again.”

6. Just send them a link to “Oops I Did it Again” with no context and leave them on read until your next session, after you and your ex stop talking again of course.

7. “I decided to take the road less traveled down, which may or may not have led to my ex’s house. Which then may or may not have led to us hooking up again. Which then may or may not have led to us giving it another shot.” 

8. “Before we start, in my defense, you said I should allow people to be there for me. That, and I was horny.”

9. “I’d say I made a bad decision, but good and bad are relative, don’t you agree?”

10. Just ghost them until you’re off again in the on and off again relationship.

Or you can just be blunt, but wait until the last minute of the session.

11. “I’m back with my ex.”

At the end of the day, the push and pull of a toxic relationship, especially intimately, can be alluring. While we should be dedicated to growth and doing what’s best for us, sometimes what’s wrong feels right and we do only live once. That being said, always remember your therapist and medical team are there to support you, even through your toxic relationships.

Getty image by vgajic

Originally published: July 1, 2022
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home