How to recover after being played?

So I met this guy about 1,5 years ago and it started out great. After all I had been through before, it felt amazing to have someone understand me so well, it seemed almost too good to be true. It went on for a while, until after some point it slowly started going downhill. Not as much communication, affection or any of that. There was no longer the deeper connection we used to have. Something felt really off. Sometimes it hurt really bad but always when I was just about to give up he came back and said just the right things to get me to come back - only to hurt me again later.

At some point I truly realized all the signs and what was going on. He was a spineless coward and a liar, only playing people, multiple people at the same time. It hurt really bad knowing that everything he has ever said might be a lie. But I still couldn't let go at the time, because it all creeped up on me gradually.

Now I finally got to the point where I have cut him out of my life. And it felt so great. I did not feel anything for him anymore. But now that has been replaced by a new painful feeling that I can't seem to get rid of: I truly regret it that I didn't leave him behind earlier.

Why didn't I let go? Why did I hold on to something that caused me pain? I feel angry at myself for staying as long as I did, knowing that he is just a loser and that I deserve better.

Even though I was the one to eventually cut out all contact, I still can't shake the feeling of regret. I feel like a fool and my trust has been shattered. I hate feeling so out of control and don't know how to get over it.
How to recover after being played?
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