Stop Saying You Were Dumped: You Are NOT A Piece Of Trash!

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getting dumped

Four clever phrases to use instead.

I've heard many women say to me, on both my divorce advice Facebook page and at my retreats, "My ex-husband dumped me."

I've never liked the use of the word "dumped" when it refers to relationships.

Think about it.

Something that sits in the dump is rotting and smelly or falling apart.

Do you really want to think of yourself that way?

It implies that there's something wrong with you because someone broke up with you. That you're damaged goods.

Saying (or thinking!), "I was dumped" only encourages your self-esteem to plummet.

In fact, the reason why your ex broke up with you may have had more to do with his unwillingness to work on your relationship than anything intrinsically wrong with you.

Because words are so powerful, I propose it's time to shift the way we talk about breakups and divorce.

So, instead of saying or thinking "My ex-husband dumped me," try these affirmations. Instead of contributing to heartbreak and depression, these are more likely to boost your self-esteem.

1. My ex gave me the gift of a new life.

Stop thinking of what happened to you as being dumped.

Instead, think about the gift your ex gave you by asking for a divorce.

Do you really want to be with someone who isn't fully invested in the relationship and who doesn't love you for who you are?

You're now free to eventually start a new life with someone who really appreciates you and who wants to work on relationships instead of giving up easily.

2. My ex-spouse gave me a key to a future filled with pleasant surprises.

Sure, life sucks after divorce.

But in leaving your marriage behind, your spouse has actually presented you with a key to a new life that's going to be filled with pleasant surprises. Imagine yourself putting that key into a door that opens up onto a beautiful, wildflower-filled meadow.

During the divorce, you can't imagine all the good moments that are in store as time passes.

But those good times will come after the pain fades away.

You will have experiences you would never have had if you stayed married. You will meet people you would never have met.

3. My ex-husband was blind to my beauty and charm.

Maybe your ex-husband cheated on you and you're wondering what his mistress has that you don't.

Put the brakes on that thought. Sure, maybe she weighs less than you. Maybe she's younger than you. But those physical traits are not the foundation of a strong, healthy, long-lasting relationship.

If a man turns to someone else, rather than working on strengthening your marriage or letting you know what he needs from you to be happy in the marriage, he's not the type of man you want in your life anyway.

Good riddance, he's gone!

4. I am now free to find someone who is more compatible with me. 

I know a man whose wife asked him for a divorce. He was devastated at first, but as he listened to the speakers at my retreat, he remembered that he and his ex-wife were given a personality test before they were married.

The test showed they were completely incompatible. But they went ahead with the marriage anyway.

He eventually married someone who shared more of his interests, such as hiking in the mountains and desert, and who shared his religious beliefs.

Moral of the story: If your ex-spouse left you, the reason may have been your basic incompatibilities  not because you're unworthy of their love.  


Ditching the "I was dumped" narrative and replacing your thoughts with one of these four positive and self-esteem-building affirmations will make it much easier to move on after divorce.

These statements apply not only to your ex-husband but also to anyone you date after divorce who decides he does not want to continue a relationship with you.

These affirmations can soothe your feelings of rejection.

What's more, if you tell someone who you just started dating that your ex-husband dumped you, your date may mistakenly wonder what's wrong with you.

We live in a world of social proof. Consider how much more likely you are to buy a product if your friends on social media sing its praises. Social proof carries over to dating.

Saying you were dumped also broadcasts your insecurity.

Remember, self-confidence is sexy.

Give up saying "My ex-husband dumped me" and your self-esteem will come out high and smelling like roses. 


Kimberly Pryor Wilkes is an author and relationship expert who helps people get over the pain of divorce and confidently begin dating.  Need help coping with the realities of your divorce? Sign up for Kimberly Pryor Wilkes' free Rebuilding Your Life After Divorce newsletter, where you'll discover proven secrets for healing your post-divorce heartache.