Okay, so rule number one when dating after divorce or a break-up is never talk about your ex. It’s really never a good idea. Especially in the beginning. If the person you’re on a date with asks you about them, simply say something generic like; ‘we grew apart or we were two different people and we are better separated.’
There is nothing more unattractive to me than a man that bashes his ex and makes her out to be a she-devil. A man who has to demonize his ex-wife or girlfriend tells me that they are not over them or the hurt they may have caused. (Not to mention, it says a lot about his character and how he views women.) This is a BIG red flag that he has not moved on, he holds on to bitterness and anger and he is not emotionally ready to be in a healthy relationship. That goes for you too ladies. If all you do is bitch about your ex, it only makes you look like a bitter-ass chick who holds on to negative beliefs about your relationship. No Bueno! It screams insecurity!
Trust me, it’s hard not to want to point fingers and blame the destruction of your relationship all on the other person. If you’re really honest with yourself, you have to take some of the blame. Not all but some. For example, if you were in an emotionally abusive relationship, on some level you allowed them to treat you that way and you still stayed with them. I live by this quote:
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” ~Eleanor Roosevelt
As I was going through my divorce, it was important for me to own up to what I did to contribute to the dissolution of my marriage. I could have done things differently. I could have been less selfish and demanded more respect. I could have communicated what I needed and wanted…but I didn’t. I don’t take responsibility for his poor decisions and the dysfunction that he brought into the relationship, but I do take responsibility for allowing it to continue and the part I played in it. I was a good wife and mother, but there were a lot of things I could have done better. No one is perfect and no one is faultless.
I often say that we wrote the script for our relationship early on and that script played out and dictated how we interacted throughout our entire marriage. I was young, naive, weak, stubborn, jealous, and insecure. I could have re-written the script, but instead I continued to play the same role, the same character in that original script– even though I had evolved into a strong, independent woman. He didn’t know how to handle the strong independent woman I had become and we didn’t know how to grow together…so we grew apart. He stayed the same, but I had changed. Sound familiar?
Couples have to be able and willing to evolve in their relationships. Part of that is being able to communicate your fears. If one of you feels the need to spread your wings and take on new challenges or experiences, you have to be secure enough in the relationship to allow them to do so, instead of trying to clip their wings. Trust and communication are the most important components in a healthy relationship and we didn’t have either one. We were simply co-dependent.
Now, I’m not saying that you were to blame for your ex cheating on you or mistreating you…not by any means. I just came to realize that I had to recognize that I knew on some level what I was getting myself into and I should have been smart enough to run the other direction. I also don’t have any regrets about my marriage, because I have three amazing children out of the deal. It was all worth it and I know that he was a good man with a wounded soul who didn’t believe that he deserved my love.
I choose not to be bitter and bash him. I choose to gain understanding, forgive him and learn from him because in many ways he was my greatest teacher. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without those lessons.
In a way I should thank him. Now I know not to put up with anyone’s shit and I see the red flags a mile away. Hence, the guys I’ve dated recently haven’t made it past the third date. 😉
Do yourself a favor and let go of the anger and bitterness towards that person. Recognize that the pain and heartbreak was a lesson you needed to learn in order to value yourself more. When you let go of that pain and focus on the positive things your relationship taught you, then you can finally heal and find the relationship that you deserved in the first place.
There is nothing more toxic than holding on to anger and resentment. It affects your children and it affects the relationships that you bring into your life. Let it go and find the lessons. Honestly, you weren’t happy in that relationship anyway…why the hell would you want to hold on to it?! Have your #Lemonade moment and play the track to “Sorry” a couple times:
(Gotta love that song!) After a few “F U”songs… let it all go. Trust me the decision to do that will change your life and your perceptions will turn from negativity to possibility. Think of it as a gift to yourself and your kids. Otherwise the bitterness will eat you alive.
I make a conscious effort to find forgiveness towards my ex and wish him the best in his new relationship. It’s not always easy, there are times I want to cuss him out, but he is and will always be the father of my three beautiful children and he gave me so much in life. I choose to focus on the good in him and keep a cordial and caring relationship. I wish him happiness, because I know that in return I will find my own happiness. It’s just good karma. This is a gift you can give to yourself and to your children, so let go of the bitterness and feel better.