Wednesday, 31 December 2014

#195: Forgive my Ex

Wow, this is a big one to tick off. A few months ago, I was asked about forgiveness in an interview for the Huffington Post and whether I had forgiven my ex or not. I was not yet ready to forgive at that point, so I said the only thing that came to mind: "Forgiveness...that's tough. The other F word!" No matter how much I wanted to move on, forgive and forget, my heart wasn't ready then. I was still bitter, hurt and angry.
More time has past since then, however, and with time comes more distance and greater understanding. I still see my Ex fairly regularly, mostly to let my Ex see the cats. We are cordial, but reserved. I'll get the low down on what's going on in family and work life and hear the latest stories about my goddaughter, the niece. The new GF is never mentioned. I find it odd and somewhat confusing at times that my ex still ends most of our visits in tears, more than a year later. It was not my choice; this was what you supposedly wanted, I want to say, but I don't. I know in my heart that it is not me the tears are for but for our pets, the house and the life we had together. But not me. I may have helped build and provide that life, but it is not me that is missed. It is a very fine but important distinction.

My Ex was unhappy -- I thought with life. It turns out it was with both life and with me. I was a big part of my Ex's life so in retrospect I can now see how it seemed to make sense to cut me loose and start fresh. It was the one area of life my Ex had complete control over. There had been no premeditated plan to break up with me that morning, but when I unwittingly spoke those fateful, and fatal, words it opened a door for my Ex to walk out and make changes.

I have no doubt that my Ex would not have left me if the new girlfriend had not been lurking around.  Like a bad penny she was always showing up but I loved and trusted. They worked together and bonded over their mutual interest, but after 9 years I loved and trusted that was all there was to it. It was only in retrospect that the words my Ex uttered that morning made sense: "I love you. I'm not unhappy, it's just I think I could be happier with someone else." Looking back, that was why my Ex had no interest in trying to work things out, consciously or unconsciously. I'll never know what really happened between them and when. I had asked at the time if there was someone specific in mind and was told no...and I believed that.
What I do know is that they spent last Christmas, which was only a few weeks after we split, together with my Ex's family, and I was told by friends that they effectively had moved in together by January ... THAT and the lies surrounding it all have been the hardest to forgive. Break ups are not easy, but they happen.

Being left for another woman, however, is a different level of soul (and trust) destroying. Because of that, in some way, I will always probably hurt in some way. But they did what they needed to do. Even if I didn't understand it at the time, I can now appreciate the possibility that they did me a favour and spared me from spending the rest of my life as a safety net or consolation prize.
I am working hard to try to heal those wounds that have left my heart bruised, battered and torn apart. There were times this past year when I missed my friend, my love, my life, but I have had to let go and move on. To do that I had to learn to forgive, find some kind of peace and build a new life. Having The List certainly has helped as well.

I do hope that my Ex finds whatever happiness was missing from life when we were together. While our life was not perfect, I was pretty happy so if there's something even better, that's a pretty exciting prospect which gives me tremendous hope for my life to come.

Photo credits: Feng Yu, solominviktor, Marianne D : Shutterstock


  1. Thank you for writing this post. I have been on both sides of this and most recently I was on the side of harm. Not only did I hurt her, I destroyed myself. That being said, I have spent over a year putting in work like I have never even really considered, although my ex and I talked about it frequently in one form or another. I found myself, my truth. I have slowly healed myself and am learning the power of transparency and living a truly authentic life.

    I am not in a relationship myself right now, nor am I looking for one but I am happier than I have ever been and believe that if/when the Universe grants me that special partner I will be the mature and open person we need to be within a relationship. I am sad that I hurt both of us so deeply and I wish to the gods I had not. I cannot do anything about that now.

    Today I can only hope one day she forgives me and she too finds the happiness she deserves more than anyone I know.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Louis. This one was really hard to do, difficult to write and a embarrassing to share. It's good to know I'm not alone but, likewise, I'm sorry to hear you've gone through a hard time yourself. I believe that few people set out to intentionally hurt their significant other but life, and love, is complicated. Sometimes people have to go down a certain path before they learn that it won't fulfil them and is a dead end for them. In the process those that have been part of that journey get hurt when it ends. It's often hard for both parties, but it's often harder to forgive yourself than someone else. (See my next post). But congratulations on finding yourself. I'd like to say I have too, but I still have a ways to go on that myself!

  2. I think you are well on your way to finding yourself! It is also important to remember it is an ongoing process. The work never stops. It is just those paradigm shifts, those big steps, the ones that make us go "damn." I worked through a couple of those, in a big way.

    Anyway, Keep up the good work! I have added you to my newsfeed as I find your blog very uplifting and we all need that.

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.