“Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.” – Mary Teresa Bojaxhiu
If I told you it’s completely possible to have a great friendship with your ex-husband or wife and even a better friendship with his or her new love, would you believe me? It sounds like a fairytale, something unreal and hardly ever heard of. Something that happens to other people, not you. How on earth could it be acceptable to like your ex’s new love? And that the problem of a bad relationship with both your ex and his or her new love, could possibly lie with you?
“But he/she hurt me so bad I don’t think I will ever recover from it.”
Yes, break up’s hurt. Divorces hurt. You also maybe feel like someone shot you in your centre and that you were torn through the middle. Your self-esteem is ugly and your core feels ugly and you are abandoned. Let me share a secret with you…you don’t need anyone to make you complete. You are enough.
Now, this isn’t a self-motivating, inspirational “how to get over a break-up” piece I want to write.
When you choose to be amicable with your ex-partner and force yourself too “be the better person”. Most times the relationship will end up turning into a very good friendship. Yes, it hurts. It feels as if you will never forgive your partner for abandoning you. But if you could put that aside and still force yourself to approach every situation and conversation with maturity and respect, I promise you, the other party will most probably start acting/reacting the same way and you both end up having rebuilt trust and friendship even though you are not romantically involved anymore.
I have had the once-in-a-lifetime experience and blessing of being able to forge an alliance with my ex-husband. We have a beautiful daughter and we try to still keep a united front whenever we can and when it is necessary. I have had the blessing of seeing him fall in love with someone else, and the opportunity of seeing how she has changed his life. How she has helped him improve and succeed.
For quite some time, it still hurt. In actual fact, yes it still hurts to seem him happy with someone else. At times it tears me apart to see how happy my daughter is with this young woman. Getting so excited to be with his girlfriend. But I managed to look past my own hurt and see the good this new relationship is doing. My ex-husband is succeeding at work and his personal growth and my daughter is being taken care of so well and she loves her so much!
Today, after a few months, I finally had the opportunity to meet her. As soon as I saw her, I knew why he said it was “love at first sight” (okay he didn’t actually say that but let’s pretend he did to make this less awkward). I saw her and we immediately hugged each other. It wasn’t just the short ‘nice to meet you’ hug; it was a hug filled with love, respect and care. The beginning of a very long friendship I hope.
I am one fo the few “lucky” women who actually get a chance to have a good friendship with my ex’s new love.
But, sadly, this entire scenario could have been entirely different.
What do you think would have been the response or reaction from him and her, if I refused to greet her? What would have happened if I decided to frown upon the fact that my daughter was happy with her? What if I reminded him every day of just how much he hurt me? What if…
We all get a chance to choose how our relationships will be. Yes, you can not control other’s reactions and feelings. But you can control yours. If we all could see and face our own wrongful actions, imagine the friendships we could have?
I started this writing with a simple quote from Mother Teresa, and I decided to end it with one as well;
“Smile at each other. Smile at your wife, smile at your husband, smile at your children, smile at each other – it doesn’t matter who it is – and that will help to grow up in greater love for each other.” – Mother Teresa