|I aim to misbehave|
I guess this is the part where I talk about how my ex was a bitch and that she was only holding me back. Possibly list her faults in an attempt to aid my moving on. Describe her as a footnote in the saga of my life. Insult her sexual prowess. Maybe call her fat. I'm sure you would even forgive this uncharacteristic amount of spite and vitriol because after all, all's fair in love and war. The problem is I'm not that kind of guy.
|I'm much more rock and roll than that|
Don't get me wrong my ex turned out to be more stupid, untrustworthy and devious than I thought but that's not a new revelation for people in long term relationships to have. Towards the end things got shit but 90% of our 4 year relationship was really special. She made a man out of me and I am not ashamed of what I have become. She was instrumental in my evolution as a person, pushed me to succeed academically and gave me a reason to push myself when it came to jobs. It would be foolish of me to write her off as a bad mistake. It seems a lot of us tend to treat old partners as dehumanised caricatures made up of all their negative traits - especially if the break up was messy - and I can understand why but doing this sells us short for a number of reasons.
|All of these guys were actually probably OK. Apart from Gideon. He's a dick.|
Bitterness is PoisonIf we put our ex's in the league we never have to forgive them: "Batman never had to forgive the Joker and Luke never had to forgive Emperor Palpatine so why should I forgive him/her?" we think. The problem with this line of reasoning is that it makes us bitter and bitterness rots from the inside. It doesn't take hold straight away but after a couple of years it gets you. It can prevent the blossoming of new love and shut us down emotionally. Forgiving those that wrong us is a fundamental part of moving on properly; a wound cannot heal with the quarrel left inside so we must remove it with introspection and clear, controlled thought. Sometimes people do truly evil things that are unworthy of forgiveness but as I have never had to deal with them in relationships I will not attempt to speak about them. I personally have forgiven my ex for what she did, don't get me wrong it was stupid and I will never trust her again but I know that she didn't just do it for no reason. The reason was just stupid.
Putting all the Blame on Others Prevents us from Learning
So my ex cheated on me. For 2 months. She wrecked our relationship. But the sad truth is that I helped her. I didn't do anything as stupid as have a secret primarily online affair with one of our best friends but I definitely contributed to our downfall. I was drawing too much of my identity and need for social gratification from our relationship and that resulted in an imbalance of effort. I was putting more into it not because I loved her more but because I was leaning on her too much to sustain me. This made her feel like she didn't love me enough and she was too cowardly and/or inarticulate to talk to me about it. I needed to back off and give her some space. I needed to go out and have fun with my friends more but I didn't.
|This doesn't count|
She confided in him and he gave her sympathy. She mistook this for something deeper. She secretly started spending more time with him and having illicit, occasionally explicit Skype conversations with him. It was so exciting, just like the soaps she loved so much. She treated it like a game with the same level of personal detachment she treated so much of her life. When I found out she felt cornered. She said lots of hurtful things; some stupid, some true, some false. These confrontations shattered her already brittle feelings for me and the gloves were off. It ended.
|She even said "I love you but I'm not in love with you"|
Do I understand why she chose to deal with my flaws in the foolish way she did? No. That does not however mean that they were not my flaws. If I put her in the League of Evil Exes I will never have to deal with my contribution to our downfall and therefore will not grow as a person. I now know how to avoid suffocating girls (figuratively) in long term relationships so I will not repeat my mistakes.
So What am I Trying to Say?We need to remember that some of our exes were not an evil waste of time and were infact the making of us. For every fight there was an evening snowed in under a blanket crying together at Band of Brothers, for every moment of intimacy denied there were gentle squeezes on the palm in dreary hospital waiting rooms and for every last awkward goodbye there was a first passionate kiss. If we ignore the good they brought into our lives in an attempt to move on we are worse fools than them.
Stay Crunchy Internet