We’ve all heard it happen a million times. You’re dating a guy, weaving your life around his, day dreaming about the life, home and children you’ll both share, when suddenly from nowhere, he pulls the rug from underneath your feet, leaving you and your dreams a tumbled mess on the floor. How many times have I had to console friends whose boyfriends broke up with them and were engaged 3 months later? How many times have I had to hold the hand of a broken friend as she wailed over the loss of another broken relationship? How many times have I had to put my heart back together again after another guy smashed it into pieces? Much more than I’d like to remember. Truth is, men and women alike have all suffered from various versions of emotional trauma, yet for some inexplicable reason we put our feet forward, hoping that the next relationship would be better than the last.
I have done some soul searching. And I have come to the truthful conclusion that I would be a miserable wreck if I had married anyone of my exes. This isn’t a form of self consolation, rather it’s me finally admitting to myself what I knew when I was in those relationships. For instance, I knew that my ex was more concerned about his parents’ views than the growth of our relationship, yet I stayed. I also knew that another of my exes was more interested in turning me into his ‘mother’ than accepting me for who I was. I also knew that the darting eyes of another ex was a symptom of something more sinister, but yet again I ignored all this, and pretended that I could somehow ‘manage’ the situation into ‘marital bliss’. So when all these relationships ended, I really should have counted myself lucky but we live in a twisted world. One which somehow values the unhappily married woman over the single fulfilled one. Go figure.
Today, I had a rather tearful call from a friend who has just broken up with her boyfriend of 5 years. I know she will be reading this, thinking “Glory, how can you put my business out there?”, but I will share with you all what I told her regardless. “You are a million times better without him”. I wasn’t saying this because I wanted her to feel better, I said it because it was the truth. Sure, in front of everyone, they seemed like the happy couple but to people like me, who knew the innings of the relationship, I was altogether glad that the charade of a relationship had come to an end. Like I said to her, he did her a big favour by ending things, because he was completely undeserving of her. Right now, it may be hard for anyone in a similar situation to see through all the hurt, but as someone who has come out of similar situations trust me when I say this- your life will be so much better without him (or her).
I remember the last time I called my dad, crying over an ex. He told me that although he understood why I was upset, he thought I was smart enough to see that any man who could put me under this amount of stress would do much worse later. “Glory, a man who really loves you would rather walk over hot coals than see you cry over something he could have avoided. He would do everything and anything to make you happy and would always remain proud that he can make you happy. I am not telling you this because I am your father, I am telling you this because I am a man and that is how any man that has been brought up well thinks. Forget this boy!”
This statement has become my litmus test for all relationships. So you can understand why it upsets me when I see wonderful women crying, beating themselves up over failed relationships with men who never appreciated their true value to begin with. Why we women cannot see (or rather admit to ourselves) when we know for a fact that we deserve better is something I am yet to understand. Why are we willing to stay back and take the beating, abuse, cheating, tears and every form of unhappiness?
I agree that these things are easier said than done, but sometimes, all we need is a bit of self confidence and self development to see our real worth. Other times, we might just meet someone else who treats us like we ought to be treated. So instead of sitting down and moaning over your exes who are married, realize that he or she may have actually done you a favour, leaving you free to meet someone truly deserving of the amazing man or woman you are.
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