Have you ever heard someone speak with respect
about the person they are no longer in a relationship with?
I didn’t think so.
If you did, it was rare.
We are used to hearing a long, angry rant on what a no-good lousy loser that was.
We certainly never hear someone admit they left a GOOD person by mistake!!!
George Strait admits it in Nobody In His Right Mind Would Have Left Her,
but his is an ultra rare confession.
No, our previous partner is almost always summed up as :
They were rotten.
Maybe they were.
Maybe they really were thoroughly and completely rotten.
Isn’t that why we refer to them disdainfully as “my EX”?
So why in the world would it be important for us to change our ways
and speak WELL of them?
I will offer you three reasons.
Each one will build your freedom.
Are you willing?
Let’s DO this!
How I learned to speak differently
I got married at 19 to a fine young man, and we had two beautiful children.
Twenty one years later he felt the need to move on.
Yes, it broke my heart, and no, I did not understand.
I had the good fortune, several years later, to find and then marry
another fine young man.
He had a generous heart.
He said he was grateful to my former husband
for giving him the opportunity to pick up his torch.
He always respectfully referred to my former husband as “The Former.”
I remember how relieved I felt that he saw him that way.
It took away a lot of pain.
It encouraged me to still honor him.
It gave me a way to speak of him that comforted me in my loss.
Alas, after nearly twenty years that young man also moved on–
but I always speak of him, too, with respect.
And so does my fiance who picked up the torch from him.
Respecting each man has freed me to love again.
Three reasons to speak well of our previous partner
Reason One: Responsibility
Speaking with respect acknowledges that however badly things went,
we are not without responsibility.
We chose this person.
Nobody forced us to.
We chose to have a relationship with them.
And we may have accepted things we should not have accepted.
We played a role in this failed relationship, no matter how much we would
prefer to deny that.
We are playing superior when we refer to them disdainfully as “my ex.”
We are saying I am the powerful one! I have crossed them out!
Serves them right.
We may call them our EX, but they’re really our WHY.
They are our opportunity to ask ourselves why.
Why did we DO that to ourselves?
Why did we set ourselves up to suffer?
Only when we face ourselves with this question
and challenge ourselves to stop
will we have a chance to not continue doing the same thing.
Speaking well shows that we are taking taking responsibility.
It shows we are facing ourselves.
It shows we have LEARNED something.
Reason Two: Honor
We honor the best of what we had.
We show respect for the love we shared.
However brief, and however flawed it was, we loved this person.
Very likely they also loved us.
As much as they were able at the time,
and for as long as they could.
Reason Three: Forgiveness.
We show that we have forgiven our previous partner
for the pain we experienced.
We are no longer torn apart,
no longer consumed with hurt, rage, resentment.
We are not bringing destructive judgments and negative expectations
into our next relationship.
We are free.
We are ready to love at a higher level than we were able to before.
I encourage us all to be tender and forgiving,
as we speak of our previous partner.
They were not perfect and neither are we.
Let us have a generous spirit.
Speak well of this person we used to love!
Bless them as we let them go.
What is a generous way you can describe your previous partner?
I would love to hear.