You know how on reality TV shows how the final episode is a reunion special? That’s how sitting down with my ex felt.
We had mediators who were a couple who had been married 20+ years who sat us down and helped us communicate our miscommunications and hurt in a way where we would both be heard by the other like never before.
I’ve never had marriage counseling or couples therapy but I imagined it would feel something like what we were doing.
Though I won’t share what was said in our little episode I will say that it was a lot calmer than I expected and I’ve never been more proud of the way we communicated. I will also share what I learned so that the next person who’s thinking about sitting down with their ex can sample what it’s like.
1. Time makes you wiser.
It was evident to me from the very beginning of our conversation that he had matured since I’d last seen or spoke with him which I wasn’t expecting. I guess the old saying ‘Time makes you wiser’ is accurate because time had made him wiser. He was taking responsibility for things he never would have in the past and he was owning up to hurting me in ways he didn’t even understand. I was also owning up to my mistakes and I was amazed at the honesty that was coming out of my mouth. After years of never knowing how to word things or being too afraid to voice certain things, there I was just speaking them as though they were just words strung together and not the life or death of our relationship.
2. He had his reasons for doing things.
Even if they weren’t good reasons he had his reason for doing things. I realized that most of his issues with me lay in the fact that his intentions were good… but his action plans were terrible. Giving me space to deal with my mental health by ghosting me wasn’t the most productive way to go about helping me; as his action fed into my already out of control abandonment issues, and by no means did his reason justify his 6-month absence it made sense. I learned that everyone has a motive, but it’s how it’s carried out that makes the long-lasting effects. If you’re ever not sure how to deal with a situation, ask someone older and therefore wiser for help.
3. He wants what’s best for you even if he’s not good at showing it.
This one really depends on the type of man he is, but if he genuinely is a good person at heart with no justifications then he’ll want what’s best for you, even if that means leaving you to better yourself. Sometimes what’s best for us isn’t always easy or ideal. Sometimes attaining what’s best isn’t comfortable, and will bring you growing pains. Sometimes what’s best for you is clouded by what you want and it takes another person to help you see what’s best for you in all honesty.
4. He’s working on bettering himself.
Signs of a healthy person are ones that are always working to improve themselves no matter the cost. Sometimes, though hard to admit, we ourselves can be hindering someone from growing. Sometimes we’re the toxic ones that need to be removed and if you really love him, you’ll let him go and work on himself even if he never comes back, because you want him to be the best version of himself that he can be.
5. You’re going to have to re-introduce yourselves.
Sometimes after not talking to someone for a while time can wedge between and make you strangers. When this happens, you’ll need to agree to see each other in different lighting as changing individuals and put aside all the what was and what could’ve beens and realize you both are two new people standing at the first of many finish lines.
6. He loves you in his own way, (even if that way isn’t romantic).
The Greeks have 7 different types of love. There’s passionate love, brotherly love, friendship love, family love, universal love, uncommitted love, practical love, and self-love. The love you have for a person can change over time, and a once passionate love can turn into a brotherly love and that’s okay. Sometimes it hurtful but love is love, and sometimes people love you in ways that they can’t express during certain phases of their life and this too is okay. As long as you both care and respect each other the love will form and grow to whatever it needs to be. Even if that’s only a brotherly love.