The "X" Factor - Dealing With Our Exs
By Teri Worten
When we have children with another person, that person is a part of our lives forever. Even with uninvolved fathers, somehow conversations come up about them, their names are mentioned and some of them even "pop" into our lives at different times. Whether directly or indirectly, we might as well face it, they are a part of our lives forever.
Hating these ex's does not help. It changes nothing. Further, constantly regretting the past relationship with them serves only to depress us. Our only reasonable option is to change how we perceive them and look at the new co-parenting relationship through a different lense.
Remember, fighting with them is useless and silly. For our kids' sake, we've got to avoid potentially violent confrontations. When your ex acts foolish, just understand that they are being who they are and you can't change them. As the old folks used to say, "don't be angry at a skunk for stinking"! Think about it, you couldn't change them when you were with them and you can't change them now. So just ignore the ignorance and pray that they will be good parents to your kids.
I know it's hard to pray for and be patient with those who hurt us, but Jesus told us to do it because there is healing in it for us. It's hard to be bitter and hate someone you are praying for! Try it!
My personal challenge
Once I overheard my little boy on a phone call with his dad. He seemed to be defending me for something. I later asked my little boy what dad said to upset him. Frustrated and angered by what he revealed to me, I immediately went into my quiet time with God. I don't always react so well, but it was one of my good days. :)
After my own personal pity party was over, God directed me to the story of Joseph (Gen. 37:23). Joseph was one fascinating guy. As you may know, after being sold into slavery, unfairly thrown into prison, forgotten by a friend, he still prospered and flourished. He was loved by all the "big shots" of his day and was promoted in every position he held - even while in prison! I prayerfully asked God why this essentially "ordinary" man was so blessed and what lessons where in this for me.
In my opinion, Joseph didn't appear to be very "special" to me. He won no wars, he slew no thousands, and never did a burning bush speak to him. He, in his simplicity, perplexed me.
Then I began to see that while Joseph was treated so horribly, still he never sought revenge on those who mistreated him. He simply accepted whatever trial and persecution that came his way and continued to trust God. He even forgave those who wronged him and betrayed him. He even went on to save their lives by providing food and resources for them and their families! How we should handle it?
Likewise, we shouldn't hold anger in our hearts toward our ex's. We must tell Jesus where it hurts and pray for the ability to forgive and relinquish the pain. We must continually remind ourselves that those are the reasons we are not with those people any long and shake it off.
Remember you are a survivor fully equipped with everything you need to succeed and overcome any obstacle in life. So don't you dare allow anyone (including your ex) to steal your joy and happiness. You've gone through some rough times and made it!
Just live your life to the fullest!