we I, I’m using “I” here because you people abandoned me last week, not even one comment, is it good laidis??? I forgive you sha 🙂 Ehen as I was saying, I established last week that it is possible, even normal to have some sort of bitterness/resentment and maybe a teeny weeny hatred one kain feeling towards one’s former significant other aka “EX” without suffering from a case of “I want him back” syndrome.
It was hard sampling people’s opinions as my social media hiatus includes messaging apps and text messaging is not as fun and cheap as one would imagine(4 naira per text Airtel, the Lord is looking at you oh). So I will be talking from a personal point of view (as always) and a lengthy conversation with Ms C who pulled through last-minute with her personal tips.
I’ll try and make this as gender-neutral as possible but please remember, I am a woman talking about her experiences with men, so not all the tips will be applicable when gender is reversed…
So what do you do when you feel bitterness/hatred/anger towards your former significant other?
- Remember the good times you had together. Bitterness or not, this person at some point in my life was a source of joy, laughter, and downright silliness. So I take a minute to ponder on those memories until I feel the anger/resentment fade away. Now, this method can be a two-edged sword as dwelling on the good times might incite a mini “thunder fire you” moment but please push past it and remember the good times, even if it was one moment in your time together, for that moment, they were a good person to you, so focus on that instead.
- Embrace the feeling. I know, I just said fight the feeling with thinking good-timey thoughts and now I’m asking you to dwell on the bitterness, anger or hatred you feel towards them. Why am I like this you ask? Well, dwelling on it means you can objectively (after a while sha) dissect where the feeling is coming from, what triggers it, what intensifies it and more importantly, what makes it go away. With this part(what triggers it) mine is photos, letters, text messages etc. My recent bout of resentment was powered by pictures and videos I forgot to delete off my iCloud(rookie mistake) and Ms C also thinks so too, here’s what she said, “erase anything that reminds you of the guy, dash out stuff given to you by him, delete pictures or move them to a drive that you may not want to access”. I believe you can’t do any of these if you don’t take time to feel and analyse what you are going through, so trust me when I say you should embrace it.
- Forgive them. I know I mentioned that sometimes this bitterness crops up even when you are certain you will never let them back into your life but sometimes, this resentment stems from not truly forgiving them. Yes, you don’t want to get back together with them but have you forgiven them for the hurt, pain, shame or whatever it is they caused you? Trust me, the forgiveness is more for you than them. “I am from a family where we were taught to love our neighbour as ourselves, so irrespective of your shortcomings, well, you will still be loved as you would do to yourself. This is the basis as to why this resentment did not translate to outright hatred. Finding a place in your heart to forgive him so that you can be free yourself (the Holy Spirit is an amazing comforter, I listened to soul uplifting songs)”.- Ms C
- Remember you are a part of each other’s life story. Yes, I know it feels one kain seeing someone you planned a life with doing said things with someone else, let me not lie e can pain. Personal confession: seeing my former significant other’s new partner chilling on the bedsheet I bought made me see red and then some other colours from the colour wheel but now I just see it as one of life’s beautiful wonders. You were in each other’s life however long or short for a particular reason, I learnt a lot about myself with my previous relationships and many times, I catch myself giving thanks for the way certain things panned out as I discovered a great deal about myself; what I do and do not want in a partner, what I would do differently if particular situations arise again.
- Not all frogs become princes. I am sure a lot of us are familiar with the saying you sometimes kiss a few frogs before you meet your prince. Yes, you thought you would both grow together and build your “empire together but that didn’t work out, your own frog did not become a prince, e dey happen, move on, and maybe stop hoping frogs will turn into princes and save your lipstick.
- Forgive yourself. Like I mentioned last week, I am the queen of Blamesville. I subconsciously heap the blame on myself without objectively separating where I went wrong and where they did as well. This step is essential because if you don’t forgive yourself, them showing up with their village high priest, church members and family in tow begging for your forgiveness for their part in the demise of the relationship will not give you the freedom you deserve and sometimes are oblivious of.
- Remember, not everything good is meant for you. Now the relationship might have ended amicably when you both realized that even though you are good together, you are not meant for each other. This is one difficult and sometimes hard fact to understand and fully implement. Yes, you may have seemed compatible, good together, even on that #RelationshipGoals vibe but when you objectively analyzed it, you didn’t see yourselves getting past a certain stage and so it all ended. So when the hatred cum bitterness rears its head, stare it in the face and say “Yeah I know we were good together but it was not meant to be and it is okay”.
- Talk to someone about it. You know I’m an advocate of talking about your feelings so this one is a big one. Ms C shared this with me “Share your experience and seek help from someone that understands (not a churchy churchy person)”. I’ll go further and say find someone who may have gone through the same experience you have and discuss your feelings with them, trust me, what you’re feeling is not as isolated as you think, they will, in turn, share their tips with you and help.
- Mind your life’s business. Most times we get this feeling when we try to peep into their fence, does it look as green as the Instagram filter portrays? Is he really happy? What did he see in her? Let me just get closure and message him one more time. My dear sister, biko mind your business well, in the words of James Bay “Just let it be, be you and let him be him”. Don’t go poking in their business in the name of friendship, asking for quick favors, rekindling business acquaintance etc. Just let them be, drink water, moisturize your skin and mind your life’s business.
I’ll end this miniseries with an excerpt from a romance novel(yes judge me) I recently read “Harbouring resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die“. It was so apt to the post that I knew I had to share, so please don’t poison yourself with resentment, when it comes up, quickly drink the “antidotes” stated above and live your best life.
That’s it beautiful people, you know the drill, let’s discuss your thoughts and experiences in the comment section, I am very keen to learn more tips on handling this experience.