More than a song lyric, “Let it Go” has become a slogan I say to myself frequently. Worrying about bills? Let it Go. Frustrated with the hubby for working such long hours? Let it Go. Holding onto resentment with the ex? You guessed it… LET IT GO.
Right now I’m finding myself wanting to send one of my ex-wife-in-laws the memo. She holds onto so much bitterness and resentment. As painful as it is to be the target of her poison darts, I can only imagine how much more it must hurt to be carrying that venom in her heart. Every conversation my husband tries to have with her is turned into a laundry list of his failings… some real and others magnified into epic proportions.
Sometimes I dream of sitting down with her to try and work through those issues; help her to see where the bitterness is coming from and deal with it once and for all. Then I remember some of my own hard-learned lessons: I can’t fix her, nor is it my job to set her straight. But there are some things I can do, and so can you if you’re dealing with a bitter ex.
- Pray for them. Only God can change a person’s heart, so if an ex is in need of true change, then all you can do is get on your knees. Pray that he or she receives every blessing you would want for yourself. It’s not always easy to do, but I promise you it works and it frees your own heart from carrying resentment.
- Love the children. The ex may never like you, but as long as he or she has even an ounce of parental instinct, they will appreciate you (eventually) for loving and providing for their children. And if they don’t, that’s not your problem either. At least the kids are feeling the love.
- Stand by your man. No matter who’s ex is shooting the darts, you and your spouse have to stand together. That does not mean fueling each other’s fire against this person. It means helping each other not to respond in anger, and not to vent in front of the kids. It means coming together to teach your blended family what healthy relationships look like, especially when they are under attack.
Dealing with the ex’s can be a huge challenge. You never know what’s going on in their lives that may manifest in your direction. And if your life is anything like mine, it’s going to come at you at the most inopportune time. I’m afraid it comes with the territory. You can’t control what the ex’s say, do or feel. Remember these 3 words and I promise you’ll see a change in the way you respond to bitter darts in the future… LET IT GO.
(for more on this topic see Love Your Enemies)