All Woman

Things my ex taught me

BY DONNA HUSSEY-WHYTE All Woman writer husseyd@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, October 08, 2012    

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IN one of the most talked about train-wrecks last week, entertainer Mr Vegas flung his ex and her reputation under the proverbial bus, castigating her on social media for cheating on him.

He had no time to heed the appeal of many persons who begged him to learn from the experience and move on, because after all, they said, life is short and loves will come and go.

While it cannot be denied that there is room in the grieving process for that period when you wish your ex would get mauled by a pitbull while being run over by a car going 120, there are also important lessons that must be taken from every failed relationship.

It's a topic that trended on Twitter in the same week as the Vegas debacle — #thingsmyextaughtme — the lessons, good and bad, that will help us take less baggage into the next relationship.

Here is what some readers shared.

My ex taught me:

That true love is unconditional.

"I learnt that if somebody really loves you it doesn't matter if you break up and are with someone else, because they will still love you," 37-year-old Alicia Palmer said. She said she learnt this from her ex who is the one now supporting her emotionally and physically after they broke up and she got pregnant for someone else.

That love is selfless.

"My ex has taught me to be selfless and to put your partner's feelings before yours while always being there for the person," Karen D said. "If you put his feelings before yours and he in turn puts your feelings before his, then you are sure to have a successful relationship."

Not to ignore warning signs.

"The first sign of something negative, do not turn a blind eye to it," 41-year-old Gloria Wint said. "Pay attention and don't ignore it because it will come back and bite you. As they say 'take sleep and mark death'. Example, if you have a minor problem and you ask for help and he is in the position to help and doesn't, then chances are he won't be there for the bigger problems."

To always reserve a part of you for you.

"I have learnt that you should always reserve a part of you for you," Nadine Gayle said. "If it means you will give 90 per cent and reserve 10, so let it be, or if you can give 99 per cent and still find an extra 1 for yourself — but just make sure you reserve something for yourself so that if things don't work out you will have a part of you to fall back on." Gayle said this lesson was taught to her after she broke up with her ex and fell into months of depression because she realised she had no life outside of him.

That it is better to be with someone who loves you more than you love them.

"It may sound selfish but I have learnt that it is better to be with someone who loves you more than you love them," Carol Robinson said. "Women are more vulnerable emotionally and hurt far more intensely than men, so it is better to be involved with someone who loves you more so that they will put more effort into taking care of your heart."

Don't take up someone with baggage.

"If you are free and single don't take up someone with a whole lot of baggage," Javoun C said. "If you do not have kids and the woman has two or more and on top of that she is still attached to their father, man that is headache."

Javoun said it is best to try and find someone with a similar lifestyle as yours as he has learnt that it is unfair to take up a woman with baggage especially if you are emotionally and financially unprepared.

That people don't change no matter how you want them to.

"A lot of people, especially women, go into relationships thinking that they can change a person," Clive Barnett stated. "But people don't change no matter how much you want them to and no matter how much they say they will. It just never happens. People are who they are so it's either you take it or leave it."

Don't chase someone who doesn't love you.

"They will only end up taking advantage of your emotions without a thought as to how it will affect you," one man advised.

Not to settle.

"My ex taught me not to settle for less than the guy you're worth," Michelae B said. "Ironically, he was the 'less than' and when I expressed to him that I was unhappy with his treatment of me, he dared me to find better elsewhere. Well I looked and found better. I learnt to always accept a challenge, even when it is made in jest, and to never settle for mediocre, even when mediocre insists that he's all you can get."

That you don't ever truly know someone

"My ex is the one who made me realise that you never really and truly know someone 100 per cent," Gloria Wint said. She told of how loving and attentive her partner of 16 years was, only to discover that he had fathered two children outside the relationship.

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