Posts Tagged ‘exes


Terry McMillan’s Message on Forgiveness

If you’re a SIS who has gone through a bad breakup or two, then you’ve likely had a “Waiting to Exhale” Bernadine moment and at least contemplated torching a car, shredding some clothes or even pulling back a shower curtain while wielding a knife. (OK, that last one wasn’t from the aforementioned star-studded flick, but I think it still applies.)

While we’re on the topic of “Exhale,” I recently attended a book signing featuring author Terry McMillan, a woman scorned who ended up in a court battle with her ex-husband whose questionable affinity toward lip gloss served as an obvious indicator to many that something was amiss.

By her own admission, McMillan’s very public romance (“How Stella Got Her Groove Back”) and subsequent dramatic breakup left her just a bit angry and bitter. However, she has also been vocal about her ability to finally forgive her ex for what she endured once he finally admitted his homosexuality.

How has she been able to move past that anger and pain? McMillan told her fans at the book signing that she started to focus on the good times she had with her ex and stopped dwelling on the bad.

I definitely know a SIS or two who are still focusing on the negatives of their past relationships. Of course, you don’t want to completely forget what went wrong because (1) you don’t want to relive past mistakes and (2) you want to remember why he wasn’t good for you. However, I agree with McMillan that it’s a lot healthier to reminisce about the summer BBQs, weekend trips and family game nights than it is to keep mentally replaying that day you found a random pair of red undies in his sofa cushions and had to quickly determine whether you knew enough about forensic science to get away with premeditated homicide.

Ideally, we’d probably prefer not to think of past, failed relationships at all, but if we must walk down memory lane, why not walk on the sunlit side instead of in the shade?

Everyone’s situation is different, but if this “look on the bright side” mentality worked for someone who endured the betrayal and public spectacle that resulted from McMillan’s breakup, then maybe it’ll work for those of us who experienced less harsh ends to our relationships.

Besides, the whole murderous shower scene thing has been done to death.


Can Exes Remain Friends?

Can you be friends with a guy after you’ve had a romantic relationship? I’ll admit that I haven’t been able to master this trick. When a man and I decide we’re not going to continue dating, it usually ends there. There are no more calls on birthdays or holidays. We’re not Facebook friends. It’s done.

For me, the only exception has been my college boyfriend who I dated for more than five years. Do I care whether he lives or dies? Yes, that’s why I keep in touch. However, even that friendship is a somewhat weak one. We pretty much keep our communications electronic, and we’ve stopped taking time to visit when we travel to each other’s cities.

So, why is it difficult for people who were once close as Siamese twins to remain friends once the relationship goes platonic?

My guess is that it’s easier for both parties to open up to new romantic prospects if they’re not keeping old fires flickering by staying close to former flames. Reminiscing about first kisses and midnight trips to “the spot” don’t do much for closure.

So, keeping an ex at a distance makes sense.

However, if you spent years building a friendship with someone, learning them and loving them, then it stands to reason that you find some good in that person that’s worth holding onto. Unless, the breakup was as horribly overdramatic as something out of a Tyler Perry movie, you probably have some happy memories and still care.

So, how do you manage your concern for a former romantic interest, make sure that you’re disconnected enough to emotionally move on and still maintain a strong friendship?

I’m hopeful there are successful examples of that out there. I believe that two mature adults can remain friends after a romantic relationship ends. Your ex might not be your BFF, but great friends aren’t easy to come by, so if you can maintain a healthy relationship with someone you care about and who cares about you, it’s probably worth it.

July 2018
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