There are days when my ex makes it so easy to hate him; so easy to despise him. Days like when he pulls his son to the sidelines after a game to scream at him because he’s not perfect at something or days when he takes low blows at me because he is feeling insecure about something. But yesterday, I made a conscious effort to not hate him because it’s not a good look on me.
Yesterday, he made a choice about athletics for one of the boys without discussing it with me. Without discussing the fact that our son had told me previously that he didn’t want to play the lower division. Without discussing the fact that the practice for this division is on one of MY nights. Without sharing with me that he had already convinced our son to play in this league again and had already told parents that he would be coaching and our son would be on the team. Without failing to remind me how many years he had been coaching because I couldn’t possibly know anything about hockey. It was the perfect equation for me to walk out of the rink and hate him more. Instead I made the choice to put that effort into loving my husband, my kids, and my life.
It was hard, don’t get me wrong, but I talked myself off of the ‘hate ledge’ the whole way home. Reminded myself of how stupid he is but at least he’s not my stupid anymore. Reminded myself of how bad I feel for his girlfriend to have to deal with that. Reminded myself that I was going to get to watch my son excel in the lower division, gain some self-confidence and walk away with another trophy. Reminded myself that I have the most amazing life with the most amazing husband and kids. I literally walked myself through every wonderful thing in my life to take me off of the ledge of being extremely furious at my ex.
Here’s the ‘open-book’ part of my life…. My marriage has been wounded because of my hatred for my ex. I’ve held such hatred for my ex that I’ve lost some of my luster. Instead of being the smiling, let’s-try-anything, happy, flighty, laughing Staci, my husband has been forced to deal with someone that could fly off of the handle based on what stupid thing my ex has done, someone that scowls more lately than someone ever should, someone that focuses way too much on something that is not worth my time. And it’s not been a good look on me. I thought I had been doing a good job of investing in my marriage but I realized yesterday, by not spending time hating my ex, that I hadn’t been giving my husband everything I had and had been investing a part of me in the wrong place. Luckily, I have a committed and very patient husband that has supported me through the really good and calm parts and the really tenuous and stressful parts of life. For his understanding, I will forever be grateful.
So yesterday I promised myself that I was not going to let hate be my ‘look’ anymore. I committed to taking all of the energy that I was spending on hating someone that will never change and pour it into something that is worth it – into someone that has made my life fuller; into someone that is worth it. Something that has always stuck with me is when my husband told me, about three years ago, that he saw the ‘Staci’ he had known 18 years ago (when we first originally dated), return. This is probably the most memorable thing that he’s ever said to me because it meant that he saw my spark again. While I’m sure that there will be days that my ex will once again make it easy to hate, I’ve chosen to make a concerted effort at reminding myself of each and every thing that is perfect in my life so that my ‘spark’ stays bright.
I’ve always thought that hate was an easy switch to flip off because some people make it look so easy, but for me, I’ve come to realize that it’s not a switch, it’s a choice that I have to make every day, and not an easy one, but one that I must choose to make because hate isn’t a good look on me.