One big happy family

I was talking to a friend the other day and she said she envied those people who get along with their ex's new boyfriend/girlfriend/wife/husband. She said she didn't understand how they did it- these people who have holidays together, who have parties together, who spend time together at children's activities and not only seem to be ok, but really seem to enjoy the company. And the only possibility that came to my mind is that maybe these people who all get along, get along for a reason. Because people tend to date and marry people with many of the same traits, so maybe it's that commonality that allows these current and former significant others to get along.

I think that somewhere down the road, maybe a couple of years after a split, you remember the hurt but you don't feel it as acutely. And maybe down that same road you can look back and realize that no one is totally at fault and no one is completely innocent - it takes two to be in a relationship and sometimes, if we're really honest, we understand and acknowledge that we were not completely blameless.

This is not to say, however, that there are situations where one spouse is more "blameless" than the other. I will shout it from the rooftops that abusive spouses are to blame, it is not the victim's fault for staying an hour or a day or a year or five years. Although I pray that the victims leave, I also understand how difficult it is for many.

But for most of the rest of us,  I think we can stand up and admit that we may not have done everything right. And of course, no one does and no one can be perfect all the time. And when we decided it was over or we decided to work on making it better, if we did all we could and it still didn't work, then it was time to say good-bye and start again. With our lives different but not over. With our hopes dashed but not forgotten. With our prayers for love unanswered but still pending. With our hearts a little broken but still open.

Maybe it's when we understand and hope for love ourselves that we can swallow the pill of our ex finding someone new. It's not easy. It takes time. But if we decide that it's ok to move on, then it is for our ex as well. We don't have to be best friends or even friends, but being friendly or cordial certainly makes life easier. And selfishly, making things easier on ourselves and letting go of sadness and bitterness as much as we can for today allows our heart and our soul to shine a little brighter. And bring light to where there used to be darkness. Letting go means allowing room for us to grow, allowing our souls to begin the search again, allowing us to hold out our hand and hope that someone new grabs hold.
This is the life.