Your New Man’s Ex is Your Sister

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One of the skills Facebook has been teaching me is to stay neutral to what I see on my news feed. This morning I saw a quote that said, “Be the girl his ex-girlfriend will hate, his mom will love and that he will never forget“. It was posted on a page I follow. It had many shares and likes. It really triggered me and I had to look into the why.

To me, this quote is one of the reasons why there is so much animosity, competition and jealousy among women. Where did we learn that the guy is a prize we have to fight for? We are the prize. A woman in alignment with her power and her heart is the prize. It is not a man or his love that brings us to that place, we work to get there ourselves.

True love can speed up healing, no doubt. But seeing people as a “catch” rather than a spiritual partner, does not foster unconditional and deep love to bring about that healing we are seeking. Instead, it sets us up for a relationship dynamic where we can’t be ourselves. That is a major block to intimacy.

There are so many articles online with titles such as, “How to make him fall head-over heels in love with you” or “Here is how you keep him”. The message needs to be about inviting and nurturing lasting, real connections where there is honesty, loyalty and safe vulnerability for us to take down the walls we have built up around our hearts. “How to get him to fall in love with you” usually does not lead us there. I should know. I did it three times!

The flip side…

This attitude only breeds ego attachments and fosters destructive competition among women. The last person in your current lover’s life is a sister. She might have (most probably has) helped him develop some of the qualities you like about him. She might have put up with his passive-aggressiveness, sinking money into horse races or gawking at other women when she is all dolled up for him. Maybe he learned not to do that stuff in his relationship with her- after many months of struggle. In fact, I can almost guarantee you that this is the case.

Once I complimented a boyfriend for keeping his house so clean and organized. I was impressed. He said, “Yeah, you gotta thank JoAnn for that” with a grateful smile on his face. I saw the picture of healing on his face in that moment. My heart filled with appreciation for this man who was, after all the mess they went through together, able to drop all the anger and reach gratitude. I respected him.

I am not saying that it is easy to do so but…. If you are in a relationship, pause to mentally thank all women who have shaped him into who he is today. And if that woman is still hurting because their relationship ended, praying for her healing will only enhance your relationship and support your own healing.

When we date one, we date them all

When I look back at all my relationships, I can say that I learned a lot from them about myself. Not just through painful experiences but through joyful ones as well. I fell in love with camping with one guy and gained a renewed appreciation for taking more pictures from another. I am enriched by the pieces I collected from each relationship even if there were hellish times and fights that lead to the ending.

I owe this healing perspective to Marianne Williamson, who shared this idea in her book “A Return to Love”: 

…If my husband or boyfriend heals with his past relationships, it only increases his capacity to love me from a healed and whole place. The last woman in his life is not my competition. She is my sister.  -M.Williamson

If there is one book to read before you die, it’s this one. My copy is worn out, fiercely highlighted and sealed with the tears I shed as the veil of lies (regarding love) were slowly being stripped down from my consciousness. In the moments I felt that I didn’t have an ounce of strength left in me to bear the pain, I would grab the book and start reading whatever page I landed on. The loving truths gracing the pages of the book acted as a soothing balm to my broken heart, while gently changing my old ways of doing relationships.

I pray for the healing of all the women I have hurt because I believed that there wasn’t enough love to go around and that I had to eradicate her in order to win “the prize”. I forgive myself for all the times I hated his ex or demanded that they detach completely, not knowing how it was hurting her, me, him and my relationship. I am sorry. I didn’t know. I promise to do what I know best now. May we all find healing.

Please pass this healing forward. It is much needed on our planet right now. We are sisters. Not enemies.

The light in me salutes the light in you….