Forget the ex’s new wife

Joey Garcia

My ex-husband’s new wife has been telling everyone that I was abusive to my former husband. I made some mistakes and lost my temper many times. I yelled at him and once I threw something. But I apologized for all of that when I went through therapy. Her yapping really pisses me off because my ex-husband was really abusive. He was a control freak and a liar about money. He would say that he paid the bills and when creditors called our house he would blame me, even though he would not let me handle any joint money. He also bought himself things that were way out of our budget. Not only that, but he had emotional affairs with women he worked with. There was never anything physical but he had a lot of silly crushes and bought women extravagant gifts. How do I get my ex’s new wife to understand the truth about her man?

It’s never a good idea to try to disguise your opinion as the truth, although many of us do at one time or another. It’s also hopeless to try to control someone else’s opinion of you. The result of these machinations is that you are overly focused on your ex-husband and his new wife. This keeps you from creating the life you are meant to be living. That is certainly unkind to you, and, depending on how often you postpone your dreams, it may even be a form of self-abuse.

I love your honest admission of your past and the commitment to change exemplified by choosing therapy. If you have changed, it’s time to embody that new self. One way to start is by minding your own business. Just because your ex-husband’s new wife is stirring the pot, doesn’t mean you have to hurry over and taste the concoction. If she is telling stories about you, it’s awful. So walk away. Have compassion (or at least a giggle) for a woman who keeps you at the center of her attention and her marriage. Just like you, she needs to get a life.

My ex-boyfriend wants to get back together but the reason we broke up was that I could not trust him. He says he’s changed. But he was so secretive before about everything that I never felt truly connected with him, although I am very physically attracted. Do you think he changed? Is it possible?

Hmm … my Magic 8-ball says “Outlook Hazy.” Even if he has changed, you would also have to undergo a major transformation to shed the betrayal and distrust you so obviously still carry. So the question is not whether he can change; the question is whether you want to risk your heart again with him.

Human relationships are never certain (despite the mountains of self-help books that promise otherwise) and love is always a risk. The wisdom to remember, then, is this: Love yourself throughout the process of any risk-taking. That is, don’t be so hopeful for a specific outcome, or so focused on another person or thing, that you neglect to tend to the red flags and other warning signs that alert you to an imminent avalanche.

If you look back on the relationship with this man, you will discover plenty of moments when you failed to leave or to confront his secretiveness because you feared confrontation or losing him. If you are going to return to him—or be real in any relationship—you must be willing to keep your integrity, even if it means losing your man.

Meditation of the week
My world is rich with reasons to be thankful and so I pray: Thank you for our sweet community of family and friends, for shelter, food, clean water and abundant opportunities. Help us to remember our brothers and sisters all over the world who are suffering in poverty, famine, disease, loneliness and war, often because of our own greed. Help us to make choices that make their lives easier. Give us the courage to use our talents, resources and money to improve their lives. Please, add my prayer to their prayers so that their prayers may be answered. Amen.

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