Gaining a sense of acceptance can take a lot of time; weeks, months, maybe even years. For Tina, each month after her three-and-a-half-year relationship ended, marked a new step in accepting herself and her life. Throughout the time she spent reflecting on accepting everything and forgiving her ex-partner, Tina was able to gain a new friend and a new life-partner. Read her story and maybe you will be able to accept the changes that come your way this time.
Acceptance is a part of my daily practice. It helps me get through the toughest of situations with bumps and bruises, rather than broken bones. For me, practicing acceptance starts a path to something deeper and better. My live-in partner of three-and-a-half-years lost interest in me physically and then began an affair with a much younger woman.
At first, it was like a punch in the gut, as my whole life unraveled before my eyes and I was left swimming around in home sales, moving, splitting stuff, and a complete re-work of my identity.
The path to healing this was a path of acceptance that went something like this:
- I accept that the relationship is over. (one month)
- I accept that my former partner preferred someone else over me (another month)
- I accept that this does not mean there is something wrong with me (self pity is so tempting!)
- I accept that my former partner still loves me at some level (this is where it gets interesting)
- I accept that I still love my former partner. (helps diffuse anger – but takes months!)
- I accept that we can’t be together. I accept that I want a deep and committed partnership.
- I accept that I deserve a deep and committed partnership (again with avoiding self pity)
- I accept my former partner for who he is.
- I accept myself for who I am.
And I am left with a beautiful sense of forgiveness and gratitude.
My former partner gracefully received my forgiveness.
Once I fully accepted my break up, and my ex for who he is, I was able to completely forgive him for his hurtful actions. Over the next half a year, we slowly rebuilt a friendship that existed outside of a romantic partnership.
I truly believe the peace I found with this full acceptance is what made me ready to meet the man of my dreams. Which I did! And, of course, I introduced him to my ex– now friend. Sometimes I stop in amazement at how life works itself out if you just accept what is. My husband and my ex became fast friends. When we got married, my ex was a groomsman in our wedding. People initially thought it was strange, but after assurances they too accepted it. My husband recently stood up for my ex at his wedding.
For me, it is important that in life I find ways to keep the people I care about in my life in a healthy and balanced way. From the outside, folks may think this scenario is strange. It feels really good and constantly reminds me that life is what you make of it.