I’ve read a lot of discussions posted on the Forum on DivorceMagazine.com, on facebook, our social media network (www.marrigeandseparation.com) and blogs by people going through divorce. A vast majority of them complain about their ex, about how bad and wrong they are before during and after the divorce or separation. The complaints range from how the ex didn’t treat them right while they were married, cheated on them, didn’t take care of the household, financially in debt, was not there for the children, always late in picking or returning the children after visits, didn’t pick up the children when they should, didn’t pay the support payment, didn’t get a job and be self sufficient, dated too soon after the separation, brought home the new boy friend/girl friend too soon, leave the children alone with the boy friend/girl friend, terrible step parent… and the list of complaints goes on.
I was once asked why is it the ex is always bad and wrong, or why don’t they just do the right things after the divorce. I thought I would share my answer here. First of all, these are all one sided postings. We know that there are often two sides to a story. And when someone is venting online about their ex, the ex is usually absent and no one is there to defend the absentee. Second, most people who initiate the divorce have done so because they know (not just think) something is wrong with their ex, so it would only make sense that the ex remains to be bad and wrong after the separation. But perhaps more importantly, they need to keep on making the ex bad and wrong to justify or prove that they have made the right choice by asking for a divorce. Of course, if we weren’t the one to initiate the divorce, the other person is bad and wrong for having initiated it.
To me, part of the irony is that for most states and in Canada, the reason for filing a divorce is “irreconcilable difference”, not he/she is “bad and wrong”. Further, divorcing people are still hoping to change/control their ex who is supposed to be leading a separate life.
What’s interesting is that most people who divorce end up falling in love and remarrying. This may suggest that the same person who is bad and wrong is lovable… to somebody else. So where does the truth lie?
Does it help to complain about your ex? will the ex change their behavior? I don’t know, maybe. Does it help to complain about your ex online? I would definitely have to say no because your ex does not even know about it and you are the only person who is all wound up. I suppose venting online anonymously can be therapeutic for some on a temporary basis. But I think letting the complaints go, finding a way to reconcile and acknowledge the differences between you and your ex is a better way of spending your time. So, when is the right time to stop making your ex bad and wrong? How about now?