Tuesday, April 15, 2008


They are tricky. So, so tricky.

But I do want to tell one story:

A boy I knew had had his heart broken by a girl he really liked. And his family, consequently, talked kind of badly about her. She wasn't good enough for him, she treated him badly, she needed to grow up and stop being so superficial and insecure, if they ever saw her again, they'd somethingsomething. Some of this was in jest--they are loving people--but some of it was said earnestly, in their hurt for their brother/son, whom they loved.

Most of the times I heard them say these things to my friend, he would try to deflect it. He would say, "No, no, it's okay. It's fine. I did x, y, or z, and that wasn't good."

Once, on one particular day, she came up in the conversation, and his brother made some comment about her and how she was a bad person, and my friend looked his brother in the eye and said, firmly, kindly, "She's doing the best she can."

I decided then that that was one of the most Christ-like things I had ever heard a person say. And I knew that if he and I ever broke up (yes, we were then dating), that he would treat me well, subsequently, and that I would not have to worry about how he would talk to people about me, including the ones closest to him, including his family. We later broke up, and he has treated me well, and I have not worried.

And I have tried--tried to remember to try--to follow his example in all of the situations I can. Even though, I want to acknowledge, that it may not always be true. We may be 100% confident that our ex did not try as hard as he/she could; still, still, I think we should treat them as though they had. I don't know. I'm not sure I can defend it, except that any other idea makes me feel sad inside. And this story makes me feel happy and full of grace and truth.


kt said...

that is so great. I want to be like that.

Melissa said...

I've thought, on occasion, that you can tell a lot about a person by the way they handle breaking up. But then, it's probably a bad idea to break up with someone just to find out this kind of information

Sarah Louise said...

Melissa, agreed (though I think I know a lot of couples, maybe one I was a part of, that do break up, in part, to find out things like that). Also--sporting events. I've always thought that before I committed myself to someone, I should take them to a sporting event they cared about. Telling, telling.

Benji said...

"I've thought, on occasion, that you can tell a lot about a person by the way they handle breaking up. But then, it's probably a bad idea to break up with someone just to find out this kind of information"

i just went through one of those. When someone can handle such a uniquely jarring situation with grace and understanding, it makes you feel that much worse that it all has to come a close. *sigh*

Benji said...

melissa, profound profound profound. i really think one profound will do, but i had a hard time spelling it, and i heard once that you haven't really memorized something until you can repeat it three times...so those three were both a comlpliment (also mispelled, compliment compliment)
to your profundity, and a tribute to my quest for self-improvement.

I know exactly what you mean. I just went through such a situation. When someone can handle the uniquely jarring dynamics of a break-up with grace and understanding, it makes it seems worse that it has to come to an end.

Rebecca said...

The was the one relationship that worked for me (and resulted in a child) and then there were all the ones that ended up failing. And let me say this: I was never more in love with any than the one before Levi. And that one was the easiest to recover from, oddly, because I refused to let myself feel or think unkind things about it. And it sped up the healing process to use love as the method instead of anger. We've got to stop telling our friends the terrible things about their exs in order to save their feelings, but gving rise to really awful feelings isn't doing any good, right?