dear sharideth: letter #1

this is the first “dear sharideth” letter i’ve received.  weirdly enough, it wasn’t through this blog.  i’d really like to tell you i just made this one up for some good blog material.  but unfortunately i didn’t.  it’s only been edited for length.  and i suppose i should apologize up front for the hostile response, but i’m not really sorry.  so…

Dear Sharideth,

Recently my ex found me on Facebook.  Our relationship destroyed me.  He was manipulative and took every ounce of my self esteem, but I really loved him.  I knew he was bad for me, but I just couldn’t let it go.  He cheated on me so many times and didn’t even bother to hide it.  It was like he wanted me to know to hurt me.  Once we were over, it took me years to recover.

I’ve been married for 5 years now.  My husband is wonderful.  He helped me find myself again and tells me all the time how much he loves me and how lucky he feels to be married to me.  We have two daughters and my life is perfect.  Or at least I thought so until my ex contacted me.

I’ve always believed he was my soul mate.  I’ve never really gotten over him.  Now he tells me that he loves me and made a mistake and wants to see me.  Why does he want me now that I’m married?!  What do I do?  How do I handle this?  I’m so confused.  I’m crying all the time.  I’m thinking about seeing him…

Idiette in Indiana

dear idiette,

after reading over you email several times, i thought i would try to be sensitive to the fact that you are clearly struggling with strong emotions.

but then i decided not to do that at all.

not only is this emotional explosion completely baffling, but these are questions that have to be asked?  really?

what do you do? cut him off.  no facebook.  no phone calls.  no more moaning, wailing and gnashing of teeth.  maybe hire a hit.  whatever it takes to never, ever interact with him again.  genius, right?

i don’t think so either.

why does he want you now? how about because he’s a disgusting pig who feels powerful knowing he can get to you.  he doesn’t love you.  a real man who wanted the best for you would leave you and your family alone.  get over it.

how do you handle this? stop wallowing in a painful past and get back to loving your family.  instead of dissolving into a pile of tears and snot, why not try getting angry at him and at yourself for causing this ridiculous situation?  and for God’s sake, think long and hard about if and how to tell your husband about this.  “my ex contacted me on Facebook.  it spun me for a couple of days but i told him to leave me alone; that i’m married and i don’t want to hear from him.” is far more reasonable and less hurtful than “my ex contacted me on Facebook and i’ve been agonizing over leaving my family for a guy that abused me.”  get my drift?  something else to think about…even though i am almost always for total open communication, you might just think about keeping this nasty little bit to yourself to avoid hurting those that don’t deserve it.

while you’re at it, get some therapy. your willingness to rip your world apart at the seems for a tool who made you miserable is really, really busted.  soul mates?  i don’t think so.

oh so sincerely,


commentary for the rest of you:

was that harsh?  you bet.  i do not take lightly the destruction of a family.  for any reason.  i don’t think people who are clearly making horrible decisions and inviting pain into the lives of children should be petted and coddled.  truth in its rawest form tends to work best at reflecting their actions back on them.  for the record, she thanked me.  several of her other friends were telling her things like “follow your heart” and “do what’s best for you”.  i call BS.

now, if you see yourself in this scenario on any level, listen up.  when you come into contact with an old flame, and are happily married or in a healthy relationship, be very careful.

today’s cyber world makes it all too easy for us to feel safe from crossing the fidelity line.  “it’s only internet flirting.  it’s not real.”  again i call BS. if you believe yourself to be too strong to succumb, you’re not.  it may only take longer than it took my friend.

no “might’ve been” is worthy of ruining the good life you’ve toiled so hard to build.  if there are struggles in your marriage, that doesn’t make you special.  it makes you either diligent and committed or selfish and shortsighted.  it just depends on how you choose to handle it.

no hate mail please.  i understand there are exceptions to my last statement.  but they are few.  real deal breakers can be counted on one hand.  or maybe less than one if you consider this list.

long blog short, think before you IM.  embrace the reality and give the online flirting flutters a big ‘ol “Talk To The Hand”.

for the married folk…what do you do to protect and insulate your marriage?

for the singles…how do you deal with former flames that weren’t good for you or broke your heart?


26 comments on “dear sharideth: letter #1

  1. MichelleK41 says:

    You are so spot on! This is why I wubbies you. I am sharing this because I know a few people who need to read this. And no not pointing towards anyone in particular (butt saving clause).

  2. Openness/transparency. We have vowed not to be in the same room/vehicle alone with a person of the opposite sex other than family members. We know each others passwords and where each other go–both in “real-life” and on-line. Money is discussed openly as are any times we feel uncomfortable with what we are feeling/thinking. There are many more things that we do–these are just at the top of the list. Along with a lot of prayer.

  3. Tamara says:

    You know what? I think sometimes being harsh like this is the loving thing to do. Coddling would only hurt here. Well done, my friend.

  4. Joseph says:

    “If you believe yourself to be too strong to succumb, you’re not.” Great truth there. I taught my students in church this week, “If you want to guarantee that you will never have a pure heart, then believe that you are stronger than the temptation.”

  5. Jenn says:

    Sorry I have a little essay:

    While this is completely spot on – I know that she does not get it. It being that “soul mate” ex (haven’t we already determined this to be a myth of Hollywood and Hallmark?) is not good for you, but because you do not truly know that is good and right for you – you are going to continue to want to go back.

    It is the curse of abuse, at your core, you know it is not right: it is not right what they say to you, what they do to you, what they expect of you, who they make you become and what they do all those around you, all the lives they destroy. The thing is you accept it – you accept it and then because of the fall out – you have to accept them. You believe no one will love you – why would they? He says you are sh*t, he treats you like it and your friends and family have given up trying to fight for you – so love becomes that thing at the end of his arm.

    So here is the truth about it honey – from an abuse survivor to someone who’s still seems sitting in their victimhood. While you do not deserve anything in life – life does not work that way, karma and all that are not realities. HOWEVER, there is this beautiful messy things called grace, mercy and love (not the word how you define it). Because of those, you can enjoy and participate in HEALTHY, HAPPY and DRAMA-FREE relationships with those who love you without the need to control you or change you (and vice versa for you). However, grace does require you acknowledging your own disordered thinking and sorting through that. There are abuse survivor networks – faith based and non-faith – find a group AND a therapist. It is NOT your husband’s job/duty to heal/help you – even if he WANTS to do it, NO! You will not get help and it will destroy your relationship.

    As to that man you call a soul mate, I will strongly urge you DO NOT talk to him. Because whether you hate him or love him, an abusive ex is like an octopus. Once you let them near you, you will spend all of your daily emotional, spiritual and even physical energy trying to remove even one sticky icky leg from your life. You cannot live that way.

  6. kristinherdy says:

    Sometimes that kind of thinking is the symptom rather than the problem. In this case, I think it’s the problem. Good advice to her and the tone was completely justified.

  7. David Robbins says:

    probably my favorite blog, thus far.
    bravo, Smith. bravo.

    both my and my wife’s ex tried to pop back up last year and we were right there next to each other when we told them both to kick rocks.

    again, well done.

  8. Tony J says:

    Wise counsel, Sherideth. Well done!!

  9. How do you deal with old flames? Two words: COLD SHOULDER. If you are in a situation where interaction is required by law or courtesy, do so as functionally as possible. Don’t be too friendly, or you will not only stir up emotions in yourself, but also potentially in them. Protocol changes slightly depending on whether you’re dumpee or dumper, as the latter requires more grace and courtesy to the other person (i.e. adjusting your schedule so you don’t put them in awkward situations), whereas the dumpee has to do everything to keep the person from coming back until you’re completely ready for them (and until they’re completely ready for you).

    On a related note: All the single fellas, all the single fellas, Beyonce was wrong. The whole “If you liked it then you shoulda put a ring on it” is where I call BS. If a ring gets her to marry you, she’s easily bought off by shiny things like rings and weddings, and is either a gold digger, someone who makes snap decisions without thinking, or both. If you do put a ring on it and it ends before marriage, be thankful, it would have probably ended shortly after marriage anyway.

  10. Mandie says:


    I love this post.

    So much.

  11. What do I do with those who have hurt me? The answer may seem pretty cheesy, but it’s actually a step I’ve only recently been taking after being truthfully angry and bitter about the situation altogether.

    I pray for them, and I try to do it every day.

    I don’t let them back in my life to mess with my feelings nor theirs, but I pray that God finds a way to touch their heart. I forgive them and move on, but I never forget them or cease to care about them, so I pray.

    They may not have been good for me or hurt me, but they also weren’t good for themselves and also hurt themselves more in the process than probably me (because they were blind to it.) I want them to have the future God intended for them and a life with meaningful relationships. I also have hurt some girls in my time as well, and it’s simply not who I want to be.

    So yeah. Prayer is the best thing possible.

  12. lindsey says:

    Great post, Sherideth! While it’s certainly going to be a hard read for Idiette, and I can appreciate your wanting to take the sympathetic route, you stayed authentic. I wouldn’t expect anything less!

    • thanks lindsey. i think it’s funny that you’re blog today is all about listening. if i had had to deal with this issue face to face, i might have hit her with a chair after i “listened”. 😉

  13. reneamac says:

    Well done. I echo the affirmations of this loving response. I also think it’s appropriate to ask our husbands to get involved, especially if we’re not feeling strong enough to handle it all on our own. In my experience, men don’t usually have a problem with protecting their women from no good scoundrels.

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