this is tangent from yesterday’s post “how Christians get divorced”. a lot of people seemed to identify with the bit about the injured party not being the one who runs around blabbing to everyone about why the marriage really ended. it got me thinking that maybe that needs to be applied to dating relationships and expanded on. but thinking hurts so i just wrote the following:
oh man, the immediate gratification of completely blowing up your ex by telling everyone what a truly terrible person she is and all the awful things she did while you’ve been nothing but decent is almost as tempting as…
let’s be honest, there’s nothing more tempting than that.
and nothing will kick you off the high road and down to her mucky level faster.
but sharideth! she’s an emotional vampire who made my life a nightmare, then cheated on me with my dad and scratched my Gears of War: 3 game! people need to know!
calm down. they will. but it won’t have to come from you.
these things have a habit of making their way into public knowledge without any help from you. how? one way is that your friends all have pieces of what actually went down. things they saw first hand. when people start telling them about what a schmuck you are based on what she’s saying, they will defend you with “oh yeah? well i was there, so…”. it’s very effective.
the other ways it happens are a mystery to me. all of sudden, somewhere down the road, people are going to just know the truth. it just…happens.
the hard part is the patience it takes to wait for it. but believe me, if you try to force it, it will make a much bigger mess and stick a knife right in the gonads of your credibility.
if someone who has been a close friend comes to you and sincerely wants to know what happened, tell them. keep it factual and don’t vomit all the negativity on them. that’s just awkward…and gross. tell them in the simplest terms how you were hurt, what role you played in the demise and that you’d rather not get too ugly about what she did. that’s respectable and they will see it. also let them know you are grateful they asked instead of just assuming you’re a jackhole or listening to gossip.
if it’s someone who doesn’t seem sincere or who might have ulterior motives, it’s none of their freaking business. you’ll know soon enough if that’s the case when you decline to talk about it. they will probably counter with “well, she said (insert vicious lie here).” you’re only response to that is “that’s what she told you?” then nod, grin, shake your head and walk away.
it will leave them pissed. then baffled. then curious. then suspicious of what she said. then their respect for you will be begin to bud. it’s like magic.
those that never do believe the truth? screw ’em. consider it a great way to separate the wheat from the chaff, to get all biblical up in here.
just stay on the less is more train. she’s going to hang herself and you will look better for it. you are under no obligation to explain yourself to anyone. the more defensive you get, the more she sounds legit.
have you ever blown it at keeping your mouth shut? how did that work out for you?
have you ever been on the receiving end of nasty break up gossip? how did you handle it?
*if you are female, please don’t send hate male that i wrote this to dudes. it can absolutely go the other way, too. but this is A Blog for Men so i just went with my default. k? k.