Even though February is associated with Valentine’s Day and love, the media was filled with stories of relationships gone bad – and public!
From Mary Harvey going on a media blitz, telling anyone who would listen – including us at the TJMS – that her husband had abandoned her, to the sister who took down a text-happy Republican senator, to the chick who had an affair with a pastor and then started a website with the sole purpose of humiliating him, it’s been quite a month.
All three of these women had something in common, and crazy or scorned are not necessarily what I had in mind. All three used technology as their tool to wreak havoc and get revenge.
Personally, I don’t know anyone who has gone to these lengths to get back at an ex, but I’m not saying that makes me or my circle of friends any better than those who have. Still, we distance ourselves from the Mary Harvey-type people of the world because we haven’t taken our beefs with our ex-boos viral – but that doesn’t mean that we are innocent of vengeful wrongdoings. We just tend to keep our crazy a little closer to home.
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Whether it’s talking bad about our mate or ex-mate to not allowing them to see their children because of issues in the adults’ relationship or doing damaging in a more physical, Jazmine Sullivan kind of way, just because your dirt hasn’t been released on cyberspace doesn’t make it less dirty.
Especially when there are babies involved.
For the sake of your children, your mental health and just good karma, getting along with each other should be the goal. No couple, married or divorced should ever tear each other down in front of their children, and no parent should ever tell their children negative things about the other. Easier said than done, I know. We’re all human and are guilty of getting angry sometimes, but mean-spirited, ongoing dissing is unacceptable. When things get bad, we should dig deep to pull up the qualities that we admired about each other when the getting was good – and share them with our kids.
But there’s an added layer.
Sometimes, even if we wanted to stay cool with our exes, we have to fight off outside forces who constantly are giving us negative information or feedback about them. Throw holy water on them (figuratively speaking), and back away. We need to distance ourselves from this type of bad energy – and also question why anyone would want to keep us in that awful state.
I am blessed to have parents who – although they’ve been married for 43 years, and their biggest worry tends to be what exotic vacation they will take next – get the importance of my maintaining a healthy relationship with my ex and encourage it by treating him as a part of the family. And his family does the same for me.
I hope that through our actions, we are teaching our sons that we were committed enough to each other to bring them into the world and remain committed enough to them to parent together, and we can do that whether we are still married or not.
So, whether you’re spewing negative press about your ex on YouTube or to the members of your book club, realize that it’s not healthy and keeps you from moving on to a place of contentment, renewal and self-worth. As hard and heart-wrenching as it sometimes is to accept that you made the wrong choice – or that the one you love no longer loves you back – talking about it in a negative way won’t change a thing.
Instead, wish him well, and work on making yourself better for your children, family and friends. Again, I know sometimes it’s easier said than done, but if nothing else, maybe we should all take a page from D.L. Hughley’s new relationship book and “Shhhh … for Love.”
Nikki Woods is senior producer of “The Tom Joyner Morning Show.” The author of “Easier Said Than Done,” the Dallas-based Woods is currently working on her second and third novels. You can friend her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter: @nikkiwoods.