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READER REPORT:

The Ex Files: Lessons from my exes

KRIS (SURNAME WITHHELD)
Last updated 05:00 07/01/2013

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You learn a lot from every relationship, not just your exes. If I had to pick on my exes, I'd say I learnt more about life than I realised at the time.

I had one ex who stole my son away to another country, then wanted to get back together. Fat chance. I learnt to be strong.

One ex I had, many years ago, taught me that I drank too much and let a good thing get away, but I was young and enjoying myself, not thinking of the future. It didn't stop my drinking at the time and I didn't recognise the problem, but I still think about the man and sometimes wonder, 'what if?'. I learnt about choices.

The ex I had who took the day off work to go fishing on my birthday, without inviting me, and then whose battery on his phone 'went flat' taught me about selfishness.

Another ex cheated on me when we were married with a couple of young kids. He couldn't handle the responsibility of family life. Funnily enough, it didn't work out and he came crawling back. I learnt about self-respect.

I've had more than one ex who things finished with, and that years later we tried to revisit. I learnt that you can't rewrite history.

I learnt that you can fall in love quickly sometimes, but that when trust dies there is nothing left.

I'm still learning. In my current relationship, with my 'next-ex' I'm learning too. I've learned that I don't want to find a man anymore who keeps me on my toes to keep me from getting bored. I need a man who cherishes me, and makes me feel like a princess.

I've learned that my relationships impact what my daughter thinks relationships should look like, and that if my relationship is not loving and kind then she will think that's what hers will be like too.

Exes teach you a lot, but you have to be willing to learn from them, and not repeat the same mistakes. As the cliche goes - if nothing changes, nothing changes.

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