My boyfriend and I broke up about nine months ago and things have been bad between us ever since. He talks about me and spreads rumors constantly! We attend the same church and sometimes I feel like quitting the youth group. At times it gets so bad that I want to quit going to that church altogether! I don’t want to disappoint God but I’m miserable! I’ve prayed about it but nothing seems to be changing! What should I do?
When relationships end, things can get pretty tough. Trying to heal emotionally is difficult enough without the added chaos of your ex harassing you! Here are some suggestions on how to handle this situation:
- Keep praying. Even when it seems like God isn’t responding, always remember that He hears you and is working on the situation! Although it’s painful now, know that in the end things will be much brighter than it was even before the relationship began. The Bible says that “God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them” (Romans 8:28). So keep praying and being led by The Holy Spirit in your interactions with your ex, and eventually the situation will subside. And the great thing is that you’ll learn something through it all (even if its just how to deal with mean people) and God may use you to help someone else through similar situations!
- Don’t entertain the gossip. For whatever reason, your ex is trying to get under your skin and hurt you. Don’t allow him to have that kind of power over you! Don’t worry about the rumors and try not to feel a need to constantly defend yourself. Remember, “Never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,”says the Lord (Romans 12:19). When others try to tell you something negative, it might be helpful to tell them that you’re not interested in hearing the rumors and then refocus the conversation to something positive. When people realize you’re not responding, they’ll eventually stop trying to disrupt your day with meaningless chatter.
- Ask for assistance. Before you consider leaving your church, you should ask a church leader for help. The youth ministry leader or another leader would probably be a good resource. Seek out someone you trust and ask if the three of you could sit down and talk it through. A third party might be able to help. Plus, this seems a little like bullying and I have NO TOLERANCE for bullying…an adult may need to get involved!
- Keep showing agape love. It’s hard to show love and kindness toward people who are mistreating us, but that’s what God requires of His children! Romans 12:21 says, “Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.” When people mistreat you and you’re still kind to them, eventually they feel pretty silly about their own behavior and it’ll stop. Set limits and don’t tolerate bullying, but make sure that your interactions with your ex continue to demonstrate the love of God!
- See him the way that God sees him. Always remember this: Hurt people hurt other people. It seems like your ex may be hurting for some reason. This misbehavior is probably not as much about you as it is about his own emotional turmoil. Ask God to show you what He sees and that’ll help you have greater compassion for your ex–and you may be less impacted by his behavior.
- Focus on your healing. Situations like this can be pretty hurtful and it’s important for you to take time to pamper and love on yourself! Don’t forget to spend time healing from the break-up and the aftermath.
Situations like this can be pretty tough! Do you girls have any additional advice?