Shout Out to My Exes

by - 10:00 AM

This summer, I celebrated my 25th birthday. Anyone that knows me can tell you that saying that I'm obsessed with my birthday is an absolute understatement. I mean I start counting down the days in like March. That way, everyone is fully aware that the big day is quickly approaching, and they have no excuse for "forgetting". It's a big deal, okay?

My sweet husband did such an amazing job this year planning my birthday. He understands how important it is to me, so he made it important to him. That right there is a good man, folks. He got me sweet gifts that he knew I wanted/needed, decorated the whole house, turned our kitchen into "The Birthday Grill" and cooked me a delicious breakfast, threw me a surprise party, and just made me feel like a million bucks. He made sure that I had a great day, and that meant so much to me. 

The day following my birthday, I was reflecting on the great day I had just experienced. I was feeling extremely blessed for the man God placed in my life for me to spend time and all eternity with. (Let it be known that Lauren Jaussi is fully, completely, entirely, 100% hopelessly in love with her husband, Hayden Jaussi.) As I was daydreaming about all of this, I got to thinking about past birthdays, and, consequently, past boyfriends…

I had a pretty vast dating life before getting married. I've had a handful of "serious" relationships, and obviously, a lot of break ups. My heart hurt somuch. every time I got dumped. That’s right. I was always the dumpee. That probably had to do with the fact that when I love, I love BIG. I invest everything into my relationships (family & friend relationships, too): time, thoughts, money... all of it. So you can imagine that whenever I got told by so-and-so that he was no longer in love with me, or never really was, my world completely shattered. I felt so drained after breakups. I had nothing left to give to myself because I had given it all to them. 

Dating is a weird thing when you really think about it. Its like going into a thrift store to buy yourself a “new” sweater. You look around for a bit, find one that speaks to you, fight with yourself over whether it’s a good deal or not, and ultimately purchase it. Now that sweater is yours, and yours only. However, after wearing it for a few weeks, or several months, you notice that it has some flaws—a stray piece of yarn, an over-stretched neck hole, a bleach stain in an inconspicuous place… you don’t really feel like taking the time to fix it yourself, so you dump it in the donation bin and leave it for someone else to take care of.

I was that sweater for a long, long time.

I’ve been cheated on by a guy for reasons I don’t know.

I’ve been dumped three times by the same guy, but kept taking him back because I was naïve and just wanted to be loved by someone.

I’ve been emotionally abused by another guy for not knowing about politics, classic rock, video games, not having a big vocabulary, and because apparently the anxiety disorder that my doctor diagnosed me with in high school wasn’t a “real” thing.

Each time I was dumped, my heart hurt more than I can find words to express, and it seemed to get progressively worse after each break up. I remember feeling so depressed that I wasn’t even motivated enough to get out of bed before 2:00 pm. I spent my time binge-watching Netflix for hours on end (I believe I finished 3 seasons of “The Walking Dead” in a week and a half..). I would skip my college classes because I was too unmotivated to pick myself up and drive 5 miles to campus. I didn’t want to cook anything for myself or go out in public (aside from work because I was broker than broke) because I didn’t want to put on a fake face for the world and pretend I was just fine when really, I felt dead inside.

I just felt worthless, and unwanted. *Shivers* It makes me sad just thinking about it. But, as they say, “time heals all wounds”. And it definitely did for me. I was all set after my last breakup. I was done searching for someone to love. I was just going to focus on me for a while.

But God is funny. He placed someone special in my life right when I didn’t want one.

It was Hayden.

He was (and has been) nothing but kind, thoughtful, giving, patient, and loyal right from the very start. He didn’t care about the flaws in my “sweater”; rather, he embraced them.
 Hayden is everything I have ever wanted in a husband. I know that because of the guys I dated in the past and the experiences I had with them. I knew I wanted someone who was upfront and honest. I knew I wanted someone who would gladly accept me for who I am and not try to change me or make fun of me for my flaws. I wanted someone who would drop everything to run to my aid. I wanted someone to love ME.

And that’s why I am so appreciative of my exes. So here’s a shout-out to all of them: Thank you for not being able to love me. Thank you for ending things between us how and when you did. Thank you for being yourselves so I could know what to avoid in the future. You all led me to my husband and I am eternally grateful.

And to my sweet, handsome, eternal companion: Thank you for loving me in a way that no one else on Earth ever could. Thank you for your patience and acceptance. Thank you for understanding the things that are important to me. I thank Heavenly Father every day for you.

I know dating is hard. Its exciting, confusing and painful all at the same time. But we gotta do it! All of the experiences we have in dating (and in lifeshape us into who we are to become, and sadly, that means we’ve got to go through some hard times. Think of it like building muscle: for the muscle to get bigger, it has to tear first—that’s why is hurts so much after we work out! But the payoff is great, isn’t it?

Remember this: the wrong one is the right one to lead you to the best one. You are an awesome, one-in-a-million, gold-mine of a find at any thrift store, my friend. And one day, your “someone special” is going to walk into that store, pick you up, and never let you go. So be grateful for those that didn’t work out, love yourself, and keep an eye out for your sweater, too. That’s what I did, and I couldn’t be happier.

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