In the initial days, weeks and months following a split, gratitude is likely the last thing you feel toward your ex.
But once the dust has settled, you’re usually able to reflect on the positive influence your ex may have had on your life — and some of the lessons you learned from your time together.
Some readers shared the things their exes taught them that they’re most grateful for, from the practical (how to cook!), to powerful lessons on self-worth. Scroll down to read their responses, then head to the comments and tell us what you learned from your ex.
1. “My ex taught me how to be strong! Lean in and don’t always be afraid of conflict and honest conversations.” -@Rilely
2. “My ex taught me to value truth. I’m grateful that I now flee from those whose lives are a wall of lies and deceit.” -@Dr_Leah
3. “Never settle for less than you deserve and be with positive people as often as you can!” -Jill G.
4. “He taught me that it is possible to love someone again.” – Lisa R.
5. “He taught me so many things. So many life lessons I needed to learn. Apparently I was a slow learner. When the divorce was finalized, he told me I am better than I realize and I know he’s right.” -Amber L.
6. “He taught me how to fish.” -Mia C.
7. “My ex taught me to not let others take advantage of me, to be a strong individual and not to fear anyone.” -@kkrazy93
8. “She taught me how to decorate cakes!” -Will B.
9. “My ex taught me about codependency. I learned you can’t help others unless they want to heal themselves first.” -Zumbalicious_
10. “I learned that solitude is a wonderful thing from my ex.” -KL I.
11. “My ex told me to be accountable for my own happiness or sadness, and to not be defined by others.” -@attagirlj
12. “I learned that sometimes love is not reason enough to stay in a relationship with someone.” -@AvilaUr
13. “He taught me that I am indeed stronger than I knew. He said it and he was right.” -Karen C.
14. “He and his mother taught me to cook!” -@JamieLee
15. “My ex taught me to listen to my intuition and trust my instincts. More importantly, to love myself.” -@ClaudiaSermeno
16. “I learned that sometimes endings can be great things from him. #LifeIsOnlyAsTragicAsYouMakeIt “-@Jenneration_X_