The Ex-Factor

“I hate my fiancé’s ex-girlfriend! HATE her!”

I look over at my friend who has this horrific look of disgust on her face brought on by the mere mention of her fiancé’s ex-girlfriend. This would be the same ex-girlfriend who had broken up with her fiancé TWO entire years prior to even dating her fiancé.

This would also be the SAME ex-girlfriend she has never met.

“How can you hate her?” I ask. I feel this is a valid question. They’ve never been in the same room with one another. All she knows is what her fiancé has told her. I can see her not liking the ex-girlfriend’s actions...but HATE her?

“She’s just a disgusting piece of trash. That’s all it is to it.”

“How so? Because she broke up with Rob*? Isn’t that a good thing? Had she not broke up with him, then you wouldn’t be with him now, right?”

She shook her head, waving the notion away. “You don’t understand, Jaime Kay.”

Maybe she’s right. I don’t understand being jealous or despising your boyfriend or spouse’s ex. What did she ever do to you, other than sleep with your man BEFORE he even knew you? Or maybe she didn’t even do that, but was just THERE before you.

I remember when my ex-husband and I were dating, we found ourselves at this huge house party. And guess who walks in…his ex girlfriend. I wasn’t too bothered by it, UNTIL she grabbed his arm and asked rather loudly, “Who is THAT girl you’re with?”

THAT girl? I remember distinctly loosing up my hair and taking off my heels…ready to really let her know who THAT girl was.

(I was twenty-one and a little hotheaded.)

I decided to hate her right then and there. No one calls me “THAT girl”.

However, THAT guy and I married. We started a family. There would be times throughout our marriage, just the mention of her name would make my skin crawl. I think I may have said on occasion, ‘I wish you wouldn’t have dated her. What were you thinking?” He would stare at me blankly as if I should have known the obvious answer to that question.

But that was way back in the day. Now here I am, a forty-year-old woman with four kids…three of which are all of dating age. (Kill. Me. Now.) I do not hate my boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend(s). Not when I have an ex-husband who I have had kids with. Seems childish and besides…we’re adults.

Okay, I write the above paragraph and I realized that isn’t entirely true. The Boyfriend, who has never been married or has had any children of his own, well, he has had a different type of life than I have. I was married by the age of twenty and had four kids by the age of twenty-six. The only living thing The Boyfriend has taken care of has been a plant that he forgets isn’t plastic. He had two serious relationships before me…both of which were over a decade ago.

This doesn’t mean The Boyfriend lived a life of celibacy and was holding out until the love of his life came along…Nope.

 

The Boyfriend’s dating life consisted of one to two month relationships. Some of his stories about his dating endeavors are quite hysterical and pretty innocent. However, there is one girl specifically…that by me just hearing her name; I feel the same irritation that I felt when my ex-husband brought up the ex-girlfriend he dated before me.

 

Before you think I’m being somewhat of a hypocrite for being incredulous to the fact that my friend hates her fiancé’s ex and here I am feeling a little of my own indignation towards the exes of my men too…well, okay. You’re probably right. But still. Allow me to explain:

 

 

When The Boyfriend and I started dating, we had the typical conversation about past relationships. However, his story about that particular “relationship” seemed to change whenever it was repeated. Was it two months that they dated or three?  Was it a physical relationship or G-rated? Sex one time or four? (Depends on how many beers he’s had when he’s discussing it.) There was also the things he seemed to do with her that we’ve never done together, which I know…it’s always more fun to be the short-lived girlfriend than the serious girlfriend, which quite frankly, I find totally unfair and ridiculous. It’s like  the guy goes from impressing you with his mad kissing skills and his love for adventure AND THEN when it’s decided that you’re the one…you’re listening to his bragging about his video game skills and complaining about the light bill.

I never had much of a problem with “That girl” (yeah, I said it. She’s THAT GIRL to me.) in the beginning. I didn’t even care that they occasionally had lunch together or met with a group after work for beers. That never bothered me. What did bother me, is the fact that he talked to her about our relationship when we first started dating (although to be fair, we weren’t serious yet and were dating other people) and they hardly seem to interact on a regular basis UNTIL he told her things were getting serious with me.

(Let me back up just a second here in regards to him discussing me and anyone else he was ‘seeing’ with her. That’s some Mac-Daddy bullshit in of itself. She was in her early twenties and he was thirty-nine. Give me a break. As if he needed advice. We all know that game. We’ve all played that game…heck, I’m the master of that game. That was his little way of keeping the lines of communication open and perhaps striking a little jealousy at the same time. I know this because I’ve done it too, but I’m a lot more convincing than he was because…well…boobs.)

 

When he let the cat out of the bag that he was indeed serious with me,  it seemed she called and texted more. Isn’t that how it always happens?  It wasn’t as if she wanted him back, but more to see if he was still interested. (We’ve all done this at some point or another.) And whilst I appreciated the effort…nothing could ruin a brunch more than your boyfriend’s ex girlfriend of two months (or three) calling him to ask if she could borrow his truck for a move. (To his benefit, he said no.)

With that said, I will admit to viewing her pictures and being confident in the fact that I am way more attractive.

And smarter.

I say “smarter” because remember now, she did let him go and in my opinion THAT makes her stupid.

 

::Insert cheesy 1970’s romantic music here::

 

 

The people of our past (the good and the bad) could be viewed as teachers. It’s up to us to let go of the bitterness and hate so we can appreciate those lessons. From there…we can move forward into better relationships, knowing we are probably better than who we were before.

 

 

My thoughts about my boyfriend’s ex fade and I continue to listen to my friend go on and on about her fiancé’s ex-girlfriend and then it hits me:

I’m someone’s ex-girlfriend. I’m someone’s ex-wife! There is some wife or girlfriend out there HATING me!

And then I decide firmly and with indignation:

 

I hate those bitches more.

 

 

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