Thanks to the wonders of Facebook and having mutual friends, today I found out that my ex husband is getting married to the girl he left me for.
Yes it was inevitable that two people who are in love move the relationship forward, but for me personally it has stirred up feelings of hurt and resentment.
The girl he left me for did the reading at our wedding, she was a big part of our lives and I embraced her as D’s best friend and accepted their friendship wholly, trusting the pair of them. I sound like a bitter divorcee and may be today I realised that I am just that, bitter. So this leaves me with ‘what do I do next?’… I could a) get upset and wallow in self-pity, b) text my friends seeking their pearls of wisdom or c) write about my experiences on a blog so other people can read it… Yeah so I did all 3!
I somehow feel that the penny has dropped for me today – after 3 whole years of battling through bankruptcy, separation, divorce, humiliation and a whole lot of other crap that most people would only dream up in a soap opera – I am very aware that I haven’t got over it. I am over him (and in some respects her), my relationship with D wasn’t a happy one and the life I have now is great, really great, so why am I carrying this resentment around with me?
Please bear in mind that I am fully aware that it takes ‘two to tango’ and I have accepted my role in the separation, but the split was more 80/20. It was a shock when it happened and my whole world fell apart. From the moment we split, D cut all communication. I only saw him a couple of times before the divorce started and I never got the chance to get ‘closure’. By closure, I mean get real answers from the person and/or people that turned my world upside down. I never got chance to scream and shout and say my bit as I had decided at the time to at least walk away with my dignity (as well as the sofas, some kitchen stuff and a few chest of drawers!). My biggest regret was that I didn’t manage to meet with D on an even level, where we could be honest with each other without me sobbing, being pathetic and the fact that due to his actions I pretty much lost everything I had.
D and Charlotte (not her real name, obviously) seamlessly continued their lives like I never existed. They had the exciting bit of falling in love all over again, moving in together (in my marital home), going on a holiday (that I was meant to be on) and seeing my friends (who I lost in the divorce)… oh I could give you a hundred things on my ‘bitter list’ but that would be dull and not useful to me or you dear reader.
So what do the professionals say about this kind of life event?
Psychologist Dr Valerie Lamont says “Past relationships have a continuing hold over us even when, rationally, we think we’re well adjusted to their break-up and content with our new lives. Raving jealousy, anxiety and a childish feeling that even though you don’t want him, you don’t want anyone else to have him are all common when a former lover announces he’s getting married,”
“Because you know the two of you shared a special connection, that you saw the private side of him no-one else did and, like any couple, enjoyed special, secret times together, it’s hard not to feel elbowed out and displaced when he meets someone else and prepares to sail off into the sunset with her.
Logical thought goes out of the window and you forget the real reasons why you parted. Instead, you find yourself feeling strangely resentful that he feels he’s met someone he’ll be happy with for the rest of his life and angry at having to admit you’re no longer his number one.
Take heart from the realisation you won’t feel like this for long. Once the wedding has taken place, your emotions should return to an even keel – although don’t be surprised if the same irrational feelings flare up again at a later date.”
Hmmmm, see not all of this is the case for me, but it may help you in some way, find the logic in your emotions. I would say that finding out your ex has moved on, got married or had a baby will always stir up some kind of emotion in you and that having a mini-crisis or feeling down or angry about it IS ABSOLUTELY NORMAL. If you have no feelings at all then in some way this is good, and I’m rather jealous of you if this is the case.
If you find out your ex is getting married, remember these ‘Do’s & Don’ts!’
- Do call or message your friends about it. They will normally (I hope) tell you how amazing you are and that you are better off without your ex etc etc
- Don’t text or call your ex to have a rant about marriage or why they’re an a*sehole – also don’t text his family or friends to congratulate them on their news, you’ll only come across bitter and twisted, even if you actually mean it in a good way!
- Do reflect on the reasons why you are not together, plus all their annoying habits and bad points that will make you realise your break-up isn’t something to get upset about (again)
- Don’t and I mean DON’T post anything on social media, whether cryptic message, picture or quote OR even a blatant rant about the situation. You will be the one that comes off worse and friends/followers may think you’re a bit nuts
- Do congratulate yourself on getting through another of life’s hiccups with your head held high and your dignity in tact
- Don’t (if you have found new love) whinge to your partner about it. They don’t want to hear that you’re upset about your ex.
- If you have children together and see your ex a lot, Do bite the bullet and congratulate them in person and try to make it sound convincing. You will feel better for soaring above the childish feelings – i’m not saying buy them an expensive wedding gift, but you would want your ex to do the same for you if you’d moved on.
- Also just one last thing – please DON’T fish out your wedding dress or suit, put it on and cry or for that matter get the photo album out or watch your wedding video.
What’s next for me?
Well talking to you and my laptop about how I feel about these things is great – it’s a release of the emotions built up inside me that need to get out. I get real happiness from sharing my story with the hope of helping others.
I do think that my next few steps on my journey to happiness may involve a counselling session or two as today has stirred up some forgotten feelings. I would love to get to a place where I am no longer resentful and that I can be grateful for the all the good and bad things that have happened whilst having D in my life. One truly amazing thing I can think of straight away is all of the friends I have made and reconnected with since moving up north – Girls you know who you are, I love you and thank you for being there for me today and always.
Until the next drama folks! S x