Although it’s been years since The Bee’s Dad and I have been together, there is still a selfish part of me that still thinks of him as mine. Not for physical intimacy but as someone I could, and often do and have, call when I need manly things done. With the double news that his friend is now his ‘fiance’ and that The Bee is no longer an only child (friend/fiance and The Ex have a two month old) I am now forced to wonder: When do you ex an ex?
Background and full disclosure:
Despite our break up being predominately my idea, at one time we did all of the things people do to ‘work on their relationship.’ We tried counseling, did the dates, did the family thing but crazy is as crazy does and it was not be. Truthfully, when there is no hidden agenda, we get along oh so much better apart than we ever did together. Equally truthfully, I have moments when I miss the comfort that came with being duo, my little family and the routine, twisted and emotionally damaging, but routine nonetheless.
Mulling my thoughts, I am not sure what bothers me more: the fact that he has seemingly sailed on with his life while I was still harboring the delusion that we may one day actually reconcile**, that he was not on board with my plans that we both end up alone and miserable or that he didn’t trust me enough to share the details of his life. The rash Rachée wants to cut all ties. She thinks, “Oh, so you want to keep secrets? Well keep your secret family to yourself and stuff it!” However it’s not all up to me. When I see how The Bee lights up speaking about her little brother, how thrilled she is to have a sibling** and how happy she is the harden witch in me melts and I realize this is so much bigger than me and it’s time to take my big girl pills and accept the fact: It’s time to X The Ex.
Originally I was going to be so mature and cosmopolitan: we’d have our separate lives but we would remain friends. Alas, even on my most mature days I find that I am can be friends and in each others lives even though at one point we were a bit more intimate than I am with most friends but alas, it is not to be. So, like many folk the pragmatic part of me knows the answer to this question. And, like many folk, since I do not like what I know, I consulted family, friends, fellow tweeters and FB friends to get their opinion before I take the final swallow.
My family weighed in with helpful: While it’s not about you, you do need to keep your distance emotionally, as well as not so helpful Per my cousin: quoting exactly, dump his ass when you find out he’s an ass and Buffy’s sound advice: Lose that zero and get yourself a hero. While thankful for their bluntness and Mom’s support, I had to admit this made me take a look at my motivations. Am I still hung up on The Ex? If not, then why am I questioning myself and not moving on too? Why do I keep setting up these boundaries and forcing any opportunities to back off? (Whoopsie! That’s material for another post. Moving on.)
My friends are a bit more helpful. A bit. Their advice ranges from, “That’s his child and he needs to make sure where she lives is safe and that she has everything she needs because it’s not her fault the two of you are not together” to get yourself a friend too. With a sprinkling of offers to beat him up (?) to offers to beat me up for being a sucker.
The consensus on Facebook and Twitter is to break it off totally, cutting it off when the relationship ends. My favorite piece of advice: “Well, they say hindsight is 20/20 for a reason. If only I had listened to my gut and said goodbye when my instincts told me it was over, I would have saved myself so much heartache over the years. Of course, every situation is different, but I think as we get older we learn to listen better… “
But wait, there’s a loophole! protests that idiotic, ardent sliver of my brain. What if there are kids involved, hmm. Then what?
The great brain had things to say about this too: One friend says that depending on circumstance break it off then and there, don’t look back. Also, get your own boo to ease the pain. While the idea of my own ‘boo’ is titillating (see post coming soon) that’s not quite what I am thinking. This not not a matter of one upping…or is it? As much as I protest about how mature I am, I still find that lonely evenings off suck especially having proof that The Ex has been otherwise occupied.
I turned to the men: Because unlike women, they don’t always use their emotions when making decisions and are supposed to be a bit more logical (LOL! I almost typed that line without laughing). I wanted a perspective from those possessing a Y chromosome. The general consensus is that if there is a kid involved, keep the relationship totally about the kid, no flirting, no mixed signals, keep it level. For the sake of the children, you can be cordial so they have a relationship with their father . The only time to cut the dad off from the kid is when he is doing something detrimental to the kids emotionally, verbally, etc…
Cold turkey is best for me. No more calls to request advice, no more ‘on the house’ repairs and opposite sides of the room during Family Events at the school.
It’s not easy but it is doable.
Using the worlds biggest sharpie,
*This despite the warning signs of togetherness: screaming fights, yelled insults, angry enough to see red and the fact that we are both much saner apart.
**Because you all know that while I loves my kid, it’s strictly one per household.