Yesterday I received a "Dear Abiola" letter that mirrored a recent situation in my life. The writer, "Jessica from Texas," had just learned through the local Austin paper that her ex was getting married and she was devastated. She said that they had dated for six years, gotten engaged and now had been broken up for 18 months. Poor Jessica said that she was still in love with her ex and hoped that they might get back together some time in the future.
Just when you think you're out
Jessica, my sister-friend, I feel your pain. Recently, my ex husband told me that he was getting married. We were only married for six months but we had been together for 10 years. Luckily I have no feelings for him and have not for a long time but I still took a beat to adjust to this news. I have moved on as well and am happier than I have ever been but knowing that he has a wedding date is the final nail in the coffin of life that we once planned together.
I have spoken to a number of different women and men to find out how they have dealt with the news that their ex is getting married. Of course the reactions depend on whether it was a bad breakup, how long the couple was together and how much time has passed. Single women, however, were especially incensed about exes getting married before them.
The ex game
So how did I really feel when the man who had promised to "love, honor and keep" me and then cheated within three months told me he was getting remarried? If it was closer to the time we broke up I would have wanted to run him over with my non-existent car. Luckily, enough time has passed that we are genuinely platonic friends with mutual respect for one another.
The truth is, however, if we had our druthers, exes would not move on to have fabulous lives. They would languish in a sort of relationship purgatory being forced to live out their love sins over and over again. And when I said I wished him well I didn't mean that he should be more well than I am! Especially since I suspect he's marrying the same elegant, "do-gooder," skank he cheated on me with. But c'est la vie.
So, what now?
My relationship advice to you, dear Jessica, as your sister in the love game, is to remind you that he is your ex for a reason. We imagine that the ex is somewhere being this wonderful man with the new woman. Chances are far greater that he has not morphed into Prince Charming overnight. He's probably over there being the same exact jerk he was with you. Either way, it was not meant to be.
Let the thoughts of TP'ing their house subside and you'll see things more clearly. Remember that "Break Up Playlist" you put together? The one that had you crying on the bathroom floor to Christina Aguilera's "Fighter?" Make yourself a temporary "My Ex Is Getting Married Playlist." Leave off the break up songs like Beyonce's "Irreplaceable" and rock out to songs like Cee Lo Green's "Forget You," Pink's "So What" and Kanye West's "Runaway" instead.
Clean yourself up, rockstar... again. There are brilliant things in your beautiful future. Get on about the business of constructing the life you deserve. Take the lessons you learned from the relationship into your next one. And when you can say it and truly mean it, wish them well.
If no one has told you today, dear friend, you are loved. Be good. And if you can't be good, be safe.
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