It’s been a while since I’ve blogged (which is usually the first line of every blog I do given my inherent laziness). I naturally prefer to attempt blogs that might possibly make you smile or laugh or spit on the screen or whatever. But occasionally I feel the need to write something a little more serious, usually based on real-life events, politics or something fervently boring like that. Rarely do I actually write much about my own personal life because frankly I find it uncomfortable when people put too much of their personal life out there – I do think largely this should be kept between yourself and your closest friends.
Anyway, I’m going to vent my spleen here because I’ve become sick and tired of the behaviour of two particular men: my ex-girlfriend’s new partners.
On November the 3rd I texted an ex-girlfriend to tell her that I was going to see Bill Bailey that night given that we were both fans of the comedian in the past. In my naivety I was expecting a reply along the lines of “Ooh, have fun!” or something equally innocent like that.
Twelve hours later a threatening text from what turned out to be her husband arrived in my inbox.
I quote: Do not ring my wife again. Xxxx is now my wife. Your number is tracked and we would prefer there were no more calls. Otherwise we may have to entertain the police.
Yes, it’s a masterful example of coherency and common sense. Let’s dig down in to this literary masterpiece.
“Do not ring my wife again.”
Ok. Hmmm. Again? I’d love to know the last time I called her because I can’t remember. I think I may have chatted with her in the spring about some recommended treatment for a back injury but I don’t recall specifically. Anyway let’s move on.
“Xxxx is now my wife.”
Clearly I’m not identifying the name of this person hence the string of “x”. In the defence of the protagonist he does actually know his wife’s name which is a step in the right direction. However given the Neanderthal viewpoint in his vociferously possessive claim above, one might wonder how he managed to send a text with his knuckles dragging along the ground.
“Your number is tracked and we would prefer there were no more calls.”
Ok so we’re back to this belief that in some way I have contacted his wife. Again, in his defence it is possible that she is receiving calls, heavy breathers or whatever, and he has deduced that it is me. Probably unknown to him is the fact that I met his wife for coffee before her wedding in August. At that time she expressed absolutely no problem with me at all. My guess is that she either has nothing to do with the above and is unaware or has become so dehumanised by this idiot that she is blindly going along with it.
“Otherwise we may have to entertain the police.”
I did actually laugh at this. How do you entertain the police? Would you have a policeman’s ball? Perhaps a charity event with Sir Paul McCartney playing his greatest hits with nothing but a paper and comb? Maybe a cabaret show featuring Irish favourite Sonny Knowles?
So what do I deduce? Basically, that my friend – which is what the woman became when we split amicably a number of years ago – married a controlling idiot with serious self-esteem issues. Now he may not be but this is merely my deduction given the information I have. He was invited up to my house a few years ago to meet myself and my new girlfriend but chose not to, sending his then-fiancée on her own. If he had the balls to meet me a few years ago then perhaps he could have filled whatever wild fantasy is playing in his head with the actual image of who I am. Moron.
And now, part two. I received an email from another ex-girlfriend recently who wished me a happy Christmas and told me that because her current boyfriend is not too happy that we meet up a few times a year for a drink or a coffee, she wants to respect his wishes.
This is an even bigger disappointment. The girlfriend in question is one of my best friends and I’m close to her entire family having known them for half my life. I’m saddened that she has agreed to being dictated to in this way as another relationship she had in her life (and was ultimately destined for failure) had similar hallmarks.
Now these are just my personal views but I’m bloody well going to make them. If you’re dating or married to someone who tells you who you can and can’t see it’s not a good thing, ok? Certain circumstances make it hard to extricate yourself from such a situation but often you end up deeply entrenched because you spent a long time ignoring the warning signs.
What do experts say?
http://www.helium.com offered some thoughts on this very question – why are men so intimidated by ex-boyfriends? Here are some of the thoughts.
Arkady Itkin, an MA in Philosophy from San Francisco State University wrote: “Being intimidated by ex-boyfriends is a matter of insecurity – the guy’s insecurity in his ability to maintain a woman’s interest. ”
I read this and thought, “yeah, that makes perfect sense. So why am I never bothered by ex-boyfriends of people I’ve gone out with?” He continues: “A confident man, who knows his worth, realizes that insecurity is pointless and very unattractive. If the girl wants to go back to her ex or anybody else, she will and no amount of jealousy or insecurity will change that. ”
Another writer, Scott Heritage, makes the point that I always make: “The most important thing to remember is that any ex boyfriends a woman has are usually no threat at all, they have already had their chance with said woman, and failed, for whatever reason, and so long as she is happy with you, there is no danger from them at all.”
There’s a reason I’m not with those women anymore. I’m not interested; the time has come and gone. This is just basic logic, but obviously not basic enough that these primates can get their head around the idea. I suppose I should not be so harsh considering that I don’t know the guys but invitations have been made to both of them and they refused to meet me. Presumably I intimidate them in some way? Can they not respect me in the same way that they should respect all of their partner’s friends?
One of my best memories was of an ex-girlfriend of mine arriving at my 30th birthday party with her new boyfriend and a few other friends. I chatted with them and got on great – the guy concerned seemed to have no problem with me at all. It was very refreshing.
Of course there are limits. If you were in contact with an ex-partner quite a bit, or meeting them frequently then that would be over the top. What I refer to here is the odd email, text message and meeting once or twice a year for coffee. It’s really that harmless and yet men’s selfish nature and insecurity has seen me temporarily lose two friends.
I say “temporarily” because frankly I see both relationships destined for failure eventually. I don’t have to look far in my life to see how such characteristics have impacted others. It simply doesn’t work to stop people being themselves. If the person concerned is not able to walk away then they will live a very lonely life until they finally do. By then of course their confidence is probably shot since one of the traits of a controlling partner is that they will chip away at your self-confidence so that you start believing you are nothing without them.
I vowed some years ago, and I repeat it here, that if I was going out with someone who told me that I could not see an ex-girlfriend then I would show them the door. Basically what they are saying is “I don’t trust you”. A relationship can start with trust and lose it but I don’t believe you can start without trust and gain it.
So what’s this blog really about? It’s me venting about what I see is a total injustice. First of all baseless accusations by a control-freak which I’ve not yet decided how to follow up on – but that ship ain’t sailed yet. Secondly, a disappointing situation where a guy whom I believe is actually ok can’t find the wherewithal to trust one of the most trustworthy people in the world (my ex-girlfriend).
Secondly it’s a message to any of you out there who recognise this behaviour. Maybe you’ve seen it in old relationships (now defunct, probably partly due to behaviour like that). Maybe you’re seeing it in your current relationship. It’s just food for thought, that’s all.
Lastly, it’s a statement of intent. It helps me keep my focus on who I am because despite my strong views on the subject I’m bitten by the insecurity bug too from time to time. It has taken me a long time to believe in myself, develop self-confidence and, at the same time, accept who I am and know my limits. If my girlfriend or whatever really wants to be with somebody else, then what value is there in me “conning” them in to staying?