Bad Girl's Guide

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Dealing with His Ex

Most people when they break-up, depart and go their separate ways. However once in a while, you might come across a guy that still has his ex-girlfriend/ex-wife in the picture. There can be several reasons for this---it could be that she's his baby mama; they work together or live in the same place. Personally I try to avoid dating men with even a hint of their ex in the picture, however sometimes it could be unavoidable.

A guy will usually tell you up front if his ex is still in his life. When he does talk to you about it, listen to what he has to say in its entirety. Ask questions as to why they still have a relationship post-breakup, if he has feelings for her and ask him when was the last time he slept with her (you know you want to know!) Don’t be shy or put it off. It’s very important to know every single thing about their past & current relationship. This is not when you fly into a jealous rage! That will solve nothing. This is the time when you assess your relationship as well as what he’s telling you. Red flags to watch out for: if he talks about her too much, walks out of the room while he’s talking to her on the phone, gets calls from her past decent hours, makes plans to see her on pseudo-dates, spends the night at her place etc. If he’s up front and honest with you, candidly explaining everything and not hiding any facet of the relationship, then you move on to the next step.

For starters, you have to be sure the guy is worth putting up with the potential drama and possible heartache that's coming your way. Honestly---he has to be worth his weight in gold. He has to be so good to you, so perfect for you, and treat you so well that he's worth fighting for. Through the course of your relationship, he's actually consistently shown you that he's a great guy. Why all this? Because truthfully babe, you don’t want to get played. It's hard enough dealing with the drama without the added possibility that he's a total jerk, lying man-whore & cheat that's emotionally unavailable with no long term relationship potential to boot. So, your first question to yourself should he worth it? If not, save yourself the possible future angst and end the relationship. If you truly feel that he's worth it, buckle in for the ride sweets, it's going to be a rocky one.

Now that you’ve assured yourself that he’s worth it…the next question to ask is: Do you trust him? Do you trust that he’s telling you the truth when he says that they are really over? Do you trust that you aren’t the Rebound Woman? Do you trust that you two lovebirds really have a future together? Do you trust that he still doesn’t have feelings for her---or isn’t still attracted/sleeping with her? Do you trust that he can soothe your hurt feelings? Are you really secure in the status of your relationship? Trust is very important; it’s one of the elements that’s going to help your relationship stand the test of having his Ex around.

Keep in mind, his ex is his former flame, the woman who originally had his heart (or at least his cock). For some reason, the relationship didn't work out and when relationships go sour, they usually end quite bitterly. He might tell you all kinds of stories about his ex and how awful she was/is to him but take it with a grain of salt. Remember, there are always 3 sides to every story...his, hers and the real truth which is somewhere in between. Both sides of the party are responsible for the split and reasons why the union didn't work, so don't automatically cast her out to be the evil witch. I've heard of situations where the guys are always bad-mouthing their exes (usually to make themselves look better), only to find out in the end that he was actually the one that did her dirty. So seek out the truth as much as you can, because only the truth can really open your eyes to what the real dynamic is with their current relationship.

Acknowledge the truth to yourself as well. You are very displeased by her continual presence in your lives. To you, she’s like the irritating rash that keeps coming back. If you could have it your way, she would totally disintegrate both in memory and form the moment you started dating him. You’re not happy one iota of having her around. You have every right to feel as you do and your emotions are very valid. Don’t push them into the background to cater to his situation. Communicate and express them quite vocally to your man. However, don’t let her presence ruin your relationship.

Another point is that 95% of the time, his ex isn't going to like you. You’re the gorgeous babe who has her former man; hence you are a man-stealer. I know, it doesn’t make sense, but when has a scorned woman ever been logical? If she’s frank with herself, she probably still has feelings for him. After all, when you break up with someone, those intense feelings you have don’t die off instantly. Perhaps she thinks that in the future they might get back together and you are blocking that. Perhaps she’s from the school of thought that “if I can’t have him, no one can.” Mayhap he didn’t even observe the mourning period before he started dating you and that’s pissing her off as well. Whichever way, you are in the way. I know it doesn’t make sense, how women seek to destroy each other instead of banding together, but that’s one of the flaws of our race. So don’t think that she is going to be your new best friend. At best, she’ll be cordial (in which case you are lucky). At worst, she’ll be a crazy ass bitch (in which case you…are so not lucky;)

Moving right along, the best policy with an Ex in the mix is to adopt a hands-off policy. She’s not your baggage, not your problem; so deal with her a little as possible. I’m sure you think the more she sees you the quicker she’ll get used to you, but honey…that is so not the case! The more she interacts with you, the more provoked she’ll get. Especially if it’s obvious that he’s happier with you than he ever was with her. If she’s vengeful, she’ll keep flirting with him and trying to get him back in her bed, if only to prove to you that she still has power over him. If she’s vindictive, instead of taking her anger directly on him (where it rightly belongs), she will attack you. She might make fun of you, give you awful nicknames, gossip or make scathing comments/judgments both in your face and behind your back. It’s a twisted effort to make him unhappy, because if you are upset---then he’s miserable. Unfortunately, it does work with weaker women, so you have got to develop a thicker skin. Take her ribs and insults with a sense of humor. Laugh it off! Ignore her antics as best as you can. Don’t engage her because that will have you stooping to her level. She’s trying to prove to him that you aren’t better than her, so getting you to act crazy will solidify her point.

Conversely, don’t interact with her on a social level at all unless you absolutely have to. Spend the holidays with your family so he can spend his with his kids and not feel guilty. Encourage your guy to change his situation as soon as feasible (switch jobs, move to a new place etc.) to further take her out of the picture. Avoid running into her as much as possible. Find new haunts, restaurants & bars that you both can enjoy together so she won’t be all up in your space.

For privacy’s sake, don’t give her any ammunition about you or your relationship. Don’t tell her anything important that doesn’t have to do with her and have your man keep his lips sealed too. Operate on a need to know policy. She doesn’t need to know anything about you; your full name, your family history, school you went to, where you work or what you like to do for fun. Because the more she knows, the more power you give her to manipulate the both of you. Less is better. Remember, children have the ability to repeat what they hear and sometimes not even accurately. So keep your lips mum when his kids are around as well.

If you do have to mingle with her, be nice. It might be grating to be polite to your boyfriend’s ex, but trading insults with her is going to get you nowhere. Have you ever tried a particular blend of saccharine sweetness that is so nice that everyone around you becomes mildly amused? That’s how nice you might have to get. The bitchier she gets---the nicer you become. Sure it’s an act, but giving her anything other than that gives her power over your emotions. She already has power over your boyfriend, his check book and his kids; so don’t succumb to letting her control you as well. Own your emotions and tightly leash them under a mask of amicability and humor. Maintain a stoic mask of indifference. Act like you couldn’t care less about her antics. That gives you the high ground and leaves her feeling confused as to how to deal with you.

I know it seems like I’m giving you advice to bend over backwards to accommodate his ex, but honestly, this is the best course of action. Remember, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, and the instant you took up with him, all her fury will be directed to you. So avoidance is the best way to keep yourself out of the drama.

Your thoughts?

Other reading:
Dealing With Baby Mama Drama
The Rebound Woman

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Posted by Vixen @ 3:14 PM :: 9 trainees letting it rip!

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