Thinking Out Loud - The EX Files

8:42 AM

I guess today is the day I share this...


Thinking-Out-Loud
Amanda at .RUNNING WITH SPOONS.
This has been sitting in my drafts for awhile now. I am not one that easily allows themselves to feel vulnerable, especially expressing my inner thoughts, ideas, and feelings (more so in real life, than on the blog). When I first started the blog I did write about whatever the hell I wanted, but for awhile I have stayed away from the touchy subjects. I think a relationship is private, but I also think sometimes I need to express myself, in the best way I know how too. Most recently, I've been asking myself - why not take control of your content on YOUR blog? Post what you want, when you want. It's your blog, it's your space in this large world of the inter-webs. Sorry, I'm kinda giving myself a pep talk in the third person.

My issues with formulating this post: A) over sharing parts of my relationship and B) staying true to myself and how I feel. I have re-written, deleted huge chunks, and edited this so many times. There is no perfect way to approach this topic and my situation. At some point I just need to hit publish and let my verbal judo just spew in the the bloggishpere. But trust that I am sitting here, trying not to toe the line of hurting my relationship by posting this and also being completely true to myself! 


To give some context, I've had approximately one serious relationship that lasted 5 years.
For general purposes and understanding, it is good to know that the break-up was mutual, because we grew apart (I was attending college 400 miles away). Although many tears were shed, 5 years is a long time to be with someone, however the break-up was as amicable as one can be.

I've always thought that Ex's could be friends. I thought that when we broke up and thought that up until very recently. I never saw any other side/opinion to the situation. We were best friends for 5 years, it seemed fairly simple that we could at least be friends for any time after that, right? It didn't turn out that way and I was always perplexed. However, I now know why the friendship was never continued.

I did everything correctly. I was never a so-called crazy Ex. There were no blurred lines and everything was black and white. I just wanted friendship. I never put my feet in the new ladies shoes. Mixed parts of naivety and just not giving a damn, I was just looking to keep my friend. Eventually I stopped trying, we still see each other a few times a year and I'm happy for him (his wife and their new baby). No hurt feelings that we can't be friends, just happy that he's found his happiness!

As much as I don't want to think this was ever the reason I wanted to continue the friendship, it boils down to the upper hand. I think it is the feeling or power of knowing at some point the Ex holds the upper hand in the situation (used, very broadly). And by this, I mean the Ex is at a severe advantage. They know this person better than you, they share much more with them than you have, and they probably know more about this person than you (at this point or forever). It is an all encompassing power of knowledge and familiarity, that a new relationship is lacking, yet (hopefully) working toward. It is at the point where the Ex feels this is lost that their presence will no longer be an issue. I truly feel that this is the case, maybe not in all situations, but in some. For however long they dated, they were the one. It doesn't matter who ended it, the Ex will always want to hold that upper hand. It's when the Ex feels that this is no longer the case, their presence will no longer be felt.

There's always an Ex! You have a choice to let it define part of your relationship or NOT. Sadly and in much naivety, I let it invade my mental space, thus invading some part of my relationship. I didn't think I'd be this girl, EVER. But I let myself. I am not solely to blame, the Boy could have handled things better, and the Ex could have taken steps to respect our relationship, BUT all of this is moot. Because it's there now, always hovering over like a grey cloud that I want to go away.

I've always felt that I was confident, to a certain extent. I know what I have to offer and what I can give in a relationship. So, to find myself comparing myself to the Boy's Ex or even caring what is going on in her life, drives me crazy. I feel like an unstable, girly girl! I know it is irrational and mentally unhealthy, but my mind will drift there at times. Sure, she's probably a great girl and she made him happy for all of those years. So, I respect and can appreciate that piece of the story. It's what happens when we are trying to start our chapter of the story and her appearances seem to be there almost 6 months into it.

Without crossing the lines of going into too much detail, lets just say my assumptions of their communication were wrong. I could totally use that cliched saying...You know what happens when you assume? [Unsolicited advice coming your way] So, if this is ever an issue for you. Be up front about it, say what you're feeling and don't be ashamed of how you feel. My pride took over and I didn't think it was important to say how I really felt. But it did matter. It mattered a lot. Because now, I question things...things that I don't think you should have to question in a healthy relationship.

The mind space I let this take over was beyond what I would have ever thought I would allow. I let my moral compass slip and I looked at the Ex's social media. I confessed this to the Boy, albeit very ashamed, so everything was out in the open. Doing this is not good for YOU. It is about as on par with opening Pandora's Box. The what-if's start flying around your mental space like crazy. If you have the urge to look at the Ex's social media count...STOP...go do anything else, call your best friend, go running, go write in your journal. Even if you know they are looking at yours (or friends of theirs are), still don't do it! Just don't do it! Easier said than done, but I promise, it won't make you feel any better than before you looked at it!

"The Ex Files" are definitely something I'm overly cognizant about. I wish I would have handled it better and as I write this, I realize I that is has less to do with my security in my relationship, but more so with myself, proven by my actions. I am by no means proud and I wish there was were good articles (re advice) or something to help me understand why I feel this way. Yes, I did a Google search for advice, to see if I was over thinking everything (which I probably am to an extent) or if other people had these feelings. Every situation is different, so no article ever made me feel comfortable or understand my feelings.

Trust is a key pillar in every relationship. So I'm to the point where that's all I have left. I have said my peace to the Boy, I have to trust that he will make choices based on what I've told him. Neither of us have control over the Ex and she will do as she pleases. Although I leave my trust to him, that doesn't mean that thoughts and ideas aren't swirling in my head. I'm questioning things all the time, not verbally, but mentally I am. I over think plenty of things, take little non-verbal cues and over analyze them. Sometimes, I feel like a neurotic (aka crazy) girl. But my actions, his actions, and the Ex's actions have all culminated to these feelings of uneasiness. It is my sincere hope that one day, his word and my trust are enough. But it'll take time (cliche number 3, I think, in this post already) and I'm willing to give it and him that time. I just hope I don't get played in the end.

Socially Unacceptable Question I've Thought About Regarding the Ex Files:
When is it okay to ask someone to block their Ex (social media, telephone, email, etc)?
Why do they still feel the need to communicate (what are their pure intentions)?
Can you really love someone when you still feel the need to correspond with your Ex?
Is it kosher for an Ex to still have pictures of you up on their Social Media?
If both parties are in a new relationship, why the need communicate?
What are YOU/ I really (ultimately) worried about with said communication?
What do you do when you find out something that does not sit well?
If they still want to be connected to the Ex's family, what lines should not be crossed?

I thought I'd feel at peace when I wrote this, but after edits on edits on edits, it still feels unfinished. I put myself out there and wholeheartedly expressed myself. So, if you read this and didn't judge me thank you. I sincerely appreciate it. And if you read this and judged me, you can't have judged me more than I've already judged myself.

I'd prefer to trash the Ex Files all together...

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2 comments

  1. Oh geez. This is -such- a compacted realm. To be honest, I've never been able to maintain friendships with any of my exes... It just felt like too strange of a position to be in. And I've never really had to deal with any of my guys still being friends with their exes, but I don't think it's something I'd appreciate too much. You're right that the ex -does- always seem to have the upper hand because they basically share a life and secrets that you can never get in on. That's enough to make anyone kind of nervous. I think communication really is key in that situation... You have to be able to talk to your partner about it and hope that they respect you and your wishes enough not to do something that makes you uncomfortable.

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    1. Hey Amanda! Yes, compacted and complicated...Communication is definitely key, much to my avail...I'm working on it! I completely agree with you and I have to be willing to trust all will work out :) Thanks for reading and your kind words, it wasn't an easy one to write...

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