I am friends with a substantial portion of my exes. Not all mind you, I am not going for sainthood here.
Seriously. Why is this a bad thing?
I am 50/50 with decent break ups.
I am 80/20 with salvaged friendships.
I go to their weddings and kid’s birthdays. Talk them off ledges, I have men from my past who care about me that I can ask for advice when the men in my present do things that make me feel uncared for. We celebrate each other’s victories and mourn losses together. This is what friends do.
I was with them for a reason, and I left them for a reason, those reasons still stand, there is no threat here.
Some of them have even met each other and been kind, and with a little gentle joking aside, kind to me as well. The bar has been set.
Just as I can glean a little of my future with you by how you speak of and treat your mama, you can tell a lot about how I will behave towards you by how I speak of and treat my exes. I am patient, kind, forgiving, honest, friendly and generous…
No not with that, that is yours, I gave it to you, now come play with it. Ahhhh, better.
I even managed to stay friends with the biggest and the baddest of the exes, until he read all of this and realized I was not the girl he tried to make me into.
And Not the rapist, he’s a fucking rapist.
No, the one who cheated, and on whom I cheated, a lot. We spent 6 years torturing each other, two years apart, and I realized I am a better person for knowing him. A lot of my life skills came from living, with him on that farm. I realized also, in retrospect most of the things I learned were because I had to, I was left alone to fix things and hold everything together on my own. I was angry for a while, now I am grateful.
But I digress.
There are some girls who line their exes up like Barbies in a dollhouse to be taken out played with on a whim and thrown back when she gets bored. I am not that girl.
You know what other girl I am not? Any of Your exes. Especially that one who did a number on you, now stop punishing me for what she did and just let me be me. I am good, I know this, and so do you. Or you wouldn’t be here.
The red flags in me honor the red flags in you. But I need you to set aside your crimson rage against your exes and see that the flag I fly is actually white. I come bearing peace and compromise. I have learned a lot from my past and if I forget, I have reminders, cliff notes or I can just call them and ask them.
If I wanted to be with any of the ones from before, I would be. My life, my choices.
Let’s put it this way. I was raped, by an ex that I had dumped. One ex. One man did this. I know hundreds of men. Only one of them hurt me that way. Ergo…Barbie was wrong yet again, math is not hard. What kind of life would I have if I judged all men on the actions of one? See what I am getting at here?
Imagine walking into McDonald’s, you order an iced coffee, the cashier says that will be $87.53.
You say “what the ever loving fuck?”
She says “that is for the soccer team that was here before you, see? They are over in the corner, just finishing up.”
This is the same logic. I don’t want to pay for those who came before me. All I have in common with her is you, and fun lady parts. Mine are better, because they are yours now.
Some people still think the word ‘divorce’ is a dirty word. Like jamming two people into a lifetime commitment has anymore likelihood of working out than winning the lottery.
Sure, people win the lottery all the time. I played the same free ticket for almost a year.
There should be no shame attached to two grown-ups looking at each other one morning and saying, ‘this is not working’. Those are the brave ones. I actually ended a 5 year relationship by using the words “I have not cheated on you yet, but I am about to. We have to break up now.” He punched me in the face until his brother pulled him off me, still felt better than cheating would have.
So many couples split and then turn on each other, on a dime, over a dime. Rammstein nailed it “du hast or du hasst.” YOU HAVE ME (or) YOU HATE ME.
I am ever evolving, I am not the girl I was 5, 10, 20 years ago. The fundamentals and foundations of who I was remain. I am still silly, nerdy and nurturing. But as I build myself up and get more comfortable in my skin I find the men that come around are better suited to this version of me. Challenging conversations, appreciation for how I am and the sex is exponentially better.
I was asked today where I see myself in 5 years.
I hope things change. I’ve had a taste of bravery and I’m hungry for more. I want to be living somewhere that the air doesn’t hurt my face for 2/3 of the year. I’d like to fall in love with someone who challenges me to do more, be better and work hard but I know I’m not ready yet. I want to keep living and writing and get paid for it.
People can come and go as they please, teach me what they can and I’ll keep refining my idea of what love is and who I am.
If I no longer have you I won’t hate you, that isn’t who I am.