I have this unhealthy obsession over the woman my ex-boyfriend of two years left me for.
A year after it happened I still cannot get them out of my mind. She was married and left her husband and two kids to be with my now ex. I’m pretty sure he started the whole thing and not the other way round. He didn’t have the courage to leave me, but started a relationship with her while slow-fading out of ours. I still cannot believe he did that. I just didn’t think he was the type of person who behaved that way and I sometimes still have trouble understanding or accepting it.
This woman is tall, blonde (the quintessential Swede) and he seems madly in love with her. I’m just average-looking and feel less than compared to her. I really don’t want to obsess over her, but I find myself comparing myself to her constantly and wondering “Why her and not me?”, which is just stupid.
I suppose some of it has to do with the fact that I really thought he was a lovely person. Constant, stable, honest. I’m having trouble accepting that he is the person he turned out to be — someone who wasn’t honest in the least and who didn’t have the courage to sit me down and tell that he was unhappy and wanted out. Instead, he chose to start something behind my back and hope that I wouldn’t make too much of a fuss, while he slowly exited our relationship by seeing less of me, taking longer to get back to messages, stopped texting/phoning, trying to push me away by behaving badly or telling me bad things about himself that he knew I would find unacceptable. (Who knows if they were actually true?) etc…
It’s been a year that they’ve been together now and I really didn’t think this thing would last. Her children don’t talk to her anymore because she ran off and left them behind, but whenever I see her, she seems to be happy. She certainly doesn’t look like someone who is suffering. I’m just so jealous and I have no idea why. Because he picked her? He’s not exactly a reference for someone I want as a long-term partner, is he? So, why the jealousy and why the obsession over the girl he picked?
Let’s examine your values.
What’s better? To be a tall, Nordic blonde whose beauty is so all-powerful that it can make “stable, honest” men give leave of their senses? Or to be an average-looking person who would never abandon her children?
When you’re jealous, you’re voting for the first option.
What does she have that I don’t have? (Other than your ex-boyfriend…)
Happiness! How do you really know? Quit social media stalking. If the truth is that she broke up her family, how happy can she really be? Joy requires depth. Abandonment requires sociopathy. Don’t envy the disordered.
Height! It’s not everything. Blondness! Anyone can be blonde. Scandinavian! Shop at Ikea. Eat lingonberries.
Why on earth are you comparing yourself to this person? Because she’s so powerful to steal your boyfriend? She didn’t steal him, you say he pursued her. Because she’s some ideal woman that every man wants? Most men would like a woman who sticks around to raise their children. Most men would like a woman who doesn’t cheat on them. The men who just want Barbie aren’t men — they’re man-children playing with toys.
Consider your values and who you aspire to be. Consider the “prize” you lost — a guy who is perfectly okay with dating a married woman. He’s happy to fuck over some chump (excuse me, save her from a controlling, sexless, horrible marriage). And he’s super okay with the collateral damage of children. Sorry about your parent’s impending divorce — I got a leggy blonde!
What is there to miss here? Who you THOUGHT he was? We all thought we partnered with honest, stable, loving people. Until the humiliating realization that we did not.
He pushed you away — telling me bad things about himself that he knew I would find unacceptable.
When people tell you bad, unacceptable things about themselves? LISTEN! Stop projecting your values on to them, and LISTEN. If you find these things “unacceptable” and then stick around and accept them? You’re signaling that you are a chump. That your boundaries are open to persuasion. That you’re not terribly certain of your values, or of what people tell you, because you’re deeply invested in your spackle.
You said you mug senior citizens for their bingo money? But, but! You’re so stable and honest!
When he started ghosting you and treating you like crap and “behaving badly”? That was your clue to dump HIM. To say, “these behaviors are unacceptable to me.” To enforce your boundaries.
You’re lost in untangling the skein (otherwise known as his taste in blondes), instead of untangling your OWN skein — why did you tolerate this jerk? Because you thought he was someone else? Not a good enough answer, after he SHOWED you who he was.
This column ran previously.