I’m still in touch with somebody who used to be my closest friend, although she’s French and I haven’t seen her for probably ten years.
She must be 5 years younger than me, but she got married quite young. I remember meeting her baby son for the first time when I was still in and out of relationships, and just off to work in the USA. I was far from settling down (my head, at least).
We sent Happy New Year exchanges three of four years ago. My jaw dropped, when we were talking about our goals for the next year, and she mentioned that one of the goals was a divorce!
Now, I’d probably met her husband around about the same time as she had. He had no English, and my French was never good enough to have real, in-depth, conversations, but we’d chit-chat and he seemed like a decent guy. It concerned me a little bit that some of our mutual friends observed that she was so much more intelligent than he was, but…not really any of my business.
The divorce went ahead, and I remember my friend saying sometime afterwards that it was really strange, because he had just cut off all contact with them. I could kind-of understand if they had just been a couple, but there were children involved. The “baby boy” would by then have been about 20, plus there was also a daughter, around 17.
I still think that’s a bit strange, but I can kind-of understand it. I can understand him going cold turkey on his ex-wife, especially if he didn’t want the divorce, and I guess he must have thought that, at that age, the children knew their own minds and that it was as much their responsibility as his, whether everybody stayed in touch. On the face of it, even that assumption doesn’t quite add up, but the relationship between me and my daughter is also pretty non-existent, so I can’t throw stones. The one thing I do know is that I didn’t know the full story – outsiders never do.
But it does raise the question of how you respond to that situation. I’m glad I was never in a situation where children are involved, but I guess we’ve all split up with someone, then had to ask ourself questions on the subject of “how much contact is safe?”
Over the years (this was not some bolt of lightning!) I concluded that cold turkey was my best option. There’s usually somebody who wants the relationship to end, and somebody who wants it to go on. So, there must always be that glimer, perhaps they’ll rethink?
So, cold turkey was less ambiguous. We both knew where we stood.
Now that decades have passed, I must admit to having googled a couple of old girlfriends. I even found one! Less significant flames, I’m embarrassed to admit that I can’t remember their names.
The ones I could remember, it’s a weird one because you tell yourself that you should contact them just to say Hi and make sure they’re okay. But it was only ever half hearted – in much the same way as I sometimes googled my own name. But after that initial greeting, what do you say after that? What if they’re not okay?
There’s also the thing, it’s generally going to be different for women, that it’ll often be harder to find an ex-girlfriend than it is an ex-boyfriend, just because they probably got married at some point, and probably changed their name when they did.
And you kinda realise that you’re then just the creepy ex-boyfriend.
Let alone that when you split, they probably ended up hating your guts, and never wanted to speak to you again 🙂 (or was that just me?) Not to mention, it can’t do your current relationship much good!
So best, I think, to let sleeping dogs lie. What do you think?
And let’s just finish the post by admitting that none of my exes ever tried to contact me!