Want Your Friends To Stop Re-Dating That Horrible Ex? Tell Them To Get Married!

Wanna hear something weird that is probably explained in many a psych lecture across America? But I’ve never been in said lectures, so I find it amusing, if not somewhat frightening.

Back when I was in high school, my sister told me about this girl she worked with who freaked out about her boyfriend and ran up a major highway on-ramp. I’m not sure what she was trying to prove, but to this day, over fifteen years later, our friends still refer to that. And still set that as a marker for crazy in a relationship.

Eventually I ended up working with this girl, and sometimes for her. Even at seventeen, I was keenly aware of how much easier my night was by playing into her relationship (or lack of relationship) insecurity. I worked with/for her for about a year, and during that time their “relationship” was in different levels of flux. Sometimes they were “together” and he was more quietly sleeping with the other waitresses (I worked with him on and off, too). Other times they were for sure broken up, and she was moaning about it, or playing, “Carrying Your Love With Me” on the jukebox. Over. And over. And over.

And all I’d ever tell her was, “You’re meant for each other. I know he loves you.” Not because I meant it, but because I knew there was no sense-talking with her. Plus, we got free pizza and extended breaks. So, that was motivating.

After I moved on from that job, I guess the two got together because a few years later I got a shower invitation. Weird as she was, she sent the invite to my sister and me at our parents. Then only sent ME an invite. Probably because she remembered what a supporter I was of her crazy, er, relationship.

I went to the wedding. She. Was. So. Happy. I had to see it myself. Part of me wondered if he would maybe not show up. Other parts of me thought he might freak out mid-vow or a current mistress would show up, screaming.

Instead, the lights went out in the church. At first you’d think this was a divine sign from the universe. A last gasp. However, the candlelight was beautiful, and for one fleeting moment, I thought maybe they’d last. Weddings can do that to girls.

Then we get to the reception, and she won’t let go of his hand. And when he does sit down, she has to keep reminding him that he needs to talk to everyone there.

I was ready to file for divorce at that point.

Sometime in the next year or so, they were divorce. By her hands. She eventually realized that all of the shit he put her through didn’t stop because they were married. I’m not sure that he ever cheated, but much like he wasn’t ready to commit to a real relationship and put someone else first, he wasn’t ready to commit to a marriage. He wasn’t ready to put her before him, ever. He was immature and selfish. He didn’t follow through on the things he promised her he’d do, whether it was stuff around the house, or with social commitments.

One time, a few months after their marriage I saw her depositing some checks. She mentioned she was selling something. It seems like it was candles. Was that really a thing? Did people order candles from those annoying parties people have? I hate those parties, by the way. Nothing like your friends using you to get free stuff. ‘merica.

But I digress.

Anyway, I said something to the effect of that it sounded like things were going well (because that’s what one says), and she said that they were living with her parents, and everything for her parties was all unorganized because her husband couldn’t get his shit together to get them a house, like he’d promised, or even organize their crap, like he’d also promised.

I could tell she was teetering, and annoyed, if she was talking so openly. She was one to pretend her husband (or boyfriend, or ex-boyfriend) was perfect. Making excuses. Assuming he’d eventually change. By the will of what? I’m not sure.

It was no surprise the next time I saw her they were divorced. And had been “since practically the last time I saw you.”

It’s funny how that works. You really want something, to the point of losing yourself and who you are, until you get it. Then suddenly you have it and wonder why you ever wanted it. This phenomenon works for children, whose brains aren’t fully developed. But not for adults. Life-long decisions because you don’t want to give something up, or because you can’t have it?

That said, when there are friends I know who can’t seem to get over each other, even when they’re a terrible match, I secretly hope they’ll just get married and get it over with, already. That seems to be the only answer. 


One response to this post.

  1. […] And if she gets engaged, I genuinely WILL be happy for her. And I will hope it works out. On the other hand, if it’s headed for failure, we discovered yesterday, there’s no faster way to get to the breaking point of a relationship than to put a “forever” s…! […]


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