real life

We all love to play in the "my crazy ex" competition. But I quit.

By: Divorced Moms. 

Take a poll of divorced people, and you’ll find that some remain on civil terms with their exes, while a large number claim to have a “crazy ex.”

Based on these informal polls, that’s a lot of “crazy exes” roaming around in the general population.

What is it about this “crazy ex” phenomenon? Are that many people really plagued by vindictive trouble makers and stalkers who were once their partners and lovers? Is having a crazy ex some sort of status symbol like owning the new iPhone 7? Is it possible to divorce without also having a “crazy ex”?

Have you ever noticed that when news of someone’s divorce hits the rumour circuit it’s never just a divorce…it’s a “bad divorce”. Tell me something: is there such thing as a “good divorce”? I mean, don’t they all suck?

You can sell me on the idea that a couple getting a divorce is a good thing for them, and probably for their kids and others around them, because the situation was so full of conflict and dysfunction. In this way, a divorce serves a valuable purpose to allow a terrible relationship to dissolve and the members of that relationship to have a new lease on life.

"When news of someone’s divorce hits the rumour circuit it’s never just a divorce…it’s a “bad divorce”. Tell me something: is there such thing as a “good divorce”?

The result of the divorce ends up being a positive thing because all of the conflict and drama can release its hold on the couple and there is at least hope for some sort of normalcy to take over.

As a whole, though, divorce as a process is brutal for anyone who goes through it. Is there any such thing as a fun break-up, a pleasant court hearing, or a happily-anticipated bill from the lawyer? No!

True that some divorces are more heinous than others. This is due, in large part, to how complicated the marriage was. I suppose if you have an intricate arrangement over a vast fortune, things can get a bit sticky to untangle and divide the mess.

In other cases, it becomes a nasty mess because the people involved choose to let it become nastier than a divorce typically already is.

We all expect hard feelings over whatever the circumstances were that broke the marriage apart. We already expect some struggles over who gets to keep the big TV or how custody will be arranged.

We are not prepared for the exes who go the extra mile to pull shady or borderline psycho moves like hiding or destroying property, committing slander, alienating kids, or going off the deep end into some of the deeper layers of rage and revenge.

I know for a fact that truly crazy exes exist. I have met and interacted with them and seen their handiwork. I know that the crazy ex is not just an urban legend; but, I do think the term is about as overused as suggesting that every older person who begins to struggle with memory has Alzheimer’s.


My ex is crazy to me. Your ex is crazy to you. We all have to out-crazy one another by having the most insane of exes as if attempting to win some trophy for how cursed we are by the one we broke up with.

The crazy ex boils down to being the nature of the beast known as divorce. An event as catastrophic as divorce brings out the ugliest in all of our nature, directed squarely at the one who ripped out our heart and stomped on it.

During a break-up, no one could personify pain, persecution, or torment like one’s ex. The ex becomes synonymous with all of the hopes and dreams once wrapped into a marriage intended to last forever that are now ripped apart and discarded. Everything that an ex does during the divorce registers as a major assault, even if it might only be regarded as rude under normal circumstances.

As previously stated, divorce does bring out the worst in all of us, so we all tend to be more sensitive, more impatient, more prone to jealousy, more prone to vindictiveness, and sometimes we’re even more prone to being more sentimental about the way it used to be, making the break-up all the more painful.

We are all more inclined to do things we normally wouldn’t and things we may regret later. So, in a way, anyone going through a divorce may, indeed, be somewhat certifiable, at least temporarily. I wouldn’t really want to tangle with anyone’s ex while the process is still in motion and the wounds fresh. I doubt, however, (thankfully!) that most of us can truly claim to have a permanent “crazy ex.”

Chalk it up to what it is: divorce is terrible. Divorce pain makes us all go a little loco, and anyone talking about their ex’s antics is referring to the inevitable wacky nature of the divorce beast. I just about guarantee you that your divorcing pal is also guilty of some ex offences, and they can’t entirely help themselves!

The message here is that if you’re divorced, we all already know that your ex is (or has been) crazy- at least to you. In all other ways, there’s no need to call out to a magic mirror to ask “who is the craziest ex of all?”

Having a crazy ex goes with the territory and doesn’t necessarily make you special. It’s not a competition. For those out there who actually have exes who make life a living hell even years later, you have my pity.

I will vow to dump the “crazy” qualifier from my ex when referring to him. We are now past the most tumultuous stages of our split, so he really is my children’s father. Period.

This post originally appeared on DivorcedMoms