Online he had listed himself as single, but he was actually newly divorced. I mean, technically, he wasn’t even divorced (he’d left that part out, though). The official divorce papers arrived in the mail a couple of months after we started dating. Along with his ex’s STD test results. And her trust fund stock performance updates. And her shopping catalogues.
Years later, we were living with my parents for a stint, after we let go of our apartment in the city and before we purchased a house — during the first few months of my firstborn’s life and my descent into postpartum despair, but I digress. We were still getting some of her mail at our new address — my parent’s address. We moved out (thankfully) and, eventually, so did my parents. To this day, in their new home, they occasionally get mail addressed to their son-in-law’s ex-wife.
Everything you need to know about our new divorce podcast, The Split. Post continues.
In the beginning, she was like an infuriating spectre I had to deal with.
She’d f*cked up my dude with a fervour, and I was trying to help him mend without erupting into a jealous fit at every story of an amazing trip or hike or three-month adventure around the world they took together. You could say it was a challenge. I knew what I had — the exact partner I had envisioned — but I also had an ego. And playing second fiddle to some blowjob-loving, cheating enigma was not what I had in mind. (Speaking of, who was this woman that offered up daily blowjobs? Just, No. That was one competition I was willing to concede.)
He was into me. He was really into me. I knew that. And, pretty quickly, I knew that we would get married, have children, a minivan, and a cat. But in moments of intense jealousy, none of that mattered. I simply wanted to be first: the first person with which he had imagined the rest of his life. I felt I deserved that, yet, it could never be. And simultaneously, her very existence — this cool, world-traveling, manipulative ex-wife — made me want him even more. Because he had already belonged to someone else, I was that much more determined to make him mine.
At first, she’d wanted to stay friends with him. I put a kibosh on that. She called him occasionally, to complain about one thing or another.
I was petty. “Why does your mum still have pictures of your wedding on Facebook?” I’d ask.We made his poor mum delete said pics: “Click on photos…no, photos…under your profile, see it?”