WTF? OR Why my exes still call

Army of OneWhen the CrackBerry rings, there is always the chance the person at the other end is someone who I dated at one point or the other. I am told this is odd. In the age of cataclysmic breakups, I am an army of one. I am, however, on a mission to convert as many people as I can.

If you asked my exes from when I was younger, they may well have told you I was the meanest woman to ever draw breath. It is where I got the nickname “Satan’s ex-wife”. It was always amusing to wonder if it was because I was too demonic for hell or if Beelzebub himself could not handle me. Save two, they are all in the ground and not around to answer the question for me, so only those in the last couple decades are on the table for discussion.

What I learned from those bygone relationships was simple: The world does not have to come to an end when a relationship is over.

A. I do not have to hate my ex.

B. I do not have to recycle all of our friends or make them choose sides.

C. The good times are not erased.

D. Just because we are no longer compatible does not mean my ex is a worthless person.

At some point, I found something redeeming in them or I would not have gotten into a relationship with them in the first place. It would be disingenuous of me to claim otherwise. Let’s all be adult and honest.

My, his and our friends are not chattel. I found a good mix of friends who were traded from one team to the other, dropped altogether by both sides or fiercely loyal to both. Whichever, it was the friend’s choice to make. It was never my place to demand. Friends find this refreshing and novel.

All those times he made me smile were just as concretely in the past as they were when he was still making me smile. Nothing I can do will ever change that. It would be dishonest to claim those times did not happen. He still gets credit for every time.

The last one may sound a lot like the first one, yet it is far deeper. Let’s dig.


1  a :  lacking worth :  valueless <worthless currency>
    b :  useless <worthless to continue searching>
2 :  contemptibledespicable <a worthless criminal>

1A My ex has worth. He taught me something about him, thereby about the world, and about myself. After my exit, he will do/has done the same for someone else; ergo, he has value.

1B My ex is a friend, to me and to others. No friend is useless.

2 Mordancy is contemptible and despicable. While I may believe some of the acts of my exes were contemptible and despicable, I believe they, as humans, were not.

Flash Forward

After a relationship is over, I have to live with what I have done. If I know the relationship is not viable, it is unfair to pretend it is while seeking one which is.

One would believe with the verbosity I have in print I have a lot to say at the ends of relationships. It would be a false belief. I am minimalist in my commentary beyond, “It is over.” I have been known to move without forwarding address. I am not much on the long goodbye.

The quick break serves a purpose. The lack of battle to hold onto feelings long burnt out or dowsed means the fire is ready to be lit again, for those who need a rebound to feel whole. From my perspective, it causes less hurt to only have to rehash it with the new interest rather than with me and then the new interest.


The part which makes all of this possible is the kindling with which I start fires.

If you know anything about fire, you know it cannot burn without a fuel source, which means fires do not burn forever. I come into relationships under the auspices:

Good While It Lasts

Burning HeartIt means there is no pressure to continue fanning the flame and feeding the fire for a forever which is not feasible. Really good relationships get off track with the added pressure of forever. Living in the moment and savoring right.this.very.second means when you least expect it the self-refilling fuel source settles under the flame. Only when you let go of all the worries of forever can you really experience what love seeping from every pore, love filling your lungs, love churning the butterflies in your stomach, love shaking your knees really is.

When you stop forcing it, it happens. I know. I am one of the lucky ones who has had it more than once. And when my day is truly terrible, I can pick up the telephone and call someone who loves me to this day.

Red Signature

Can you see a way to make this kind of breakup work with friendships? Are you uncomfortable being friends with someone with whom you were once intimate? If so, why?

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  1. Grant Helms

     /  July 6, 2014

    I find it an honor to be the first to comment on this post. Until recently, as many know, Red and I were involved with each other. It was a work of art. And as she said, I came into it with the understanding that we would enjoy as long as it lasted. And though we have parted ways now, I still carry that enjoyment in my heart. She is a wonderful woman who has a true understanding of the word love in her heart. Many don’t take the time to get to know her or understand what she is trying to say. To them I say “It’s your loss”. Thank you Red for everything you have taught me or expanded my understanding of. I will always love and desire you. Call me anytime.

  2. Both my wife and I are still friends with several of our exes. And in one case she is probably now better friends with one of mine than I am.

    • Sometimes, I find we are better friends when it all shakes out because we should not have cluttered our relationship with other matters.

  3. It’s weird to be friend’s with your exes?

    love you
    Lizzie recently posted..Single Mom’s (ok Dad’s too) Summer Survival Guide – Pt 3; Sometimes you just have to wing itMy Profile

  4. I have tried to remain at least on speaking terms with ex’s, usually hasn’t been possible. Don’t know why, other than I have never been willing to remain sexually engaged after the end of a relationship.

    With two exceptions, I have disliked my ex’s. I haven’t been angry at the end of a relationship and haven’t held any real animosity. Unfortunately, for some reason, those I married thought I owed more than my friendship and good wishes.

    Oh well, in my opinion their loss.

    • Truly, it is their loss. The friendship which remains after the sheets cool is often better than the one which was when they were hot, at least from all I have have witnessed. Those who think the sex should continue miss the point entirely. Absolutely, entirely. *rolls eyes* xxx

  5. It is a lovely thought to be friends after a break-up or divorce but in my experience the plug is pulled and everything is lost down the plughole, which is a shame I think. I would much prefer to remain friends afterwards, but unfortunately it doesn’t always work that way.

    This is a very good posting with lots of truisms…

    Andro xxxx

    • My experience has shown relationships begun differently have friendship too large for the plughole. Occasionally, it takes some time to realize, what with the ego bruising some take with every end, but it dries off and sprouts new leaves. xxx

  6. Without the pressure of “forever” things are easier, and the flame burns longer. When it is over there are no room for hostilities because the good times are easier to remember. Sometimes forever doesn’t look like you thought it would but it’s beautiful just the same.


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