17 Jun
My Boyfriend 1.0 is Getting Married. Why am I Upset?

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

I recently found out that my very first boyfriend is getting married again, and I cannot quit obsessing over it.

We dated when I was very young – my senior year of high school and freshman year in college. I was sure at the time he was “the one” for me. As it turns out, he wasn’t, and we went our separate ways.

After college, I moved home and we started seeing each other again. Naively, I believed we were on the way to getting back together. It took me seeing him out one night with another girl to realize that I was only a booty call to him, not a serious relationship prospect. The last time I spoke with him was over 20 years ago, when he called to invite me to come over for the evening. I was dating a new guy, who would eventually become my husband, so I turned him down.

He has had a string of failed relationships – at least two divorces that I know of. I, on the other hand, have been married, more or less happily, for nearly 20 years.

The fact of the matter is, it was never going to work with this guy. We came from two different worlds socioeconomically, and we live in different worlds now. Think Lexus Soccer Mom and Tattooed Harley Man. I am in middle management with a 6-figure salary, he has held the same blue collar job since the 1980s. We wanted different things from life. We had little in common 25 years ago beyond teenage hormones and unlimited time together, and we don’t have a thing in common now besides two years of history.

So tell me, if you can, why I even give a damn about this? It wasn’t meant to be 25 years ago, I’ve been happy for 20 years without him, and I cannot understand what is driving me to be so interested in him now after all this time.

Do I need therapy? Is my marriage a sham? Is this standard 40-something behavior for a woman to look back and wonder what might have been? Is it okay that I think his new wife looks like a hooker, and not the pretty kind?

I can’t imagine discussing this with my husband, although I’ve thought about it. Honestly, there isn’t anything I’m missing at home. My husband loves me, respects me, takes great care of me and our kids. We don’t argue much, and while our life isn’t the most exciting, we have a happy home and activities we enjoy. It would kill him to know I’m even thinking of the other guy, much less obsessing over him.

I really would like someone to tell me what I need to do to shut the book on that chapter of my life. Can anyone help?

Signed,

Make Me Stop
___________________________________________________________________________________

Dear Make Me Stop,

Let me type something that may put this whole thing in perspective. I do not know of one woman in this universe who upon hearing that her ex-boyfriend of whatever vintage is getting married, doesn’t stop whatever she is doing, Google the hell out of everything related to the ex, his new wife, their alma maters, pets and astrological signs.

We, I mean, “they” do this because we are human. We do this because we are sentimental. We do this because sometimes it feels good to remember what we were like at 19. So while I think that your interest is absolutely normal, I am concerned that you are “obsessing” over this situation. You need to be honest with yourself- what do you think is going on? While you described your life now as pretty dreamy, I wonder if you feel that you’re missing some excitement of the Harley variety. You made it clear that you are from different socio-economic worlds and yet I’ve heard tell that people can be attracted and fall in love across income tax brackets. So while you recognize that you and the Ex have different life goals and plans, it does not mean that you did not find him crazy attractive in other ways. I believe the psychological terms for this Madonna-whore phenomenon for women is Joseph-Harley.

It would not hurt to have a few sessions with someone to talk this through. It may be just that you need to acknowledge the teenage attraction and to confirm that it did not feel good to be the booty call and not be treated seriously. And no, I do not think it is a good idea to discuss this with your husband at this point. It would be hurtful to use him as a sounding board and he may not have the tools to help you process what you are going through. And a therapist can help you focus on what is happening now in your own life that is making his apparently third marriage of so much interest to you. (I am assuming from your letter that you did not obsess about the first two.) Are your kids getting ready to leave home? Are they dating themselves?

I hope you get the answers you need soon.

Good luck,

Marinka, TMH

5 Responses to “My Boyfriend 1.0 is Getting Married. Why am I Upset?”

06.17.13#1

Comment by Kelcey.

I think we all at times obsess over the road not traveled. And marriage life can seem a little dull at moments when compared to the excitement of the Harley man. These feelings will subside. A few sessions with a therapist could help. I wouldn’t burden your husband with this.

06.17.13#2

Comment by BigMommaD.

While therapy may help to provide some insight into your own feelings, I can assure you that you are not alone.
In university, I had a major crush on a beautiful, intelligent young man who seemed interested in me, but, for reasons unknown, he just did not follow through. I believed that because he was from a socially prominent and wealthy family, I was “just not good enough”. It hurt my pride more than I ever suspected. Flash forward 30 years. I recently googled his name because he always seemed destined for greatness. I was glad to discover he was following his passion in life. I also discovered he was living with his gay partner! I literally danced for joy and even called my daughter to say how happy and relieved I was! It’s not about your feelings for Harley Man – it’s about the way he made/makes you feel about yourself. You were too good for him, and he wasn’t smart enough to see that. Or he might have realized he would never be good enough for you and took the easy way out. Either way – let it go. If history reapeats itself, which we know it does, his next marriage won’t last either.

06.17.13#3

Comment by Nicki.

I could have written this letter. I have two ex-boyfriends – one from high school and one from college – that I still google occasionally and wonder about even though I am VERY happily married with 3 kids, excellent income, amazing sex life, husband who is tall dark handsome kind funny intelligent supportive high-income-bracket, etc. etc.

I realized after a few years of being a mom that it wasn’t the guys I missed – it was the person I was when I was with them. I missed the younger, thinner, irresponsible, carefree young woman I was when I was dating those boys – and looking them up and thinking about THEM allowed me to reconnect with that piece of me. And once I made that connection, I was able to let the past, and the guys, go. It also helped me let go of the guilt I had over looking them up when I “had it all” already.

If the college boy would stop making hilarious geeky fan-vids for Star Trek and other sci-fi shows, I would probably stop altogether, but laughing my way through those is just too much fun. Last I checked, high school boy was working at a prison and living in the town where he grew up, tattoos all over and a vegan. I’d say I dodged two bullets, wouldn’t you?

07.02.13#4

Comment by Sus.

Don’t beat yourself up- you are normal. Yes, time moves on and so do we but regardless, if you cared about this man at one time, (meaning you connected on some level) most likely you still care about him. We are not machines. Nothing is missing with your husband. You have had a happy marriage for 20 years because it works, pure and simple. You’ve made each other happy for 20 and there’s no reason you won’t be happy for another 20. Think Nicki above hit it spot on as well. We make choices, and they all yield consequences, some good, some bad. You opted out of a booty call years ago, probably because you saw your husband for what he is- a good guy who knows to make a relationship work takes a lot of things and he’s obviously been up to the task. So, wish your ex well, and hug your hubby and be glad you have now and had a full fun life.

05.13.14#5

Comment by thynaya williams.

My name is thynaya, i have fall in love with a man called williams, we have been i love for so many years now, i have not experience heart broken from him he love me more than any other thing on earth, until my boyfriend travel to see his mother, when he comes back he have not been the same that he is, he was change totally but i can’t live without him,even if i went to greet him in his house he will send me away, i keep crying every day, i try so many spell caster but know one could help me out, until i heard of Dr okpodu i said okay let me try him and i really i contacted Dr opkodu, can you believe it my ex lover who said that we will never be together again that came to my house and started begging me for forgiveness i have no choice than to forgive him cause i love him so much, please you need to contact this man he can as well help you he is like an angel sent from heaven to save people’s life, his email is: dr.okpoduspellhome@gmail.com. try and contact him now thanks.

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