Sara and I were soaking in the views from the West Point Inn on Sunday, when we heard a woman’s laugh, a loud woman’s laugh. Suddenly, Sara froze.
“What’s up?” I asked.
“I know that voice.”
“It’s Heidi, Jeff’s ex-wife,” she said turning toward the laugher to confirm what she already knew.
“Oh, I remember Jeff. You really liked him.”
“I more than liked him; I was in love with him. ”
“I can’t remember; why did you break up? He was so nice and cute.”
“He was nice and cute, and fantastic in bed, too. But, I couldn’t imagine having any sort of happy life with him if it included her. It’s her fault we’re not together.”
“Really. She made my life hell.”
I understand what Sara’s saying; some ex-wives can make life pretty insane for the new girlfriend (although I imagine some new girlfriends can wreak as much havoc). But, can you really blame a psycho ex for destroying a love affair? Sure, maybe she’s manipulative, passive-aggressive, irrational, controlling, bitter, confrontational — feel free to add your own adjectives if you have experience. If they have kids together, you’ll forever be an odd chess game — him and you and her, with the kids as pawns. It’s a situation custom-made for a Lifetime TV drama. But could Sara have made it work if she were a “better” woman? Could Sara have sucked it up a little more?
If the man you love comes with a horrible ex-wife, isn’t he worth that extra pain?
Honestly, I have no idea, mostly because I’ve never dated a man whose former wife made my live hell. I’ve dated men whose former wives were pieces of work, that’s for sure, who made his life stressful, which of course impacted us.
Maybe I haven’t been drawn into that kind of relationship drama because I didn’t move in with any of those guys or — God forbid! — marry them; we’ve all heard of nightmare stepmom experiences. Becoming the new Missus is a lot more threatening than being “just” a girlfriend.
And the poor guys, they have to manage it all — put the new relationship first (along with his kids, obviously) while trying to keep it civil with his ex, no matter how “psycho” she may be.
It works both ways, of course. One girlfriend has had to have a restraining order against her ex — he’s stalked her and even broken into her home. She’s a total hottie and sweet as can be, but barely dates — and I can understand why. If I were a guy would I want to walk into that mess? Hmmm …
Am I happy I’ve never had to have my love tested that way? You bet! Still, I’m not sure I would say a crazy ex-wife is a deal-breaker.
What about you?
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