Jealousy and the Pesky Ex-Wife

I have been accused of not being jealous enough.

Yes, I know, hard to fathom the unbearable torment and unimaginable suffering of these men who never got to hear “Do you like her?” or “Do you think she’s pretty?” in a borderline hysterical, tight, strained voice. I’m such a cruel bitch.

My ex-husband used to bemoan my lack of jealousy, and he recounted endless tales of his ex-girlfriend, pushing the stories of her manic, militant need to know his every move and monitor his every eye flicker as if holding this behavior up as a standard to model and mold myself to.

My attitude about relationships, though, is that it requires a certain amount of work from me in order to be in them, so there must be enough positive returns to make it worth me hanging around. I don’t mind being single. So if a man informs me by words or by actions that he isn’t quite certain he wishes to be with me, then I would rather walk away and enjoy my “me” time instead of tormenting myself wondering if he likes me, does he like someone else, is he going to leave me, blah blah blah. I’ll simply exit stage right and take my pride with me.

Despite common male complaints about jealous women, I daresay many men don’t appear comfortable with a lack of jealousy either. “You’re too independent.” “Don’t you ever get jealous?” And even several attempts to deliberately try to arouse my jealousy, that simply annoyed me.

Little surprise, then, that the woman my ex-husband married after our divorce was the Queen of Jealousy. Maybe some people equate your attachment to, and your investment in, a relationship by how jealous you get. It is twisted logic, but many appear to subscribe to it.

In my starring role as The Evil Ex-Wife, I had very little intentional contact with Mr. Ex, but this didn’t curtain the Queen’s accusations and attacks. She just knew I was out to steal her man back, to entangle him in my lecherous clutches, and the fact that I breathed and had discernable brain waves was proof enough to her of my vile, cunning, harlot nature and the need to stop me in my man-hunting tracks.

Mr. Ex put forth some token protests and complaints, but it was clear he enjoyed her antics and her clinginess. It was bizarre to watch and realize that this is what he had wanted from me, something I was not equipped to give him (thank god). I watched the hysterical jealousy act and felt sorry for her, sorry for her lack of self-esteem and sense of worth, sorry for her willingness to bite the bait he dangled for her by calling me or mentioning me. Sorry that this masquerade of a partnership passed for love to some.

Do I have a point to this fascinating trip down Memory Lane? Why, yes, as a matter of fact, I do. In remembering the depths of Queen’s behavior, I wonder how much of the nasty, vicious behavior post-divorce is rooted in jealousy: between the exes, between the ex-wife and the stepmom, between the parents and even the kids. “I’m jealous” is about as likely to trip off someone’s tongue as “I was wrong”, but maybe it should, more frequently, at least to themselves. Masking emotions and labelling them something else, something easier to deal with, lets the wounds dive deeper and the poison spread faster.

*Photo courtesy of Petroville*

About TheSmirkingCat

I am endlessly trying to make sense of a world that has completely and unapologetically lost its mind.
This entry was posted in divorce, ex-wife, jealousy, men, relationships. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Jealousy and the Pesky Ex-Wife

  1. Mean Stepmom says:

    I have often heard that the best revenge is to be happy without the ex. Maybe there is some truth to that.

  2. Smirking Cat says:

    Revenge aside, it’s the healthiest way to go.

  3. Heather says:

    Several of my girlfriends and I have our own theory of jealousy — we’ve noticed that the most jealous people are often cheating on their partner. I don’t have any idea why these two things go hand in hand, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

  4. I’m jealous = You’re so important that I will throw caution to the wind and become a screaming harpie to keep your attention.No wonder (some) men love this. It makes them feel important

  5. dragonmctt says:

    Unfortunately, I think DH and I moving on with our lives is what keeps BM so fueled on harassing us. Part of me thinks if we were destitute and miserable, she would feel some sort of vindication and leave us alone. She left DH and I think she was waiting for him to fall apart without her, and when he didn’t and actually become more successful and happy than he had ever been with her, she felt it was her right to inflict difficult situations on him. Jealousy works in funny ways! BM’s desire to have DH jealous of her backfired, and now she is consumed by it. Go figure!

  6. Jennifer says:

    I'm currently going through something very similar. I finally kicked my husband out of our house and filed for divorce. His drinking was ridiculous and I had enough. He got on the romance/sex rebound five seconds later and that woman is paranoid as can be. She starts rumors about me, threatens him, devotes blog entries to me – and we've never even met. On the day our divorce was finalized, he gave me a ride home in her car (he lied & said it was another friend's…he has issues with telling the truth…so glad I got rid of him), and he came home to her with stories about his beautiful, accomplished ex-wife and how sad he was, how he had hoped we would reconciled, b.s., etc. Obviously someone who loves you and cares about you doesn't extol the virtues of their ex to you, especially if they know you're nutso insecure and jealousy anyway, and it's been downhill ever since. She's become obsessed.My ex and I don't have kids & I got everything in the divorce, and she wss furious that my demands were met in court, too. I didn't understand why she would care, but I have a theory – so many people get off on being naughty, being in a relationship that is questionable…like dating a man who is legally married…I mean, that's grody, and the thought of being a rebound in-between doesn't appeal to anyone I know, but whatevs. Once that thrill is gone, something else has to be stirred up, so let's create drama over jealousy with the ex-wife. Anyway, he's really embarrassed because it all gets back to me, and she's torn in knots because he's painted me to be this amazing creature from heaven (I'm pretty great, but come on). Also, I'm a former beauty queen, accomplished in my chosen career and field of study, and a Ph.D. candidate at a top university, and he throws this up to her all the time. I also come from an 'old family' and am no stranger to the D.A.R. and Junior League, and my ex-husband the big snob can't stop throwing all that in the face of his physically unattractive, working class girlfriend. Also, he does things to her like not claiming her as his girlfriend, not taking her to formal events as his date, and uh…he keeps pictures of me and mementos of our life together all over his house. It's kind of mean, really. I wonder why she stays with him.I think jealousy can't happen without instigation and warrant. I'm not ever jealous, either, so I don't know. But in my case…my ex is obviously trying to make her jealous, you know? And it's working. It would be funny if it weren't so sad.

  7. Anonymous says:

    The wife in law talks about other people and criticizes, complains and condemns to the utmost. Does she think I am so dumb as to think she doesn't talk about me? She is a liar, fraud, perjurer, manipulator, and thinks the world revolves around her. She is older than I and is as wrinkled as a prune but thinks she's 30 or 40. She has consistently, over the several years plus my husband and I have been married, attempted to want to be “friends” but I have been civil and kept my distance. She has rudely commented on my beliefs, and I swear that woman is jealous of our life together. She is with her significant other and was married to him but divorced, married him again and divorced again. Now they just live together and she collects SS under my husband's number – don't know how she did it except through lying about her status. I've kept out of these things which are totally dysfunctional and find her utterly arrogant, annoying and do not care about being around her at all. Must though because grandchildren (graduation, marriage, etc.). My husband advises just to ignore her which I have but she just keeps on with her phoney attitude; as phoney as the color of her hair. Thanks for letting me vent.

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