My ex-husband of 12 years has a high-profile demanding job. Five years ago his former executive assistant (male) left, and he hired a very attractive female replacement who was engaged to another man.
She and my husband spent so much time together - long hours, weekend meetings - that her fiancé broke their engagement, saying she wasn’t as committed to their relationship as she was to her job.
My ex and I debated this statement. While I support a woman’s right to be as ambitious as a man, there was something about this woman that made me uncomfortable.
I told my then-husband to watch out that he wasn’t a stepping stone in her career and in her life. He dismissed the comment as anti-feminist.
I was ashamed.
But within another year, their time together came first. He abandoned me on our rare vacation in the sun, to rush to her side when she had pneumonia and texted that she couldn’t manage without his help.
He never returned. Our divorce soon followed.
One year later, I learned that she’d gone back to university to get a degree in his field.
Just recently the gossips told me that she’ll be graduating within this year, is becoming a partner in a competing firm to my ex-husband’s, and is marrying her new boss.
My question: Does revenge on an ex who dumped you, ever feel satisfying?
I don’t want him back, there’s too much hurt to forgive. My life has since brought many new experiences and independence which I now realize I needed.
But I still resent that he walked into her snare so willingly.
Can I get closure from telling my ex that, unlike him, I was able to discern a fake feminist, and he got what he deserved?
There’s no joy in telling the man you once loved, that dumping you didn’t turn out well for him.
He knows this. Your “revenge” statement would be a stab in the back to someone who’s already bleeding.
This is a time and circumstance to do nothing other than carry on with your own life and its happy improvements.
From his poor judgment, you’ve had the opportunity to enjoy far better choices. That’s your silent satisfaction.
After my son, 29, broke up with his live-in girlfriend of four years, he couch-surfed at friends’ places, drank too much, and sometimes missed work.
He finally agreed to our suggestion he get counselling.
Since the sessions started, he’s been increasingly distant from us, claiming that we were “never there” for him because we both worked.
Actually, we spent all our non-working time with him, and travelled with him rather than send him to camp, etc.
Is the counsellor trying to blame us for his breakup? If so, how do we fight this revision of his/our history?
Harming Family Ties
Counselling requires time to unravel a person’s story. There’s the version a client feels. There’s the experience and knowledge of the therapist who works to help him/her achieve deeper understanding of past facts and interpretation of them.
Through this process, the client may be looking for fault… then, hopefully, recognizing personal factors and responsibilities too.
Try to stay connected. If willing, suggest that if he and the therapist thinks it’d be helpful, you and his father would attend a session with him.
He may refuse, but it shows your commitment to him, and also, if accepted, may shed more light on what other influences and directions to explore in his counselling.
FEEDBACK Regarding the man, 25, worried about his partner who’s depressed (Dec.6):
Reader – “You missed the mark saying that the writer should accept that his partner has “bad moods” instead of recognizing that he’s depressed, and this is a mental illness which needs treatment.
“He must see a doctor, probably needs medication and perhaps cognitive therapy. Depression can’t just be written off as a bad mood.”
Ellie - I understand your concern, because you failed to read my suggestions about where the partner could get affordable counselling.
Both the writer and I recognize that his partner is depressed but refuses to do anything about it.
The letter-writer was also seeking help for his own problem, i.e. feeling responsible for his partner, which is affecting his own mental health. Counselling would benefit him, too.
By backing off responsibility, the partner might seek help for himself. Otherwise, it’ll take a crisis to make this happen.
Tip of the day:
To paraphrase the old saying: The best revenge is feeling great!