My Ex’s New Girlfriend… My New Boyfriend’s Ex

A bunch of years ago, I was snooping around on the web to learn about my ex’s new girlfriend.  I found some pictures of her and she looked kinda like me.  I also discovered that she was an animal lover and she liked homemade soap.  Just like me! I thought it was funny… as if he was trying to replace me with a duplicate.  But that wasn’t correct.

Fast forward several moons later and I was again poking around the internet (ok, i’m not proud of this, but I know i’m not the only one).  This time I was curious to dig up information about my current partner’s ex (because i’d heard so many awful things about her).  Once again, I discovered someone with my hair length and eye color.  She and I also shared many favorite books and movies.  WTF?  That rotten [fill-in-the-blank] can’t possibly have enough sense to understand the [complexity/beauty/horror/etc] of [fill-in-the-blank-book-or-movie]!!  She was, like, a total [insulting noun].  I mean, she [list of horrible things she did]!  How could I possibly have anything in common with HER?!?!

How could this be?  And then I realized…  There was a reason [Said Man] had chosen each of us.  The books, the movies, the animals, the soaps, the preferred style of vehicle… those are indicative of the personality traits we share.  And of course we have a lot of personality traits in common… we managed to attract the same guy, right?

I must say, every guy I’ve ever dated has had superb taste in women (why else would have dated me?).  So… then, it’s not so crazy.  (A little hard to swallow, perhaps- but it makes sense.)  My successor wasn’t a duplicate and my predecessor wasn’t [whatever-evil-thing-i-thought-her-to-be].  And I’m not [whatever-his-ex-thinks] nor am I [whatever-his-new-partner-thinks].  It’s human nature take comfort in these blanket judgments:  good, bad, just-like-me or nothing-like-me.  But it’s wrong. In fact, we are different sides of the same coin.  She is me.  I am her.

good… bad… similar… opposite… we all just are.  It’s that simple.  (it’s also that complicated.)


And slowly, as the people met people different from themselves, they began to see…. themselves.” -Douglas Wood, Old Turtle and the Broken Truth

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  1. My (soon-to-be-ex) wife has started reconnecting with old friends on Facebook… including old boyfriends. She recently remarked how it turns out at least four of her previous boyfriends (out of the four she has reconnected with so far) have come out of the closet. (“Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”)

    The main symptom in our marriage that is leading us to divorce is a lack of intimacy. Let me rephrase that. It’s because there’s neither sex nor affection in our marriage whatsoever. But it’s not for lack of interest on my part. Which leads to the question….

    What the hell did she see in me that she saw in them, because I sure as hell do not share that in common with them!

    (Sorry. I do appreciate and agree with the point of your post, but that is nonetheless the most obvious response that came to my mind.)

  2. Great post! I am such a believer that our relationships, our partners in them…hell, our entire lives…mirror ourselves to us. And, your insight says just that to me. Thanks for sharing, and thanks for listening to the show last night!

  3. At least you’re honest enough to admit checking out ex’s new partners. Just curious … did it help you see your own personality traits better or discover ones you hadn’t recognized before?

    • A little bit… once I realized ‘she is me’ and began viewing her as a human being rather than [fill-in-the-blank], I was able to look at both of us from a more objective perspective. I realized some of my own faults through the process- as well as her strengths.

  4. Ah, you’re braver than me. I know my ex-husband’s new girlfriend’s name (that’s quite a mouthful!) but I don’t dare find out anything about her. I already know enough – she’s younger, prettier, and thinner than me (having seen one pic by accident), and have heard how great she is from my children – to know that comparisons ARE odious. I don’t need to see in the flesh, quite why someone would leave me…

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