Let’s Talk About Ex, Baby
When you entangle with our kind in a romantic dynamic it is very rare indeed if you do not find yourself hearing about our ex. Whether it is the ex-wife, the ex-boyfriend or the ex-partner, the subject of the ex is one which will appear with considerable frequency. Indeed, you may not even meet this person but you will feel that you know them almost as well as you know yourself, the amount of time we spend talking about them to you.
At the outset of your ensnarement, it is highly likely that we were already in a romantic relationship with somebody. You may not initially be told about them, we may reference them because we utilise their existence as a magnifying factor to increase our opportunity to draw fuel from you and to bind you to us. It might be that their existence is referred to once you are ensnared, when we instinctively realise that you will not back away or we may refer to them almost as an afterthought when we have dis -engaged from them and made you the Intimate Partner Primary Source.
Whether we tell you the truth that we are married or we keep the existence of a significant other until afterwards and then we fudge precisely when we broke up with them, it is not a matter we consider as especially relevant. What matters to us is that we will keep telling you about them.
During your golden period, be it when we have targeted and seduced you or when we have embedded you, the ex will be painted well and truly black. We will tell you how this person is a truly terrible person. The immediate ex (or he or she who is about to become the ex) is the person spoken about the most, but other exes may well make an appearance too, especially if we want to portray ourselves as a super hero for enduring them or poor done to martyr. The ex or exes will attract one (or more) of the following labels:-
- Crazy Bitch – she is wild, unpredictable and clearly cuckoo for coco pops. We tried to help, to be understanding and make them see that there was something wrong with them, but despite our best endeavours she just could not see it. She had no insight and whatever we did was thrown back in our faces;
- Controlling Ogre; – he never let us do anything. Always checking where we were, who we were with, what we had been doing, we felt like an tracking device had been placed on us and everything we wanted to do was a battle beforehand;
- Addict – whether it was drink, benzos, weed, expensive shopping habits, gambling, junk food, it did not matter, this person had a terrible addiction which of course we tried to help them with but they would not be helped;
- Jealous Lunatic – he was always accusing us of having affairs, seeing other men, flirting and being obsessed with the attention of others;
- A Narcissist – the ex was definitely one of these (we might have read about it and it sounds good or the ex actually called us one so we threw it back in their face) and this meant he or she was an awful person to us, oh the stories we could tell you about this terrible condition and indeed we will;
- Violent Abuser – he or she would attack me, I had to call the police so many times to deal with them, a passer by once had to rescue me after he started to punch me in the street, I am a big fellow so I can handle myself but it was still unpleasant to have someone you love kick you in the balls
- Obsessed – she just would not give me any space to myself and even now, even though I have told her that it is over, she will not leave me alone, I don’t mean to frighten you but she is probably stalking me at the moment, she just cannot seem to accept that it is at an end
- Criminal – he was up to all manner of criminal enterprises, stealing cars, selling drugs, burglary, it was just too much. I don’t know why he did all of this when I was earning enough money for the two of us but he just kept going and in the end it was too much when he tried to get me involved;
- Addams Family – she was just odd. Her family had to be with us all the time. We moved in with them to save rent but then when we finally got somewhere of our own, every time I got in from work some member of her extended family would be there and it was like there was always at least three of us in the relationship and well, I am sure they were just a bit too loving and close if you know what I mean.
There are plenty more of labels which I am sure you can add. The fact is however that you will find we will talk about this person with daily regularity, treating you to the latest anecdote about this person’s aberrations and anomalous behaviours. You receive a forensic examination of what this person said and did as we recall it all in such detail that you can see it all in your mind.
This harping on about the ex of course is done for several purposes:-
- Drawing sympathy from you over how we have been treated;
- Appealing to your empathic traits to soothe us, help us and love us after this awful experience;
- Appealing to your desire to outdo your previous competitor by showing you are a far better partner than that person and thus in turn we gain more benefits from your increased desire;
- Making us look like a good person to have tried to help the ex;
- Making us look like a decent person to have persevered;
- To cause you to dislike the ex so that you will respond in a hostile manner should your paths cross with them;
- To ensure the ex has no credibility if they attempt to go down the route of trying to warn you about us;
- To create a ready excuse for any poor behaviour we might exhibit should the mask slip (“I am sorry, it is clear I am traumatised after how Kate treated me.”)
- To draw fuel from you in terms of your sympathy, your anger, your hatred of what that person has apparently done to us;
- To support the smearing which we will have done as we prepared to dis-engage from that previous IPPS.
At first you will be pleased to hear about these daily bulletins briefing against your former competitor as this will serve to quash any fears you may have that we might go back to them or that we might succumb to an approach by that person to win us back. The more you hear us pour scorn on them, the happier you feel and the more secure you become. We will talk about them as we secure your allegiance to us, always reminding you of this spectre that promises to be the ghost at the feast.
Once you have been embedded then often we will then cease to talk about them because we have effectively deleted them from our mind as a consequence of the embedded golden period we are now enjoying with you. However, if there is reason for them to keep appearing in our sphere of influence (the ex keeps contacting us to understand why we dis-engaged from them, to sort out the return of property, to attend to child contact arrangements, to address matters appertaining to a divorce) then we will keep mentioning them. We will have no interest in engaging with this individual because we want to consign them to history but if they keep appearing then we will keep mentioning them for the purposes of drawing further fuel from you, by referring to the She-Devil or the Ogre.
Accordingly, the daily bulletins, smears, insults and so forth about the ex will follow this pattern:-
- Extensive mention as we start our seduction with you as the soon to be ex enters the final stages of devaluation;
- Continued mention once you are embedded if the ex appears in our sphere of influence;
- Mention effectively halts once ex stays out of way and the Embedded Golden Period commences.
Reaching point three however means you will have experienced plenty of discussion and observation about the ex as everything has been picked over in minute details. If there was a word cloud for this period of time between you and us, ‘you’ and the ‘ex’ would rival one another for primacy.
Yet this frequent mention of the ex is not yet over.
Once your devaluation as IPPS begins then the ex (or other exes) will start to be mentioned (or mentioned again) but of course all of the slurs, smears and insults will have been wiped away at this point because now the ex (or exes) will be seen in a ‘white’ light compared to your position in a ‘black’ light. Accordingly, you will be compared and contrasted to this ex on a daily basis and in the following ways as they are referred to in some or more of the following ways:-
- The Only One – she was the only one who truly understood us and how we want her back;
- The Super Sex God – he was dynamite between the sheets and you long for that excitement once again, compared to the damp squib we are now with;
- Mum of the Year – she is so good with the children, far better than you Wicked Step Mother (of course the children may well back this up either because they truly think it (hardly a revelation) or they have been manipulated to think this way by us);
- Domestic Goddess – she had this place shining and tidy, great dinners on the table and always looked great. Look at you, you are a mess, you cannot cook and this house is a tip. What have I done?
- Cash King – boy he worked hard, brought in good money and looked after me. What do you do? Nothing or you have a poorly paid job (compared to him).
- The Saint – she would never have treated me like this, you conned me into going with you and luring me away from such a wonderful woman, I hate you for it.
- Clean Living – he looks after his body, eats properly, doesn’t drink much and look at the way you go on, eating junk and smoking (you ate one burger in the last six months and smoke maybe two cigarettes a day – but it does not matter because split thinking has manifested once again)
Again, there will be many more labels for the person who once was the Devil Incarnate but is now Back On The Pedestal. To compound matters when you try to point out how we labelled them and referred to all of the ex’s awful behaviours, we will accuse you of making things up, being jealous, projecting your own behaviours and so forth which will leave hurt and utterly bewildered as to what on earth is going on.
We will talk about going back to the ex which will leave you dumbfounded when you point out that this person has done awful things (according to us). We will deny they have, euphemise their impact or refer to the fact that the ex has changed (of course this then alerts you to the fact we have been engaging with them behind your back which is often the case as we hoover them). If the ex is responding to our hoovers and is being seduced once again then of course you know what is happening to you when we speak with them don’t you? Yes, that’s right, we are giving you the labels we once gave to them as we talk about how we have been conned, how we were misled, how the new IPPS actually told us lies about you and we were taken in by them.
Never our fault. Always somebody else’s.
Triangulation is a major part of the narcissistic dynamic. It allows for two strong fuel lines, it causes parties to fight over us, it makes them work harder to keep us (or draw us away) when they perceive there is a threat. It is an excellent manipulation which delivers time and time again.
Accordingly, we love to be able to talk ex,baby.
One thought on “Let’s Talk About Ex, Baby”
Brilliantly written HG.
My partner did this. Exactly this.
After I became his partner then the ex was suddenly wonderful. The funny thing is, I am not a jealous person. So I ended up becoming friends with his ex. We started to go out together, swimming, shopping etc. It backfired big time as I never reacted the way he expected. However, I soon began to realise, that he didn’t really care. I could pretty much do whatever I wanted. It was bizarre.
However, it is because I maintain his view that he is in control by telling him exactly what I do. Even “Just going to take a shower now, is that ok?”
As long as he believes he is in control, everything is smooth sailing….