Facebook, His “Ex” and Boundaries

Facebook is a many splendoured thing.

I always knew this to be true! With my hand held high, I admit I spend far too much time on there. I have a legitimate reason – sort of – keeping in touch with my family, who are dotted about further South. Facebook has also helped my long distance relationship along for two and a half years. A healthy, loving situation of the kind I’d never experienced before. It couldn’t survive without keeping positive, mutual trust and a shared love of silly humour! We chat most mornings on Messenger before he leaves for work, then each evening on the phone. Communication is key…Especially when you live 168 miles apart!

I also spend an unhealthy amount of time on “The Book” looking at cats, pin up girls, videos of daft people pissing about and other manifold delights. Time where I could be writing, drawing, painting, restoring my vintage dining chairs, working on dance routines, reading, trainspotting, collecting stamps…!

I Facebook. Therefore, I Am!

I’m Facebooking in between typing this…Talking about cats with a friend from my hometown.

Did I mention that I like cats?

A recent guilty pleasure has been looking back on old memories. Some make me laugh, others trigger nostalgia and a little sadness for times past. A few make me wonder what the hell I was thinking…But the less said about those the better!

Doing just this on Monday, I came across a lovely photo I’d taken of The Mister on Valentine’s Day 2015. We’d gone on an Excellent Adventure (We like those! We have had many in our time together and long may they continue…) down to Ramsgate on the South Coast of England. We’d been for a long walk around the harbour, along the beach and around the deserted Ferry Port. We both remarked that it looked like something out of a Zombie movie…Just as if everyone working there, waiting for ferries, travelling through had taken fright and abandoned the place. Through the windows of the terminus, you could see there was still cutlery and trays on the counter. Vases with plastic flowers dusty on the tables. It was giggly fun, running about and freaking each other out. It started to rain and we took shelter in a nearby pub (Well, it would have been rude not to!) That’s when I took the picture. He looked cute, really boyish. A week shy of his 30th. Short hair, clean shaven and bloody handsome! So I shared the memory, with the caption

“Handsome Bugger, in’t He?”

I’m happy and proud to be dating an attractive man. I’m not shallow – he has many other wonderful qualities – but admit that I love how he looks. My female friends and his (Plus a few male ones!) began to agree and it made me smile. The Mister even commented saying

“Cheers Taffer!”

(One of many nicknames he has applied to me over the years…Really the only one that stuck. Earned on account of my being from South Wales. Not to mention my Valleys accent re-emerging after a few too many G&Ts!!)

It was heartfelt, posted in fun but made us feel good. Then I noticed a friend of his post something a little odd. A MARRIED friend of his, thousands of miles away in the USA.

“He really is. Love my XXXX. Miss him too”

I was rather perturbed but slept on it. I’d noticed her post on his page now and then. She often commented on photos I posted of him. I ended up adding her to my page as we were beginning to chat in photo comments. She often referred to him as “her” this and that.  Since they only met a few times, it struck me as oddly proprietory. They shared a post-adolescent Holiday Romance in 2008 and stayed in touch. In 2008, I had never even heard of The Mister. I had a different Mister, and we’ll leave it at that. The future is unwritten, the past best left where it is. Little good ever comes of stirring it up. So I assumed she had a strange way with words and left it at that. I raised an eyebrow at her tone once, when she posted on his wall. She’d demanded in a brattish way that he travelled over to the States for her wedding, which had been brought forward at short notice. (Why was it so imperative he be there anyway? What was he, the groom?!) I suggested he got in touch and gently ask her to back off. Evidently that never happened, given her declaration of love for him on my recent post. The next morning, I revisited her comment and constructed a reply. Publicly. You know, just like her romantic little musing.

“‘Your’ XXX? Lol bless you. Find him attractive by all means. I’ve been in a relationship with him for two and a half years, we have been in love for just over two. I don’t presume to call him “mine” because I don’t believe you can “own” anyone. I would certainly be uncomfortable if anyone claimed I was theirs. I’d respectfully suggest you stick to “Your <HUSBAND’S NAME>” dearie!”

Hoping that was the end of it, I returned to find the thick skinned attention fan had replied once again

“Hehe. I know. I can still call him my brit. (Stupid sticky out tongue emoction) I haven’t seen him in about 2.5 years.”

Oh Really? 

As my mood turned snarky, I politely responded

“I don’t like it. I find it disrespectful to our relationship and I would like it to stop. It isn’t the first time I’ve spotted it and think it’s irritating.”

Then the following to provide a rough guide to those ignorant of how the UK fits together. (E.G Anyone who thinks Brit is an accurate term for Englishman) Call it my public service duty to those who place themselves at the centre of the universe!

“By the way, Brit is incorrect. As far as I’m aware, nobody from the UK would refer to themselves as ‘A Brit’

XXXX is English as he was born in England. I am Welsh as born in Wales. Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland are constituent countries of the UK. Not many ppl use Great Britain these days, probably too many dodgy Empirical connotations!”

Clearly oblivious to what I was saying, she replied with

“He has never complained to me about it. Its been my nickname for him for 8 years now.”

(Implying an intimacy which I later found out didn’t actually exist. And that it transcended the fact “Her Brit” has been in a monogamous relationship with myself for 2.5 of those years. What can I say? Girl clearly has problems understanding the way the world works!)

My final reply went thus

“Leave it now please. It isn’t up for discussion and to be honest, you are making yourself look rather silly. I never felt the need to bring it up with him before as I thought it was harmless. Now it’s starting to look as if you are desperate to cling on to a teenage fumble. Really hope you put as much effort into your marriage as you do into mooning after men from the past. XXXX will speak to you in due course. Now do yourself a favour and drop it. I won’t be responding any further.”

Then I simply employed the services of unfriend and block. They come in useful at times!

My partner and I discussed the whole unfortunate episode at length. The conversation was heated, emotional and at times descended into good old fashioned barney territory. I requested he message her and tell her it wasn’t appropriate to refer to him in the way she did. And in fact, ask what the hell she was playing at. Both his message and her responses were sent to me. Her terribly articulate reply claimed her husband doesn’t mind because my partner is in another country. It went on to say that it had taken me two years to get upset about it, my opinion didn’t matter (Referring to me as “her” when she knows my name well. Subtle, dear!) She also sounded rather butt hurt that it had taken “this” to get him to talk to her. Kind of blows a hole right through the “Best of Friends” effect she was going for.

Finally, I’ll just mention the time she posted a GIF of a woman taking her top off and bouncing her boobies. Tagged amongst other “Boob Lovers” were The Mister and I. She and her husband went on to have a classy comment conversation below it. They were comparing her apparently ample assets to those of her friend’s . Naturally, said “friend’s” charms came off worst. Way To Go, Darling Girl: Internalised Misogyny, shameless seeking of validation and a nifty way to wheedle folk into thinking about your mammaries! All in one place, from a very public platform. A glittering career in advertising would no doubt be waiting. Unfortunately for that industry, her head is rammed so far up her derriere she lives in permanent darkness. Nevermind though. Any kind of attention is evidently better than none! I mentioned it to a friend as found it highly amusing, in a rather trashy and awkward way. Safe to say, I was laughing at them rather than with! My settings mean I have to approve tags before they appear on my page, which I declined to do. My Mum keeps an eye on me via my page and was sure she wouldn’t want a pair of tits staring her in the face (Both visually on the GIF and figuratively in the comments!) So I directed him to The Mister’s instead, not wanting him to miss out on a laugh at the horny hillbillies! The post had mysteriously vanished and I couldn’t access her profile. Some puritanical soul clearly took offence and reported the post…Almost as funny as the incident itself! The sight of female nipples will be the undoing of decent society. We’ll all turn into sex-crazed lunatics!!

White Traash

The upshot to all this is simple. I’ve requested The Mister cut the silly little cow out of his life or I’m walking away. Shit stirring Not-Quite Ex is never a good look for anyone. Not that I’m concerned with how she presents herself, I’d just rather not waste my time reading it. I’ve asked him to stop trivialising my feelings for fear of upsetting others. People pleasing doesn’t work!! It shatters self-esteem and ruins relationships. Concentrate on yourselves and those close to you. There is no need to consider those who shouldn’t matter, leave them to their own lives.

Even though yesterday felt like one of the worst of the year, I woke this morning feeling like the strong woman I am. Every day is a new beginning if you treat it as such. Enjoy it, make time for yourself and look after the relationships that matter.

Oh, and careful how you Facebook. It’s a bloody minefield!!