I did. Well…sorta.
Much like an addict’s acknowledgment of her addiction, I confess to being addicted to social media to view the real-time development of my ex’s relationship with a younger version of me. My ex and I split almost two years ago. He pitched an open marriage as he headed out the door. I guess he wanted the cake-and-eat-it-too experience of me and the younger version of me.
Yes, I am one of the many older women who were ditched for a younger one. At least, that is what I say to comfort myself. I do recognize that there are other issues that led to the demise of my marriage, but that is another story. Now I am binge-watching the Netflix drama starring my ex and younger version as it plays out on social media.
This younger version is the queen of social media, and she makes it perfectly easy for me — the ditched, deranged, older ex-wife — to sit on the sidelines and gawk. I imagine that since birth, younger version has announced and described every waking moment of her life via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat (yes, she is that young), and whatever else is out there. This constant portrait of her existence includes my ex and, at times, my two young sons. It is a bizarre, torturous world when one can search and find all the intimate moments that she shares with my ex.
I am told to stop creeping. My girlfriend asks, “Does it serve you?”
No, it doesn’t.
Does it stop me from creeping my ex on social media? Mostly.
Sometimes, when my boys are with them, I rationalize that I need to know my boys are safe and loved, so I creep. My first Christmas alone I could not take my eyes off the picture of my ex in Tiffany’s, propping up a ring, champagne, and chocolate-dipped strawberries for this younger version. Did it help me with my concern about my boys? No. Were the boys in danger or suffering? No. It was only torture for me; I could not tear my eyes away. After that, I resisted the temptation to watch the relationship unfold.
I’ll be honest. That’s not true. I resisted, but sometimes I capitulated. My addiction was too strong. As the year went on, I would read younger version’s blog and Twitter feed, and view the wonderful life she led on Instagram. It did not serve me — however, I did learn that she was not a crack addict and that, in fact, she seemed like someone I would want as a friend under different circumstances. I learned that she would not abuse my children and that she will probably end up being one of the many people who care for my boys. My creeping did not serve me, but it did serve a purpose. Younger version was not a crack addict.
Recently, I have gone for a couple of months without creeping. Disappointedly, this Christmas I caved and crept again. Younger version posted a Christmas card featuring her new insta-family in an artistic black and white photo. I felt hollow, useless, and alone. My children’s happy smiles crushed me. But what did this Christmas card truly show? I climbed out of the hole of rejection and realized that younger version appears to love my sons.
Once again, I am back on the wagon. No more watching the trainwreck that leaves me hollow. I know my ex is a good father, and from younger version’s prolific posts, I know my children are safe and loved. She is not a crack addict.
In 2016, I am shooting for three months of not creeping my ex and younger version on social media.
Wish me luck!
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