When you find out your ex was a bigger douchebag than you thought

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What’s the phrase?

Hindsight is a wonderful thing?

Yeah, well, I think she can be a total bitch at times but every now and then she surprises me in the most wonderful of ways just as she should!

You see, I had an ex that, took a lot of me with him when he left and for years, I couldn’t talk about him or the situation without feeling like the most vulnerable woman in the world. Every time I thought about him or tried to speak about our very short, but intense, relationship I could feel every ounce of my body trying to recoil. My voice would quieten, my body language would invert and I would be overcome with sadness.

When he walked out of my life one day with no explanation, he took a huge piece of me with him. The piece that wondered where it all went wrong so quickly. The piece where I wanted to ask him a million questions about why he left so suddenly but wouldn’t answer my calls. The piece that wanted to understand his seemingly out of character behaviour. The piece where I lost my baby and I never found the courage to tell him.  And because I never got my answers at the time, I was stuck. I couldn’t move on because I didn’t know what had happened or why he had left.

Any time I saw him around my local town, I would feel my entire body language change. I became a mouse. I would want to see his face and yet hide. Instead of feeling angry that he had left, I felt sad that it was somehow my fault. I felt and acted like a victim. And for the next 3 years, I carried the perceived guilt of my broken relationship with me like a chain around my neck; always pulling me down.

Things didn’t get any better when I discovered that he was now dating a friend of my best friend. Seeing them in the supermarket together, I text my friend asking if Julia* was dating Dick and when she confirmed that she was, my heart sank lower. Why was he happy with her but couldn’t be with me? She was the total opposite of everything he had told me he had wanted in a woman. I compared myself wondering why I wasn’t good enough for him when I should have been asking and telling myself why HE was never good enough for ME.

A few months down the line, however, and everything changed. My friend told me that Julia had discovered that in the two years of being together with Dick, he had, not only cheated on her but that he had convinced her so badly that it was ‘all in her head’ that he made her see a psychotherapist. Bad enough I hear you say. Until you realise that Julia then sadly went on to find out that Dick was putting his dick on every sex and swing website going whilst she looked after his children. The very same children who apparently knew exactly what their father was like. Dick had not only convinced her that her thoughts of cheating were paranoia due to previously failed relationships but convinced her it was all in her head and that she was ill because of it. Imagine that. My ex, the one I cried so many tears for and spent so long feeling like I had lost a part of myself for turns out to be the one with the problem and not myself.

It’s a horrible thing to say I revel in Julia’s misery because truly I don’t but I can’t deny that her situation hasn’t helped me finally move on from him. Knowing I’m not the only one who fell for his charms allows me the comfort to realise that it wasn’t my fault. Though he may have seen ‘easy pickings’ in me, I am in no way responsble for the way he behaved.

My friend asked me if I suspected that Dick had cheated on me when we were together and if she had asked me that right after he walked out I would have said no; it never even entered my head. But now? Who knows? Maybe he did to me what he did to Julia; made me think that the broken relationship was my fault when he was simply trying to cover his own inadequacies and cheating.

I suppose the lesson you could say I should learn is that, whilst he was the one that walked away, I was the one that allowed myself to give him so much power of my feelings for so long but the heart does not follow your head and everyone needs to move on from relationships and painful situations in life in their own pace.

I lost my baby from that relationship and it was an extremely high price to pay for the years of emotional purgatory I endured but hindsight has finally shown me that he never deserved the amount of time I allowed my heart to feel for him. He sent me on an emotional rollercoaster in the short time we were together which questioned whether I was ever deserving of a true man and to think that another woman went through something similar on a much longer scale is truly saddening.

Strangely, since discovering what Dick is really like, I now FEEL (though have known it for a long time) I am better off without him. I know that he is the weak one, not me. I can hold my head high instead of lowering it because I know who he truly is. His faults are not my own.

He took a piece of my heart and I lost my baby.
But it wasn’t my fault.

*names have been changed

  • Katie Featherstone


    Thanks for your honestly. I have had the same sort of feelings (probably to a lesser extent, but I can sympathise) and it is horrible to find out that somebody who you thought you knew was actually someone else entirely. Thanks for sharing.
    Katie Featherstone recently posted…Festival Fact File: PitchMy Profile

    • Toni

      Katie – I’m so sorry that you can relate to this; it’s never easy finding out someone we love or care about or not the people we originally thought they were! I really hope that you’ve managed to stay strong x

  • Francesca


    I remember you sharing this story when we met Toni – it was emotional and raw. But it gave you the freedom to leave your hometown and see some incredible stuff and I hope you remember your amazing journeys more than Dick. Because it was him, not you. You’re a little star.

    • Toni

      Francesca – Hi girl! It was incredibly emotional and raw when we met you’re right but thankfully now I finally feel free of the hold he had over me. I do remember the amazing times I had and continue to have without him. It’s very much his loss 🙂

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