Author Topic: Do I need to reveal that I was engaged?  (Read 5515 times)

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MariaE

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Re: Do I need to reveal that I was engaged?
« Reply #75 on: Yesterday at 11:14:06 AM »
I'm glad that works for your and your DH. Personally I'd be seeing orange flags all over the place if my DH felt the same. It's obviously not a "one solution fits all" situation.
 
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Another Sarah

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Re: Do I need to reveal that I was engaged?
« Reply #76 on: Yesterday at 11:40:11 AM »
Contrast these two ways of telling the story:

1) "I love playing basketball!  I started playing in a three on three league back in the early 1990s and have moved teams in various ways since then."

2) "I love playing basketball!  My ex-wife's brother asked me to play on a three on three league with him right after my ex-wife took a new job where she was working on Tuesday nights.  This was where she met the guy she ended up cheating on me with.  So when that happened I went to a different three on three league and met Charlie, whose sister I dated after my divorce."

Both are true. One conveys a love for basketball and that he played in three on three leagues.  The other conveys a subtle "I am not over this" vibe that creates a lot of questions....none about basketball.

See to me, this is what they would sound like:
1) "story"
"So why did you move?"
"Oh well my ex wife met the guy she was cheating on me with while I was playing basketball with her brother so I swapped leagues"
Me thinking oooookay, never mention basketball again unless you want a litany of cheating stories

2) "story"
Me thinking just too much information - none of the discussion about exes is about basketball

3) "I love basketball, I used to play in three on three league 1 with ex-wife's brother but moved to league 2 where I met Charlie"
complete non-event

To me, both those examples were not about the actual story (I used to play basketball) but about leading into a story about the ex-wife, who wasn't at the basketball game so isn't relevant. On the other hand, stating the facts (it was her brother and Charlie I met) don't lead into more questions - I'm not going to ask so why did you stop playing with your ex's brother, the answer is obvious, so I don't take the conversation in the wrong direction.

Take my example:
"Oh I love diving! One time the person I was with headbutted a shark and we had to run away so that's how I got into racing"
"Who was it"
"my ex"
why didn't she say that in the first place, what is she hiding?

Or I could never tell my escaping from a shark story, or the story of how I became a racing swimmer
Or eventually someone asks how I started swimming, I reluctantly tell and we loop right back to she never said it was her ex? Why didn't she tell me? Is she not over him?

But I think this is just a different strokes for different folks situation - just different ways of looking at things.

Twik

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Re: Do I need to reveal that I was engaged?
« Reply #77 on: Yesterday at 11:49:54 AM »
Honestly, if we're going to have a society where adults don't always settle down with one person immediately, then we need to be adult about it and admit "when I'm 30 - 40 - 50 - 60, my new partner may very well have had a previous love in his/her life!" Treating a previous partner like an unmentionable disease strikes me as rather ridiculous. Yes, if you're dating someone who's old enough to vote, they are like to have an ex or two (romantic and/or matrimonial) in their past. It comes with the territory.
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TurtleDove

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Re: Do I need to reveal that I was engaged?
« Reply #78 on: Yesterday at 11:59:27 AM »
Honestly, if we're going to have a society where adults don't always settle down with one person immediately, then we need to be adult about it and admit "when I'm 30 - 40 - 50 - 60, my new partner may very well have had a previous love in his/her life!" Treating a previous partner like an unmentionable disease strikes me as rather ridiculous. Yes, if you're dating someone who's old enough to vote, they are like to have an ex or two (romantic and/or matrimonial) in their past. It comes with the territory.

I think everyone agrees with this, there is just some disagreement about what is respectful to the current relationship and what is not.  I am in regular contact with my DH's ex and he is in regular contact with my ex because we each have kids. The exes are not "an unmentionable disease."  They are a very recognized past and current part of our lives.  However, I don't feel the need to tell stories *about* my ex(es) to my DH, and vice versa, unless the story is *about* the ex(es), in which case it wouldn't be just an interesting or funny story.  I know he had fun times with exes - I did too!  We should have!  I just don't personally see telling stories *about the exes* as a value add to my current relationship, and I would find it strange if my friends or family told my DH stories *about my exes.*

jmarvellous

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Re: Do I need to reveal that I was engaged?
« Reply #79 on: Yesterday at 12:08:10 PM »
My husband and I differ on this, somewhat. He'd prefer exes were never mentioned at all, and I know next to nothing about any of his. I think ex stories are cute and funny and show where we've been and how we came to be here.

Out of respect for him, I avoid telling too many of these sorts of stories, but I don't censor myself entirely. When we're around people who knew/know my exes, these things just come up.

For instance, a few months ago, I ran into my long-ago bizarro ex in a completely unexpected and crazy way, and I told my husband in the course of telling him about my day. He'd have known something was up because I was a bit flustered by the whole encounter for the rest of the day. Said story required a bit of a back story about that relationship, but I kept details to a minimum.

I don't believe in actively avoiding mentions of your exes, but my partner obviously does. It's interesting to navigate.

Twik

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Re: Do I need to reveal that I was engaged?
« Reply #80 on: Yesterday at 12:45:05 PM »
Honestly, if we're going to have a society where adults don't always settle down with one person immediately, then we need to be adult about it and admit "when I'm 30 - 40 - 50 - 60, my new partner may very well have had a previous love in his/her life!" Treating a previous partner like an unmentionable disease strikes me as rather ridiculous. Yes, if you're dating someone who's old enough to vote, they are like to have an ex or two (romantic and/or matrimonial) in their past. It comes with the territory.

I think everyone agrees with this, there is just some disagreement about what is respectful to the current relationship and what is not.  I am in regular contact with my DH's ex and he is in regular contact with my ex because we each have kids. The exes are not "an unmentionable disease."  They are a very recognized past and current part of our lives.  However, I don't feel the need to tell stories *about* my ex(es) to my DH, and vice versa, unless the story is *about* the ex(es), in which case it wouldn't be just an interesting or funny story.  I know he had fun times with exes - I did too!  We should have!  I just don't personally see telling stories *about the exes* as a value add to my current relationship, and I would find it strange if my friends or family told my DH stories *about my exes.*

Right, but one may well have interesting stories where the ex takes a role, simply because s/he was there.

One of the funniest stories I was ever told was about a man travelling with his (later ex) wife in South America. It was pure gold as a story, and I don't think he should have had to edit out who he was with at the time.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

TurtleDove

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Re: Do I need to reveal that I was engaged?
« Reply #81 on: Yesterday at 12:52:21 PM »
Honestly, if we're going to have a society where adults don't always settle down with one person immediately, then we need to be adult about it and admit "when I'm 30 - 40 - 50 - 60, my new partner may very well have had a previous love in his/her life!" Treating a previous partner like an unmentionable disease strikes me as rather ridiculous. Yes, if you're dating someone who's old enough to vote, they are like to have an ex or two (romantic and/or matrimonial) in their past. It comes with the territory.

I think everyone agrees with this, there is just some disagreement about what is respectful to the current relationship and what is not.  I am in regular contact with my DH's ex and he is in regular contact with my ex because we each have kids. The exes are not "an unmentionable disease."  They are a very recognized past and current part of our lives.  However, I don't feel the need to tell stories *about* my ex(es) to my DH, and vice versa, unless the story is *about* the ex(es), in which case it wouldn't be just an interesting or funny story.  I know he had fun times with exes - I did too!  We should have!  I just don't personally see telling stories *about the exes* as a value add to my current relationship, and I would find it strange if my friends or family told my DH stories *about my exes.*

Right, but one may well have interesting stories where the ex takes a role, simply because s/he was there.

One of the funniest stories I was ever told was about a man travelling with his (later ex) wife in South America. It was pure gold as a story, and I don't think he should have had to edit out who he was with at the time.

I have plenty of stories like this that I manage to tell without making the *story* about the ex.  It isn't editing him out.  It is telling the stories in a way that I personally find to be more respectful to my current SO. 

Allyson

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Re: Do I need to reveal that I was engaged?
« Reply #82 on: Yesterday at 11:02:59 PM »
I think that's really a relationship preference, though. I tell stories that involve exes in the same way I tell stories that involve other friends--when it comes up, if it's interesting, etc. I don't think there has to be a point or a reason to telling the story that is about trying to make the SO insecure or anything. But, I don't see it as disrespectful to my relationship, nor does my SO. I *would* have an issue if he (or I) were mentioning the ex way too often, but again I think that's going to be really variable as to what a person considers 'too often'.

There's a thing I've heard called 'mentionitis' where a particular person is mentioned an...unusual amount, and I've absolutely seen that happen with exes, but what's a normal amount of ex-mentioning is quite different from person to person, and I don't really think there's a one-size-fits-all policy here.

I would compare it to "mentioning other attractive people in front of your SO", though I'm on the other side of that one. I really don't like it, and would not do it myself, but some couples are completely fine with checking people out together or mentioning what stars they think are attractive etc. I don't think they're being disrespectful because they're both fine with it, but I wouldn't do it personally.