Relationships and Exes…

Today I spoke to my best friend and had a discussion about exes and host they affect current relationships so I thought I’d share my thoughts…

(Personal note to Jessica, when I said read my blog, I was referring to the previous post about “Top 5 Regrets of the Dying”, not this entry)

It seems that all relationships have an ending, some good, some bad, and some inevitable…  Of course the inevitable ones are that finish because of things out of our mortal control (such as old age).  Good and bad are on the other hand are completely in our control, and are often governed by our own conduct, and that conduct of those who become our exes.  The problem comes when we move into new relationships, as both the new partners will usually have exes and therefore some sort of ‘baggage’.


What is baggage really?  Well baggage is the memories and emotions of the previous relationships, it maybe physical, it may be emotional, it may just be simply memories.  As an ex of mine suggested, it is a ‘memory jingle’ ..  i.e. something, or some memory, that is associated with an object, person, movie, song, TV show, night club… etc.  Something that triggers the memory of something associated with an ex.

So is baggage a problem?  Well my break ups over the last few years seems to have focused on my baggage at some point.  Somewhere along the lines my exes have mentioned an ex as being an issue in my life.  In the case of my best friend, she has had problems with her ex that is affecting her current relationship in a damaging way.  Her current partner is patient and understanding, but has seen her reminiscing on several occasions and has assumed (correctly) that she was in thought about her ex.  This is obviously a problem.  Here’s the thing though, her current partner also has an ex, and has baggage that goes with that.  My latest ex, the baggage she had was phenomenal (and it was just her ex, it was several of her exes, all bad) and whilst it did affect me a little I kept it to a little as an effect as possible, because I know exactly what she went through.  I knew that over time with love and care I could rid her of those memory jingles, I could re-write her life to remove the baggage.  Unfortunately when it came to me, it got the better of her and she left because of her own baggage (according to her last message) way before I could help her re-write her life and realise that life is good, and douches like her exes don’t deserve anyone, let alone her.

So what is the solution to baggage..?  Well in reality the solution is time, care and love (in that order.) It is also the understanding that any two people have baggage, whether good or bad, and when you enter into a relationship you both need to grasp an understanding of the other person, what they have been through, and how to use that to build a stronger bond between the two of you.  You do need to put the past behind you (I have heard this said so many times) but when people say it, they say it without knowing what it really means.  Putting the past behind you, does not mean forgetting what happened, it does not mean, bury it and don’t talk about it, it means use the memories to build a better life with someone new.  Talk about what happened, talk about what you want to do, and be patient with the other person, they might talk about their ex way more than you, but it could also be that you talk about your ex as much as them, they just don’t remind you of it when you do.

Personally I talk about my ex-wife Alison a lot, I do so in a good way, I don’t recall any major arguments until the relationship and marriage came to an end, and it came to an end because I am a trans-sexual, and whilst she has no prejudices she married a man, and couldn’t cope with the idea, personally, of being married to a woman.  I respect that and as such we are still friends, in fact when I was recently telling her about my proposed marriage she asked if I would allow her to ‘give me away’ to my blushing bride to be.  I also talk about ‘The Mother of My Son’ (sorry Claire, but that is how I refer to you, to others) we had a very rocky and very explosive relationship that ended and returned many times over 8 years, but we are friends now and talk regularly thanks to the wonders of modern technology and social networking.  Other exes I refer to, the obvious one and “The EX!”, my psycho-stalker Katie Crothers, she really messed me up mentally (whether deliberately or not) that has taken months if not years to recover from (and to be honest, I’m not recovered, but at least I am functional now.)  I even think back to my very first “proper” girlfriend Jayne, a woman who I have not seen in 20 years, but every time I hear, “Toyboy”, “I should be so lucky” or “Green Door” played on the radio I immediately remember her in such a fond way.


My thoughts for a happy life with your new partner and their ex…

The human mind is an amazing thing, and whilst you can damage it very easily, over time it will recover, some take longer than others, some injuries take longer than others, we all heal differently (and in different ways.)  If you get in a relationship with someone that refers to their ex, before you think badly, before you fly off with “You’re still in that relationship and not with me” or “You are just trying to replace them with me” thoughts, step back and think, you also have an ex, and even if you haven’t mentioned anything to your current partner, you still think about one of your exes when ever you hit one of those “memory jingles”…

Of course, lastly, if your ex does say something about you talking about your ex, take the time to think about it, you might be obsessing.. It is definitely worth talking through, but neither of you should make assumptions about the others state of mind, all you need to do is talk about it, and if you are about to say something, just bare in mind, that your partner talking about their good times is a good thing, the person is giving you tips about what makes them happy…  You can use that to improve your bond and over-write those jingles with memories of you…!


The Top 5 Regrets of The Dying.. and more..


So today was feeling sorry for myself, and was browsing and I came upon the following article about regrets of people dying.  A worthwhile read for all, and I can safely say I have checked all the boxes for this one.  This thought cheered me up and I began thinking about them and about other things I live by and I have see happening to others both past and present friends.  In many cases I see love being the biggest regret, and for the biggest heart ache in many lives, and indeed when I see the two together the result can often be resolved and happier lives lived when you consider the following statements.

  1. Follow your heart no matter where it takes you!
  2. Work out whether you are in love, or whether you love a person.

So what do they really mean…?

Well first following your heart doesn’t mean do stupid stuff, like trying to break up a marriage for your own means, it means if you love someone and other parts of life get in the way..  Find a way, or move those obstacles out of the way.  For example, if you are gay/lesbian, don’t let society get in the way of your life, be with who you want to be, and if the society where you are persecutes people for that, move elsewhere in the world where people who matter care.  It also means move to the other side of the world if you need to.  Quite your job and/or transfer, its not hard, and if you are really good at what you do, you can always go back to it if things don’t work out.  If it means quitting something you like (e.g. eating fish, because the other person is mortally allergic to fish) give it up! It also means quitting work and going back to school to learn a new profession…  You heart is not just about love of someone else, it’s about love of things you do as well…  though in sincerity, I am referring more to matters of love between two people.


Second and the tricky one.. are you in love or do you love someone?  This is a question you should ask yourself if you ever feel like you are trapped in a relationship, this is the question you should ask if someone is telling you you can’t be with someone, this is the question you should ask if you are ever unsure about the person you are with, wanting to be with, wants you to be with them… particularly if you and them are thinking about re-starting a relationship that previously failed…

What does it mean..?  Well I’m not sure I can explain in words, but I will attempt.  When you love someone, it can be like your mum, dad, brother, sister, your child, a very close friend etc.. someone that should they be ‘not around’ any more, you’d miss them, you’d be upset to see them go.. more than you would just as a friend, but not necessarily as much as someone you’d jump in bed with to have sex (though not excluding that either.)  Someone you want to be with and share life with, someone who just ‘fits’ in with you.  When you are ‘in love’ with someone you have all those things that you would as you love them, but there is something more.  You think about them during your free thought moment, your mind wanders and they are there with you not matter where in the world they are.  You worry about them when you can’t contact them, you think about them when you go to bed at night, and when you wake in the morning.  You worship the ground beneath them (this can be in your mind, not in the real world, though a little bit of both goes a long way.)  You often cannot bare to be apart from them for more than a few hours (though again, not a rule as you can be in love with someone on the other side of the world.)  … I guess that’s the first things I can think of that describe the easiest things to explain about how I feel about the differences between loving someone and being in love with someone.  It also should tell you that if you are getting back with an ex, considering splitting up with a current partner, have a look at what you have.  If you love that person it doesn’t mean you should be with them, but it also means that you don’t necessarily have to be with them either…  You could love them like a friend, a mother, a father etc.. you could also love them and they not love you back (always the path to misery that one.)  One thing I have found though, no matter what, if you are ‘in love’ with someone, and they with you.. move heaven and earth to be with them, because therein lies true happiness.


Anyhow, enough of my posturing on love, the article as promised about the regrets of dying… and you will notice that some of the regrets are directly related to people not doing what I have said above (3 and 5!)


1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

“This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.”

2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.

“This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret, but as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.”

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

“Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.”

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

“Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.”

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

”This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.”