Is she perverted like me?
Would she go down on you in a theater?
Does she speak eloquently
And would she have your baby?
I’m sure she’d make a really excellent mother
I lifted those words from the lyrics to “You Oughta Know”, by Alanis Morissette / Glen Ballard. It’s a song she wrote about a love affair that had ended. She pointed out to the ex lover/boyfriend/husband that he told her “he would hold her until he died, but he’s still alive.”
I think Alanis’ words succinctly sum up the common sentiments we often have about an ex. We wonder about their new lover (s), sex lives, where they go and what they’re doing. Sometimes we forget they are an “ex” for a good reason. I guess our minds can’t help but wander into unhelpful territory. When we’re trying to heal from a broken relationship, what good does it do to obsess over what our ex is up to? I’d say none. Yet, we can’t seem to help it.
I can speak to my own experience. My husband gave up trying to make it work after 28 years of marriage, and 36 years of being in a relationship. It took me a good long while to come to the realization that I should NOT want to be with someone who didn’t want to be with me, but I gradually did just that.
Even though I realized I didn’t want him, I still wonder (ed) what he is up to on a regular basis. I wonder if he is doing the things I always wanted him to do with someone new. I’m aware that in some cases, he does.
Since separating was his idea, I imagined him skipping away making new friends and lovers without wondering what I’m doing. I believed that the wondering was mostly a woman’s domain. Of course this isn’t true.
My husband once asked me point blank if my disability bothered my new lover. I think he was wondering about this because it was such a big issue for him. I mentioned I was going to a concert one weekend and he asked me if I was going by myself. I guess he was just wondering. I was secretly pleased to know that he seemed to be wondering what I was up to like I did about him.
So much self help advice urges us to “focus on our own shit”. “You do you”. I often catch myself doing too much wondering, realize it’s not productive in any way except maybe to steal some present moment peace from me. It’s an ongoing effort to minimize the wondering, but it’s necessary to keep my focus on myself and my own well being. Wondering inhibits forward motion.