Hanneke: “Uncomfortable, such a party with the ex, the ex’s family, in the ex’s house”

Hanneke: “Uncomfortable, such a party with the ex, the ex’s family, in the ex’s house”
Hanneke: “Uncomfortable, such a party with the ex, the ex’s family, in the ex’s house”

The great thing about being in your forties is that you know yourself much better. The beans have been spilled, the children have been born and the talents have been followed. In most cases, pain points and life lessons are no longer a secret, and that is wonderful, also for the other person. It is easier to show your pluses and minuses on the surface. And because you both have a well-filled life of your own, they are also given more doses, so that you give each other the best of yourself. In that respect I can recommend it to everyone.

What is often also included in the package is the ex. In most cases you both bring one. Mine is an exemplary example in that regard. Generous, flexible and rarely makes things difficult. We always quickly agree on the education of our boys and we don’t even fight. That makes a difference, even in a new relationship.

For example, a previous love had an ex who was still angry after four years and tried to undermine her in all kinds of ways. As a result, we were both on our guard whenever she was around. Not nice.

My current girlfriend has not been with her ex for very long, and that is sometimes still a challenge. Also for me. Now it’s their son’s birthday and I’m invited with my boys. Cute of course, but I still find it a bit uncomfortable. A party with the ex, the ex’s family, at the ex’s house. The house where not so long ago they lived together and shared a family.

The ex’s new love will also be there. The composition of a cabinet of tolerance is even easier to explain to my children than our presence in this group. We are greatly desired by my sweetheart, which I understand. But oh, how much resistance I feel. As if I’m breaking into their old lives. I already dread the image of their bickering in the kitchen, or how my girlfriend unconsciously gets back into the old groove and pours coffee for Uncle Hans. An image with which there is actually nothing wrong, and yet it feels like a bad and dangerous image. I fear that what I see and feel will no longer disappear from my retina and will haunt my head for weeks to come. I’m afraid I’ll go into my shell because I feel unsafe, and keep my sweetheart at an appropriate distance in the coming weeks.

That fear is my old groove, and I have now moved up a few emo lanes. For years I was the ‘yes and amen to everything’ type, after which I often found myself in the corner eating M&Ms. Then came the wave of assertiveness. I wasn’t going to do anything that cost me too much anymore. This issue would lend itself extremely well to that. Technically there is no danger, of course, but as an ADHDer I am so sensitive to atmosphere, looks, smells, sounds and feelings of others that the stop sign keeps popping up in front of my eyes. Staying home is so much nicer.

Nope. Because then my girlfriend will have to be alone, even though she would love to have me by her side here. Love after forty means knowing exactly where your limits are, what suits you and what doesn’t. That’s usually wonderful, and sometimes really hard work, when you deliberately push such a boundary. Like now. I want to be there for my girlfriend, with my girlfriend, and that means a big step over my own problems.

However, not without saying it, because that is the new groove. Unadulterated honesty about everything. I’m going along, but completely as myself. That means I share all my bears with her, and she shares hers with me. Which means she tells me that I really don’t have to if it’s too much for me, and that I actually like it because I feel so connected to her. I don’t have to pretend, we’re in this together.

We held on for two hours and ten minutes. It was indeed as uncomfortable as I thought, and painful at that. With one difference: in the car on the way back we could laugh about it uncontrollably. No more secret feelings. Delicious.

Hanneke Mijnster (43) prefers to read, talk and write about love. Co-parents with conviction and never works for a boss again. She lives near the coast and writes honestly about her life, joys and burdens.

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Hanneke Uncomfortable party exs family exs house


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