Talk

Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

How would your life be different if you'd stayed with your ex?

(60 Posts)
TiffanyAtBreakfast Thu 08-Jan-15 01:19:28

Facebook 'suggested' that I might like to add my ex as a friend today, so I had a cursory glance at his profile (nothing but grumpy statuses and old photos) and I suddenly thought to myself how different my entire life would have been if I'd married him and not my DH.

Six years down the line... For starters I would probably still be living in the city where we went to university, which made me unhappy as I much prefer the quiet suburbs. I'd be playing second fiddle (hah) to his bloody violin which he adored and prioritised above all else.
We'd probably be married but not happily, because of a) the lack of any kind of sex life and b) the jealous rages.
God - I would still be begging for permission and having to justify any nights out I wanted to go on with friends/family.

Thank god my instincts were right when I completely freaked out at the idea of moving in with him when he asked me. The arguments about it led to our eventual break up. Needless to say I'm happy now where I belong, with my DH.

Just wondered what others' lives might have been like if they'd stayed with their exes? Purely speculating, of course.

TiffanyAtBreakfast Thu 08-Jan-15 01:24:38

So sorry, I've accidentally posted this twice confused please delete one!

ovaltine Thu 08-Jan-15 01:29:10

Oh lord. The thought of still being married to that useless alcoholic twat doesn't bear thinking about! I'd be miserable. Still smoking and what not. Trying to pay for everything and getting nowhere cos he pissed it all up the wall. I wouldn't have kids, god no, never even wanted them until current DH! I'd probably have 4 dogs instead of just 1 smile and a shit car instead of a sports car. My ex best friend did me a massive favour really!! Thanks love!!!

Efferlunt Thu 08-Jan-15 01:33:52

Interesting. I keep up with my first serious boyfriend. I think while we both have similar religious views (be nice to go to church together unlike with DH) it would otherwise have been a disaster. My ex has a very high-flying job with a lifestyle to match. I think that I would hate the cool urban lifestyle he has and think we are probably more financially secure than him even tho he earns more. The level of spending would freak me out. I'm glad I don have to listen to the drum and base either!

JeanneDeMontbaston Thu 08-Jan-15 01:46:24

What a great thread. It must be very satisfying to know you were right, tiffany!

For me, with my serious ex's:

No. 1, we'd honestly be tearing each other's hair out. I love him to bits, but we are too similar. Also, and more importantly, I would never have got to know one of my dearest friends, who is his wife, and who has been a great influence in my life.

No. 2. Well, it'd be horrible. I was appallingly depressed with him, and had rock bottom self esteem. He was a nasty, manipulative, abusive person. I take some comfort in knowing that he has made absolutely nothing of his life. If we'd stayed together I would have been either dead, in an institution, or a completely surrendered wife, letting him fritter away whatever I earned and crying because I hadn't sorted out dinner for him.

No. 3. We'd have started into buying a house, and we'd have been financially well off after years of saving. We'd be great friends, but I would be sad because unfortunately, it wasn't working. And I think he might also be struggling a bit.

ToastedOrFresh Thu 08-Jan-15 02:14:28

Interesting thread, thank you.

If I'd have married my ex god fobid we would have been broke. Every day would have been a heartsink. We would not have inspired or really encouraged each other. We would have just jogged along, no real purpose. I assumed he wanted children. I knew for a certain fact that I didn't. We didn't even move in together. I wanted to travel. His idea of travel would have been to go to Spain if we were lucky. He did not have a bank account, when he got one it was a disaster, he didn't seem to know how to operate it. He was a bit of a 'cash only' geezer, i.e. paid in cash, spent cash. Banks accounts just left him bewildered because his parents never had one. He wasn't the, 'man for all seasons' that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. He wanted to get engaged when I was 18. Looking back now I think, 'is that it ? is that all you want out of life ? get married have kids ?' -because that's what his parents and also his sister did--

ToastedOrFresh Thu 08-Jan-15 02:46:51

Facebook has given me all the answers I need regarding how things turned out for him. He did get married to his much older than him divorced with teenage children fiancée because they had a baby on the way. That was quick, nice work fiancée ! Did you do that to strong-arm a proposal out of him ? He moved into her house. Well, there was no other way he was going to be able to own a house. Her former marital home ? What are the odds ? She earns the professional salary too. He's not a gold digger but he's got most of the things out of life from circumstance.

They renewed their vows in Spain. Retying the knot ? Well it must have come unravelled to need retying. They've got a caravan on the coast. lovely. He looks ten years older than he really is and is a granddad because one his step kids is a parent, she just looks.....old. He has a milestone birthday coming up this year. I'd like to at least, 'like' a fb post of his if he refers to this. He told me not to contact him again after I sent him a card on his engagement. However, this didn't stop him popping round to my parent's house when he heard on the grapevine that I was getting married. Or, if that wasn't the reason, my mum certainly told him. My mum intimated to me that he was a good bloke. She was pleased to see me happily engaged, though. However, in the here and now I don't want to be the one making the first move. Maybe his wife and my husband can do with the past being left in the past.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 08-Jan-15 06:42:25

I'd probably be broke, 20lbs heavier, childless and on antidepressants if he'd stayed. I realised a long time after it ended that he was emotionally manupulative.. His patented mix of alcohol and a depressive personality would have broken me eventually. He was so irresponsible with money that there would have been no way I could have taken even a short time off with maternity leave.

stickingpoint2 Thu 08-Jan-15 07:37:33

I only have pretty dark answers for this.

Thank goodness for my life now.

RowTheBateau Thu 08-Jan-15 07:47:43

I would be in a bigger house with more children. Have a 4x4 and regular sunshine holidays. I would not have had to work, and my days full of coffee mornings
Would I have been happier? Probably not as he cheated when I was pregnant and I would not take him back. I enjoy my life now and he is still shagging his way through ex wives and girlfriends and stalking me on FB.

TheGirlFromIpanema Thu 08-Jan-15 07:49:02

I see my ex with his lovely gf and think thank fuck it's not me on the merry go round of doom anymore sad

She's lovely but I obvioulsy can't say anything.

I reckon she's got another year or two at least before she gets rid of the master manipulator for good. He is wearing her down in exactly the same way as me and it aint pretty to watch.

RudyMentary Thu 08-Jan-15 07:50:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OnceMoreAgainWithFeeling Thu 08-Jan-15 08:10:40

I'd have at least one child by now, probably living in a council house, or rented flat in a rough area i didn't like, working in bars (he'd probably have succeeded in getting me to drop out of uni), or main breadwinner if not (but not allowed a job uptown so limited earning potential) miserable with my children being raised by his family. I'd be unable to stop their clumsy and marginally harmful impacts as his mum was ALWAYS right, he'd be working very part time and spending most on our money on KFC then expecting dinner cooked, and bad sex on tap however i was feeling.

I'd not be able to see my friends or family without (rarely granted) permission, wouldn't be allowed male friends and generally be just miserable.

I'd be very surprised if he'd not started hitting me too.

He'd be fucking miserable too tbh, i was not what he wanted either. I wanted to progress, he wanted to stay 21 forever, and his way of not losing me was to try and trap me, not to try and grow.

CaptainVasiliBorodin Thu 08-Jan-15 08:16:28

Probably father to a couple of kids and very unhappily married in a materially comfortable existence but with few friends, little contact with family, no confidence and a few bruises I picked up from 'accidentally walking into the door frame/slipping in the shower'

Paperblank Thu 08-Jan-15 08:19:38

I wouldn't have one.

I'd never see my family, I'd have no friends. I'd work to support him and have to account for every penny I spent. I'd be shouted at if my phone rang, accused of hiding things from him if it didn't ring.

Pretty bleak...

Life is so much better when these slugs are no longer part of your future.

lollygagger Thu 08-Jan-15 09:15:35

I would still be in my hometown probably in a very comfortable suburban home with 2.5 kids, a dog and a 4x4 in the drive. He would be a good dad, a good provider and we would go to his parents for dinner every Sunday. I would be miserable living that cookie cutter life having never had the opportunity to travel.
He was a truly lovely guy, just not the one for me.

MadeInChorley Thu 08-Jan-15 09:34:13

Interesting thread. I'm still in FB touch with First Love. If I'd married him, I'd be living in some luxury in the States and probably quite happy - he was a thoroughly nice chap - but I'd also probably be a bored SAHM and Stepford Wife without any career, which wouldn't suit me. He has a v high flying job and travels a lot, plus I'd have problems working in the States without re-qualifying.

If I'd married Awful Abusive Twat Boyfriend then I would be in an EA relationship with a narcissist and would probably have ended up with mental health problems. Again, I'd probably be a SAHM because he wanted me barefoot and dependent on him. I imagine if be belittled and isolated. He was a narcissistic tosspot who was jealous of my more successful career and job (we were in the same profession) and took every chance to torture people. I dare say I'd have few friends sad he's married and I pity his wife and worry for her (never met her though). It was years ago but he was an evil person. Thank god I was strong and got away.

GoatsDoRoam Thu 08-Jan-15 09:34:50

Huh. There's no way I could have stayed with my exes, since being with them ended up feeling so intolerable. So even in an alternate reality, I would still no longer be with them, iyswim.

But for the sake of argument, if I'd stayed with my ex-H, I'd currently be raising a couple children in an abusive marriage and fucking up their own life chances as a result.

Not likely.

gottafindaman4yagirl Thu 08-Jan-15 09:56:38

If with my exh I would be painfully alone and feeling unattractive, worrying about spending money on myself, bad nights sleep due to his snoring, anxious household due to the tension between us, bad sex, being made to feel bad about all the things I had said or done in the heat of past rows going back 12 yrs. He couldn't tolerate my mum but his could do no wrong, she'd been a cow to me over the years but I had to grin and bear it.

I still find myself pinning for the handful of good things with ex like mutual interests, his DIY skills and having him around for DC.

But since split I have control over finances, kids and home more chilled. Less unappreciated washing and cooking. No more comments like I work hard all day, I work hard for my money, I don't fancy you because you don't have sexy undies under your dressing gown so I don't feel like sex.

Now I'm having sex with a man who finds me sexy in any attire or none smile
I look after myself better, more time for myself now because he actually spends quality time with our DC all weekend. Get total control over the TV remote and dust and de cobweb when I feel like it.

Feeling good writing that down smile Next time I get lonely I will have to remind myself about all this.

AmonRa1 Thu 08-Jan-15 12:53:01

Well with my most recent exes

No1) My most serious/longest relationship so far (4.5 years) I think of him a lot, he was quite honestly the best boyfriend I’ve ever had, that anyone could wish to have really. BUT, after nearly 5 years, I just honestly wasn’t attracted to him physically anymore. I was bored, very bored. There had been no sex for ages as I just wasn’t interested. I think if I was still with him I would probably be living in an urban area, happy socially etc but I probably wouldn’t have pushed myself career wise, I’d still be making ALL the decisions and sex life would be non-existent, deep down I’d be unhappy and yearning for more.

No 2) Well, thank GOD I dodged that bullet. I would no doubt still be living in his house, still living with his controlling, sulky, absolutely PSYCHOTIC ways. I would definitely be mentally ill and anxiety through the roof. I think I’d probably have all but given up on my main passion and hobby in life as he always moaned about how much time/money it took up. I dread to think what life would be like tbh.

No 3) I would be living in a country pile, with indoor swimming pool, sauna, steam room, porche’s, trucks, a beautiful dog or 2 and more horses than I would know what to do with, I would be completely besotted but miserable. He would be womanising and distant and cold, I would be having to endure a pretty crap sex life and a partner that doesn’t invest in me emotionally. If I was having any struggles in life, he would not really be the person to go to for support/ a listening ear. I would have a BF that looked like a model and who is insanely rich though.

Currently I am with someone who is good looking, good job, financially secure, the best sex I’ve had, supportive, caring, kind and considerate and gentle. I hope I’ve got the best of the bunch!

HazleNutt Thu 08-Jan-15 15:12:59

MadeIn, are you me?

Ex C - oh dear. I would be a terrified mouse, sneaking around on eggshells, always worried what I might have done wrong this time. He would expect me to be fully interested and supportive of his career, while paying no attention to mine. I would not see my friends and family, as he didn't like them and would always sulk after spending time with them. I would probably believe I was fat, ugly and stupid.

Ex R - daily struggle, as he's a very, very alpha male, but I'm not a woman happy to 'obey'. We'd be living in luxury in the US and as he was older and more successful, I would probably be a trailing spouse, moving wherever his career takes him. Maybe managing to do a little bit of work here and there, but could pretty much forget about a decent career. His current wife was a shop assistant, who could not wait to give it up to be a SAHM, happy to have him taking all the big decisions - they are a much better match.

expatinscotland Thu 08-Jan-15 15:20:10

I would have had a beautiful house, car, money. And been childfree not by choice and miserable.

Thumbwitch Thu 08-Jan-15 15:24:19

I would have been a lot richer, lived in a much bigger house, not moved overseas, and would have had a MIL from hell to deal with.
My ex and his mother were not so much attached by apron strings as the umbilical cord had never been cut properly. Mummy-dearest was the be-all and end-all of what was right.

I have stayed in touch with my ex's SIL (now also an ex, partly due to the MIL) and oh the stories she has to tell! Makes me SO GLAD he pissed off with someone else before we got married and subjected some other poor muppet to his mother.

thisisnow Thu 08-Jan-15 15:28:49

I don't have an ex as I'm still with my first love blush

bibliomania Thu 08-Jan-15 15:29:05

ExH - I would have another dc or two, which I would have liked. But I wouldn't have been able to enjoy them, as we'd have been always tiptoeing around the house in fear of his rages. I reckon I'd be on ADs to cope and would have totally lost any perspective about what normal behaviour is any more.

The only other contender, from way back - a sweet guy in many ways, but I wouldn't have been able to take the pity party. I'd have tried very hard to make up to him for the hardships he'd faced in life, but I think I would have ended up frustrated and impatient and possibly not very nice to him.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now