I was scrolling through TikTok the other day. For whatever reason some creators will read posts from Reddit’s “Am I the Asshole” threads. I am not sure of the purpose of this. Perhaps it’s so people can comment on their video.
Here’s the situation: Woman writes in because her husband’s best friend has just died. Best friend is a female. Not only is best friend a female, best friend was actually his ex-wife.
I know! That’s what I said!
The wife explains that when the two began dating he had told her about his female best friend, letting her know that she was “important”. A few months into them dating it came up that she was actually his ex-wife. Apparently they had been great friends for years, decided to date, got married, and then at some point decided they were better as friends. They divorced and remained best friends until the day she died (in his arms, according to some of the commenters- they had gone out to lunch and she died of an aneurysm on the walk back to her car.). He assured the new woman though that the best friend/ex-wife was “only” one of his closest friends and it was purely platonic. When she admitted to being a bit unnerved at the thought of him being that close to an ex he told her that they could part ways right then. As he put it, “That’s fine If you have a serious issue with it, let me know now and save us some time. I’ll choose her. I like you and all, but I’ve known her for over 12 years and she’s one of the most important people in my life. You’ll have to be okay with that if you want us to be a thing.”
Here is where Wife fucked up. At the point that he told her if he had to choose between the two of them he would choose the best friend/ex-wife she should have walked. Nice knowing you, Cake Eater! I am not going to spend my life playing second fiddle to your ex-wife.
Instead she loved him so much that she was willing to put up with this friendship. I suppose she thought it would blow it over. Or perhaps at some point she could put her foot down and he would put their relationship ahead of his relationship with the best friend/ex-wife.
She brought it up again when they got engaged. Husband had a “perplexed” look on his face and asked her, “Why would us getting married affect my friendships?”
They socialized together, although the wife admits in this post that she hated every minute of it. She resented the fact that some other woman understood her own husband in ways that she couldn’t. She resented the time they spent together. They would go to movies together (that apparently they liked and the wife didn’t as she called them “nerdy”), meet up for lunch, and do other things together. The best friend/ex-wife was also remarried and her new husband was good friends with her best friend/ex-husband.
Any time she brought it up the husband’s response was always the same, “We had this conversation before. You had your chance to back out.”
That’s cute. It’s almost as though this man has never heard of a divorce. Which is where the wife messed up yet again. Because she should have left his gas lighting, manipulative, cake-eating ass.
This is where the woman does venture into asshole territory. Her husband is helping the best friend/ex-wife’s husband plan the funeral. She says to him, “You don’t think you’re going, do you?” Her stance is that the woman is dead; she’s no longer a factor. He can’t use the “she’s my friend” excuse because she no longer exists. Plus, he’s already spent a few days crying over her. The wife believes he’s mourned enough.
Oh, Sissy Cat! While I feel you this is one you should have left alone. The woman is dead. She is not going to be a factor in your life anymore. You don’t ever have to socialize with her anymore. She won’t be going to lunch or to the movies with your husband anymore. Walk away! Let him have the funeral. Hell, let him give her an eulogy that rivals all eulogies. Let him buy the biggest floral arrangement he can afford. Let this one go! Me personally? If I had to choose between letting my husband go out to lunch with his ex-wife or go to his ex wife’s funeral I would choose the funeral without hesitation. That’s a one and done. Sorry. Maybe I’m an asshole, too.
Husband is livid. He is ready to leave her over this. He tells her that he’ll be going to the funeral no matter how she feels (not that that comes as any surprise- he hasn’t given a fuck about how his wife feels the entire 10+ years they’ve been together). He tells her he is “willing to burn this to the fucking ground” and that besides her (the wife) his ex was the closest friend in his life.
Again, I believe the wife messed up when she accepted the terms of the relationship even though she clearly wasn’t happy with it. She made the mistake of thinking she could change his mind when he made it very clear from the beginning, and multiple times afterwards, that the ex-wife was #1 in his life and always would be. After all, he will always be able to say he has known the best friend/ex-wife longer.
She also comes across as an unsympathetic character when she’s telling the world she thinks her husband has mourned long enough after a few days, and then demands he not go to the funeral. At this point it’s like, “Why make this a hill to die on (no pun intended)? The woman is out of your lives forever now! Let him do this one last thing “with” her, on her behalf, and get on with your life.
I suppose she felt that now that the best friend/ex-wife was dead and gone she no longer had to pretend she was okay with any of this. Why this would be her thought process when she was crossing the finish line, so to speak, is beyond me, but that’s how she was thinking.
What astounded me though is the number of people who completely glossed over the gas lighting, manipulation, and cake eating of the husband. Everyone was so focused on the wife and how awful she was to not want him to go.
Many, many people had this same rhetoric about how being in a relationship with someone doesn’t mean you own them. They called her crazy and jealous. They asked repeatedly, “So does being in a relationship mean you have to give up all of your friends?”
Nice way to subterfuge! Of course you don’t have to give up all your friends. You might want to reconsider being besties with your ex though if you’d ever like to be in another romantic relationship.
That isn’t just another friend. You loved this person. You had sex with this person. You’ve known them intimately. You’ve shared many, many intimate thoughts, dreams, and fears with them. They were your rock. They were supposed to be the most important person in your life while you two were married. They were family. You two undoubtedly have memories and inside jokes and things that only the two of you know about. Maybe you had children together. Took vacations together. This was the person who was there for you during your happiest and your most difficult times.
It is hard enough to wrap your mind around being in a relationship with someone who had that kind of love and relationship with another person. You wonder if you are a replacement or if they’re thinking they would rather have the ex back. You might wonder if they are as happy with you as they were with the ex, or if your relationship will always be seen as lacking. You wonder if you’re the consolation prize.
I don’t see how those fears are ever overcome if the ex is always a presence in your life. How is there any room for you to become the primary relationship when the ex is always there? In this particular case the husband made it very clear that the best friend/ex-wife was very important to him and, next to his wife, was the most important person in his life. I’m not convinced that he actually meant to list his wife first.
How does this wife, or any wife in a similar situation, compete with that? Did he ever withhold important things going on in his life or did he divulge all to his “best friend”? Did he ever share anything with the wife that he didn’t share with his ex? Did he ever put his wife first? Was there ever a time or event where his wife came before his ex-wife? He blatantly told her that if he had to choose he would choose his ex-wife. Not just in the beginning, but multiple times throughout their relationship, even after they were married.
I can’t imagine being in a situation where another woman knows my husband (or partner, for those not interested in marriage) better than I do. I can’t imagine a situation where not only does she know him better than I do, but she always will because there is nothing sacred between me and my partner. Everything is shared with the ex. We don’t ever have the chance to develop our own inside jokes. I don’t get the opportunity to be his rock during hard times. I’m not the only person he celebrates with when he has a victory in his life. He is always sharing those moments with her. She is always there. She always takes center stage. She is always the most important person. She will always be included and nothing will ever be between just me and my partner.
I will admit I was a bit triggered by all of these people claiming she is irrationally jealous. Matt asked me why I had to be so insanely jealous the night we argued.
I don’t think I’m insanely jealous. I also don’t think it’s a good idea to hang out with people of the opposite sex all alone repeatedly. I would never do that to someone I was dating. I sure as hell wouldn’t do it and then hide behind, “Oh my God! You’re so jealous! Do you think you own me or something?” That’s such bullshit.
I’ve been pretty open about the fact that I think when you spend one on one time with a person of the opposite sex you are setting yourself up for something to happen. Then you hang your head, tuck your tail between your legs and start in with the, “I never meant for this to happen! I didn’t mean to hurt you. I didn’t set out to have an affair. One thing led to another and, well, it just happened.”
No, it didn’t just happen. You put yourself in a situation where you allowed it to happen. You know how you prevent it? You don’t fucking go off one on one with another woman (or man, depending on the situation).
He was friends with a lot of women on Facebook- friends from high school, people he knew in town through his job, an ex-fiancee, people he knew through his old church, a couple of flings. I wasn’t insanely jealous of them. I didn’t demand he unfriend them. I knew he talked to female vendors. I didn’t get jealous over that. I wasn’t jealous of his wife. I wasn’t jealous of the truck stop hooker or the woman he talked to for so long he didn’t call me as he promised (this was the one dating his neighbor). I wasn’t even jealous of Anne; I just knew if he kept going back and spending endless hours talking to her that shit could happen. Not would, but could. There were many, many situations where I was not “insanely jealous”. When I felt something was off though I had every right to speak my mind. Me not wanting my partner of five and an half years to have dinner alone with a woman young enough to be his daughter is not being insanely jealous, especially considering all I said was, “Is she your new girlfriend?”. Me being pissed that he ignored me in favor of partying it up with his newfound friends is not being insanely jealous. It’s being pissed I was blown off.
What this husband did to his wife was awful. She never felt like she was a priority. Of course she was jealous of this other woman. He had fucking married her! They had gone from being best friends to lovers and back to best friends again. There was no room for anyone else. He made it crystal clear that if it ever came down to the two of them he would choose the ex and not her. How do you not feel insecure with that?
Again, I do not understand being friends with an ex. I understand being civil, even cordial. I understand both attending an event for their child. I understand inviting the other to said event for the child if it’s being held at the home of one of the parents. But I do not understand this new fascination with fucking someone, deciding you’re better off as friends, declaring you’re “best friends”, hanging out together all the time, and demanding that any new person in your life accept that shit sandwich.
As I said in an earlier post even if I had ended things with Matt, as I probably should have, when he moved back to Virginia- absolutely no animosity, just the sad, sad understanding that I would never be first and he needed someone local who never wanted to leave that shitty little area so he could have both his kids and a steady supply of pussy (I know that doesn’t sound animosity free but it’s the best I can do right now)- I wouldn’t have chosen to be friends. Even though I would have still loved him and thought of him and our times together fondly, I wouldn’t have chosen to remain in his life. I did. not. want to see him with someone else. It would have killed me to see some other woman take my place and for her to be receiving all of his love and attention that I still wanted even though I knew I couldn’t have it.
How do you remain friends with a person you loved so deeply? I posted a meme the other day that basically said if you can go from being lovers to friends either you are still in love with the other person or you never were. I firmly believe that.
Brett Young sings a song called, “Like I Loved You”. He’s taking the “never loved me” approach.
Don’t tell me we can still be friends
Hanging on the weekend
You’re gonna be okay if I start
seeing somebody new
You hope that I do
It won’t be long
’Til I forget to call every time that
And you ain’t the love song
I can’t keep from singing
I gotta be honest
If you really believe that’s the truth
You never loved me like I loved you
That pretty much sums it up for me. If you can tell me you love me one month and then tell me we should just be friends the next, then you never really loved me.
You would think that would make it okay to remain best friends with your ex then but I still don’t like it. They didn’t love you. You’re hung up on them. Or vice versa. It’s uncomfortable all around. I prefer a clean break.
I am not friends with any of my exes. I have no desire to be friends with any of my exes. I don’t think it means I’m immature or have toxic jealousy issues. I simply have no desire to continue to associate with them. Their position in my life was as a love interest, not a friend.This is not a movie where if one part doesn’t pan out maybe you’ll be right for another part. Nope. If it didn’t work out romantically typically it’s because you’ve done something shitty to me. If you’ve done something shitty to me then you are not available for a friend role in my life.
Similarly I would never be involved with someone who was “best friends” with his ex. Way too enmeshed for my liking. As I said above how do we ever establish ourselves as a couple when the original couple are still best friends sharing everything? If something bad happens to my partner is he going to tell me first? Or will he rush to tell his best friend/ex-wife? Even if he tells me first and then tells her second, is she going to be able to calm him down better? Alleviate his fears in a way I don’t know how because she’s known him so much longer than I have? If something happens to me is he going to tell his best friend/ex-wife so she can support him through this crisis? Will any of my fucking secrets be honored or will everything be shared with the one who came before me? Will we even have our own lives together or will everything be shared with her?
I get the sense from that story on Reddit that if his wife and his ex-wife had been in a burning building and he could only save one he wouldn’t have hesitated to save the ex-wife. After all he had known her longer. You can replace wives. You can’t replace best friends.
I will never accept being in a relationship where I am his second choice. So this would never work for me.
I do not want to spend my weekends hanging out with the ex. I do not want to spend holidays with the ex. It was already uncomfortable enough being in the same vicinity as Matt’s ex during T’s graduation, graduation party, and the day after. I can’t imagine hanging out with her on a regular basis.
Do I think the woman from the Reddit thread was an asshole? I think her behavior after the woman died was appalling. I understand the relief she must have felt (which in itself is probably an asshole move) but I don’t think she was being fair in giving her husband a few days to “get over it” and I don’t think she should have tried to prevent him from going to her funeral. She didn’t prevent him from going to the movies and all the other things they did together when the woman was alive, so why try to prevent him from going to her funeral when the woman is dead? Not to be crass but if something was going to happen I’m pretty sure it would have happened back when she was alive and not now that she’s dead. I do find it a little odd he’s helping her husband plan the funeral. Maybe they were a thruple and the wife who wrote in didn’t know.
I think her husband was the bigger asshole though. He set her up to compete with this woman from the very start and he never made her feel like she was his first choice. She should have walked the minute he told her he would pick his ex-wife over her if he had to choose.