I tend to regularly talk about the evils of Facebook on this blog.
One of the cardinal breakup rules, if you want to maintain closure and not lose your damn mind is to de-friend your ex.
I didn’t do it. I waited to see if he would do it, so I could go off about it.
I’m guessing he did the same.
I’d occasionally stalk his page for new developments, but my ex generally doesn’t make a whole lot of moves on Facebook, so I figured I’d be safe from going nuts that he’s living this wonderful new life without me and flaunting it.
It’s been over a year since our split, and a series of new photos he recently posted unexpectedly made me feel quite emotional.
Ironically, it wasn’t photos of him hugged up with a woman who was better looking than me (or not better looking than me).
It was a photo of him and his adorable nephew, his mother and his sister, having a ball at his nephew’s birthday party.
He’s five already. He’s getting tall and he looked so handsome.
My ex, who was just as afraid of having kids as I was (to the point of even saying he decided he didn’t want to have any at all), seemed to be a lot more comfortable with his nephew in those photos. He looked happy. He looked like he was right where he was supposed to be.
He was smiling hard in another photo where his nephew was being baptized too.
It was almost scary. Was this the same guy?
Looking at the photos, I was proud of him and happy for his family. They’ve gone through more than their fair share of difficult times and to see them all together, looking happy made me feel happy.
But then I felt a shooting pain across my heart.
I wasn’t there, I wasn’t a part of that and it dawned on me that somehow when I wasn’t looking, while I was falling in love with him, I was falling in love with them too.
Flaws, drama and all.
I realized in us building our relationship, I was also building a relationship with them. Me and his mother hit it off famously and we even had phone calls with one another without him being involved. The first time she met me, she didn’t hesitate to say how happy she was that we were together and she was beyond thrilled when we got engaged.
She was just as heartbroken when it ended. She apologized to me and she told me she loved me, and I told her I loved her too and I thanked her for always being nothing but sweet to me. She said she wanted to keep in touch if I felt comfortable enough, and even though I told her it was okay, eventually she faded away.
And then I saw her photo. She’s so sassy and fun, and she always speaks her mind. Seeing her again made me smile.
I nearly fell out one evening when she was talking about my figure and said, “I know my son. He likes big butts, well you know what I mean, she has a lovely figure.”
I was amazed at how much my would-be nephew-to-be had grown. He was like a baby when his uncle and I first got together. He would get on the phone to say hello and I’d love to hear about the latest cute things he’d say or do.
I didn’t get to personally meet his sister, but we’d say hello over the phone.
Either way, I felt just as invested in his family as I did in him and even though that’s a given when you decide to marry someone, it kind of hit me hard when I realized what else I had lost when our relationship ended.
I was going to be a proud auntie to another great child, a daughter-in-law and sister-in-law.
That was another very real loss.