I’m not sure how he found out. I had shattered almost every possible connection: real-life, virtual and everything in between. Unfriending, blocking, changed numbers, filtered emails, useless restraining orders. You know, the ushe.
I did flash my engagement ring to a mutual acquaintance after a few adult freeze pops (delicious, bastards) had loosened my lips one summer day a few weeks after the question had popped.
I suppose the how isn’t terribly important. What followed was...well... predictable and, yet, somehow, beyond my wildest imagination. And not at all satisfying.
There’s been plenty of times in my life when I’ve dreamed of running into a recent ex with a rock on my finger and a tall, dark, handsome and curly man on my arm. Of course, the ex of the moment would be filled with jealousy and regret. There would be a wistfulness in his eye and a sadness in his congratulations. I’d hear later how he unburdened himself to a mutual friend. Glad I was happy, but certain it would never happen for him, because I was an impossible act to follow. He’d retreat to the arms of his not-quite-me replacement resigning himself to the fact that he’d have to live the rest of his me-less existence with someone just a bit less than.
Then I turned 25. An age when my narcissism had been defeated by a lot of bar-close rejection and disappearing acts. I was just thrilled when I found one dude who would stick with me for more than three months. I didn’t have the ego to expect any former suitors to care where life took me, let alone pine over me.
Then when I finally did get engaged, The only care I had about my ex’s potential reaction was the hope that he would not have one. That wish was oddly more unrealistic than the one where I’m the center of a life-long pining situation. When this particular ex (we’ll call him Damien) did find out, he reacted exactly as I expected. He went insane. Well, okay, he already was insane. He just found new ways to exhibit the insanity.
I had kept him in the dark fairly successfully throughout the entire courtship thanks to the amazeballs skills I have when it comes to cutting ties (see first paragraph). When he finally came to realize there was a guy and an engagement ring to boot. He decided even more aggressive recourse was necessary.
(Though after trying to get me fired and faking his own death three times, “aggressive recourse” had started to look more like this.
Enough of the kitten gifs. He meant business. So, he somehow found my (then) fiancee’s email address and proceeded to send a barrage of foul, hate-filled vitriol that vacillated between assaults on my character, disgusting lies about intimate moments and claims that I was still madly in love with him. Those were my favorite. He insisted that my (now) husband was simply a rebound. I was clearly still in love with Damien and he had evidence to prove my unfailing devotion.
This evidence? Emails he had been sending me for well over a year. Emails in which he expressed alternating rancor and complete adoration and regret. The time between each emotion ranging somewhere from days to hours to paragraphs. He forwarded emails he had sent me just the week before as proof that we were still in love and that we were meant to be together.
One email he couldn’t produce? A response from me. Because I had stopped replying to any form of communication after the second time he claimed to be hanging from a tree in some Los Angeles park. Still, he seemed to think that his inability to leave me the hell alone despite court orders demanding just that was evidence enough of the undying love we had for each other. (Don’t get me started on how broken the system is when a harassing emails don’t constitute violating an order for protection, by the way.)
Fortunately my husband didn’t seem to have the same perspective as Damien did. Because my husband is not insane. He handled it all beautifully, further solidifying my affirmative response to his “will you?” His level head was almost as convincing as the spectacular rock he got me.
The one strand of silver in the overcast situation was that Damien’s reaction to the engagement seemed to be the final scene in his drama. He went quiet. Until he sent me his terrible screenplay in a last-ditch effort to prove that I was making a terrible mistake in letting him go. I was not convinced.
I have other exes, naturally, that’s what happens when you get married just before the old-maid persona solidifies in the eyes of your grandmother. I didn’t bother telling them about the engagement, either. I historically burn romantic bridges to the damn ground. And then bury the ashes.
(Well, I mentioned the engagement to the one ex I still speak to, but Facebook had already blabbed. He was sincerely congratulatory and that does not make for good blog fodder.)
I don’t know why you would go through the trouble/agony of reaching out to someone who is no longer a major part of your life. Some may argue (the some who don't have crazy exes) that it’s common decency in this social-media-filled world when even the most distant exes can find out your current status with a couple stalker-y clicks. But, I can’t imagine a scenario in which a courtesy announcement to your past roster would come off as anything more than rubbing it in at best and still in hung up at worst.
So, I stand by my decision.
Maybe I’m just cold and unfeeling.
That sounds about right.