Guestage- “Things I Should Have Said To My Ex (F*ck You, Perhaps..?)”

by Lori Dwyer on November 26, 2012 · 3 comments

It’s guest posting time on RRSAHM againthis guest post is from Gaynor Alder. The first time I met her, we compared Sydney people to Melbourne people and decided Melbourne win’s. Then Gaynor told me I look awesome without make up.
I like her.

There was a time I wanted to write this and couldn’t.

There was a time I could have written this but didn’t want to.

Now, I don’t need to write this, but I want to.

Because, every bad relationship starts with promise. And it’s this promise that has too many women cling onto destructive relationships and endure damage that takes far too long to heal.

There’s a time to stay and work it out, and then there’s a time to run a hundred miles in the other direction {even if you are in your favourite pair of heels} before it destroys you.

On our 3rd date, I travelled an hour on public transport to see him. His idea of a warm welcome to convey how excited he was to see me again, was to meet me at the door with a paint brush in his hand and head straight back to the bathroom he was painting.

My response: Are we going to be doing anything today or how about we sit on the back verandah and have a chat?

His response: Well, I’m right in the middle of this now.

What I should have said: As much as I’d love to sit here balancing on this tin of Taubmans whilst pointing out, “oh look honey, you missed a spot’, I didn’t blow dry my hair to sit here and watch paint dry. I’ll be off now. Actually, don’t think I’ll be back again anytime soon. Sorry, very busy washing my hair and all that.

Two weeks after meeting him, he told me that he thought of his best friend as his soul mate.

My response: That’s great you have such a good friendship and I really like the sound of her, but wouldn’t you want me to maybe be your soul mate?

His reaction: Well, you don’t have to be in a relationship with your soul mate you know.

What I should have said: It’s been swell hanging out with you over the past few weeks, and hey, that first date was kinda fun, but I’ll be offski now. Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll go real well with all the other ladies beating a path to your paint tin.

His soul mate’s wedding veil was hung above his bed and he had framed photos of her throughout his bedroom.

My response: Do you think it’s appropriate to have another woman’s wedding veil above your bed?

His reaction: It’s not coming down. That has special memories of dancing with her under it at her wedding and it keeps the light out the window.

What I should have said: I’m thrilled you had such a good time on the dance floor, but fucking take that down. And oh, for that 5cm by 5cm frosted window that is blinding me with the muted sunlight streaming through it from the front semi enclosed verandah – $4.99 a metre for curtain material from Spotlight.

He carried a picture of her in his wallet.

My response: It upsets me that you carry a picture of another woman in your wallet. I get that she is your ‘best friend’ but that isn’t very respectful to me. And I really don’t like the picture of those girls you have on your laptop screen saver.

His reaction: I’m not going to discuss this – the picture of her is staying in my wallet. And that picture on my laptop is art.

What I should have said: Listen up. I’m not going to let you play this mind fuckery, nor am I going to let you turn your disrespectful behaviour around on me under the guise that I’m jealous and insecure.

You either stop trying to erode my self-esteem because you feel not good enough for me and need to level the playing field, or I’ll be finding another man with a better wallet.

And as for the ‘art’ on your laptop, I call it “naked women with their tits out in a pile of tin cans”, but, hey, don’t take my word for it, I’m sure you’d get a mint for it at a Christie’s auction.

Having spent another week on my own with him working 15 hour days and coming home and heading straight to the lounge room to mix music on his decks, whilst promising we’d spend time on the weekend together, surprise, surprise, the weekend never came.

My response: Why don’t you want to spend time with me?

His reaction: I’m doing all of this for you. For us. We’ll spend time together next weekend. And how soon you forget Gaynor. What about that bottle of perfume I bought you?

What I should have said: Thanks for the bottle of perfume. Even I’m amazed at how you managed to pick one that I liked so much considering you wouldn’t even know what colour knickers I ‘m wearing on a daily basis. But I wasn’t aware that you bought it for me so you could excuse your bad behaviour for the next 6 months. I thought you bought it for me because, how novel, you loved me.

And, let’s stop with this needy bullshit. You know I’m not needy, and it’s just you projecting your intimacy issues onto me. If I wanted to spend all my time on my own, then I’d be on my own. What you’re doing is holding me hostage from being in a relationship with someone else. And you can bet your favourite record, that right now there’s someone else out there who’d fall over themselves to spend time with me.

And I don’t know what fucking time zone you’re operating in, but most people I know in relationships sit down and have a meal together more than once every six months.

Most people in relationships I know who live together don’t spend every single night alone in bed, and then have their partner return home from work and go straight to the lounge and stay awake until it’s time to go work to again and then pop another four dexamphetamines and call their girlfriend to come and iron their work shirt.

Most people in relationships I know spend at least some of the weekend together, in fact most I know can’t wait to spend time with each other.


But, hey, if you’d prefer to spend your weekends bonding with your garden rake and getting the ratio of Dynamic Lifter to water right to make sure your plants don’t die, cleaning out your shed AGAIN, or pulling everything out of the kitchen cupboards and rearranging it at 4am AGAIN, you go right ahead.

And yes, I know you have ADHD, and need to take
12 dexxies a day, but I’d be more inclined to be sympathetic if you didn’t bullshit the psychologist with what you knew he needed to hear so that you could get your drugs cheaper.

And if you didn’t also take 16 of them some days and peddle them out to your friends for cheap thrills, and then spend the last few days of every month coming down. But I guess I should be thrilled, because they’re the only few days of the month that you actually want to come anywhere near me, right?

And by the way, me sitting on the lounge whilst you mix music on the decks isn’t spending time together. Especially when talking to you over the music is seen as a disruption to your concentration.

Telling me he had his mate over on the weekend, and he’d shown him the picture of me in my new bra.

My response: How could you do that to me?

His reaction: It was great photo shopping. And for fuck’s sake, how long are you going to go on about this?

What I should have said: I’ll go on about this as long as I fucking well like. What you just did is grounds for instant dismissal. I’m sure you’ll understand that I don’t have time to call in the carpet cleaners before I pack up my belongings and get the fuck out of here.

After getting out of hospital, I asked if I could have a hug. He had taken the night off work, but I could barely find a spot on the bed to squeeze in with his work and laptop spread all over it, and his speakers had taken up residence next to his bedside.

My response: Roll over quietly to one side of the bed and stifle my tears.

His reaction: What, you want me to just lay here next to you and hold you? I just went to the shops and made you dinner, what more do you want?

What I Should Have Said: You’re an asshole.

This one is a clanger. But I’ll do my best to soften the blow. After returning home from a night out, I walked into the lounge room to discover him playing music to set the ambience, whilst his friend was getting, an ahem, from his girlfriend.

My response: Walk straight out the back door and light up a Marlboro Menthol.

His reaction: To come out the back, laugh and then tell me I was being judgmental.

What I should have said: Fuck you.

And what I did do was leave that very next day. But that of course wasn’t without many Academy Award winning bullshit displays of remorse.

I know you’re all thinking, Alder, how did you last a year? Why did you put up with all that? Why didn’t you kick him to the kerb in your Pradas? Why didn’t you leave sooner?

I agree. On all fronts. But I’m not hard on myself about it, because he got me at a time when I was vulnerable and put more PR spin on his personality than the publicist for Old Spice aftershave making it look cool by putting a man on a horse.

And then he broke me down piece by piece, until I felt worthless and powerless to leave. And of course all of these fine displays of romance were coupled with moments of being great and daily text messages telling me how much he loved me. He was good at that. Words. Promises. Hope. But words aren’t enough, even for a writer.

Now of course I can see our ‘relationship’ was one long broken promise and he was useless, and I deserved a whole lot more. But at the time, I was so broken by his neglect and mental abuse, that not even all the Kings Horses could put me back together again.

But here in lies the lesson dear readers.

No matter how strong you are, no matter how confident you are, no matter how fabulous you are, don’t think you’re immune to falling prey to a dodgy relationship.

Because it’s all too easy to look at someone else’s fine fellow and wonder what the hell such a beautiful woman is doing with such a bozo, but when you find yourself deep in the trenches of a treacherous relationship, it’s harder to leave than you think.

So, learn to spot the warning signs early on. Run sooner, than later. Don’t wait for them to prove to you that they’re as bad as you suspect they are.

But there’s something more important than all these things that I should have said to him. And they are things I should have said to myself. So Gaynor circa 2006, here I am. Sorry I wasn’t there for you back you then, but I’m here now. Promise.

And, pssst, no matter how bad it gets, everything will be okay in the end. More than okay. Mr Worships the Fucking Ground You Walk On will see to that.


Gaynor Alder is a Melbourne based writer with a penchant for vintage glamour and all things Parisian. She is the Editor-in-Chief of The Modern Women’s Survival Guide and the Teenage Girl’s Survival Guide, gallivants around the world as a Travel Writer testing the thread count of sheets and the fluffiness of hotel pillows and freelances in public relations.

She started writing The Modern Woman’s Survival Guide, after the umpteenth person told her, you know you should really write a book. Her fingers struggled daily to keep up with the thoughts that desperately wanted to become words on pages, to take centre stage in a book that she knew was going to become the new voice of womankind. Her calling, her destiny, her whatever you want to call it, Gaynor writes because she can’t not write.

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Amy November 27, 2012 at 9:45 am

oh. my. god. this is fantastic. just what i needed to hear. it sounds like my last relationship… if you can call it that. thankyou so much for sharing! <3


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