My ex and I didn’t have a dramatic breakup. Even though we had a child together, thanks to his unfortunate habit of not showing up (literally and figuratively), things ended with little fanfare. When my daughter and I moved across the country to be with my now-husband, my ex didn’t even come by to say goodbye to my little girl.
Once we were moved, I heard from him once in the first six months. I texted him to let him know I was getting married. He didn’t call me again until a little over a year later when a warrant for his arrest was issued because he hadn’t paid child support in three years.
At that point, I had been married for a few months, and my husband was working to adopt my daughter. The only thing that was holding us up was a signature from my ex. He wouldn’t respond to my requests for a current address to send the paperwork, even though it was clear he wasn’t interested in being a dad to my child. When he got the arrest warrant, suddenly he was all ears. I overnighted the documents and he signed them immediately so that he’d be absolved of any financial responsibility for my child.
Yeah, this guy was a charmer.
That’s why it’s quite hilarious to me that this same uninvolved dad has taken to liking things that I post on social media.
First of all, I don’t follow him anywhere online or in life. My daughter has a father who is not him. I have a husband who is not him. Our family is good. Perhaps it’s the goodness of our lives that makes him want to follow along like a fan.
At first it bugged me. How dare he like things that I post when he hasn’t checked in on a child that he helped create? What gives him the right to inject his presence in my life when he wasn’t there when we needed him? And on social fucking media? That’s where you want to show up? I was pissed. Although our breakup wasn’t bad, he was still a jerk who made life really hard for me at one point, as a single mom taking care of everything on my own.
I didn’t block him, though. I decided to rub my daughter and my good life in his face.
Instead of engaging with him, I started increasing the pictures that I posted of my husband and our daughter. Our fun family outings, and images of my husband being the father my ex could never be filled my timeline. I would even post personal stuff on LinkedIn, tweaking the status to make it make sense on the business-focused platform since that’s where my ex primarily interacts with my content.
And guess what? It feels good! And really, it’s almost like I’m doing a community service. He’s not only seeing what he’s missing out on with my ridiculously amazing daughter. He also has the chance to learn from my husband what it means to be a dope daddy and an all-around fantastic man. For all I know, my ex is over on the other side of the country taking notes and being inspired to be a better man thanks to me showing off how we made lemonade out of the lemons he left me holding.
None of my bragging is done maliciously, and I definitely don’t publish every post, or even most posts, with my ex in mind. It’s only when I notice that he’s been on my page again, checking out what I’ve got going on that I decide to give him something to look at. It’s just fun to mess with him a little bit. After all that he did to me and my daughter (she never did get that child support she deserved), he should be happy that trolling him on social media is all I’m doing.
Is all of this immature? Probably. It’d probably be better for me if I just let it go, right? If I’m really over our situation, shouldn’t I just move on? Absolutely, probably. Oh well. I’ve taken the high road in every other situation dealing with that man. For once I wanted to go low.
The truth is, I was over him long before I met my husband. We were through before my daughter was even born. It’s just that he was so disinterested in my life or that of my daughter when he actually needed to care. I’m annoyed that he can find the time now to commit to watching what I do online when he was so unavailable back when we needed him to be committed.
So his punishment is seeing someone else get the gift of raising “his” daughter. As long as he follows me on social media, he’ll have to see my child doting on a man who is not him. And her accomplishments and achievements, all documented on the internet, will not be because of my ex, but because of the guy who stepped up to be the man that he could never be.
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