When you see your garbage ex dating someone new, it can make you go through a range of emotions. Firstly, some light crying for the final nail being hammered in the coffin of your old relationship. Secondly, some celebrating because you remember just how bad he was and how glad you are that he’s not your problem any more. Thirdly, you want to scream ‘RUN, RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN’ to this new girl because she obviously doesn’t know what she’s getting herself into.
Some men are worse than others and if your ex was particularly bad, should you let this new woman know? Would it help? Before you slide into her DMs looking like a malicious ex set on revenge, assess the full situation.
Give yourself a reality check. Are you just wanting to destroy his new relationship? You need to be sure that the only reason you reach out to this new girl is out of pure and genuine concern for her. If there’s any part of you that is acting out of revenge or anger towards him then reassess your actions, because doing things just to make someone else feel bad isn’t a good way to live your life.
Next, assess whether what he did to you is relevant for this girl to hear. Any form of abuse is definitely grounds for a word of warning, as well as any other extreme behaviour like stealing from you, being a compulsive liar or a serial cheater. If he was just pretty crappy to you in general, it might not be fair to confront his new partner. Put yourself in her position: if someone told you that your new man was physically abusive you would take that seriously, but if they told you that he always forgot birthdays and anniversaries you would probably just think they were being dramatic.
‘When I started seeing my [now ex-] boyfriend, a girl messaged me to warn me about him. She was pretty vague, just saying that he was “bad news” and that I should stay away from him. I asked my boyfriend about it and he told me that she was jealous because he had ended things with her after just a few dates, and that I shouldn’t take her seriously because she was “crazy”. Only months later did I find out that he had severely emotionally manipulated her into a really dark place, and had now done the same to me. I wish she had been more specific with me in her warning message, but at the same time I don’t know if I would have listened. We went for coffee after everything was over and became friends while comparing awful stories about him. Recently we sent a message to his new girlfriend, being quite clear about what he is like and she said she appreciated the message but is still dating him. I guess you always think you’re going to be the girl who is different and changes him. I think it’s worth it to warn a woman about an abusive man, but know that they’re probably still going to want to find out for themselves.’ – Harriet, 25
If you do decide to talk to his new girlfriend to let her know what’s up, note that it’s important to not come across as patronising. Women are already on edge around their new man’s ex, so bear that in mind when approaching her. Be kind without being condescending, and make it clear that you are appealing to her woman-to-woman and aren’t in any way trying to ruin their relationship out of spite.
‘I had only been seeing this guy for a week when this girl I hadn’t met before came up to me in a bar. She was at university with him and asked if she could speak to me. She said she felt obliged to let me know that he was really sexist and disrespectful towards all the women in their class. I didn’t know him that well but I was still shocked. I felt confused as he had always been respectful towards me, and I kept dating him but was on the lookout for any of this behaviour. When he made a vaguely sexist remark a few days later, I pressed him about it which led to a big argument and we ended things. I think if this girl hadn’t said something to me I would have let that remark slide and dated a sexist pig for way longer than one should.’ – Lee, 29
Whatever you choose to do, make sure it’s thoughtful, planned-out and that you have the other woman’s best interests at heart. Don’t be scared of him – it’s more important to look out for other women than to protect your trash ex’s ego.
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