My ex is very active on social media. Whenever he is upset or annoyed with me, he writes about me in a condescending manner. He doesn't say my name, but I know it's about me because I know what's going on. So do my friends. I've asked him so many times to stop, but he won't. What do I do now? —Anonymous
When I think of this scenario, I picture the online equivalent of the current drama playing out with rapper Future, former fiance of singer Ciara. He recently had a rambling sitdown with Marc Lamont Hill at the Huffington Post, and Future attributed the breakup with Ciara to creative differences in their music and her desire to get married quickly and have a big wedding. This was after she had already given birth to their child.
He went on, giving details about his sex life with his ex, telling Hill that they had sex and prayed after, unlike what Ciara does with her current boyfriend, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, which is praying and abstaining. It was TMI and intentionally disrespectful.
Much like your ex, Future has a tea-spilling problem. Perhaps he expected viewers to empathize with his point of view, not realizing that he sounded foolish. But that was not the result. I mean, the man is throwing pubic shade on an ex that not only moved on (quickly) but upgraded to Wilson, a man who appears to treat her well (and takes her on dates to the White House).
Some of the responses to the interview, posted to my Facebook page, were brutal:
“[This] basically was a bunch of [bulls—t]. I mean, how DARE she want an actual engagement, a ring and a big wedding?? What type of crazy-arse expectations were those?? I mean, wasn't having the kid enough of a ‘prize’???”
“Stupidity is a sin. Future is so hurt & needs to have several seats. He's upset [because] she's not running behind him.”
“If he wanted to take his time marrying her, he should’ve took his time getting her pregnant.”
Fortunately for you, your ex doesn’t have a national audience. You have the option of effectively ignoring him. That means you stop checking his social media page—in fact, block it—and you tell the mutual friends who want to run back and tell you what he posts to stop informing you. You don’t want to know what he’s saying because you don’t care anymore. Let ignorance be your bliss.
You should realize that it says a lot about a person, hurt or not, when he or she speaks ill of his or her ex. An ex is someone whom he or she once cared for a great deal, more than the average person, hence the relationship. To publicly turn on an ex shows a lack of character and indicates to smart people that if they ever get on that person’s bad side, they will receive the same treatment, if not worse. Your ex thinks he is making you look bad. He is making himself look worse. Let him do it (since it’s not as if you can stop him). You win on the back end of this.
Oh, and stop contacting him. I assure you that his posts will be less frequent, if not end altogether, once he stops receiving attention from you about them. A large part of the reason he does this is for the ego stroke of continuing to get a rise out of you. Negative attention is attention nonetheless.
Surely there is a part of you that wants to clear your name and speak up for yourself. I get it. If you must go at your ex, do it swiftly and go for the jugular.
Ciara gave a great example of that when she responded to the interview on Twitter:
Welp. I understand why Ciara responded, but she didn’t need to. Given her new boo and new jobs as the face of Roberto Cavalli and the TopShop USA ambassador, she clearly believes in the old adage, “Living well is the best revenge.” She should have just kept living.
Thinking people recognize the nonsense that Future and your ex are doing for what it is. The men are hurt, or at least their egos are bruised. Otherwise, Future wouldn’t be giving these horrible interviews about the mother of his child, and your ex wouldn’t be on social media talking about you. The people who can’t figure this out? You don’t really want them as friends.
Demetria Lucas D’Oyley is a contributing editor at The Root, a life coach and the author of Don’t Waste Your Pretty: The Go-to Guide for Making Smarter Decisions in Life & Love as well as A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life. She answers your dating and relationship questions on The Root each week. Feel free to ask anything at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previously in Ask Demetria: “Sorry, There’s No Easy Way to Win Her Back After You Stopped Calling”