Jesse James, who famously cheated on Sandra Bullock with an Oscar show dancer or something, has a new book out. It seems that a lot of this book (obnoxiously titled American Outlaw) is about his relationship with “Sandy.” Of course he has to promote this pile of nobody-cares-but-here-we-are-talking-about-it-anyway, so he’s blabbing to everyone with microphone or a blog about his ex and how much he’s grown, how sorry he is, how his upbringing made him this way and how now he’s really working on his issues and so on and so forth.
Jesse’s own particular brand of lameness and grossness aside, his blab-spree highlights the real issue: Talking about your ex with strangers is not cool. Even (or maybe especially if) someone’s waving a giant check in your face to do it. I’m not saying that you should hide your pain from the world, but you should leave out the details. Here’s why:
1. You know people are going to twist it
If they’re not your good friends, they’re either only half listening or they’re only in for the juicy gossip. Either way, they’re going to get it wrong when they inevitably repeat it. Maybe you “don’t care what other people say,” but if that was really true, you wouldn’t be talking about it to anyone and everyone.
2. It’s not only YOUR information to give
Just because you, your ex, or both of you screwed it up doesn’t mean that your whole relationship was a sham. Unless one of you is an actual sociopath, it’s safe to assume that it was a soup of real feelings, insecurities, common interests, expectations and maybe some denial that got you both into the relationship in the first place. You shared many private, intimate moments. Just because it ended badly doesn’t mean that A) those moments have been negated or B) you have the right to now blab about things that you previously wouldn’t have.
3. It’s, by nature, cruel
Talking about your ex to anyone besides trusted friends is likely to get back to them. It’s disrespectful to whatever mourning process they might be going through. Whether they’ve reconciled or not, when Sandy goes into a Barnes and Noble and sees Jesse’s stupid mug plastered all over a book that’s largely about her, it’s probably gonna hurt. Think of Facebook walls and casual conversations among mutual acquaintances the same way.
4. It can impede both of you in getting over it
When too many people have information about it, your breakup becomes almost like a second relationship that neither of you actually get to be in. The less you feed into the gossip, the quicker you’ll actually be able to move on.
5. This is why you have friends
I get that you want to talk about your breakup. I really do. You want to get things off your chest. You want to actually understand what the hell happened, how it went wrong. and you should talk about it. To your friends. They actually want to know what you’re going through and they want to help. Talking to anyone else is really just going to make it worse.