We all have an ex we wish we could just give a piece of our minds to. But should we? As we are about to see, it's not always a good idea.
I (33M) Confronted an ex (31F) during a high school reunion and don't feel good about it
I recently attended my 15-year high school reunion in my home town. I don't make back home very often, even though it is only an hour or so away from where I currently live. I still have good friends that live there so I was looking forward to seeing some familiar faces and reminiscing over a few drinks. My wife and I booked a hotel so that we could enjoy an evening away without worrying about driving anywhere.
The actual reunion festivities were OK, yearbooks, games, and cocktails and snacks, etc. I saw some old friends, laughed, saw people I hadn't seen in years...all the things a reunion is for. After a couple hours the party moved to the local bars where my night took a turn. At the first bar we arrived at I noticed that my ex-gf from high school was there. Here's a little background on my relationship with her.
We started dating my senior year, she was a junior. It was my first real relationship, definitely not so for her. We broke up numerous times during a 8-month period. She would break up with me and then have sex with one of her exes within a couple days, then come crying back to me saying she made a mistake. I was so naive I took her back. I later found out she did this so she could claim she never technically cheated on me. She would throw parties at her parents place and not invite me but invite her exes. Then she would gaslight me and tell me she never had a party and her exes weren't even there. I was so young and stupid and new at relationships I didn't know any better. She would lie to me about where she was and who she was with all the time, and when I confronted her she would tell me I was crazy. Shortly before I graduated, one of her friends pulled me aside at a party, saying she had to tell me something. She confessed that my EX had been purposely playing games with me for the entire relationship.
My EX knew I had never had a GF before and she thought it would be fun to see how much she could get away with in a relationship, true sociopath shit. I broke up with her the next day and pretty much cut contact completely. She tried to contact me when I was in college and I was at least civil with her, but never confronted her about everything I knew she had done during our relationship. Anyway, this whole ordeal gave me severe trust issues that took me years to overcome and cost me a lot of friendships and relationships along the way as I dealt with the issues my relationship with my ex caused. Eventually, I met my wonderful wife and I am the happiest I have ever been.
Back to the reunion. I hadn't seen my ex in at least 5-years, we'd both since married. I made no effort to approach her and sat at a table with my wife and some friends. When my ex noticed me, she approached our table and started talking with us, she had clearly been drinking more than we had. After a few minutes she asked me for a hug, which I declined. I told her it was good to see her, but that I simply wanted to enjoy an evening with old friends. She got pissed, called me a few names, and said she's more than an old friend, we were more than friends. All those years of pent-up feelings finally came flowing out of my mouth. I calmly told her that no, we are not old friends, and we are not current friends. I then went through everything she had done to me. The lying, the cheating, the gaslighting, the manipulation. I told her that I knew she played games with me on purpose, that she pushed me to see what she could get away with. I didn't raise my voice, I didn't insult my ex, or call her names.
Everything I said was very matter-of-fact and straightforward. The jaws of everyone at the table were on the floor. No one except my wife had heard me talk about these things before. My friends were shocked, my ex was on the verge of tears, and my wife held my hand tight under the table. I ended by telling my EX that again, it was good to see her, but we are enjoying a private conversation over a few drinks and she left our table. We finished our drinks and decided to go to a different bar.
Shortly after we arrived at the new bar, a man I didn't know angrily approached me and demanded that I apologize for insulting his wife. He was my exes husband, who I had never met before. Apparently my ex went back to him in tears, crying that I had called her a crude name for a female dog and a synonym for a woman of ill-repute. I explained to him what happened, backed up by the rest of the people at the table. I told him I was sorry his wife was upset, but that I had never called her any names or insulted her in any way and that I simply wanted to enjoy the rest of my night. He eventually left when it was clear I was not going to apologize. Shortly after, a group of my exes friends came into the same bar as us, and they too confronted me about being an *ss-hole. I decided I had enough of this small-town, high school drama bullsh*t and my wife and I left and went to our hotel.
On our way home, my wife told me she was proud of me for confronting my ex like that and that she hoped it was a cathartic experience. I don't really feel like that. I'm not proud, I'm not glad I got this stuff off my chest, I'm not happy I had a chance to confront my ex. Yes, her actions had a negative impact on my life for a long time, but everything she did to me led me to become the man I am and have the life I live.
Was it wrong of me to unload 15-years worth of pent-up emotional damage on an unsuspecting ex? Should I have just given her the hug she asked for and went our separate ways? I can't help but feel guilty for some reason, like I caused unnecessary hurt on a person who just wanted a hug. Should I have kept my mouth shut?
TL:DR: Confronted an EX during a high school reunion with my long list of grievances when all she wanted was a hug and I don't really feel good about it at all.
Here was some of the advice he got.
She didn't just want a hug - she wanted validation for treating you like shit when you were younger. You are oversimplifying her motives and trying to ascribe innocent-ish motives to someone who just didn't have them. Hell, given her track record, it's not impossible that she was having issues with her husband and wanted to use you to get back at him.
You didn't approach her and you gave your ex ample opportunity to leave the situation. She cornered you and you reacted accordingly.
I'm glad your wife is so supportive of you. Sounds like high school reunions should be a skip for you from now on.
There are good reasons why I don't go to my hs reunions. Not worth stirring up old, kiddo-times drama that has no real bearing on everyone's actual lives anymore.
No it was not wrong for you to say something. She's the one who approached you and tried to rewrite her own history and you just corrected her.
No you shouldn't have just hugged her. You didn't want to and that is completely normal and okay. Of course you wouldn't want to hug some nut case who had been so cruel to you.
I support what you did. You stood up for yourself when confronted. I think it's a good thing.
Dude, you did exactly what everyone that's ever been wronged by a partner has wanted to legally do. You don't have to be proud of it, but I honestly think that, in the end, this experience will have a positive effect on your life and maybe the lives of others.
You were amazing. Your wife is amazing.
You feel badly about it BECAUSE YOU'RE SUCH A GOOD PERSON, and you had to deal with no-good people. But the truth needed to be out there for all to see. You shined the light where it was dark. It leaves a weird taste in your mouth because it is unpleasant dealing with bad people, not because you did the wrong thing.
You should not have hugged her because you did not want to hug her. You politely declined the hug and she then essential asked you to justify why you were not willing to hug her.
Could you have been nicer? Probably. Could you have left some things out and simply say, "I don't see it that way, I am not interested in reliving the past with you and am only interested in spending time with the people at my table"? Yeah, but you still would have been a jerk in her mind for not hugging her.
But what you did is not terrible and you are not a monster who inflicted mental anguish on someone. Most likely she is drunk and cried to her husband and anyone who listened and they confirmed that you are an jerk (even though from your side you are not) and she feels vindicated.
I would spend zero time worrying about this she is fine, your wife is amazing and you sound like you are a compassionate and loving husband.
You tried to politely let her know you weren't interested in interacting with her and she got childish about it. Confronting implies you started it, you didn't. And I know it's childish to point out who started it, but I think it's significant here. You were polite, she started name-calling you and saying you're her friend because she wanted validation from you, like it's still your responsibility to handle her mood swings.
It's not, so you told her exactly why you weren't. It was a power play, and going crying to her husband was also a power play, it wasn't about how much you did or didn't hurt her. It's okay that maybe you don't feel proud that you reacted so strongly, but please don't feel ashamed. Personally, I would have done the same if one of my high school/childhood bullies or abusive ex-friends tried to hug me and then got abusive over me asking them politely to leave.
Nope you were not wrong. It is good it didn't feel good to you. You didn't do it to feel good. You did it to finally let her know she did not get away with something. I actually see this as a valuable learning tool for her. Who knows who she is still manipulating. Yet somehow, the universe lined out a way for her to get some sweet karma. You did it not only for yourself, but for anyone else she was using.
You weren't wrong. She was disrespecting your wife when she wanted that hug and when she hinted at how more then friends you were. She hoping to create drama and jealousy. She has not changed.
The good news is that you never have to deal with her again. The even better news is that you know your wife is a quality woman who has your back.
But to be on the safe side I would set all of your social media accounts to private. Highschool Ex sounds like the type to do a little internet stalking.
Don't feel bad, you did no wrong. She pushed, you just gave her the facts. If she was upset about hearing the actions she took brought out into the cold light of day, then something tells me she either knows what she did was wrong and refuses to own it, was simply upset that everybody knows now, or was just upset that you didn't let her off the hook like she wanted you to. What goes around comes around and I think in this case you were what's coming around. You were far kinder than I think I would have been.
Either way, her behaviour makes her sound like a literal psychopath. Being charming, manipulating, pathologically lying, constantly needing for stimulation from other men, lack of empathy for you - all hallmarks of psychopathy or at the very least, a fairly damaged personality. For real.
I know it's the war cry of this sub but I'd seriously consider talking to a professional of some sort.
People often have this thought that if they could just face down the person who wronged them, damaged them, lied to them, or hurt them, and if they could just let go with both barrels and really let 'em have it, that somehow it would make everything all better. That they're only holding onto their pain because they haven't had the opportunity to give it back to the person who strapped it to them in the first place.
Now I won't say that this kind of thing can't be cathartic, far from it. But I've found that more often than not, all this sort of 'catharsis' does is take your righteous head of steam away and it leaves you feeling unhappy, sort of empty. It's like holding something bitter in your mouth - even once you spit it out, that taste likes to linger.
I think on some level that you forgot you were holding something bitter in your mouth and it wasn't until your ex pushed you that you realized how awful it tasted. I think talking to someone might help you work through that.
Best of luck. You seem like a standup dude and your wife sounds like a gem. You'll be alright.
Raise your hands--who had an emo phase in the 2000s? I know I did, as did a lot of people around me. All of us heard “It's just a phase" from our parents at some point, but when you're a kid, life as we know it seems so permanent.
Of course, most of the time, it was “just a phase". And looking back, those phases are regrettable, to say the least. Here are some prime examples of that.
What was your biggest/most regrettable "It's not a phase, mom. It's my life." that, in fact, turned out to be just a phase and not your life?
The enthusiasm of a young person can lead to some unexpected changes that parents are just not ready for.
I was VERY into The Transformers when I was a wee lad in the 1980s. One day, I decided to change my name to the name of my favorite Autobot. My name was lame, and I wanted an awesome Transformer name. And I was VERY insistent that my parents only call me by my new name. Calling me by my 'old' name would cause a big fat tantrum on my part.
So for the better part of a week, my poor parents had to call me Wheeljack.
Very 2008.Ariana Grande Shrug GIFGiphy
My cat-ear phase. I wore cat ears every single day. Everywhere. I had like 20 pairs of them. Now everyone thinks I'm a furry.
I find that very cute and wouldn't have thought you'd be furry. Even if you'd had cat mittens. I think my suspicions would have started if you moved a bit like a cat, displayed catlike grooming habits or got a cat mask.
Not gonna lie, that car sounds cool.
I went to a car show once as a teen, and the only newer car there was some chick's PT cruiser. It was hot glittery pink, and at the time I was obsessed. I insisted that one day I would have a hot pink car, with pink seats, pink dash, pink carpets, etc. I was pretty heavily goth at the time, so my parents just rolled their eyes.
These phases can often lead to some very strange fashion choices.
When I was a teenager (early 00s), I was waiting for my mother to pick me up and was wearing one of those sh!tty sports wristwatches. It was itching me so I took it off for a second, but then she arrived and because I was struggling to get it back on my wrist, I looped it around the equally sh!tty chain I had around my neck in a rush to get out the door.
My mom asked me about it in the car, and I told her this was my new style and I planned to wear it like that every day. She rolled her eyes.
I wore that watch on a chain around my neck every single day for 3 years or so. There are even professional family photos where I'm wearing it because I refused to take it off.
One day, the chain broke and I lost the watch. I was in high school at that point anyway and it was a major lady repellent, so... phase over.
Not everyone can be Eminem.slim shady eminem GIFGiphy
Baggy pants, being a rapper someday and being a professional skater.
When I was about 14 and Eminem was starting to blow up I bought myself a keyboard with a synthesizer. It cost like $200 which was all the money I had saved up. It finally came (this was way before amazon prime and such) and I tried rapping.
My sister told me "you're effing horrible" and I gave up right then and there.
This should be a sin.
I used to button the top buttons of polo shirts.
I must say, this is probably the worst one I've read.
Looking back at our regrettable choices, all we can do is cringe.
An optimistic look at bad tattoos.check me out season 3 GIF by PortlandiaGiphy
Being a tattooer. Regrettable because of those poor people who have my awful doodles on their bodies.
Take heart! My favorite tattoo is the one I drunkenly got my buddy to do in his living room one year during March Madness! It's dumb and frankly mediocre? But such a good story and has such good associations I smile every time I see it.
My friend and I decided we were going to open a bar in Jamaica with exotic snakes in glass cages in the walls at each booth. We convinced ourselves it would be amazing for at least two years in college. It was going to be called Fredro's.
My entire family made fun of me for it. Once we got out of college, we realized it was not feasible and joined the office grind. We're also two white guys with no ties to Jamaica.
Talk about cringey.
I wore a top hat with an anime pin on it for around a year. Met one of my current best friends while wearing it, idk how he could bear to speak to me after that.
My weirdest phase was probably when I insisted on wearing knee-high rainbow socks to school every day. But honestly, I don't regret it. I rocked those socks, and I wish I still have a pair.
To all the people out there cringing over their past selves, remember that you were just a kid, and to be easy on yourselves. After all, we've all been there
It should not take much for a consumer to be satisfied with the products they purchase.
Yet, too often, manufacturers who oversell their products fail to deliver what is promised and are inevitably left with angry customers who want their money back.
Whether the merchandise was defective or ridiculously overpriced, strangers online shared some of their worst purchases when Redditor BooksMcGee asked:
"What is the worst product you ever paid money for?"
Short Life Span
"This NERF gun that's supposed to shoot tennis balls for your dog. I bought it cause I thought you could load 3 at a time and shoot them far, but it's just one and it's super loud and the gun broke after like 4 shots (reading reviews later, this was a common issue)."
"There were these toys called squiggles when I was a kid and the commercials made it seem like the toy was alive. It looked like you would get this crazy little fuzzy worms as pets that would follow you around an so sick tricks and listen to your every command. It was really just a piece of fluffy string tied to another piece of string with googly eyes on it. People may say that it was supposed to be a magic trick but they should also explain that to a 5 year old who really wanted a pet."
"Not their fault, but I paid $70 for a Yugioh card hours before it was limited to one copy. Probably dropped to $20 by the end of the day."
These purchases were bad for your bum.
"A bicycle that literally fell apart before I made it out of the parking lot."
Not Worth Sitting On
"Joybird brand couch. Was so terrible, we returned it. Still hard to believe, we returned a freaking couch."
Going Nowhere Fast
"A 2000 VW Beetle (used)."
"Biggest piece of sh*t that literally had to have just about everything replaced before 100k miles and would still break down every time you left the driveway to the point where the tow-truck driver knew us on a first-name basis."
"An Oldsmobile Achieva from one of those buy here pay here places. I should have known better, but I was young and thought I was getting a good deal. I had the thing for about 5 months, I drove it for maybe 3 weeks. The rest of the time it was either in the shop, or in my driveway waiting until pay day so I could afford to fix whatever broke on it this week. Eventually told the dealer just take it, I'm not paying for it any more. He said nope, and I will make sure your credit is ruined. I said well you sold me a lemon, do you really want to go this route? He came and took it. Never reported anything to credit. I heard he got sued by several other people who sold sh**ty cars too and eventually went out of business."
"Always amazes me when I see them driving around still, I can only assume there's enthusiasts who just love repairing horribly designed cars."
These Redditors were not convinced what they ingested was edible.
"A box of plain Cheerios. Thought they were honey nut, poured a bowl, was very disappointed."
"If I wanted to taste cardboard, I'd just eat the box."
"A burnt frozen pizza at the air and space museum cafe in DC. I Don't wish that experience on anyone. There are some amazing restaurants in DC, don't settle."
The following electronics just gave off a bad charge.
"Asus Transformer Pad TF700"
"This was one of those early 'high end' Android tablets that was grossly underpowered, and it showed. Thing was slow as sh!t in no time flat. Rookie mistake investing into shiny new tech while they were still working all the bugs out. Think I paid somewhere in the neighborhood of $350-400 for it..."
"macbook pro 2018 13" touchbar. 2 years old and dead (battery). they're asking $300-$400 to change the battery. malfunctioning keyboard with double presses and missing presses. that's a lot of money for bad design."
"Past winter my old room heater broke down and I had to buy a new one. Went to a store nearby and somehow got convinced to buy a very costly heating device.. It's also my fault, since there were some sligthly cheaper options around, but nope. I wanted the expensive one thinking it will make my small room a volcano with little to no effort/cost (that's also what the seller told me). Long story short the device wasn't doing ANYTHING. No significant temperature changes, too much space, a weird noise, and was doubling my previous device in utility cost. I still gloom over those 80 euros.."
Some of my disappointing purchases was clothing, but only because I purchased them online. Unless they are a brand I'm familiar with, I'm usually fine with buying new jeans off of their websites.
But when it comes to graphic tees only available on specialty shops, an M-size shirt is not necessarily the same size as those found in other reputable stores.
I bought a medium sized T-shirt from a boutique store online because I loved the look of the design. But when it arrived, the supposed medium fit me like an XL.
At least I gained a fierce cleaning rag from this impulsive purchase.
We all know the job interview butterflies.
We sit outside the office or wait for the phone call and our foot taps at rapid speed. We run through some rehearsed answers, but worry that they'll ask a slew of things we never even considered. We try not to sweat too much.
Often, it turns out alright. We may not get the job, but we're respectable, give solid answers, and learn a lot about the place we're trying to get hired.
Other times, however, all of our far-fetched worries seem to come to life.
Curious to hear just how bad an interview can go, Redditor UIGrimsen asked:
"What was your worst job interview?"
Plenty of people had some truly bizarre stories to share. Part of these train wrecks were bad luck, and part were the insane antics of the people giving the interview.
But for us, they're simply hilarious.
"I applied for a job in a Planetarium, the interview was conducted in a big dome."
"Problem was, another part of the Planetarium staff was doing fire alarm tests during the interview. The dome amplified the sound so much, it was deafening. The interview staff acted like nothing was going on. We had to shout so we could hear each other."
"My mom raises chickens … and during COVID one of them got sick (not COVID). She had it inside to feed water hourly to try to nurse it back to life. My mom has to run an errand so I'm in charge of this chicken for the afternoon."
"I was on a phone screening with a candidate for a position in my office and this chicken starts having a seizure and dies on the middle of this phone call. I look over and it's laying almost like it was crucified."
"The candidate heard the commotion and asked if everything was ok … Which I relied 'yeah, the chicken just died.' "
"She withdrew her application the next morning."
"1.) I walked in as the HR lady farted"
"2.) it was a small office with no windows"
"3.) I asked her questions about their employee retention rate that she couldn't answer"
"4.) the fart stayed the duration of the interview"
"5.) I hope the fart got the job, because I didn't want it"
A Very Instructive Moment
"Applied to work at a vet clinic. Veterinarian did the interview while spaying a cat, apparently one of the cleanest and quickest surgeries they do. I fainted."
"Was not offered the job (after I woke up)."
Others shared moments when their excitement was deflated instantly. They encountered such closed-minded interviewers that there was almost no need for discussion.
That Bus Perk
"As an interviewee It was when I applied to a job as a Junior programmer and in 5 minutes the guys goes 'look, I'll be honest, there is no job, you can get an internship, no pay, we offer the bus pass' "
Plains, Trains, and Automobiles Later...
"I took vacation days to interview, bought my own plane ticket, and paid for my own hotel. First thing the interviewer said was, 'I have no intention of hiring you. This is just a courtesy because I knew your brother.' I had 8 more hours left in my interview day. It was painful."
"They ended up offering me the position many weeks down the road because they couldn't fill the position. I politely declined and got a very passive aggressively worded survey to fill out explaining why I passed."
There's a Right Answer??
"Wanted to work at H&M, got interviewed by the worst person ever."
"One question was and I am legit not lying, 'What is your favorite color and why?' "
"I answered 'baby blue because it's calming and not too harsh to the eyes.' My interviewer then said Oooh, sorry! Red is what we were looking for. And then proceeded to show me the exit."
Last, some shared the times they arrived for the interview excited and enthusiastic, but quickly learned how out of their league the position was.
These interviews looked more like brutal interrogations from the FBI than job interviews.
All the Principals
"Fresh out of college, I was looking for my first teaching job. I applied at a small district for an elementary school position."
"I walked in, expecting the principal and a few teachers. Instead I had the superintendent of the district, some high-level admin, and every single elementary school principal in the district. Probably 15 people in all. They peppered me with questions for 45 minutes."
"I had zero experience, just my student teaching. I did not get the job."
Shove Your Masters
"Finished up a masters degree in physics. Got a phone interview and was was told it would be an introductory chat. Was confronted with a technical interview panel (over the phone) of 6 PhDs, 4 of which had graduated from the research group I had just left. We walked through my research project in about 10 minutes."
"Then the pain began... felt like I'd only learned kindergarten physics."
An Extremely Intimidating Position
"Got an interview for a job as a floor manager at a gigantic steel foundry. I have some background in metallurgy so I thought it'd fit. It paid $90k and I was qualified resume-wise. I got there, turned out it was a group interview with three other applicants, to hear the pitch."
"If something messes up, the company loses $100,000 (some shockingly high amount, I don't remember if it was exactly 100k) per hour and it's your sole responsibility to fix it. They said you'd have to be on call 24/7 to handle anything that comes up."
"I got to the solo part out of curiosity and the interviewer they put me with said something to the effect of 'I know this job sounds bad, but actually it's even worse.' I was desperate for a job because I didn't land one straight out of college, but I was glad not to hear back from them after the interview..."
Here's hoping you don't have a job interview scheduled and this just amplified your anxiety 1000%. The nice thing to remember is that these horror stories are few and far between.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Believe it or not, Canadians don't live in igloos or freeze to death all year round. If you go to Germany, it's highly unlikely that every German you meet will be cold and uninviting. Hop over to the United Kingdom and you're not going to run into tons of people with terrible teeth and bad hygeine.
These are called stereotypes, my friends, and it's best you leave them at the door. People were more than willing to strike down some stereotypes about the countries they know and love after Redditor HelloThere577 asked the online community,
"What are some false stereotypes about your country?"
"When most folks envision Scotland, they think of kilts, whisky, bagpipes, and red hair.
All of those things exist (and are common) here.
People might also imagine verdant hillsides, rocky bluffs, and skies that randomly switch between clear and cloudy.
Once again, that's completely accurate.
However, one stereotype which has absolutely no foundation, in reality, is the assumption that Scotsmen are constantly hunting haggis. In fact, haggis-hunting only takes place in February (which is the season for deosil haggis) and May (which is the season for widdershins haggis). For the rest of the year, the haggis is more or less left alone."
"I am originally from Portugal and moved to the United States. Around 80% of the people that I have met thought Portugal was either in South America, owned by Brazil, or a part of Spain. When I first came here it made me really sad."
"If the wildlife hurts or kills you in Australia, it's generally because you are f***** stupid. You are 10000 times more likely to be injured or killed in a car accident in Australia than by anything in nature."
This is likely very true, but knowing me, I'd probably be easy pickings for one of those huntsman spiders.
"That we end every sentence with "eh" and drink maple syrup by the gallon and have moose and igloos in our backyards."
You mean... you don't?
Just kidding. Canada is lovely––visit sometime. It's a lovely place.
The United States
"That we always have a shotgun at the ready. A shotgun is a home gun where a pistol is your everyday gun. Your revolver is your dress gun, for special occasions. Then of course your assault rifle is for when you're kicking back and cracking open a cold one with the boys."
"Anything related to The Sound of Music."
Probably gets annoying afer a short while. Great movie, though. Still dreaming about a trip to Salzburg.
"A lot of Americans seem to think we're inbred because we're an island. This is dumb, because it's a very big island (10th biggest in the world), and it's not isolated, we've been invaded, invading, and trading with the mainland for thousands of years."
"That we are car thieves. Crime was widespread in Poland in the 90s but today crime (including theft) rate in Poland is low."
"We do gesticulate a lot, but we definitely don't yell like crazy."
It seems Italian Americans are the ones who could learn a thing or two about being more reserved.
"Iceland. We're not some utopian Disneyland filled with quirky superstitious people that all believe in elves."
Remember: The world is an enormous place filled with people from all walks of life, and they don't take too kindly too stereotypes. Expand your horizons by having conversations with as many people as possible. You'd be surprised how quickly your preconceived notions will vanish.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.