Princess, My Psycho Ex-Girlfriend

Have you ever had a relationship with a girl that left a bad taste in your mouth for months or years after you broke it off? Sometimes you might think about an old lover with regret, but I'm not talking about those occasions... I'm talking about the ones that make you shiver or cringe in horror at the very thought of her. If you have, then you'll no doubt recognise the crazy in the story I'm about to tell you - the story of my psycho ex-girlfriend.

When I was much younger, I met a girl through my work. Most of the other girls there held themselves aloof and generally didn't like to talk to me too much (being a nerd is so uncool), but she and I became fast friends. She was very pretty, and I could tell she'd been part of the "popular" group at school, so I was never quite sure why she liked to spend time with me so much. Perhaps she felt that I was someone she could talk to without being judged or expected to act a certain way, but I'll never really know for sure. It soon became clear though, that her interest was more than simple friendship. She kept finding excuses to hug me or touch me, and sure enough we eventually started dating.

I'd never had such a gorgeous girlfriend, and I think it surprised a number of people when they met her for the first time. Needless to say, I was pretty happy about the whole thing, and perhaps a little bit impressed with myself - being nice to a girl, being a gentleman, had paid off! (So I thought) Unfortunately, I know now that like the founder of this site's relationship with his ex-fiancée, this was just the stage where she was getting herself firmly established in my life before her demands would grow to epic proportions. It would eventually become clear that she expected to go through life being treated like royalty, so from now on, I'm going to refer to her as "Princess".

During the years I stayed with Princess, our relationship fell from one which was happy, contented and (I thought) full of love to an endless screaming match. I don't want the following paragraphs to read like a litany of woes, and I certainly don't expect pity, but I do want to paint an accurate picture of just how mind-crushing being around her would eventually become. Trying to keep her from flying off the handle eventually became a full-time job.

After a blissful honeymoon period where both of us could spend hours just holding each other, things started to inexplicably "go wrong" between us. The downhill ride started innocently enough (doesn't it always) with suggestions that I should earn more money. How was I going to buy a house and secure my future if I didn't earn more money? "But I earn plenty of money, more than most people my age", I would reply in bewilderment. This issue would regularly re-appear, and it gradually became about our future and how I was going to provide for it. There was never any mention of her contributing to this future that I was going to provide of course. Moreover, her measurement of how things were progressing was how much "stuff" I had bought her lately - when money was tight due to some unexpected expense or another, I would frequently hear complaints to the effect that I just didn't care enough about her to spend any money on her.

As Princess and I became more of a couple, I started taking her along to parties and other social gatherings. At first this was fine, but more and more frequently, she would attack my masculinity in public, with outbursts along the lines of "why can't you be more of a man?" when I didn't puff out my chest and behave like a complete jerk in front of other guys - I was supposed to see them as competition apparently. She also wanted me to "be more protective of her" around them. I tried this once and it didn't end well (that's all I'll say). The truth is that most guys get along pretty well with men they've never met - only a guy who lacks self-confidence feels he has something to prove to people he doesn't know. My refusal to act like a toughguy was apparently a source of constant angst for Princess. She eventually managed to isolate me from my friends and general social group due to her constant attempts to create conflict.

Things became even more of a problem between Princess and I when she introduced me to her group of friends. She wanted to show me off to them - I understand that. Actually, I was naively proud of that. She always wanted to paint me as generous and helpful, which, being a nice guy, I liked. I didn't realise until later that it was more about her trying to one-up her friends than out of genuine regard for me. The problem came when I would do favours for her friends at her request and then get inexplicably blasted for "thinking about cheating with them". This confused me no end. Didn't she trust her "friends"? Well, perhaps she did, but this sick no-win situation was engineered by her in a stupid, private competition to prove that her boyfriend was the best. The conflict built in her mind until she determined that I would no longer see any of her friends since all I wanted to do was run off with them. So when she eventually stopped seeing her friends altogether, naturally I had forced her away from them! She had lost all of her friends because of ME! See how I was the cause of such pain and misery in her life? Oh the accusations that came flying at me over that...

I really wanted to make things work with Princess. I tried to be better and better to her, thinking all the while that I was the one at fault. I was simply unable to mentally process how malicious and demanding she had become towards me. Things had gotten so bad that her brother, mother and father would usually all side with me when our arguements got loud enough. Her mother would shakes her head sadly and say to me, "I don't understand why she is being such a bitch to you". Actually, she almost started crying about it once. I still feel sorry for Princess' mother, because she was a lovely and gracious lady, and didn't deserve such a bratty daughter.

Every single misdeed, real or imagined, was dragged up and thrown into each new verbal assault. Anything could set her off. One time, she started yelling at me for eating tinned fruit. Another, she spent an entire dinner with her family complaining that my teeth made a funny noise when they touched the metal spoon I was eating with. I developed dozens of little rituals, all designed to avoid the miniscle things that could upset Princess. I would religiously ensure that I only used a quarter-inch of toothpaste when I used her bathroom (don't ask). I made sure to only wear soft shoes when walking on the downstairs tiles (bare feet were out of the question). I swore not to talk about computers to anybody she knew (I didn't want to embarrass her).

In the end, the weight of all these bizarre and contradictory rules I kept in my head was too much. I actually remember the moment it all came crumbling down very clearly - it was a Tuesday morning, and I'd stayed the night at her place even though I'd pleaded with her to let me stay at home as I had to leave early for an exam the next morning. Princess was still asleep, so I helped myself to some tinned fruit from the pantry. I didn't enjoy getting up so early, but it was a long way to the University from where I was. I was eating quietly while reading the morning paper, when I heard Princess coming down the stairs. She was awake. I immediately tensed up and made sure that my teeth weren't touching the spoon I had in my mouth - I didn't want the noise that it made to upset her first thing in the morning.

Wait. What the hell was I doing? What. The Hell. Was I DOING?!

"I'm trying to eat without the spoon touching my teeth," I said to myself.

I repeated the statement to see if it made any more sense the second time.

"I'm trying to eat without the spoon touching my teeth."

Nope. It didn't. It was stupid. It was retarded. It was... insane...

I wanted to throw back my head and laugh. Not a humourous laugh... I mean the kind of laugh that comes from a person who's lost his wits. Somebody who knows he's finally cracked. I finished up my breakfast and shower as quickly as possible, and left without even saying "good morning" to Princess. In the car, I laughed all the way to University. After my exam, I cried all the way home. I had suddenly realised that it wasn't me - that there was nothing wrong with me for not being able to keep Princess happy. No man could possibly have satisfied her whims. The revelation hit me like a ton of bricks. My God! She was the problem! She was the one who'd never put enough effort into our relationship! I had never felt so free.

The end came swiftly after that. I was no longer prepared to put up with Princess' tantrums. I found her casual disregard for others disgusting. Her small-mindedness became unbearable. Leaving her might just have been the best decision I've made in my entire life, and that's saying something.


"A relationship is an organism. You created this thing and then you starved it, so it turned against you. Same thing happened to the Blob." -- Jerry Seinfeld, The Ex-Girlfriend

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