Relationships can be complicated, especially when exes are involved. But things can get even more complex when the exes come from vastly different backgrounds, with varying levels of privilege and poverty.
Jealousy and resentment can rise, however, acknowledging struggles and accomplishments while trying to be genuinely happy is a good way to fight these feelings.
In this article, OP defends his privileged ex to his girlfriend, and things get off the rails.
The Wealth Gap
OP had been with Olivia for two years, and despite the break-up, things were going pretty well. They kept in touch, and there wasn’t any bad blood between the two, just a mutual break-up, where both parties remained close friends.
His current girlfriend, Josie, isn’t the biggest fan of the friendship between him and Olivia, and who can blame her? Staying friends with your ex while in a relationship is quite the ordeal, especially when your partner does not approve of it, or thinks there is still a connection between you both.
However, Josie is working towards being more accepting of Olivia, as she’s going to therapy. It helps a lot and allows her to keep a clear head when the subject comes up. But regardless of that, their different background still causes tension, and what’s a relationship without some drama?
Meet The Family
Olivia’s mother is a nurse practitioner, and her father is a lawyer, which makes Olivia come from a financially stable family. Being an only child from a rich family, Olivia gets everything she wants; that’s what Josie thinks.
There’s no denying that having the finances does pave the way, and while money can buy a lot, some things can only be earned.
Josie, on the other hand, comes from a very different family. She grew up below the poverty line, and both of her parents had overdosed when she was just a child. Most of her teenage years were her working for every penny she could get, while her elder brother looked out for her in the ways he could.
So when OP worries about Olivia’s mental health, or when Olivia talks about her life, Josie gets jealous and has admitted to this a few times, which is why she decided to deal with it in therapy, and move on from the negative emotions.
Things got heated when Josie and her friends were having a conversation about colleges, and where they would have preferred to go. Josie goes to a community college, which is what she can afford. Olivia goes to one of the top twenty schools in the country.
OP listened in on Josie’s conversation with her friends, as the conversation shifted to kids who got into prestigious colleges due to their parents having lots of money and possibly paying their way through the admission process.
He felt as though Josie was talking about Olivia. He got slightly offended, as he was proud of Olivia for getting in and thought she deserved to do so. So he asked Josie, and she said she wasn’t referring to Olivia, just talking about other parents and people doing it.
Josie argued that students like Olivia have more opportunities and resources available to them, which makes the process smoother, and help them get admitted, compared to people like herself who have to work and go to school at the same time.
He argued, telling Josie that Olivia put in the work to get into the college, and it wasn’t money that got her in. Josie said that she was aware, but she was saying that it would be easier, especially considering that Olivia didn’t have to worry about her groceries.
He snapped at that point, telling Josie that she was jealous of Olivia again, saying it was ‘really sad at this point.’ He argued that the admission team saw something in her, something above her societal status, and if Josie had balanced her time better, she could have made it into a school like that.
Josie had heard enough and ended up leaving him alone, crying as she left. Now, OP would like to know if he was wrong for saying what he did, as he was sure that Olivia worked for what she got, and earned it the right way.
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What People Think
One user lashed out at OP for expecting her to be on the same level as someone with two financially stable parents, compared to an orphan who basically raised herself.
“Defending your ex’s achievements, that’s fair.
Lashing out at your current girlfriend to defend your ex (who she hadn’t insulted directly) by accusing her of being jealous and BLAMING her for not ‘balancing’ her time while she had to support herself AS AN ORPHAN? Seriously? Yes, her older brother took care of her, but she had no parents, i.e., an orphan. So yes, you blamed an orphan for not managing their time better AS A TEENAGER while WORKING TO PUT FOOD ON THE TABLE.”
On the chance that OP himself grew up with both parents, he probably didn’t have much to fight for as well.
Another user is repulsed by OP’s fixation on Josie.
“He’s worried about Olivia’s mental health. Meanwhile, his girlfriend has to work with a therapist to accept his relationship with her on top of her own childhood trauma. WTF?”
I personally wouldn’t be okay with my partner choosing to remain close friends with his ex. Would you? And what do you think about the way he acted?
This thread inspired this post.