My Ex-Husband Is Hotter Than Ever — And It's Ticking Me Off

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hot ex-husband with gray hair

I swear my ex-husband does it on purpose. Every time I swing the Honda in his driveway to pick up the kids, my ex just happens to be working out. Or mowing the lawn. Or just sitting there. Without his shirt on. And he looks really, really good. Worse still, he knows it. 

It's kind of become our running joke. I arrive and Serge does his Sexy Guy voice and pretends like we're meeting for the first time. "Hey, girl." Then he'll toss me a cloying wink and say something like, "The kids are in the living room," and use his arm to point while flexing it really hard.

He's joking, of course. But he's enjoying it, too. And yeah, it's funny and also annoying! He looks better than he ever has. Oh, and the thing that prompted him to work so hard? Our separation.

It was a long time coming, but when we finally decided we weren't working (after 10 years of giving it our best shot), it happened fast.

I had our third child, Serge moved to his mom's place, and three months after that we both moved into new, separate homes. Judging by what his body looks like, apparently, Serge spends all his free time (while the kids are with me) working out.

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Don't get me wrong, I'm happy for the guy, I truly am.

He's healthier than he's ever been and feels really good about himself, it's just a bummer that he's doing it when I'm no longer around to sample the goods if you know what I'm saying.

Like a lot of people going through life in an unhappy marriage, we spent the last couple of years of our union practicing the very serious art of couch riding: shoveling Chipotle into our gobs while watching Breaking Bad marathons. It made us happy during all the unhappiness.

It's how we bonded. So we were both kind of sad (and kind of fat) for a while there. Then the bubble burst. We woke up. I did, anyway. And I leaned over to shake him awake by asking for a separation. He grudgingly obliged and changed how he channeled his pain from pizza and Chipotle to working out and reading any Buddhist book he could get his hands on. 

Great. Now you're a hot Buddhist? NOW? When we're breaking up?

It's strange to be so physically attracted to the guy I asked to move out of our house.

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He looks better now than he did when I met him. We're talking rock-hard abs that could cut your fingers if you rubbed them the wrong way.

A high, tight — wait a second, I'm divorcing this guy, right? Right.

I mean, just because he has a tush you could bounce quarters off of now doesn't mean we'd get along any better than before. Which is why it's so annoying that he looks so good, you know? I reap no benefit here on the other side of separation.

Not only does he look good, but he acts like a different person, too. Confident. Calm. Sexy.

During our marriage, he was negative, angry, and almost neurotic. I used to tell him that the way he handled situations made life so much harder than it needed to be. The kids would have a tantrum in Walmart, and Serge would get so agitated that I'd find myself spending more energy dealing with his reaction to the tantrum than the tantrum itself.

Now he has the kids half the time and strolls through life like some kind of a Zen God. A Zen God with really attractive pectoral muscles. He tells me the old Serge is dead, that it was just a switch he flipped.

Yes, he wishes he'd done it sooner, but our separation is what finally woke him up. What's worse is that I can tell he isn't doing it to make me jealous and he doesn't seem to be interested in other women. Yet.

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He says he doesn't want to date anyone but me.

But still, I'm sure other women notice.

I'd certainly notice a hot, wedding-ringless guy wearing a cute baby. I'd even date him if I met him today. Maybe. He certainly seems like a changed man, but still, there's a sliver lodged deep in my heart that's holding me back. I guess I need time. I need to breathe. I need to live. I don't know what to believe anymore.

In the meantime, my Hot Ex-Husband continues his hot ways and I continue to pretend like I don't notice his biceps gently kissing his t-shirt sleeves when we do the kid shuffle in the parking lot of the gas station halfway between our homes. He wants me to notice. He knows I notice. He wants me to know that he knows I notice. I don't want to notice. I try not to notice.

But I notice. 

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Monica Bielanko writes about relationships, her personal experiences, and co-parenting with her ex. Her writing has appeared on The Huffington Post, Yahoo!, and Mom. me