My Other Ex

posted in: Book, Friendships 31 comments

Exes. I have so many. Some I still think about, others, I can barely remember their last name. The ones I met in my early years, then school and college, and many in my early days of working life. Some made an impact on my life, both positively and negatively, many, like passing ships in the night, never to be seen again, and hardly memorable. 

I’m talking about female friendships, and how they end sometimes. Many of my former friendships ended quietly, with the changing of life circumstances – changing jobs, moving away, getting married, having children. Most did not have a definitive ‘shelf life’, or an event that sparked the end. Some probably died because it felt one-sided (mostly on my part, because I throw myself into friendships, and get hurt easily when the other party does not reciprocate). 

Some of my exes are not really exes. We are still Facebook ‘friends’, but we rarely interact, if at all. Some become mere acquaintances, someone I “used to know”. Those hurt less, because they went through a natural cycle of meeting, greeting, hanging out, and ending. We fit into each other’s lives at the time when we met. Once things changed, so did the friendship. 

The exes that stick out are the ones who stuck around the longest, who defied the cycle, who then broke it, and everyone is left hanging and hurt. The ones who make us regret words we said, things we did, and the end of friendship itself. The ones who made us wish we’d never even met in the first place, and those who make us wish we’d never done that stupid thing that broke us up in the first place.

Female friendships are so complex, yet simple. They are endlessly fascinating because of the complexity. Women get entangled and enamoured with friends. We get emotionally involved. We invest so much of ourselves into it. And no matter how old we are, we almost always never handle friendship breakups as well as we think we should have.

All this to tell you that My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends, is launching today, September 15. I am immensely proud to have my essay among the 35 stories in the book, and am still pinching myself that I have an Amazon author page (!). My essay is about a new facet to female friendships  – that of an online variety. Never having met someone, yet knowing so much about them (and vice versa), only to break up and make up? The stories I could tell, I can just hear my bloggy friends say! Well, I told mine. I hope you read it when you buy the book

My Other Ex

And friends? Once you’ve read it, an Amazon and/ or a Goodreads review is always lovely, and appreciated! 

I would also love it if you check out The HerStories Project, who published this anthology – they’ve just put a call out for their next one, called Mothering Through The Darkness, seeking stories of women’s postpartum struggles with mental illness. It’s also a writing contest! If you question whether your story or writing is good enough – STOP. Yes, it is. Tell your story. Submit it to HerStories. The deadline is December 1. I hope to see YOUR name in the next book. 

If you think you need help with writing, or want to know what editors are looking for with these submissions, Jessica Smock, one of the editors of My Other Ex, and co-founder of The HerStories Project, is conducting a personal essay writing class starting September 22! You can sign up here (affiliate link).


Alison Lee is a former PR and marketing professional turned work-at-home mother. After a 10-year career in various PR agencies, and of the world’s biggest sports brands, Alison traded in product launches and world travel, for sippy cups, diapers, and breastfeeding. Alison's writing has been featured on Mamalode, On Parenting at The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Everyday Family, Scary Mommy, and She is one of 35 essayists in the anthology, My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends. In 2012, she founded Little Love Media, a social media consultancy specializing in blog book tours, and because she doesn’t sleep, is an editor at BonBon Break, an online magazine. Alison lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her husband and four children (two boys and boy/ girl twins).

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  • September 15, 2014 Janine Huldie

    Cannot thank you enough Alison for allowing me to read and review this wonderful book that I could to put down. I truly would remiss if I didn’t mention that yes, too have had my fair share of female friendships that have come and gone. So, again thank you and look forward to share more of my thought so this later in the week now.
    Janine Huldie recently wrote…This Apple Girl Drools Over iPhone 6My Profile

    • October 11, 2014 Alison

      Thank you for your review, Janine!

  • September 15, 2014 Stasha

    Congrats! So proud of you, cannot wait to read it.
    Stasha recently wrote…Monday ListiclesMy Profile

    • October 11, 2014 Alison

      Thank you! I hope you do read it. 🙂

  • September 15, 2014 Allie

    I doubt you’re reading these (as you shouldn’t be!) but I just wanted to say that my thoughts are with you and your babies!!! I’m thinking about you and them all.the.time. and sending all the love and light I have!!! Cannot wait until you can bring them home and start sharing some pictures of your new additions! Much, much love to all!!!
    And yes, the book sounds great too 🙂
    Allie recently wrote…The Rundown – In PicturesMy Profile

    • October 11, 2014 Alison

      Thank you for all your well wishes, Allie!

  • September 15, 2014 Kerstin

    Congratulations on being published! Very awesome!!! I can’t wait to read it, I find the topic very intriguing, especially since most of my friendships now are online and it really ads a whole new level of complexity to it…. xo
    Kerstin recently wrote…Rare Bird – a reviewMy Profile

    • October 11, 2014 Alison

      Thanks, Kerstin! And yes, online friendships – so many nuances there.

  • September 15, 2014 Tamara

    I would love to read/review this book. I am on it!
    I used to think something was wrong with me because I lost best friends throughout life. Now I know it’s just… life. And many have stuck around.
    Tamara recently wrote…A Letter To a Little Girl.My Profile

    • October 11, 2014 Alison

      I can’t wait to read your review!

  • September 16, 2014 julie gardner

    I’m fairly bursting with all the congratulations.
    You birthed a book and two new babies.
    Girl, you are a miracle.

    Sending love and MUCH JOY.
    You have brought this goodness into your life because YOU ARE SO GOOD!


    • October 11, 2014 Alison

      Thank you for all your love, my friend. xoxo

  • September 16, 2014 Tricia

    Cannot wait to read this!
    Tricia recently wrote…Vignettes: almost fiveMy Profile

    • October 11, 2014 Alison

      Cannot wait to hear what you think!

  • September 16, 2014 Kir

    I loved everything about your essay. There is true honesty and a rawness in your words. So glad your friendship came full circle and back into your life.

    Kir recently wrote…A Family Mantra (Scary Mommy)My Profile

    • October 11, 2014 Alison

      Thank you, hon! xo

  • September 16, 2014 Arnebya

    So glad to read your words here and be a part of this with you. Published authors!
    Arnebya recently wrote…Oh, HiMy Profile

    • October 11, 2014 Alison


  • September 16, 2014 Stephanie Sprenger

    I just can’t thank you enough for how much you’ve supported HerStories in all aspects- the book, the blog tour, the call for submissions, the class… you are such a positive force for us. And I hope you don’t read this comment for days and days, because you’re too busy taking excellent care of yourself. Just know that I can’t stop thinking about you and those babies! Sending lots of positive energy your way! xo
    Stephanie Sprenger recently wrote…Release Day for My Other ExMy Profile

    • October 11, 2014 Alison

      Thank YOU and Jessica for allowing me to be part of this amazing book and all that HerStories stands for!

  • September 16, 2014 Christine

    So excited to see your name in print. So excited for you!! And thinking of you and your babies and can’t wait for you to bring them home.
    Christine recently wrote…High Five (or 11) Friday!My Profile

    • October 11, 2014 Alison

      Thank you so much, Christine!

  • September 16, 2014 Charlotte

    You’re so very right about female friendships being so endlessly fascinating and complex. I don’t think I’ve ever walked away from one without some sort of internal struggle, or without a period of deep mourning. I still think about friends I had back in high school and college–the ones I was convinced I’d carry with me throughout all of the phases in life: adult/motherhood.

    I absolutely adored this book and have been recommending it to everyone. It’s relatable in every sense of the word and on every page–regardless of where we are in life. And so many of the stories that touched me the most were the ones about friendships that were frayed when one woman becomes a mother and the other simply can’t relate.

    Congratulations on being featured in this book, momma. Your story was magnificent and a wonderful contribution. And you have an Amazon AUTHOR PAGE!! GO YOU 🙂 SO proud of all of your successes (and happy to say I knew you when). XOXO 🙂
    Charlotte recently wrote…Review of ProbioSlimMy Profile

    • October 11, 2014 Alison

      Thank you for your review, and for recommending it to your friends!

  • September 17, 2014 J.Lee

    From a young age, I’ve always been comfortable around boys and later men. I know who I am around them and I understand the boundaries well of the different sort of relationships I’ve had with them. But as easy as it’s been with men, that’s how equally strange and awkward I’ve been with my female friends. How much of myself do I share? Did I say too much? I’m always unsure here. And after every wonderful outing or gal’s night, I find myself thinking and revisiting what I’ve said, what does it all mean?! I actually get anxious about when we should hang out again? Is next week too soon? Supremely difficult for me. I’ve literally never gotten so hung up about a guy as I have with my female friends. Also, I’ve never been so hurt by a guy, too. Life is weird. Where’s the easy button?

    • October 11, 2014 Alison

      Life IS weird. I’d like to know where the easy button too!

  • September 18, 2014 Michelle

    I have had a few friendships turn sour, for various reasons. I’m not comfortable talking about them, mainly because I have lived in the same place for over 20 years and I still run into these people from time to time. But I don’t have any regrets. I can forgive a lot, and I have, but these friendships were ended over rare and extreme incidences. I’m looking forward to reading this.
    Michelle recently wrote…Letting our Children Take Ownership of their DecisionsMy Profile

    • October 11, 2014 Alison

      I hope you like the book!

    • October 11, 2014 Alison

      I hope you like the book, Michelle!

  • September 18, 2014 Rebecca

    My comment didn’t go through! DAMN! Okay let me start over….

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’ve had many other exes myself and some burnt more than others. But you are a good friend with a beautiful soul….AND AN AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE!!!!!

    Congratulations and thanks to the exes for their inspiration. <3
    Rebecca recently wrote…SEVENTEENTH SHINE!!!My Profile

    • October 11, 2014 Alison

      THANK YOU!!

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