I Saw My Ex in My Apartment Building

The good news and bad news of this nightmare

Colleen Sheehy Orme
3 min readJun 22, 2021


My post-divorce home is my unexpected happy place. It’s kinda like college. At first, you resist and miss everything familiar but one day you find yourself thinking, “I like it here!”

The new becomes comfortable.

I was initially traumatized my ex-husband wiped me out financially.

Especially since we didn’t own one home. We also owned two investment properties. I had literally gone from one extreme to another. Accepting I may never be a homeowner again, at least in the near future was depressing.

But then I discovered the luxury apartment building.

It happened out of desperation.

My ex-husband ruined our credit in an attempt to make us look broke. No private homeowner was willing to rent to me. I remember the agony of accepting my fate.

I walked into the building devastated by my predicament.

But luxury was an understatement.

A concierge, a pool, a gym, game rooms, and more. My trauma was dissipating. And like the new car industry, they would do nearly anything to get me to qualify.

I remember my boys laughing and saying, “Mom always did like hotels.”

I did and I do.

This spa-smelling, dimly lit fireplace oasis was calling to me.

Just what I needed after an exhausting five-year battle for freedom.

I was over the homeowner thing…at least for now.

A few weeks ago, my friend and I were talking on the phone. To adequately illustrate my panic, I now can’t remember who.

“I gotta go,” I say. “I think (insert ex’s name here) just walked into my building.”

The fear was real not imagined because I knew his lease was expiring. But it still didn’t seem possible. Yet neither did moving a few miles away from me post-divorce.

But he did.

I was now worried about running into him at grocery stores, restaurants, and banks. And of course, this happened.



Colleen Sheehy Orme

National Relationship Columnist, Journalist & Former Business Columnist. I cover love, life, & relationships— #WomanResurrected colleen.sheehy.orme@gmail.com