Arrgh!! Is this NORMAL?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-23-2004
Arrgh!! Is this NORMAL?
19
Fri, 06-11-2004 - 4:47pm
Here we go again ... feels like DH and I have been going in circles. Sorry, I know there were similar posts, but I just need a sounding board... yes, again.

The issue: He wants to be "friends" with his ex EVENTHOUGH she cheated on him AND she tried to get as much money as possible during the divorce (yes, LOTS more than she's entitled to... and yes, he was appalled at the time that she tried to do that). By "friends", he didn't mean hanging out together, but could include calling/emailing each other socially (which doesn't include me) and helping each other out.

I'm asking y'all if you've known anyone who still wants to be even on friendly terms with a person who betrayed your trust AND tried to manipulate you.

In my tiny brain, this could only mean that he either still loves her (which he denied) or he's a Buddhist monk (which he isn't). Before we got married, I made sure that he knew that I couldn't accept his wish and still be in the relationship. I really wish I could, but I knew I wouldn't be able to handle it. I told him to think carefully and make the best decision for himself. If he chose to leave, we'll be friends (yeah, maybe we'll all hang out with his x ..haha), if not, he needs to make sure that he didn't resent me. So he chose to give up his wish. But every now and then, when we had arguments, he'd bring it up and blamed me for not being able to accept his wish. I told him that so I had flaws, why couldn't he accept me for this.

Anybody?

P.S. They don't have kids (thank God!).

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 06-14-2004 - 9:05am

JP, It sounds ike you have already told him what you can and can not live with.

PAMELA

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 06-15-2004 - 12:12pm
They don't have kids???
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-23-2004
Tue, 06-15-2004 - 3:53pm
luv, Pam, thanks. I'm so relieved to get your confirmations! So, is it safe to assume that you think that I did the right thing to make him choose? I normally don't rely too much on my intuition since I tend to rationalize things, but on this issue, everytime I thought of giving in to his wish, I got recurring nightmares and felt sick on my stomach. So, I do know that I am doing the right thing, if anything, for self-preservation.

To DH's defense, though, he said that he knows his boundaries and he'll actually do less (help, interaction, etc.) for her than his other friends. He said he certainly wouldn't do anything disrespectful to me. I do believe him. Although I also know that his ex would gradually push these boundaries, and, he's being very laid back, he wouldn't even realize/admit when this happens. During the divorce process, his ex once suggested to him that she wished that one day she, me and him could get together sometime. HA! Let's just as well invite all my ex-bfs and xh to get together and have a party!! Let's see how HE likes that! At the time, he already knew that I was against that idea, so he told her that it wasn't a good idea.

Well, I'm counting my blessing that they don't have a child... :-)

I wonder if there are any men in this message board who could offer a man's perspective on this issue??

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 06-16-2004 - 8:44am

I could ask Bob to write in.

PAMELA

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-30-2003
Tue, 06-22-2004 - 6:32pm

All I can say is this. YOU told him what you couldn't accept in the beginning, and told him to walk away if he would resent you. I think it's high time he realize that he needs to live up to that. Since they don't have kids, I see no reason for him to be friends with her. BUT, I know women who stay friends with their XH's even though they betrayed and hurt them. Why? These are their words, not mine.


For the most part, they can't ever see being split from the man they once called Husband. I don't mean split physically, but more emotionally. They still care a lot about them, even though they got hurt. Most times, it's because of the amount of time they had been with them. i.e. I've known him since I was 17, he was my best friend, I forgive him and want to be his friend.


Personally, I don't get it. Maybe it's because I haven't been in a r'ship that long to where I really wanna keep them in my life. But, I asked my bf about that. If his xw wanted to be friends, would he? His answer? "No. I don't hate her, don't wish her ill-will, but see absolutely no reason to be friends with her". And he knows I couldn't handle it. I talked to my 2xh and told my bf about it. He just said, "and yet, you wouldn't like it if I did it". But he knows I get jealous and can't handle it. And I know for myself, I'd be in your shoes. I know my limits.


So, if I was in your shoes. I'd nicely remind my H that I gave him an out in the beginning. And he made his choice. So either he lives up to his choice and stop blaming me, or be ready to walk out of the marriage for a friendship with the xw. For me, I'd make him choose. And if he chooses me, then he'd better never blame me again.


But I'm not you. So, good luck though. I have to say, I'm grateful bf isn't like that. Or let's hope it never turns into that. YOU are priority #1. If they had kids, I could understand, but since you don't, he needs to make his choice. His wife.....or his xw.


hugs.

~Cher




my pet!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-23-2004
Tue, 06-22-2004 - 9:04pm
You're not off the mark, I took the same approach. Since I posted the original msg, he and I haven't had an argument about this. That last time we argued, though, I remembered the advices that I've got on this board. He seemed to have selected memory about our past agreements, he confronted me why I didn't break up with him if I couldn't handle his friendship with his ex BEFORE we got married. I told him that I made it clear (or so I thought!) to him that I was prepared to break up with him if he decided to stay friends with his xw. And I turned his argument back to him, why didn't he break up with me then, if he felt that he'd resent me for him not staying friends with his xw? I didn't force him, he's free to go and pursue whatever is important to him. And you know what, there was silence after I said that. I don't want to assume that the silence meant he finally understood, but I feel that something struck home.

I think you have a very good point about the length of the relationship. If a person has been a somewhat constant part of your life for a long time, it is difficult not to have that person around anymore. It is human nature to resist change, some people are more resistant than others, and my DH is one of the ones who has the attitude of "if it ain't break, don't fix it (do nothing)". He's been in the same job since he graduated from college, even though there are better opportunities for him, he stayed where he's been. If his xw didn't cheat on him, he said he'd probably still be with her, unhappy, but it's not painful enough to cause any change. He said that he had mixed feelings about her affair, besides anger and pain, he felt relieved and somewhat excited because then he had a ticket to get out of the unhappy relationship. At that point, I could understand why he wanted to stay friends with her. BUT, during their divorce process, it was clear to me that she was stalling and she was trying to get all of his assets while trying to hide her own, but he just refused to see it until the day his xw finally sent him her financial info ( which was back-dated and delayed several months!!). He was pissed. But was that enough for him to break friendship with her? NO! I told him that one doesn't keep a friend who's trying to take advantage of another friend. DH could be very naive when it comes to how ugly a person could get.

When DH told his xw earlier this year that he planned to marry me this year, the only thing she said was "you need to either sell the house or buy my half out". Not a word of congrats as friends say to each other. And at that time, he hasn't even told her that he didn't want to be friends with her anymore. He didn't really notice it until I pointed it out. He said that she's always been like that, and I was like, "Duh?!! Dude, isn't it obvious that she sees you as her bank?" And he was just looking at me quizzically and said, yeah, that was kinda weird that she didn't say congrats now that he compared her with his other friends. I just rolled my eyes ... LOL!

ok, I think that must bored you enough. ;-) Thanks for the good comments, and again, I'm not you, but we seemed to be on the same page here ;-)

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-30-2003
Thu, 06-24-2004 - 1:33pm

Jeez. lol. some men just need a slap at times. Your H seems to be one of them regarding his XW. No offense. But I'm glad that he got it, yeah, I'd take the silence as that too. That oh, it sunk it a bit more.


Good approach too. To turn it around. Many times, men I've been with dont' see ANY OTHER side but their own. When I give them examples and stuff, they finally GET IT. lol. So, totally understand.


Yup, my DBF would be with his XW too had she not cheated on him. But thankfully, he never wants to be her friend, she tried. She even tried to get back with him. I'm grateful he's over her and doesn't see her as any friend potential. Like your DH's XW, he was only a bank.


Good luck. It seems to have worked itself out.

~Cher




my pet!

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-29-2004
Wed, 06-30-2004 - 3:13pm
I think that any women in your postion would feel the same way unless they were a saint.My partners wife(who of course is younger,thinner and better looking than me!)phones on a regular basis which makes my blood boil.They do have children which you're right makes things that much more complicated.I have not spoken to my ex husband in 20 years and Im good with that.Friends with your ex?when like you say there was betrayal and lies?I think not.Its a tough call though isnt it.Good luck!
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-05-2004
Mon, 07-05-2004 - 6:21pm
In my lurking opinion... She is the past, that's why they call it DIVORCE, and you are the present and future. It should be more important to him that you are uncomfortable with this than it is to nurture a relationship that he has already finished the chapter on. Ex's are Ex's and for good reason. He knew from the beginning that this made you uncomfy so why would he even insist on pursueing this again. Perhaps you should suggest counseling to help you deal with it and to help him be honest with himself about what it is that he is trying to accomplish in maintaining any type of relationship with his ex.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 07-06-2004 - 8:35am

Good advice.

PAMELA

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