Divorced 1 1/2 years, married 20 years ago today...2 teens......we just can't get along...HELP

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-29-2011
Divorced 1 1/2 years, married 20 years ago today...2 teens......we just can't get along...HELP
Fri, 07-29-2011 - 7:56am

First, if your taking the time to read this, I sincerely appreciate it. It's going to be lengthy but I don't know how else to say it so here goes....

Situation: 2 high school sweethearts married at 20 years old (same age). Married 18 years with 2 teen daughters. Work forced us to relocate away from home for 13 years and we moved back home a few years ago. I thought all was "OK" but apparently it wasn't.

SHE is 40 and looks 28, I on the other hand put on 70 pounds a few years ago due to an illness (and a commitment to work and to be honest, putting work ahead of my fatherly and husband duites..I must admit to that). She was a FABULOUS wife and a beyond fantastic mother. NOTHING came before her motherly duties. Home room mom, soccer team mom, she sewed their halloween costumes etc.... I was truly blessed to have a woman that was not only gorgeous to look at but someone that I knew would be there 24/7/3656 for my kids.

As I stated, I was not a "perfect" husband/partner. She is mega-talented and I know I allowed her to do to much. I work about 70 hours per week and again, to be honest, I let myself believe that that was my part of the bargain. However, there was never any abuse or anything of that nature. I simply worked my butt off to provide them with a nice home, a second home at the lake etc...

Well, a few years ago I started noticing the 40 year old "cougar" I was married to who really never flirted etc. start to look at me as if I was 90 years old and her clothes rivaled that of our 15 year old daughter. They wore / wear the same outfits. Instead of being concerned, I thought it was cool to be the guy with the hot wife and just overlooked it. Well, she came to me one night balling and crying and I got the ol' "I love you but I'm no longer IN LOVE" with you speach.

I was mortally devistated. We agreed to separate for a period of time to try to work it out. I knew I had issues that I needed to work out so I agreed and moved in with my brother (bachelor). We talked every day or so and we stayed in touch about the kids. Well, one night I stopped by (as was most certainly part of the deal) and she was in the back yard speaking to a neighbor. I went into the bathroom and her cell phone was sitting on the counter. It beeped and I looked to see who it was. Would you believe this was the very first text message I ever read? As it turns out, she had been speaking with a man who she claimed to be a vendor for her company. The text did not mention any type of sexual encounter but it was EXTREMELY flurtatious on both of their parts. She was discussing me and he was advising her to leave me. I went berzerk and showed her the text. She was beyond humiliated and apologized over and over. She said (and I give her credit for at least making me believe this) that they had not had any sexual encounter but that they had kissed.

At that point, I wish I had handed her the phone and calmly walked out to simply chill outand gather my thoughts but I screamed and yeelled and called her names I should never have used. I was out of my head in grief and knew I most likely could never look past this, regardless if she wanted to get back together.

Well, fast forward to today..Our divorce was of "tabloid" nature. We never speak and if we do, one of us ends up hanging up on the other. It's a mess. She has started seeing a man who I have to honestly say I like. I can't hold it against him for wanting to date a beautiful woman who until this incident had been nothing but fantastic. However, he is VERY jealous and it's obvious when I'm around he feels threatened! She left me yet he sees me as a threat. He now is getting way too involved in my kids lives (they do like him). He calls me and tells me when he feels I don't parent to his approval. I am a nice person but have never been one to be walked on. Now you have two grown strong headed men that have kids involved.

Here's my question(s): 1. Does he have any grounds to try to tell me how to parent? His kids are a bit older than mine and he feels he's "been there done that". My daughter acted in a way that made me threaten to confiscate her cell phone. He called me and told me if I took it from her then he'd get her a new one. This of course lead to a (via cell phone) shouting match between he and I. Not to mention losing credibility from my daughter.

2. I would be a liar to say I'm not still in love with this woman. She did something that I feel is wrong but I still have very strong feelings for her. However, I'm smart enough not to pursue a relationship (romantic/dating) with her. We're too wounded and far too many hurtful things have been said. BUT, I do want a friendly/working relationship with her. For crying out loud, she was my best friend since I was 16 years old. I've produced 2 beautiful children with her etc...

My "strategy" is to simply stay as far out of her sight and mind for a year or so and just work on me and my relationship with my kids (which is strained) and hope that she wakes up and realizes we're acting like high school kids. If we don't speak for an extened period and she sees that I've changed to the point that when I hear her voice I don't vomit "LOL" maybe she'll settle down and want the same.

Lastly, my oldest doesn't know about the affair. She does feel that the breakup was my doing. I don't want her feeling ill of her mother but I'm very compelled to tell her the whole truth so she'll have a litlle less animosity towards me. Should I?

I really appreciate your help!

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

First of all, I think your ex's BF is way out of line to be discussing your parenting.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-29-2011

Thanks so very much for the reply. It was obviously written with thought and sincerity. It is advice well thought out and will be taken to heart. Thanks again!

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-20-2001
From someone who was cheated on, your X sounds like she did have an affair so I don't feel you are so off base with thinking that. But its none of your kid's business as why you divorced. You just need to explain that it was a decision made by you and mommy and you both love them very much. Your DD will come around. Don't take 100% blame for he demise of your marriage. There is a thing called communication. If your X was unhappy, she should have spoke up. If she did and you ignored, then you should have tried harder. You provided a good life for them. Guaranteed your X liked getting male attention and played off of that. Since yove been together since childhood, she probably hasn't dated anyone else.

As for the BF, tell him to back off. You and your X are the parents and not him. Tell him and your X to respect the fact that only you and her make decisions about parenting. Your DDs will see one day that this BF was just butting in. They are at the age where everything is drama and they need to take their angst out on someone (you!).

In regards to you, taking care of yourself is the best revenge. It may not make her jealous or want you back but it will help with our self esteem and maybe you'll find someone new (unexpectingly))

Best of luck!
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-12-2007

My ex also cheated on me.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-14-2011
Hello, are you still 70 pounds plus and dealing with medicals concerns/problems? I just wonder how you can focus on others when you have not got your house in order. How can we/you help others if we have not worked on helping oneself.
Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Rob, I just wanted to second what Music already said.

The BF is totally out of line. Music's words were perfect. Simply don't participate in such discussions with him. I get along with my xH's DF, and we can visit when I go to pick up my DD, and she may share about my DD, but I what you are describing is flat out not OK on any front.

I also agree I don't see any reason to tell your DD that her mom kissed some guy while you were separated. Again, I agree with Music's suggestion and verbage on that one.

I never had to resort to e-mail only, but I will say when I feel like my xH is not listening to me, sometimes I will send an e-mail so my words are clear. It is definately worth a try, as it sounds like what you are doing isn't working.

Take care and good luck...