Life After Divorce Support Group

This community is dedicated to starting over after a divorce. With the marriage over, how do individuals begin a new chapter in their lives and what hurdles do they face? Divorce is often one of the most traumatic periods in a person's life. Studies show it is the second-most stressful event in life, after the death of a spouse.

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He still helps his ex wife

Been dating for 10 months now and it has been going ok. The problem? I am sure it is one many people have who date an divorced person who has an ex spouse they share kids with: he caters to his ex wifes needs. She has had her own boyfriend now for over 1 1/2 years and she still calls my boyfriend for everything not related to the kids! I will be on the phone with him and I get "can I call you back _________ is calling..." I just hang up. 95% of the time it is nothing to do with the kids. What is with these people who feel the need to remain loyal to their ex when the marriage is over???? I feel second best to an ex wife!

Replies

deleted_user
deleted_user

Wow! I think that would be hard being in a relationship like that one. Have you talked to him about how you feel?
MyTrueColors
MyTrueColors

I'm sorry he is treating you like that. IMHO, it sounds like he hasn't let go of his ex and for me it would be a huge red flag.
deleted_user
deleted_user

RED FLAG!! RED FLAG!! RED FLAG!!

Honey he is still very much in a relationship with his X. Now it may not be a physical relationship but if he is still "he caters to his ex wifes needs" despite that fact that "he has had her own boyfriend now for over 1 1/2 years"

Basically You are sharing a man.

I know that was a bit direct but lets be honest, his heart is unequally divided between you and her.

You need to address this with him directly and honestly before you are hurt by the latter.
deleted_user
deleted_user

I don't know, I have a different perspective. I don't know why they divorced but they have children together. It is in everybody's best interest for them to remain amicable. Maybe she just trusts him. I don't think he should get off the phone with you though or change plans if it isn't an emergency. Maybe you can talk with your ex and set some boundaries. Be careful that you tread this lightly. He has children with this woman and helping her out, whether it's with the children or not, is best for the children. However, as I said before there should be some boundaries. Good luck. Divorce makes it complicated for everyone involved.
deleted_user
deleted_user

I agree with 34hope. There is nothing wrong with having a good relationship between the two of them. I do not agree with him getting off the phone or changing plans with you just because she calls. He needs to set boundaries with her.

The ex wife of my guy would call and ask him to come over and plow out her driveway or do other favors. I think this is insane, she wanted out of the marriage she can take care of herself. He finally told her so and she has since figured it out.

Some people will just see what they can get away with and how much control they can have. I would bet this is a game of control for the ex wife.
deleted_user
deleted_user

They bought a house 2 hours from Chicago and once she moved there with the kids she told him she wanted a divorce. Got herself all set up in a big house and called off the marriage. She has ADHD and calls all the time because "she has to call when she remembers of she will forget" and she relies on him, his mother and others to do things for her. She uses her issues to her benefit and they are all suckers! I sent him an email last night telling him I will not come in second to his ex wife. Yes, they have children together but the things she calls about mostly are not child related but "guess who I talked to today?" They want to remain best friends and I do agree, I feel his heart is torn and I refuse to take a back seat to a woman who wanted out of the marriage but still wants him to be there for him like they were married and he lets her.

I was supposed to go to Miami next Wednesday and I'm calling it off. I also was supposed to bring my daughter to his lake house this weekend for her birthday and I am calling that off too. I may just call of the whole thing. People want out of a marriage and still think they can control their ex, guilt them into doing things for them. As long as he puts her first in every aspect then he will never find a woman who will stay with him. Co-parenting does not need to be THAT interactive. If the person who the kids live with can't handle being the main parent then the situation has to change.
deleted_user
deleted_user

I just wanted to post again... I totally agree with being friends and helping one another out. I get we are all doing the "Demi and Bruce" blended family thing nowadays to benefit the child(ren) YET we cannot overlook SWAT said herself that She feel second best. This is not cool. We are divorced and I don't want my X to come before my current relationship. Especially when it has nothing to do with our child. Now we can say she has ailments which he assist with handling cool, now that she has a BF for 1 1/2yrs that's who needs to be taking over those issues. I think we are not really seeing this in the OW shoes. While I'm not thrilled about my X and his GF, I don't interfer, directly/indirectly, by contacting him with anything outside the realm of our child. That's just not fair to either side. IMO.

SWAT, I wish you enough...
middleoftheroad
middleoftheroad

coming from a man, divorced, with kids, I get bombarded by my ex wife, all the time. However, early in our divorce, I made it 1000% clear, if it isn't about the kids or our closing up loose ends on our finances, you will NOT hear from me, and I expect the same courtesy from you. Now, on many occasions, she has tried to engage me in dialog not related to our children or finances, or if she'd heard from a mutual friend how great my life is going, she makes sure to ask. I respond kindly with a thank you, but I'd rather not discuss my private life or personal matters unrelated to the children. It's been fairly smooth sailing in this area for several months now, she slips up on occasion because her ego makes her think I care about her still. Of COURSE I do, she's the mother of my children, I want the best for her even after all the torture and tumultuous times she'd put me and the family through. But, the best thing I have is, time and a forgiving heart. It's not her fault, she just doesn't know really how to act. Now, your bf. He needs to set the rule straight. Especially if she has a bf. She should not be contacting him, he should not be hanging up with you to get to her, let it go to vm. he can get it later.
He should not be discussing his affairs with his ex wife with you. You want to know about him and him alone. Sure, the kids, I bet you want to hear there, but, if she's an ex, she should stay that way. There's clearly more than meets the eye. Depending on how long he was divorced too and you two started dating, can dictate his lingering on like this.
It's not healthy for yours and his relationship. To me, it seems highly dysfunctional based on what you wrote.
Talk to him about it, one night plan to discuss some concerns/issues you have. If he doesn't back off, and only defends his relationship with her, then, you have your answer to where you stand and then have to make a decision if it's something you're willing to deal with. Wishing you the best.
deleted_user
deleted_user

His ex does have a lot of medical things wrong with her but not bad enough that she can't function. She has the big one called Ehlos Daniels which makes your joints very stretchy so she can't lift heavy things but she can do daily things like shower, cook, drive. She has severe ADHD where she has to tell you NOW ehile it is in her head or she will forget. She also is VERY unconventional which makes me uncomfortable. She would change in front of your husband and not care, after all, she was just changing is her view on it.

This is my struggle...SHE wanted out, she wanted to be independent and figure it out for herself but she is failing miserably. I feel he helps her out of guilt. Guilt that she lives so far and he can't be there for his kids daily. I think he talks to her because for some reason he needs her more than just what she is - the mother of his kids.

I emailed him, I told him that I can't take a back seat to the BFF relationship he wants with his ex wife. I am his girlfriend now and I deserve the place as #1 in his life. making me #1 does not negate his parenting with her. I love his children as if they were my own. I can anly assume right now what he feels because like a lot of men he does not express those either. He feels he needs to answer every call he gets becuase it could be about the kids - he answers it ALL the time (yes, that means if it's during sex it gets answered). I think he has a great amount of guilt. He could not keep the family together and he failed. I can't be the one to stroke his ego, to make him feel ok that he couldn't do it, that his ex was insane and screwed him when he thiught they were moving and in all reality she never wanted him to come. It's ALL him, HE needs to change and figure it out but I will not sit by while he does. I'm not a distraction, I am a person with feelings.
deleted_user
deleted_user

I also agree with 34hope. They have children together and nothing should come between that. I think there should be open communication in the relationship. Trust is an issue here also. It sounds like you guys need to get to know each other better. If you guys both be honest with each other things can work out between the two of you.
deleted_user
deleted_user

The relationship between two people who were married is a difficult one both for them and for someone who tries to come in and have a relationship with either of them. It's a connection some people either burn, left fizzle out or maintain. Be glad they can have a decent relationship because it is a testiment to the kind of man he is. I would have a harder time with someone who spoke ill of his ex.

BUT on the other hand if he gets off the phone with you instead of clicking over and coming back there's a problem. You can decide to stay and let him walk on you or give him space to figure out if he plans on moving forward.
deleted_user
deleted_user

I don't know your ex or the reasons why his marriage failed. However, it is in the best interest of the children for your ex and his former wife to maintain a decent relationship. However, you are not out of line to set some boundaries. I get that she needs to call before she forgets. However, he should let it go to voicemail, especially during sex. They obviously have a relationship that works unless your ex expresses dissatisfaction with it. You have to be careful what you say about this woman. She is the mother of his children. But, communication is key to a good relationship as well as compromise. If he really cares he should hear you out and understand why his behavior hurts your feelings. Then work on a compromise.
deleted_user
deleted_user

There's a book on dating the divorced man. Read it. Might give you insight on what you're signing up for.
deleted_user
deleted_user

I have the exact same problem with my current bf. He doesn't talk to her in front of me but his whole life revolves around her and his two sons.

I told him "I can't figure out how to fit myself into your life. It is already full"