Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Central Virginia
Re: Wife who is grieving over ex who killed himself
You will gain nothing by acting like this is all about you. Yes, insist on being treated kindly, decently, and lovingly--but do not make her talk/grief about *him* into something it isn't. She obviously cared for him and he was the father of her child--you will gain nothing by trying to prove you are "better" than him and so, rationally, she should only love you and never think fondly of this scumbag.
Instead, you need to be the good guy that you are--cheerful, supportive, and not jealous of a ghost. Trust that you will be able to demonstrate, time and again, that you deserve her love and attention.
Be in this for the long haul--this will likely take months, not weeks. Be very clear that you will not tolerate mistreatment, but you will not consider her grief "mistreatment" of you. If she needs to talk about him, for example, you do not need to listen--but you can take the kids somewhere so she can call a family member.
And be prepared to leave if she refuses to stop treating you as the bad guy. You cannot win by setting a boundary and then constantly letting her cross it.
In a way, you need to do the 180 and leave her to find her way to you, as though you had discovered she was having an affair and she was in that fog. No unkindness toward her, few demands--but absolutely expecting respectful treatment and kindness from her.
If it goes on longer than you can stand, get marriage counseling. Some people get stuck in the drama (not the real grief) of being the sufferer. To hell with that! But only you can decide what is "too long" for you, and you will need to be prepared to end the marriage if she cannot come around after marriage counseling, or the marriage would be awful. Good luck!