New marriage and confused
My husband and I have been married for 2 years and started dating almost 4 years ago. At the time he had been separated from his now ex-wife for almost 3 years. In the beginning I found it surprising that he had so much contact with her - apparently they had decided that they would remain "friends". I found her behavior to be very inappropriate, manipulative of him, and controlling. She would call at odd times - very early in the morning or very late at night for mundane things - ask him to go to their shared condo to fix her internet, put up wall hangings, fetch meds for the dog, etc. And it wasn't that she called that was so much the issue but the way in which she called - she rarely left messages - if he didn't pick up she would call again and again until he did, demanding his attention.
Despite this, we were surprised at the instant chemistry, commonalities in background, culture and similarities in family dynamics that we shared, and we instantly fell in love. He finally started pushing the divorce along, and we became engaged. He still hadn't told his ex about us yet, and because of the recession, they decided it didn't make sense to sell their condo and that she would continue to live there and he would continue to pay 1/2 of all of the expenses. She continued to call him, whenever she wanted - he was too afraid of hurting her to set the proper boundaries. Months later he finally told her about me and up until the week before our marriage she continued to call him constantly regarding her refinancing, the dog, the condo, leaks, etc., all up until several days before our wedding. I almost called the whole thing off being afraid that it would never change - that despite how hurt I was that he would always consider her feelings before mine. His excuse was that he felt sorry for her and especially since he had moved on and was happy and she wasn't. He promised me he would set boundaries and that she would be out of our lives for all intents and purposes. Just a few days before our wedding he met with her and told her we were getting married, and asked her if she could call our landline so that he could achieve transparency with me.
Her phone calls lessened in frequency but she still never acknowledged me and continued to call him on his cell phone and never on the landline. My husband mostly lied about it whenever I did find out she called. One day I had to borrow his cell and went through it. I found a deleted voicemail from her from the night before, late at night, asking him to let her into her condo because she had locked herself out. He never went, of course, but I was upset that she had no reservations about calling a married man at 10 pm to come over to her condo across town when she had never even acknowledged his wife.
A couple of months later, over a year into our marriage, she called again very early in the morning and I happened to see her name and number on his phone. She left a voicemail saying she had locked herself out, if he could come and let her into their condo. I felt that I had had enough. I picked up the phone and called her and told her to get out of our lives and to stop being so dependent on my husband. We exchanged a few nasty words and I asked her not to call him back.
Much to my surprise – this changed my relationship for the worse. She had called him back to discuss the condo and the dog, and each of these conversations felt like a way for her to draw him in emotionally. She called me names, said nasty things about me, and cried endlessly for hours, affecting his sense of guilt and responsibility toward her. I couldn’t believe it but he actually asked me to apologize to her. He said I was the stronger one and he felt sorry for her.
In the end, the thing that hurt me the most was that I felt that he took her side. Despite what I had been through because of her, he saw her as the victim. I found an email to her from him several months later telling her that if she needed anything to call him on his cell or to email him on a private email account that I didn’t know about. It broke my heart to see this email in which I felt that he was basically telling her that the door was still open. When I confronted him he said it was just (again) for logistical reasons – for her to let him know how the dog was doing, etc. but that she had never called him or emailed him since then. I didn’t believe him and couldn’t trust him. Now he is angry at me for not trusting him because he feels that he loves me more than he ever loved her, and that it’s my fault for ruining everything between us. We have talked about possibly separating.
I don’t know how to fix this dynamic between us and I feel hurt that he still makes excuses for her – that she was just calling for this, or needed that, she’s not manipulative or cunning, etc. I don’t know how to forgive him for siding with her and for giving her an open door access to him despite me. I don’t know how to trust him and I know it hurts him that I don’t. I know he loves me and isn’t doing anything behind my back but I think when it comes to her he doesn’t even know he’s being manipulated and sees me as the crazy jealous wife when I tell him that is what she is doing.
He tells me I should just get over it that life isn’t always fair, and that despite the fact that she was wrong, we can just move on but that just hurts me more, as if my feelings aren’t relevant and hers are.
Confused. Sorry for the long post.