My husband is obsessed with/feels responsible for his ex - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-15-2017, 08:04 PM Thread Starter
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My husband is obsessed with/feels responsible for his ex

My husband is obsessed with his ex in a way that he feels responsible for her pain, loneliness and being unsuccessful romantically. They were together for 5 years and NEVER married. She was just a girlfriend to him, she didn't even get a proposal or thought of one. They have 1 child together, who was an accident that happened very early in their relationship, a few months. My husband didn't want her to have the baby, she obviously had it and he felt trapped. My husband suspects she may have lied about birth control to get knocked up on purpose, to try and secure him. Lady has issues.

My husband left her 12 YEARS ago. Time to move on and stop feeling bad for her. We have been married for 9 years. He isn't into her but feels bad for her. She's like a pity case to him. I understand the need to get along with an ex if a child is involved, but this is beyond that. My husband would probably do anything for her, if she'd ask.

If she asks for more time or to change the custody schedule my husband says he's fine with it when really he's not. If she needs help with something he helps her. I don't think she ever asks but their daughter tells my husband when something is up. For example, their daughter said their backyard was a mess and needed to have new sod put down. My husband went over, raked up her yard and prepped it for new grass, laid sod and went over a couple times a day to water it while his ex was out of town. She came back to a redone yard. My husband says it's for their daughter. She's 16! She's not out there playing on a damn swing set. I doubt she ever steps out there.

Before that their dishwasher broke, my husband went over and figured out what was wrong, ordered the part and fixed it for her. Or, for their daughter, as he claims. Every time they exchange their daughter he wants to talk to her and see how she is doing. Their daughter is 16, they don't need to have friendly conversations, she can walk herself inside. She has a licence and my husband has been putting off getting her a car, part of me thinks it's because he'd have less interaction with his ex.

If his ex called him at 3:00AM to replace a lightbulb my husband would probably run over. To my knowledge, she never asks him for anything other than custody changes, but my husband would jump on it. He has said that he feels bad for her. She is a pity case.

She was single for about 10 years before finding a man interested in a relationship with her. Like I said, she has issues. Decently attractive and has a good job but otherwise a mess. She was raped and has issues there. Her dad murdered her mom and sibling so she has issues there and no family. My husband said they stopped having sex after their daughter was born because she had unsolvable "issues" after the birth that lasted the rest of the relationship. She confided in him years ago that she had been dating a guy and it didn't work out because of sexual issues. My husband sees it as, he left her because she was raped, because she had physical trauma after their daughter was born and because she had family issues. Not because they were incompatible, so he feels like the worlds biggest ********* and wants to try and make it up.

My husband and his ex are not close. She avoids asking him for things and seeing him, it's my husband who would bend over backwards if she just asked.

I know that she has dated a bit because their daughter has mentioned it. She didn't find a man to want a relationship with her until recently. She's been with a man for about a year. My husband thankfully backed off a bit with helping her and bending over backwards. Until recently.... When he learned who she was in a relationship with. Which is a man who works in my husband's office. They don't know is each other, but my husband knows he is married. The guy has pictures of his wife and kids on his desk, my husband when out of his way to look. Now my husband is obsessed over how to tell her and doesn't want to hurt her "again". Literally he will not shut up about it. He will wake me up in the middle of the night to talk about it.

He claims to wait to to tell her because it could affect their daughter. My opinion is to ****ing bad. Choose a better partner. Their daughter has only seen him a couple times, she's a teenager - she wants nothing to do with her mom's (married) boyfriend. Who knows, maybe she knows he is married and doesn't care or took what she could get. Hell, I would after 10 years of no one wanting anything to do with me. My husband thinks he can't tell her because it can't come from him. I told him to forget about it or just figure out how to tell the guys wife because that will bring it all crashing down, but he doesn't want his ex to find out that way. He will not ****ing drop it! And it is driving me ****ing crazy.

I can talk to my husband about this until the cow's come home and he just doesn't get it. He thinks they have a normal relationship and that he "cares about the mother of his child". How do I snap some sense into him? Or am I just being a jealous *****? I'll admit, I don't like his ex. Not really for anything that she has done, but because of how my husband acts.


Last edited by literret; 04-15-2017 at 09:09 PM. Reason: Grammar
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-15-2017, 08:55 PM
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Re: My husband is obsessed with/feels responsible for his ex

Show him this post.

"If you deliberately plan on being less than you are capable of being, then I warn you that you'll be unhappy for the rest of your life."

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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-15-2017, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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Re: My husband is obsessed with/feels responsible for his ex

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He would just say that I'm being an idiot and over analyzing. His opinion is that I don't understand because I don't have kids with anyone else. He isn't a bad guy and outside of this, our marriage has been good. Sometimes I just want his ex to disappear and our marriage wouldn't have any problems.
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-15-2017, 10:06 PM
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Re: My husband is obsessed with/feels responsible for his ex

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He would just say that I'm being an idiot and over analyzing. His opinion is that I don't understand because I don't have kids with anyone else. He isn't a bad guy and outside of this, our marriage has been good. Sometimes I just want his ex to disappear and our marriage wouldn't have any problems.
It's tough living with an x in your marriage. I doubt this will get better.

It's not impossible to coparent and cut engagement with the X. I've seen it fine.

He's either to weak or to much of a nice guy to stop. Not keeping her at an arms length is BS on his part.
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-15-2017, 10:43 PM
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Re: My husband is obsessed with/feels responsible for his ex

You're not being unreasonable at all OP. It's not about jealousy either, it's about respect. You are his wife - you've been his wife for almost a decade! He needs to shut the hell up about the ex. Her problems are just that - hers and hers alone.

Every single time he brings her up you need to change the subject, if that doesn't work, leave the house. If he wakes you up to talk about it, chuck a hissy fit and go to the couch. Don't put up with this crap for one more day.
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-15-2017, 11:23 PM
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Re: My husband is obsessed with/feels responsible for his ex

Make him YOUR ex. This is ridiculous, and you shouldnt tolerate it.

Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.


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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 04:44 AM
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Re: My husband is obsessed with/feels responsible for his ex

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He would just say that I'm being an idiot and over analyzing. His opinion is that I don't understand because I don't have kids with anyone else. He isn't a bad guy and outside of this, our marriage has been good. Sometimes I just want his ex to disappear and our marriage wouldn't have any problems.
You asked for advice and although mine is simple, the best you can do is honestly tell him how it hurts you. I see some blunt honesty in this post.

It's about your boundaries. What you are and are not OK with. You tell him clearly what they are, then tell him that you can't continue as things are. He's free to choose whether to respect your boundaries, and you're free to act accordingly if he doesn't.

She has been out of his life for years. He is actually hindering her ability to fend for herself by always charging to the rescue. His child is another matter. I think you have no issue with that, but his child will be in his life forever.

You've been quietly boiling over this, hoping he'll change. He won't. You need to initiate change, or you'll forever be living the definition of insanity.

"If you deliberately plan on being less than you are capable of being, then I warn you that you'll be unhappy for the rest of your life."

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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 06:03 AM
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Re: My husband is obsessed with/feels responsible for his ex

Weird

I'd put my foot down, say to him let see what a marriage counselor would say! Then make an appiontment. If he balks, then tell him to go live with his ex !
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 07:00 AM
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Re: My husband is obsessed with/feels responsible for his ex

You say your husband left her twelve years ago and they hadn't been having sex for four years at that stage.That means she has had sixteen years to get some sort of counselling or psychiatric treatment for her"issues".Your husband feels like he is a nice guy,helping her out and looking out for her in her relationship.In fact your husband is still carrying a torch for her and if she miraculously got her **** together he will leave you for her.His behaviour is bordering on stalking and it may be a lot worse than you think.He may not be telling you everything and he may be spying in other ways on her.What does he do at her house when she's not there,he could be going through her private stuff or reading her personal information off her computer.If she is seeing a man who she knows is married then your husband needs to mind his own business and keep his nose out.You are the one who is going to have to do something to sort this out,that is if you still want to be married to him and frankly I don't see what you are getting from a man who wakes you up in the middle of the night to talk about his ex.I would start to get your finances in order because he may not want to cut ties with her and then you have to accept there are three people in your marriage.
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 07:08 AM
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Re: My husband is obsessed with/feels responsible for his ex

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My husband is obsessed with his ex in a way that he feels responsible for her pain, loneliness and being unsuccessful romantically. They were together for 5 years and NEVER married. She was just a girlfriend to him, she didn't even get a proposal or thought of one. They have 1 child together, who was an accident that happened very early in their relationship, a few months. My husband didn't want her to have the baby, she obviously had it and he felt trapped. My husband suspects she may have lied about birth control to get knocked up on purpose, to try and secure him. Lady has issues.

My husband left her 12 YEARS ago. Time to move on and stop feeling bad for her. We have been married for 9 years. He isn't into her but feels bad for her. She's like a pity case to him. I understand the need to get along with an ex if a child is involved, but this is beyond that. My husband would probably do anything for her, if she'd ask.

If she asks for more time or to change the custody schedule my husband says he's fine with it when really he's not. If she needs help with something he helps her. I don't think she ever asks but their daughter tells my husband when something is up. For example, their daughter said their backyard was a mess and needed to have new sod put down. My husband went over, raked up her yard and prepped it for new grass, laid sod and went over a couple times a day to water it while his ex was out of town. She came back to a redone yard. My husband says it's for their daughter. She's 16! She's not out there playing on a damn swing set. I doubt she ever steps out there.

Before that their dishwasher broke, my husband went over and figured out what was wrong, ordered the part and fixed it for her. Or, for their daughter, as he claims. Every time they exchange their daughter he wants to talk to her and see how she is doing. Their daughter is 16, they don't need to have friendly conversations, she can walk herself inside. She has a licence and my husband has been putting off getting her a car, part of me thinks it's because he'd have less interaction with his ex.

If his ex called him at 3:00AM to replace a lightbulb my husband would probably run over. To my knowledge, she never asks him for anything other than custody changes, but my husband would jump on it. He has said that he feels bad for her. She is a pity case.

She was single for about 10 years before finding a man interested in a relationship with her. Like I said, she has issues. Decently attractive and has a good job but otherwise a mess. She was raped and has issues there. Her dad murdered her mom and sibling so she has issues there and no family. My husband said they stopped having sex after their daughter was born because she had unsolvable "issues" after the birth that lasted the rest of the relationship. She confided in him years ago that she had been dating a guy and it didn't work out because of sexual issues. My husband sees it as, he left her because she was raped, because she had physical trauma after their daughter was born and because she had family issues. Not because they were incompatible, so he feels like the worlds biggest ********* and wants to try and make it up.

My husband and his ex are not close. She avoids asking him for things and seeing him, it's my husband who would bend over backwards if she just asked.

I know that she has dated a bit because their daughter has mentioned it. She didn't find a man to want a relationship with her until recently. She's been with a man for about a year. My husband thankfully backed off a bit with helping her and bending over backwards. Until recently.... When he learned who she was in a relationship with. Which is a man who works in my husband's office. They don't know is each other, but my husband knows he is married. The guy has pictures of his wife and kids on his desk, my husband when out of his way to look. Now my husband is obsessed over how to tell her and doesn't want to hurt her "again". Literally he will not shut up about it. He will wake me up in the middle of the night to talk about it.

He claims to wait to to tell her because it could affect their daughter. My opinion is to ****ing bad. Choose a better partner. Their daughter has only seen him a couple times, she's a teenager - she wants nothing to do with her mom's (married) boyfriend. Who knows, maybe she knows he is married and doesn't care or took what she could get. Hell, I would after 10 years of no one wanting anything to do with me. My husband thinks he can't tell her because it can't come from him. I told him to forget about it or just figure out how to tell the guys wife because that will bring it all crashing down, but he doesn't want his ex to find out that way. He will not ****ing drop it! And it is driving me ****ing crazy.

I can talk to my husband about this until the cow's come home and he just doesn't get it. He thinks they have a normal relationship and that he "cares about the mother of his child". How do I snap some sense into him? Or am I just being a jealous *****? I'll admit, I don't like his ex. Not really for anything that she has done, but because of how my husband acts.
Your H is crossing all sorts of boundaries and he is taking away from you and your marriage what he is putting into her and his relationship with her. You are not being jealous. He has a kid with her 16 years ago, he doesn't have to be there doing all and sundry for her.

Perhaps you can go for counselling. Their kid will be grown up soon and moving on so he has no more excuses to be going there. YOu have to consider whether you can deal with this splitting of affections and wait this out.

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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 10:16 AM Thread Starter
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Re: My husband is obsessed with/feels responsible for his ex

I have told my husband numerous times that I hate when he talks about her, in that way. Her name isn't forbidden from our house, but her life, her issues, her relationships, I do not care! And he doesn't seem to get that. I slept in our guest room for a week because he wouldn't shut up at night, it still didn't click. He's not a stupid guy, but it sure seems like it right now. I feel like I need to throw the "divorce" word in his face to make it click, but I don't want to do petty stuff like that... Stop being so caring or I'll divorce you seems ridiculous to say. I like that he's a caring man, but I want him to care more about MY feelings than what's going on in his ex's life. I really get the urge to say "shut the **** up about her or we are done".

He has said so many times that he wants her to find someone so he can let go and finally have closure. Who cares?!? It's been 12 years, ain't happened yet probably won't. What, is he going to be going over to glue in her dentures when she's 90 years old? We have been married almost 10 years, when will I be more important than she is? When will he at least care about my feelings as much as he does hers?

His ex tried adopting a few years ago, I can't remember how many. She was trying to adopt a child with special needs and my husband went on and on and on about how great that was of her and how great it would be for their daughter to have a sibling. Even though we have 2 kids together so she does have (half)siblings. The adoption failed and my husband was acting like it was his fault. He thinks he ruined her life. Every failing in her life he blames himself for.

I have told him to get some counselling because he clearly has some issues with her or how their relationship ended. He doesn't act like that with other people. Sure he's nice to other people and he does things for them, but he doesn't bend over backwards for them. His brother was moving recently, and my husband made an excuse not to help him move. When his ex moved he went over and helped her (or, his daughter as he says) without his ex asking.

I get the feeling that his ex doesn't even really want his help. I don't think she has ever asked him for help. I think she accepts the help because it gives her little pieces of him, or any man. I have watched them interact and she seems hurt. When he gets close she steps away. When he touches her she pulls away and gets a weird look on her face.

I have a massive urge to text his ex and tell her "Hey, your boyfriend has a wife. Just in case you didn't know." and get it the hell over with. It's none of my business what she does, so I won't and frankly I really don't care.

When I try to talk to my husband about it he says I'm just jealous, I'm insecure, I'm being silly, I don't understand co-parenting because I don't have to do it. The two lines he loves to use are "You don't have kids with anyone else, you don't have to maintain a relationship with an ex" and "Would you rather I be a man who abandoned a woman because she was raped?" YES. Yes, I would. It's not abandoning, it's moving on. She is not his responsibility.

When she isn't in the picture we don't have any problems. We get along well, really all that is fought about is chores some days. We have alone time and family time, he puts our marriage ahead of other things in his life (other than this). If we didn't otherwise have a good marriage, I wouldn't be sitting here.
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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 02:23 PM
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Your husband needs to respect your boundaries with his ex. All contact is limited to childcare logistics only. She can find another nice guy to be her handyman/helper.

Your husband is being disrespectful of you by continuing this relationship with his ex after you've expressed your concerns. He needs to consider your feelings and put your marriage first.
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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 02:41 PM
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Re: My husband is obsessed with/feels responsible for his ex

You moved out of your bedroom for a week and he didn't care.I was wrong in my initial opinion,I thought she was the other woman in your marriage.YOU are the other woman in his relationship with his girlfriend.Note I don't use the prefix ex.She is not his ex,she is the most important person in his life and you are being walked over.If you were a man I would tell you grow a set,whatever the female version of that is you need to do.
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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 04:34 PM
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Re: My husband is obsessed with/feels responsible for his ex

Did he leave her for you?

If the child is 16, there is no need at all for he and his ex to have any contact. He can ring his daughter and make any arrangements directly with her.
When my husband and I married, his children were aged 17 and 20. He made all the arrangements directly with them and didn't see his ex. He asked her not to contact him unless it was a real emergency.
This will never stop you realise that. Not until you put your foot down and say, no more. Even when his child has gone to college or whatever in 2 years, he will still want contact with her.
I would ask him to choose, you or her, he hasn't let her go or cut the ties. I dont think he will until he is given the choice, the marriage or her.

Is there any chance that you can move further away? At least then he cant keep going round!
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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 06:53 PM Thread Starter
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Re: My husband is obsessed with/feels responsible for his ex

So I'm not being unrealistic in thinking my husband should have no contact with his ex unless it's specifically about their child? What do I say when he says he has to help his ex with something because it's for his daughter? I've always said that his ex can deal with it herself, but that's when I get told I'm being jealous or don't understand. I don't like the woman, but she isn't a helpless puppy.

I should clarify that yes I slept in another bedroom for a week, but my husband was unhappy about it. He did apologize and wanted me to come back to our bed. He tried to shut up about it but I could tell it was bothering him and he wanted to say something. He is so obsessed with his ex that it eats away at him. He has never cheated on me or done anything with her. He doesn't want to be with her or want her in any other way.

He broke up with her because she has issues and they were incompatible. He didn't leave a perfectly good woman for me. He left a dysfunctional relationship. I may have known him when he was still with her, but nothing happened between us until he left her. Meeting a normal person might have shown him the other side, but he didn't leave her for me.

I have told my husband to just contact his daughter but he says he doesn't want to put adult problems on children. They have followed the same general custody timetable since I've known him. There really is no need to contact his ex unless he needs to change the schedule. I need to put my foot down... I've been scared to do it, just to later out find out that I was being a dumb ass and overreacting.

I have considered moving, but it's not doable right now. He has 50/50 custody and they still honor that. He has a good bond with his daughter. Both of our careers are in this city and moving to even the next major city is a 3 hour drive. When my husbands daughter is in university, then it would be easier because she is looking at schools across the country. We could move anywhere and start over.
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