Relationship post divorce...when you still really care about your Ex - Talk About Marriage
Life After Divorce Divorce is complicated, and change is never easy to cope with. Use this section for help and advice on living life after a divorce.

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post #1 of 56 (permalink) Old 12-06-2016, 11:45 PM Thread Starter
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Relationship post divorce...when you still really care about your Ex

I married my first love, we were both twenty and had five happy years and two babies before his mental and emotional health went terribly bad. Although I gave him an additional 15 years of my life, I couldn't fix his problems and I had nothing left to give after trying for so long, and getting nothing in return.

Our divorce involved no hatred, only sadness. We stood arm in arm crying as the judge pronounced us divorced. It was such a horrible day.

Three years have passed now, and I am very happily remarried to an upbeat, wonderful man. I of course still have contact with my ex, and see him at least twice a week for transferring kids etc. My mom still lives in his town, and sees him regularly, and tells me how he seems, and what he expresses to her (he is still very in love with me, and his depression is worse than ever). I hate hearing these things as there is nothing I can do. We have over 20 years of history and two beautiful daughters that will forever bind us.

This last weekend as I started my housework, and as I went into my ITunes I see a playlist with the pet name my XH used for me. (We still share iTunes due to the epic amount of $ we put into our music/movies on there.) I look at this list, and it starts with "our song" that we did our first dance to at our wedding and then continues on to have quite a few more meaningful songs in it, and then a bunch of super sad songs about love lost, broken-heartedness etc. Turns out it was an old list that he made while we were divorcing, but it still was so sad.

I only played one song, (mistake) and the cry fest was on. My hubby was like what is going on? I explain. He is understanding, comforts me and we move on with our day. I still hold onto a lot of guilt for leaving. I always feel like I should have been stronger for him, to have stayed till our girls were grown no matter what. Part of me thinks I always will.

Has anyone else divorced yet has no strong negative emotions for their ex?
I still love him very much as a person, care about his continued struggles.

Let me throw in here that my current hubby is very patient in regard to my ex. They don't interact, though they have met, do the courtesy wave etc. He feels no jealousy about him, and seems to really understand my feelings. He came from a divorced home, I did not. He was 18 though when his parents divorced. Oddly enough his dad and his step dad (who didn't meet until his mothers wedding to his stepdad) have ended up being best friends. They are both always at all family functions together. He!!, they even bought property together and built a cabin! So my husband has a very positive feeling about maintaining amicable relationships with exes.

Just curious how others that divorced on good terms (oxymoron I know) handled/are handling their relationship with their ex?


Ciao,

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post #2 of 56 (permalink) Old 12-07-2016, 12:11 AM
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Re: Relationship post divorce...when you still really care about your Ex

I feel bad for your husband now. No husband want's to come home to his wife crying over her ex and have to comfort her, and if he doesn't what's wrong with him. I get it your sad you broke up but time to move on, you are marriage to someone else.
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post #3 of 56 (permalink) Old 12-07-2016, 12:33 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Relationship post divorce...when you still really care about your Ex

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I feel bad for your husband now. No husband want's to come home to his wife crying over her ex and have to comfort her, and if he doesn't what's wrong with him. I get it your sad you broke up but time to move on, you are marriage to someone else.
I'm sorry you feel that way. Of course my husband knows all the backstory, which also makes him understanding. He is an empathetic person, and it is a quality I love about him.

Since I'm a woman that rarely cries, he has no problem comforting me on these rare occasions. This was the first time i had ever cried over feeling pity for my ex.

Also, I don't recall saying I am sad that we broke up. It was 100% my decision and doing.

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post #4 of 56 (permalink) Old 12-07-2016, 02:24 AM
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Cool Re: Relationship post divorce...when you still really care about your Ex

Sorry for the latent feelings, @Spicy ~ but I simply cannot kick at you, given the circumstances of the ultimate breakup and eventual divorce! I don't really think that anyone can say that you did not try your level best to keep things intact!

What was your kids take on the divorce situation as well as your remarriage?

"To love another person is to see the face of God!" - Jean Valjean from Les Miserables

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post #5 of 56 (permalink) Old 12-07-2016, 05:08 AM
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Re: Relationship post divorce...when you still really care about your Ex

I apologize as I don't know the whole story but did your ex husband try to get help for his mental and emotional issues? It's tough when someone is sick, if that is the real issue, because you do feel pity for them and want to help but, depending on the situation, you have to protect yourself.

Your new man is a better man than I...
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post #6 of 56 (permalink) Old 12-07-2016, 05:12 AM
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Re: Relationship post divorce...when you still really care about your Ex

You're not sad and missing the life you left behind, you're sad about the life you thought you would have with your ex and how it deteriorated to divorce. You're missing the what "could have been" not the "what was". And that's OK to occasionally feel melancholy about our past, you're very lucky your current husband understands that, many people wouldn't. You do have to disconnect more from your ex, you shouldn't be keeping tabs on him, not your job any longer. It sounds like your children are teenagers so the kid exchange doesn't need to involve face time between you and the ex, try to keep your distance, the less you see and speak to him the easier it will be to let go.

While you understand how lucky you are to have a sympathetic husband please consider how your crying over the ex makes him feel, as supportive as he is outwardly about it trust me inside he is feeling a little hurt and conflicted that another man still has that much power over you, and eventually he may get resentful.
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post #7 of 56 (permalink) Old 12-08-2016, 07:04 AM
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Re: Relationship post divorce...when you still really care about your Ex

I don't resent her and hope she has happiness and peace of mind.
I don't want bad things to happen to her but don't hold any feeling of romance.

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post #8 of 56 (permalink) Old 12-08-2016, 12:01 PM
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Re: Relationship post divorce...when you still really care about your Ex

There was temporary bitterness on my part before and after the D but I was in such a better place in life,

why remain bitter? 15 years for us... good times and bad times. I will always say, I miss and love

the person she "once was" but that person died many years ago. What she has been for a number

of years, is a shell, a corpse of her former self. Wedding song, doesn't bother me at all.

XW still reaches... not shocked, as does my HS sweetheart and college sweetheart.

We had a time, a place, but now, it's over. To put it in perspective, my XW had many great qualities which

I look for in a spouse. But I also look for her bad qualities in others which turn me away.
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post #9 of 56 (permalink) Old 12-09-2016, 03:37 PM
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Re: Relationship post divorce...when you still really care about your Ex

I'm divorced and have nothing but negative feelings for my ex.

I'm with my girlfriend 5 years now, she still sees her ex for child exchanges and at events but she does not appear to have any feelings for him whatsoever.

I am not trying to pile on but if I came home to her crying over her ex I would not be nearly as patient and understanding as your husband.

I'd be like "WTF get over him already or I'm going to get over you".

It gets old. Only room for one husband. Any feelings you still have for #1 is going to take away for what you have available for #2 and most guys don't want to share.
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post #10 of 56 (permalink) Old 12-09-2016, 04:32 PM
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Re: Relationship post divorce...when you still really care about your Ex

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Originally Posted by sokillme View Post
I feel bad for your husband now. No husband want's to come home to his wife crying over her ex and have to comfort her, and if he doesn't what's wrong with him. I get it your sad you broke up but time to move on, you are marriage to someone else.
I agree. The new marriage is getting battered with the stuff from the old days. Sounds like she's ambivalent about her current marriage.

You have a man now who obvs loves you and tolerates this clinging to the past and crying over past history...try to live in the now and honor the love that's being given to you. If you can't do that, maybe you should remarry your ex. I'm sorry if they sounded hostile I didn't mean it to be...I was just trying to get my thoughts out quickly before I have to go... I'm trying to say just that it's unfair to new H to cry and be so angsty over oldH....if old H was all that great, you'd still be together right? Let him go...love him by letting him go find a life for himself...and love your new H and appreciate him for loving you so much to give u space to mourn--he sounds like a really special guy! Wishing u peace

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post #11 of 56 (permalink) Old 12-13-2016, 02:04 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Relationship post divorce...when you still really care about your Ex

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What was your kids take on the divorce situation as well as your remarriage?
Thank you my friend. Our children's take on it was terrible. I would say I was able to shield them from what was going on more than 80% of the time. They were unaware of what I was going through. They were living happy, content lives. They didn't know I got hundreds of texts a day, discussing his worthlessness, that he was probably gonna get fired, that people at work were watching him and on and on with the parinoia. On the days where depression was the main focus he would tell me how he was going to drive into a semi-truck on his way home. The kids never knew any of this and still don't know what all he put me through.

So to answer your question, when we sat down to tell them we were divorcing, the shock was equal to if we had told them we were aliens from outer space.

I went into this with a firm decision made not to speak badly of him, and to take the blame since I was the one giving up and not staying. I also knew he wouldn't admit to any blame, so what would the point have been? Right or wrong, it's what I did.

Overall, they took the situation very, very hard. I don't think they had ever even heard us arguing before. They were just so shocked. My eldest is even keeled and happy like me. She adapted quickly to me moving out and also quickly became friends with her step dad when he entered the picture.

Our youngest became glued to her father, and still is to this day. She is very emotional like him. She has had a very hard time with my remarriage, she was holding out tremendous hope that I would change my mind and come back to her dad. She tolerates her stepdad barely, which is hard for me to watch because he is so kind to her. It has gotten better this last year though, and I think it will continue to do so.

Thanks for asking about them.

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post #12 of 56 (permalink) Old 12-13-2016, 02:11 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Relationship post divorce...when you still really care about your Ex

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I apologize as I don't know the whole story but did your ex husband try to get help for his mental and emotional issues? .
Yes and no. About every three months I would sit down with him and explain how hard all of this was on me, and that I couldn't keep going on this way, and for him to please seek help. He would improve for a couple weeks, then back to the same. The times he put forth effort to get professional help (psychiatrist) he would go once and then never follow through again. It made me feel so very unimportant to him.

The bottom line was though that he believed I would never leave. He was wrong.

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post #13 of 56 (permalink) Old 12-13-2016, 02:38 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Relationship post divorce...when you still really care about your Ex

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I agree. The new marriage is getting battered with the stuff from the old days. Sounds like she's ambivalent about her current marriage.

You have a man now who obvs loves you and tolerates this clinging to the past and crying over past history...try to live in the now and honor the love that's being given to you. If you can't do that, maybe you should remarry your ex. I'm sorry if they sounded hostile I didn't mean it to be...I was just trying to get my thoughts out quickly before I have to go... I'm trying to say just that it's unfair to new H to cry and be so angsty over oldH....if old H was all that great, you'd still be together right? Let him go...love him by letting him go find a life for himself...and love your new H and appreciate him for loving you so much to give u space to mourn--he sounds like a really special guy! Wishing u peace
I'm sorry you feel that me shedding tears for a couple of minutes, once in my nearly three year relationship with my current hubby make me seem insensitive to my wonderful current marriage. Also that you think my compassion for my ex makes me ambivalent and battering my current marriage. I think it just makes me human. An honest human that has a great enough relationship with my current hubby that I can talk to him about anything, even this. I will keep your advice in my mind though as I would never want to hurt him either. I'm definitely not clinging to the past. I am aware it is there though, and don't feel like I need to essentially erase it to have my life be complete.

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post #14 of 56 (permalink) Old 12-13-2016, 09:13 AM
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Re: Relationship post divorce...when you still really care about your Ex

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I feel bad for your husband now. No husband want's to come home to his wife crying over her ex and have to comfort her, and if he doesn't what's wrong with him. I get it your sad you broke up but time to move on, you are marriage to someone else.
Agreed. I hope the KISA you married doesn't get burned if, or more likely when, you decide your ex is still your soul mate and deserves another chance. You're clearly not even remotely over it.

Free advice... Get rid of the shared iTunes account and buy some new songs. You might think your husband is "understanding" but he is simply tolerating your emasculation while you pine over another guy in front of his face.

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” - Maya Angelou
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post #15 of 56 (permalink) Old 12-13-2016, 09:36 AM
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Re: Relationship post divorce...when you still really care about your Ex

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Agreed. I hope the KISA you married doesn't get burned if, or more likely when, you decide your ex is still your soul mate and deserves another chance. You're clearly not even remotely over it.

Free advice... Get rid of the shared iTunes account and buy some new songs. You might think your husband is "understanding" but he is simply tolerating your emasculation while you pine over another guy in front of his face.
I would also be worried that he may just detach. I think that might be a reasonable reaction to this. He may be thinking, I am living my life for this woman and she is still crying over her ex. Maybe my effort is in vain slowly but surely that may erode his confidence in the relationship. God help you if he meets a woman who looks like he wouldn't have to share with a memory. This may be a slow process but a few more moments of you balling your eyes out may escalate it.

I think a worse possibility is that he really doesn't care that you are still in love with your ex. If that is the case what does that mean? Most people I know would not be content to be with someone that was in love with someone else. My feeling is I would want someone who covets me. How secure can you be with a man who doesn't care that he love is shared with a memory? I would wonder if he is just kind of going through the motions so that he can have someone.
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