March 26, 2009,
R.M. asks from New Albany, IN on March 21, 2009
Husband Receives Texts/personal Calls from Ex Wife
My husband was married for 24 years and they had 3 kids. The youngest is now 20. They have been apart for 5 years. We have been married now for 3 months. I have never met or spoken with the ex because she would not be open to it. She did not want the divorce.
She texts my husband on the average, once a month, with things like Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, or "Today was the 4th anniversary of our divorce." She will call with the reason of wanting to discuss something about the 20 yr old but it always ends in something along the lines of "I don't understand why we don't talk anymore" or last time it was "you know yesterday was our wedding anniversary. I just don't understand.." He either becomes silent at these times because it's awkward, or tells her he has moved on and is married now. He doesn't return her texts anymore. (he used to say thank u or merry christmas, out of politeness, thinking she would stop eventually.) He is trying to keep her calm and half way "sane" so she won't trash talk him to death to the kids. He says She is an unhappy woman and doesn't censor her words in front of them.
I think he should tell her that her calls & texts are inappropriate and they need to stop unless they are about the kids. He is a married man now.It's obvious she can't move on for some reason but I think her actions are inappropriate. He does feel he owes her somewhat because of the long marriage. He doesn't hate her, nor do I, but how else does it stop but to just tell her? I know I wouldn't sit and listen to my ex say personal things to me on the phone. I wouldn't be mean, but I would tell him I'm sorry, that I have moved on, and he needs to too, and the contact needs to be less personal and more business, or about the kids and family. I would feel it was disregarding or disrespecting my husband. There would have to be a closure and a line. That's what the divorce means.
What are your all's thoughts?
So What Happened?™
My husband and I went to our counselor today and he received advice on how to handle his ex. He said he believed boundaries should be drawn with her and when she crosses them, he should hang up or set the phone down and tell her he will only conversate about the kids because he divorced her, it's over, and it's disrespectful and inappropriate for her to be allowed to behave this way. Even listening and not saying anything is in a way allowing her to behave this way. He said her problems are her problems and it's up to her to fix them. He can't keep walking on egg shells around her so that she won't talk bad about him to the kids. He said he needs to talk to his kids and tell them what he's doing with the ex and he's quite sure, given their 20, 21 and 26 yr old ages, that they are well aware of their mom's behavior. After the session my husband and I went for a walk by the river and he told me about how he used to go there after his divorce and spend time thinking and would collect drift wood and make things out of it. Each piece of artwork represented a certain thought he had thought through but he never told anyone that when they saw the pieces. He said while he was coming down there and doing all that thinking he never once thought he would meet anyone like me and he told me how much he loved me and how good I am for him. Thank you to everyone, even the ones that were negative. It made the sweet people even more special
V.C. answers from Wheeling on March 22, 2009
It sounds as if you AND he each brought a lot of baggage to this marriage. (I hope his marriage didn't end because he met you . . . )
Anyway, since you evidently didn't already have counseling, I'd suggest that you and he go for counseling to firmly decide what you realistically can and should expect of and be willing to do for each other. If you start 'nagging' and making 'rules' about his connection with his 'ex', you'll only succeed in making her look better to him. I know that's not fun for you, but it's just a fact.
A.B. answers from Clarksville on March 22, 2009
Your husband may be done with the relationship, and common sense may dictate that his ex-wife's thoughts and behaviors are inappropriate at best, but even for someone who recognizes the obvious with her head, it can be harder to grasp it with the heart. When you've already said that they have 3 kids together, were married 24 years, and that she didn't want the divorce, it should be clear even to someone who has never been married before that this is going to take a long time for her to understand and heal from. I don't think it is appropriate for your husband to attend counseling with her and the kids as a "family"; I think that would send her the message that he wants to work things out as a "family". However, I think he should strongly encourage her to attend counseling and that he should probably even attend some with his kids if they need that kind of closure with him. From your end, try to show some compassion for her, which doesn't mean you have to be buddies or anything like that, but recognize that she sees your gain as her loss and try to minimize her hurt by not doing and saying things to/about her that may be perceived as feeling competitive about your husband's attention and affection.
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B.S. answers from Charleston on March 22, 2009
Check you husbands phone for a reject list and put the ex on it. No more calls from her then. But ask him first if you can put her on the reject list.
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E.M. answers from Louisville on March 22, 2009
I have to say, if hes not responding to her, dont worry about it. she may still be obsessed but he clearly isnt. and the way she sounds (a bit loony) your hubby wouldnt want that back. let this woman have what control she can its very hard being the divorced parent and watching you ex be with someone else. but as long as her hands stay to her self dont sweat it
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K.S. answers from Raleigh on March 22, 2009
Sounds as if he is handling it. Your best way to deal, is not deal. Don't get involved, be supportive and loving. Now you have brought a down syndrome brother into a new marriage? The man must be a saint- LOVE HIM! Counseling is not your business, too bad he even looks at the emails, but stay out of all that.
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A.F. answers from Charleston on March 22, 2009
It has appeared that your husband has moved on but that his ex has not. Maybe she didn't want the divorce, but as you said they have been apart for 5 years now, she needs to move on. He is doing what he needs to do to keep his kids life easier and that is to be commended. He is discreetly trying to let his ex realize that he has moved on and it seems like a good tactic to me. It isn't as if he is giving her his encouragement. I would just support him in this effort until you see if more needs to be done. I don't understand the counseling. Yes she needs it, but they don't need it. He has moved on with his life and married someone else, she needs to find her some happiness on her own. I wish you the best of luck.
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S.S. answers from Raleigh on March 22, 2009
to be in a marriage for so long and have kids they may have fallen out of love, but they do have a long past...it may seem unreasonable and a little intrusive, not to mention awkward, but maybe some of it should be understandable. how would you feel if you were in her shoes? just because your husband is moving on doesn't mean that she is. some of it may even be to make him feel bad for ending it, but could it be that she wants to try and keep up appearances for their kids and her friends and family? I would suggest you let it play out. you have only been married to this man a short time. I was in a similar situation except the marriage was short and they had no kids. his ex would call on a regular basis because she could't make decisions without his input. after the first year it died down. we may hear from her every year, but its more on friendly terms as she accepted the situation.
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W.B. answers from Charlotte on March 26, 2009
my name is W.. My situation was a little different from yours i did meet the ex. She is a control freek. The phone calls hy husband received was maintence calls to come over and fix the heat,the plumbing,her car,etc. She even had the balls to tell my husband that he had no business getting married again. Well we've been happily married now almost 18 years. I realized that she was unhappy and everybody else was supposed to be too. And it took me awhile to learn that people do what you a-l-l-o-w them to do.
Dont get frustrated, because thats what the ex wants.
Hes happy she is not. And she mabe having a tough time getting over the divorce (it happens) you have something she wants back. Just pray for her.
She will get tired when she sees her efforts are not working (sooner or later). Oh and about the kids they are grown and they know when a parent is bad mouthing the other. And guess what they will deal with that in their own way, hopefully they will talk to somebody if the bad mouthing gets to be too much.
Hang in there!
S.B. answers from Nashville on March 22, 2009
I def want to comment on this bc I am going through the same thing. My boyfriends ex-girlfriend hates me. They have a little girl together but she just doesn't want to accept the fact that he was moved on but she would call him and be like the baby needs diapers when she knows she doesn't just to get him over there. Everytime he mentions my name she goes crazy on him wanting to fight but reality needs to slap her in the face. He also feels(to me anyways) that he owes her something and I don't know why. The only thing he owes her is a promise that he will always be there for his daughter and that's IT. We have a son together who he doesn't want around any of his family and it's all because of her. She stays with his mother but why not let your sone meets his grandmother and aunt and uncle just to keep her quite. I also feels that he just about does anything just to keep her happy and to keep her quite. That counseling thing is a wonderful idea. We are not married yet but really are considering it later down the road. But I refuse to marry into commotion because I don't deserve to be treated like that at all. Sometimes it makes me feel like the other girl(you know what I mean)? But in our situations I believe that they do feel like they owe the ex's something but they need to let go. Sorry had to rant for a minute.