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Why do some men who leave for OW treat their exes with such contempt?

(251 Posts)
ChooChooLaverne Thu 25-Feb-16 10:26:03

Just wondering about this as it's happened to a couple of my friends recently and I really can't understand what goes through their minds. Wonder if anyone can enlighten me.
*Disclaimer: obviously I'm only talking about some men here.

So the scenario goes something like this:
Couple have been together/married for a long time and have children. Woman is plodding along in the relationship unaware that anything is wrong. Man suddenly starts acting horribly, picking fault with the woman and comes out with the "I'm unhappy/not sure what I want" speech. Woman bends over backwards trying to sort things out only at some point later down the line to discover there is another woman.
Relationship ends and man becomes completely unreasonable about sorting out finances and childcare. Tries to get the woman out of the marital home, seemingly aggrieved that he is having to pay money to her (even though it's for the children), makes unreasonable demands about wanting/not wanting to have the children, and he talks to her in a way that is disrespectful and downright callous and lacking in empathy.

What prompts someone to behave like this? I get that he might paint her in a bad light to excuse himself for cheating on her - but I don't understand how he doesn't feel some sympathy for how she might feel and I really can't understand the level of contempt.

Can anyone explain this to me?

BoboChic Thu 25-Feb-16 10:27:59

He dislikes her. Perhaps despises her. That's why he isn't nicer to her and wants out.

ChooChooLaverne Thu 25-Feb-16 10:30:50

But he only started despising her when he started cheating on her. No sign of contempt or dislike before this point?

TheNaze73 Thu 25-Feb-16 10:31:15

It's shameful. Probably blaming the ex, for their own unhappiness & how badly life works out

SweetAdeline Thu 25-Feb-16 10:31:17

No idea but it sounds exactly like the way my dad treated my mum when he left because he had met a 20yr old he wanted to date was so unhappy.

PerettiChelsea Thu 25-Feb-16 10:32:24

Emotional detachment

ChooChooLaverne Thu 25-Feb-16 10:33:46

It does seem like it's a common phenomenon.

Adeline did your dad carry on treating your mum like that later down the line? Does the contempt carry on?

ChooChooLaverne Thu 25-Feb-16 10:34:43

See, I can understand emotional detachment if the attachment has been formed with OW. But I still don't understand how that turns to hate/contempt. Especially when there are children involved.

LineyReborn Thu 25-Feb-16 10:36:48

It's because people like this value their sense of self above all else. They are a big fragile ego on legs.

They hate the one they hurt, because the one they hurt reminds them that they did a very shitty thing - a shitty thing that other people might judge them and think less of them for.

So it's fear, loathing and guilt, really, which co-incidentally allows them to blame the one they hurt for all the hurt in the first place.

timeforabrewnow Thu 25-Feb-16 10:40:16

I have a much simpler and succinct explanation.

Those men are utter bastards and always have been.

Micah Thu 25-Feb-16 10:40:32

happens the other way too- I've known women with an OM treat their husbands exactly the same.

I think they move on from the relationship, and invest in the new one. They just want to get away from the old one. It doesn't occur to them their husband/wife might not be in the same emotional place, or that they're hurting them.

Sunshine87 Thu 25-Feb-16 10:42:51

My ex was excately the same treated me appaulling, he was the cheater, the one walked out, was all my fault tho and he had the life of riley going out drinking and cocacine. Whilst i was working and supporting a 13month old. I think its easier for them to paint you as the bad guy rather than admit they are in the wrong, he called me alsorts of names and was do disrespectful. He never gave me an apology but i do think he regretted losing his family for other stuff e.g drinking drugs that wasn't important. I wish he had the decency to hold his hands up and apologize but i'l never get that. I know he hates my DH for no reason other than he is with me. It took me a long time to stop questioning myself but i never looked back and moved forward.

SweetAdeline Thu 25-Feb-16 10:43:37

They don't have anything to do with each other. My brother and I were teenagers when it happened so once they were finally divorced they only have to see each other at weddings and graduation. I know he still blames my mum for his financial situation despite having made some terrible financial decisions in the intervening period. He wouldn't say it to me but he does to other relatives (who don't know enough about the situation to tell him he's being ridiculous).

SweetAdeline Thu 25-Feb-16 10:44:24

I think that's exactly right Liney.

ChooChooLaverne Thu 25-Feb-16 10:46:10

I'm not disputing that this happens the other way round too. It's just in my experience it is the man treating the woman like this.

I think the men in both the instances I'm thinking about have always been fairly selfish but certainly one of them I would never have thought of being an utter bastard. He is now though.

I think maybe Liney has it. So if they can blame the woman for being the reason they had to leave and shack up with OW they kind of have to hate her to make that true.

Do they really believe their rewriting of history do you think?

Sunshine87 Thu 25-Feb-16 10:46:45

Took my DH to come on the scene to get himself together and ex has been a responsible dad since.

Pantone363 Thu 25-Feb-16 10:46:51

My ex husband generally can't abide me. Won't look me in the eye, utterly destroyed me financially after the divorce, ran my mothering into the ground and probably wouldn't piss on me if I was on fire.

He had an affair and I divorced him. Previously fine beforehand.

MyKingdomForBrie Thu 25-Feb-16 10:47:07

Guilt is my theory. They need to assuage their guilt by pretending that it's all the dw's fault so that they can 'justify' leaving for OW.

Joysmum Thu 25-Feb-16 10:49:57

They do it to justify what they did. If they cheated on an innocent, what would that make them? So they rewrite history so they aren't a complete shit.

Razorlightnight Thu 25-Feb-16 10:52:18

Yep, guilt and justification I reckon. They re-write history so they can do what they want without feeling bad about it.

Twistedheartache Thu 25-Feb-16 10:53:17

I agree - they've moved on and are in the honeymoon period of the new relationship & their old life is an inconvenience to them
Possibly guilt as well - if they behave badly and other person reacts they justify & reinforce their own behaviour

ChooChooLaverne Thu 25-Feb-16 10:53:27

But do they actually believe their rewriting of history? Do they ever look back later and realise that's what they did?

ChooChooLaverne Thu 25-Feb-16 10:54:25

Twisted - I hadn't thought of that. So the woman's reaction to their bad behaviour justifies their casting her in a bad light?

iPost Thu 25-Feb-16 10:56:46

A person who caused hurt, can be really horrible to a person whose pain holds up a mirror to the least attractive side of their nature. They get frustrated and angry with the person who is hurt, becuase they don't want to see their unattractive behavoir/traits reflected back at them.

They blame the hurtee for not "moving on" at the speed of a well trained whippet, becuase that is what would be comfortable for the hurter. And they would often rather not blame themselves when there is a handy wounded person to kick some more and be found wanting instead.

There is also the "if I keep adding salt to your wound you might wander off and howl somewhere I can't see you" technique, used to "motivate" the hurtee to retreat as a defence against yet more pain. Which is attractive to the hurter, cos a wandered off hurtee is no longer visible, so neither is the mirror.

I think it is habit forming as a stratagy. Becuase at some point the hurtee can kick off at all the constant uncalled for hurting, giving the hurter the opportunity to jump on the reaction and justify all their previous behaviour by claiming "unreasonableness" on the part of the other. That then gets worked into a rewritten history.

iPost Thu 25-Feb-16 11:04:13

And... I should RTFT before I post, cos Liney already said it.

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