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To get irritated by dps obsession with his divorce?

(38 Posts)
skylit Tue 23-Jul-13 14:36:36

We recently went away and met another couple. Had a drink, had a great laugh in which we found out loads of interesting stuff about these people - as we were walking away DP said:

"oh Steve is a great bloke, he's pretty similar to me actually, split up, two boys .... " oh for fucking hells sake DP, is that really how you define yourself??

You wouldn't find me saying "oh Rachel is very similar to me, split up, two kids .... " errrr why would that shit even enter my head?

I'd be more likely to say

"Rachel is very similar to me, likes horses, works in healthcare, likes to travel .... "

But no, all dp hears is "divorce, two kids" and that's it, he gets dead excited because he apparently didn't realise that there were other people out there who had divorced with kids. No, it's just him and his that are affected by such things. He often dismisses my past relationship as not as serious as his marriage therefore I couldn't possibly been as hurt/damaged as he was. He does it all the time, it's so irritating. The last one was that he was describing a bloke at work:

"I've mentioned him to you before I think .... similar circumstances to me, split with his wife, got two kids to that marriage .... " why is that the first thing that pops into his head???

Same with his cousin - "Oh you'll like Russell, he's a great bloke. Divorced, got a son to that relationship, bit similar to me really." err anything else that might be of interest about this bloke or is that all that there is to know about him then? It's not normal is it.

trinity0097 Tue 23-Jul-13 15:05:43

Men don't think on the same veins as women, to a man that kind of info is easy common ground that they understand as it's black and white!

justmyview Tue 23-Jul-13 15:07:17

If your DP lives away from his children, maybe that's a big deal for him so he identifies with other people in the same boat?

DoJo Tue 23-Jul-13 15:10:18

Maybe it's because he sees his divorce as a personal failure rather than a relationship breakdown, so he is surprised to meet people who he considers to be otherwise pleasant and successful in the same position as him. I know a lot of people do feel as though their divorce defines them precisely because it is such a huge upheaval in their life and, even when the split is fairly amicable, seems like such a negative thing to go through.
Perhaps he is (subconsciously or otherwise) trying to make you feel like there are lots of men in his position so that it's not a stigma to you in your relationship. There are plenty of reasons which are understandable, but I think you need to point out to him how often he makes references to his divorce if it makes you feel uncomfortable.

WorraLiberty Tue 23-Jul-13 15:14:40

God, he's not doing any harm is he confused

Salmotrutta Tue 23-Jul-13 15:17:14

Hardly the crime of the century is it?

HatieKokpins Tue 23-Jul-13 15:19:16

Lots of people do feel like divorce is a "failure", so it's good for them to meet other people, in the same boat, who they don't see as failures.

Also, in the grand scheme of things, he's hardly "obsessed", is he? It's just how he defines himself. Divorced. Which he is.

SalaciousBCrumb Tue 23-Jul-13 15:20:19

I can understand it being irritating if he is belittling the failure of your relationship in comparison to his divorce but it's obviously something that still means a great deal to him (especially if he's not seeing the children so much - all credit to him if it bothers him!).

Ragwort Tue 23-Jul-13 15:22:50

But he is divorced with two children and that is part of who he is - it sounds as though you are jealous of his previous relationship? As Salacious says, it is a credit to him that he comments on it, you read of so many men who just airbrush ex-wives and children out of their lives.

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Tue 23-Jul-13 15:24:38

How serious is your own relationship? I can see that it would begin to rankle after a while if your DP sees himself as being primarily defined by his past relationship rather than his current one. So sees himself as 'divorced' not 'in a relationship with Skylit' IYSWIM. Do you feel he's dismissing what he has with you by focusing on that bit?

I can kind of understand it though if really what he's focusing on is being a non-resident parent. Because that should be a big part of who he is.

WorraLiberty Tue 23-Jul-13 15:26:45

You wouldn't find me saying "oh Rachel is very similar to me, split up, two kids ...."errrr why would that shit even enter my head?

If your ex had custody of your kids and Rachel's ex had custody of hers, it probably would enter your head that she's in the same position as you.

squoosh Tue 23-Jul-13 15:31:01


I can see why it would irritate you. It would irritate me too that he feels the need to define him self by his last relationship rather than his current one.

You see him as still prioritising the failed marriage in terms of status and importance.

Beastofburden Tue 23-Jul-13 15:37:47

Did you have kids in your past relationship? if not, YABU a bit I think- it is seriously traumatic to split up with kids in the picture, especially if the other parent gets custody. I can see why he might bond with others who have been through it.

I can also see that it is irritating for you. It's probably irritating for the partners of the other guys too. Something you all bond over....

"Rachel has so much in common with me. Her DP is always going on about his divorce too".

ComposHat Tue 23-Jul-13 15:38:24

YABU thatvis sll. The fact he is divorced and separated physically from his children will inform his part of hos outlook snd personality. it can't be much fun, cut the por fucker some slack.

SlangWhanger Tue 23-Jul-13 15:55:22

I can understand that he thinks about it a lot, especially, if he has to live apart from his children.
Sorry but I think YABU and a bit sensitive. However, I would hope over time that he does it less and less.

ApocalypseThen Tue 23-Jul-13 16:08:57

It would irritate me as well. Having kids to his previous marriage would drive me up the wall too - bizarre phrase.

Anyway, if he can only relate to people on the basis of their divorce status, I'd be outta there.

bobbywash Tue 23-Jul-13 16:10:09

Interesting on the different perspective. The fact that he is divorced with 2 children does and will define him, even if he is in a better relationship with someone he cares about more.

My DP and I both mention our ex's and the fact we both have children from those relationships, and often too other people we meet, it's just part of who we are. The fact that we are together an not with our exes is the clearest message to the outside world.

Jemma1111 Tue 23-Jul-13 16:19:32

I also think you sound jealous of his ex OP

I just hope that you don't start to take your frustration out on his children

ApocalypseThen Tue 23-Jul-13 16:35:31

Why do you hope that, Jenna? Let's unpick the layers of that completely uncalled for suggestion. Start yourself. Why did you say that?

KobayashiMaru Tue 23-Jul-13 16:36:41

I think its you with the problem, OP, not your boyfriend.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Tue 23-Jul-13 16:37:50

One of the biggest and most painful events in his life , it's understandable if he has made it part of who he is.

Perhaps it still causes him pain.

If he is dismissing your split from a long term partner who you share children with, then tell him that's not on.
has he done that?

We don't just shrug our shoulders and move on from painful events in our lives. They stay with us a little bit. That doesn't mean we aren't happy where we are.
But at one point he was so in love with someobe, they married and had children , thought theyd be a family forevercand then it all fell apart.

That's something that you carry with you, just a bit, don't you rhink?

MammaTJ Tue 23-Jul-13 17:15:16

Are the comparisons the only way to define him, because that is all I know about your DP from yout OP?

People find out fairly quickly when they meet me that I have two ex husbands and a live-in lover. grin

It is not how I define myself. It is a huge part of my past and that contributes to the person I am now.

Give him a break! YABU!

LaurieFairyCake Tue 23-Jul-13 17:21:00

I disagree with you too.

I'm divorced and happily remarried. I still think I'm 'divorced', it's still one of the things that come to mind as it was so awful.

Jemma1111 Tue 23-Jul-13 17:22:40


I said it because in my opinion the OP comes across as jealous of his previous relationship and if that's the case then from my experience people who are jealous of their partners ex's are often jealous of their children too .

Does that clarify things for you ? Remember you are not the only one entitled to an opinion , and the OP did post in AIBU

ApocalypseThen Tue 23-Jul-13 18:31:38

Not really. Implying that someone is a potential child abuser isn't a matter of idle opinion. It's a extraordinary thing to say.

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