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Why do I feel like this - death of ex

(19 Posts)
Polecat2011 Fri 12-Oct-12 10:43:52

I have recently discovered that my exH died some years ago. We were together many years and had 4 youngish children none of whom was in contact with him as he returned to his home country and chose to break off contact with them. He died alone in middleage. I feel very disturbed about this and cannot shake it off. I am with a new partner now. My now adult children have different reactions but all bar one is upset. I do not want to confide in my lovely partner as I think he already thinks I miss my exH. I had long since stopped thinking about my exH who had behaved very badly.

Why do I feel this way? What should I do?

JacqueslePeacock Fri 12-Oct-12 10:46:34

I haven't experienced this but I should think it's absolutely natural to feel like that. I believe my sister went through something very similar, and the death of her ex shook her up badly. Even though he treated you badly, he must have been a very significant part of your life for a long time, especially as you had 4 children together. Be gentle with yourself.

cestlavielife Fri 12-Oct-12 10:47:28

ask go to refer to bereavement counsellor for couple sessions to talk it thru or call a bearevement helpline

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 12-Oct-12 10:47:39

People sobbed when Diana died and they had no connection with the woman at all. You had 4 DCs with this man. He's part of your life, part of your history. Presumably when you got married you loved him? His death is probably making you think back to some good times before it all went sour. Maybe a little regret that it never worked out. You're allowed to grieve.

Your partner is not 'lovely'. If he can't cope with you having had a life before he arrived on the scenc and he's jealous of a dead man, he's very immature. Tell him to grow up.

AndFanjoWasHisNameO Fri 12-Oct-12 11:01:54

I was treated horrendously by an ex who lots of people believed was in the closet
He jumped under a train a couple of years ago and the guilt I feel at this sometimes is huge sad
I am (mostly) happily married with lovely DCs now but often think of him. Pisses me off. I think it's because I didn't get full closure about things, nor did he. He was never satisfied with who he was. Ah well. Your DH is being unreasonable to not understand you feeling sad, especially as he was the father of your children.

Polecat2011 Fri 12-Oct-12 11:24:57

Oh, how kind, thank you all for bothering to post! I feel guilty at my "grief" or is it shock? I feel it should be about the children who have lost the opportunity of ever contacting him, or getting closure. They cannot now ask him why he abandoned them. I was glad to be rid of him when we split, but now I feel so sorry for him. I even googled " signs of emotional abuse" to remind myself how bad things had been. I coped much better when my parents died, and I was close to them. It could be true that you are never free of the father of your children. When might this feeling end. I don't want to suffer from depression. I have always been strong in the past, even when abandoned with 4 children and no means of financial support.

FushiaFernica Fri 12-Oct-12 11:31:57

Two of my mum's friends exH have died and both of them were devastated when this happened, this makes me feel yours is a natural reaction. There will be lots of memories flooding back. I really think you should confide in your husband, you don't need to be strong, he will want to help you.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 12-Oct-12 11:32:22

It's regret. When a marriage doesn't work out it is the waste of a massive emotional investment. Ironically, because it was a bad marriage, you'll have invested even more emotion because emotional abusers always make it that things only failed because you didn't try hard enough to keep him happy. All adds up to a lot of scope for regrets... sort of goes with the territory. Look after yourself.

Polecat2011 Fri 12-Oct-12 11:32:55

AndFanjio, I too had a boyfriend who, some time after we split killed himself. That too was a crushing shock, even though it was certainly nothing to do with me by then.

cestlavie, I shall contact cruse, though I am not really his widow, he has one though he was alone when he died. Thank you for the link.

I am so glad noone thinks I have no right to my distress.

FushiaFernica Fri 12-Oct-12 11:34:05

Husband sorry meant new partner.

purplehouse Fri 12-Oct-12 11:44:47

I think that you probably feel shaken by it because he seems to have died a premature death and also because you have children by him who deserved an explanation from him which they will not get. Also you did share a significant chunk of you life with him. I think your feelings are perfectly normal and will take time to settle.

Polecat2011 Fri 12-Oct-12 13:46:59

I am so glad other sane people have reacted as I am reacting. I do feel really sad for him that he died prematurely in very sad circumstances. He was living alone for a few years in very poor health. He would have hated being solitary. Had he died cherished in the bosom of his new family, his leaving us would have seemed more like the right decision, at least for him. Though, as I said, I was glad to be rid of him. I suppose you make you own bed and then you lie in it, or as AnyFucker says Karma.

Allalonenow Fri 12-Oct-12 14:06:31

Hello Polecat,
I'm sorry that you are going through this sad time. There is a thread in Chat at the moment on the same theme, it's called "Just heard an ex died.. Feels really strange". I don't know how to do the link, but you should be able to find it with a search.
It is a difficult and confusing time, with so many conflicting emotions. It helped me to know that I was not alone in feeling so torn apart, we are bereaved and grieving at a distance I suppose, without the structured support given to, for instance, a widow.
I hope things improve for you soon.

Dryjuice25 Fri 12-Oct-12 14:10:00

I think you probably wouldn't grieve as much if you didn't have children together. A part of you might grieve for what he could have been to you and your 4dcs. Remember he left a trail of devastation in his wake without so much as a backward glance. But then death is final, so you will feel "something", and your new hubby is definitely the person you need to confide to right now. My dss came to my df's funeral who she had never met to "pay my final disrespect". I recommend you do the same.

DistanceCall Fri 12-Oct-12 16:54:12

He was the father of your children. He was someone you loved once (or you loved the person you thought he was). Of course it's absolutely natural to be shocked and saddened and.

Tell your partner to man up and behave like an adult.

Mayisout Fri 12-Oct-12 17:18:11

You assume your DP doesn't want to hear about it but he might have noticed you are distracted by something so perhaps you could explain your unexpected feelings and see what he says. For all you know he might empathise after having something similar himself.

Polecat2011 Fri 12-Oct-12 17:27:14

As far as I can tell my dominant feeling is one of sadness at the circumstances in which he lived his last years, and then died alone. It is sad when someone who once had a lively family who loved him, ends his life prematurely and alone. I suppose it is indeed regret too, that I am feeling. I had had no idea I would still feel anything for him. I am shocked at my reaction. I will try to find the Chat on the subject, but I am not good with computers. Thank you for your indulgence.

I think what surprises me is that if I had been interested in his life after we separated, I would have been told that his life was no longer my business. I know that one of my children thinks I have no right to any feelings or views on his father now. I knew his father much longer than he did. But clearly I was not a blood relation and he can only ever have one biological father.

Polecat2011 Fri 12-Oct-12 17:34:33

Mayisout, my partner was interested as the story unravelled. I did talk to him but it did not help. I cannot explain what I feel so cannot expect him to understand. Being reminded about my exH many misdeeds or shortcomings certainly does not help. My DP eventually gently asked if we could close the subject down, so I have said nothing more to him.

Mayisout Fri 12-Oct-12 17:40:17

Sorry, missed that bit. Counselling would be the best if you have no one to discuss it with, as recommended above. It's so good to offload stuff to someone understanding!

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