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Relationships with ex husbands.

(54 Posts)
KurriKurri Mon 24-Feb-14 12:41:30

Does what you can salvage in terms of a friendship depend on how you broke up? - or is it a question of letting time heal?

briefly - my H (we were married for 31 years) ran off with a much younger woman he met on the internet, I had no clue, he left me a letter on the doormat saying he;d gone abroad witht his woman and disappeared, I didn't even know where he had gone.

So - fast forward - he returned and continues to live in the house, he talks to his GF continuously on skype (so that I can hear him), visits her at least once a month or she visits him and they stay in a hotel. This is obviously very hard for me, but financially it is sensible, although I am thinking I may have to move out soon as I feel he is making me distressed and ill.

Now he is claiming he wants to be friends with me, he quotes examples of other couples who have split and continued to be friendly. he said he envisioned a future where he and I met up regularly, and he came round to my house and did stuff like 'mend the washing machine' or took me to hospital appointments etc.

I'm currently at the other end of the spectrum - I see a future where we basically have no contact at all, I simply don't think I can do it after the way he has treated me, and the fact that he will be involved with another woman who I have a very low opinion of. I thin it is edluded to assume we can rebuild any kind of relationship (and apart from the fact thatI think his GF is a complete tart, I'm sure she would not be very happy about him coming round to see me)

I think he simply wants everything to go as easily as possible for him, and although I have no desire to hurt him, I cannot ever see myself getting past the fact that heis a person who treated me like shit. My friends would never treat me that way, so how is friendship possible?

I feel desperately sad at the idea of never seeing him again, but I think contact would only ever lead to more hurt and sadness for me.

Am I crazy and unreasonable for thinking this way? (as he suggests) will I feel better in time? We have two adult children who obviously love both of us and would prefer it if we got on I am sure, but I don't think I can do it.

I feel as if certain family members think I should move on and get on with my life, which I am trying to do (hard with him in the house) and I tell myself that the grown up thing to do would be to retain amicable contact with him, but my heart and my feelings are telling me that if I do this he will inevitably hurt me again.

(He ran off in Oct last year to give some idea of time frame for my feelings)

JohnFarleysRuskin Mon 24-Feb-14 12:46:00

I remember your thread. I could see you had many mumsnetter friends and were very loving and were very much loved - not by that twatty man though.

There is absolutely no way on earth that I would be friends with that AWFUL, AWFUL man. No way. I would never forgive him and I don't see why you should. I am sad that he is there in your house.

In a few years, you will look at him with utter indifference. But friendship? Nope.

JohnFarleysRuskin Mon 24-Feb-14 12:48:02

And you can bet where couples are friends, or amicable, like in the cases he quotes, (I am 'friendly' with my ex) one of them ever, ever would have dreamt of treating another person with the utter contempt with which he treated you.

I'm sorry but his request has made me very angry!

BitOutOfPractice Mon 24-Feb-14 12:49:20

I think in order for you to ever have a hope of being friends in the future he needs to stop acting like an entitled, selfish, inconsiderate arsehole Kurri

He wants you to be firends because it will make it easier for him. Not because he gives a shit about you or your kids or your feelings

Do not move out. Kick him out. Grrr! I'm so furious on your behalf.

Writerwannabe83 Mon 24-Feb-14 12:51:56

My parent's divorced when I was 5-6 (about 25 years ago) because my mom had an affair. I'm pretty sure things were awful between them following the divorce for a very long time!!

Fast forward to now:

My mum still visits my dad's parents and my dad still visits my mom's parents.

My parents buy each other Christmas and birthday presents.

My dad is invited to my mom's every year for Christmas and the invite always extends to a partner if he has one.

They have keys to each other's houses and feed each other's pets if one of them is on holiday.

They help each other out with errands and jobs if they can.

It's all very, very amicable. But like I said, 25 years have passed and they had to stay amicable because of how young me and my sister were at the time - they had no choice but to remain in contact and be civil - whereas this isn't a factor in your situation.

I wouldn't expect too much yet in terms of your recovery if it has only been about 5 months. I think your family are asking far too much of you and far too quickly - you are understandably still going to be incredibly hurt. Just take things at your own pace. It would be nice to think that years and years down the line you may be able to be civil with your ex but it certainly isn't a given and should not be expected from your family members. In your situation I'd completely cut him out of my life because he has no reason to be part of it anymore.

FushandChups Mon 24-Feb-14 12:54:41

Agree with John - anyone who can treat someone they once professed to love more than any other in the way that your H has, is completely deluded.

My H, whio wasn't nearly as bad as yours, seemed to think he could walk out in a pretty shite way and nothing would change - couldn't understand why I wasn't over it in a few weeks and was still angry with him. It's been over a year for me, and I still cannot ever imagine having him as a friend but we are at least civil.

Time may heal but until you get some distance from him, it's going to be an uphill battle. He needs to go and yes, financially it might be best for him to stay in the house but emotionally, it is not and that is the more important aspect.

It is so hard but I don't think you are being unreasonable IN THE SLIGHTEST!! thanks

kazza446 Mon 24-Feb-14 12:57:55

Sounds like he wants to be friends to ease his guilt im afraid.
I split up with my ex h 13years ago. He tried to be Mr nice guy at first. Basically think he was stringing me along in case he didn't like the life he had left me for. I ended up cutting off contact as it hurt too much. I realised that in order for me to move on I had to let go, which I did. We had no contact for 10 years until his mum died and I sent him a message offering my condolences. We now speak occasionally and I've bumped into him on a few occasions. We sometimes do each other the odd favour but there's nothing in it. I see him more as a brother these days. It took a long time to get to where we are today. It can sometimes blag my head a little if we've met up.
It does take time, keep strong and tell him to bugger off.

kinkyfuckery Mon 24-Feb-14 12:58:56

Have either of you filed for divorce yet? I wonder if he's tried to avoid being divorced for adultery and hopes he can persuade you to state something else?

Dahlen Mon 24-Feb-14 13:33:44

He's being totally unreasonable. In his defence hmm, he probably has twisted reality believes that he "couldn't help that I fell in love with OW" and "I never meant this to happen" or "I didn't want to hurt you", which has translated into "because I never meant to cause you pain I am actually a lovely upstanding guy and therefore you should forgive me."

This is, of course, complete bollocks. No one ends a 31-year-old marriage on a whim - there would have been plenty of opportunities to prevent the relationship with OW deepening from friendship/flirtation into affair. This means that he could have prevented your pain but chose not to in the pursuit of his own selfish ends. Not only that, he did it in a cowardly way that showed a shocking level of respect for you. He can twist his perspective as much as he wants, but it won't alter those bare facts.

The thing is with being friends is that it's necessary for how he views himself and presents himself to the world. You agreeing to be friends means he can demonstrate your forgiveness. This means he can maintain the pretence that he isn't a cowardly bastard who had an affair but a man powerless to fight what has turned out to be a unique and wonderful love affair that even you wish him the best for. hmm Coming round to fix your washing machine plays into the Mr Nice Guy image.

It means he wants life to carry on as before, but with a change of significant other. It's delusional but sadly very typical of an adulterous spouse. He can certainly have his GF but he can't keep life the same in every other respect; it just doesn't work like that.

This is probably as much for how he views himself as it is damage limitation for how others view him, but you owe him nothing. You owe your self-respect much more, and that would mean a calm, non-emotional and perfectly logical choice not to have a friendship with someone who has already clearly demonstrated their inability to treat you with respect and consideration.

Twinklestein Mon 24-Feb-14 13:47:47

He's probably still fond of you and wants to have his cake and eat it: two women in his life rather than one.

Given his despicable behaviour I would tell him to do one. He can't have you both.

tessa6 Mon 24-Feb-14 13:53:06

I think it is entirely reasonable for you to have no contact except for child-related things, preferably dealt with over email or something controllable like that. Frankly I am amazed and impressed you are in such a psychologically healthy situation considering what you have been through and what you are going through. As you can see above i don't think it is unusual for even very acrimonious separations to find a platonic, casual friendship decades later, but it takes years to detach and get over the other person before you can just see them as the flawed, messy, stupid individual they are and feel no desire/anger/confusion when around them.

You are being completely normal, sane and reasonable and he is being an emotionally stunted fantasist. Having hurt you so badly the very least he could do is respect however you wish to handle things in the aftermath to make things easiest for you, not for him. Of course it would be ideal of for him to have very little change and get everything he wants on all sides. Fuck that. Life is not so convenient.

Press ahead devising exactly how you wish to communicate him that suits you best and gives you most distance and control. and begin rebuilding your life without him. For god's sake get him out of the house.

I am sorry this happened to you. Congratulations on losing such a selfish time-waster and all best to you in the future. You seem lovely.

handfulofcottonbuds Mon 24-Feb-14 13:53:40

Kurri - I remember your heart breaking thread. It was almost unbelievable to us so I can't imagine how it was for you.

It's such a shame that he has had to move back in, you were so strong and this isn't helping as you say with your health suffering.

This man is poison, I rarely put other people's husbands down on here but the way he has treated you with such contempt is beyond comprehension.

He wants to be friends to ease his guilt - although I struggle to find where his sense of guilt is if he is skypeing his OW while you're there! First, you need to lay a few things down and tell him that it's not on that he skypes her while you are there, if he insists on it then he needs to be a bit more discreet and have some thought for how you're feeling.

KurriKurri Mon 24-Feb-14 13:55:09

Thank you so much for all the replies.
It is reassuring to know that I'm not being 'nasty' by not wanting to be friends. He keeps re iterating how 'he wanted things to be' he didn't want any of this emotional stuff and upset, so he somehow thinks that because he wants something, that is how it will be. He has completely air brushed outthe fact that I am a human being with my own feelings, and unfortunately they are not the feelings that he wants me to have. He justifies the letter on the mat by saying he didn;t tell me because he knew I would get over emotional and spoil his plans, which was obviously not an options.

I have struggled a lot this week, and felt very tired and overwhelmed and angry about the whole situation. He has been difficult, is making veiled threats about any divorce settlement there may be, so I know he is goingto make things as hard as possible. He says awful things and then says 'don't get upset sweetie, I don't want to upset you' (have told him he is not to use endearments, totally innappropriate IMO). So I began to doubt myself and wonder if I was going bonkers as he claims I am.

A couple of days ago he came out with the classic line 'I don't love you anymore, but feelings change. maybe I will love you again one day' shock - how is that in any way relevant to anything that is happening to us?

I am looking at rented places for myself - although it will be very expensive for me to move out, it might be worth it for my own health and well being. My sister has also asked me to come and live with her for a while toget away from him, so I may have a long stay with her (I don't want to impose for too long though)

Thanks so much again for the support, you are all so kind. I have felt so down this last week, and had reached breaking point with it all.

KouignAmann Mon 24-Feb-14 13:59:55

This is completely unacceptable and you should not have to put up with him. You need to get tough. He can't expect to behave as he has done and not have severe financial consequences. After 31 years your assets would be joint and split at least 50/50 including pensions and savings, and you may be entitled to some spousal maintenance as well. Get lawyered up and find out what you can expect then start divorce proceedings. That will wake him up from his little bubble of self-entitlement.

Can you begin to imagine a future for yourself without him? Selling the family home and buying a little cottage with a garden for you to live alone? Or somewhere near your DC to be handy for GC in due course. Start visualising what you want and find out how to get there. Do you work? Have savings or other assets to draw on? Have you got RL friends to look after you and give your social life a boost?

Just because he says it doesn't make it so... you can refuse ever to speak to him again if you like!

KouignAmann Mon 24-Feb-14 14:03:46

Cross posted! Hooray for your sister. That sounds a great plan. She will be able to protect you from his nonsense too. He is trying to bully and manipulate you into going quietly and accepting less than you are entitled to. Just imagine the Mumsnet Army behind you cheering you on!

KurriKurri Mon 24-Feb-14 14:06:04

Regarding the skyping - I and both the children have told him that is unacceptable. He wouldn't stop "Its my house. I'll do what I want" is the attitude.
My solicitor wrote to him saying he needed to stop being so inconsiderate and unreasonable with the skyping. He has ignored it.

It has been slightly toned down, but is still very audible, especially when I am in the bathroom or in my bedroom.
He also managed on one occasion to leave his bedroom curtains open so that when I went past to take the dog out, I could see the OW very clearly on the screen. Which shook me so much it actually nearly made me throw up.

Short of throwing his computer in the river as a temprary solution, I don;t knwo how to stop him. I've tried to go the route of civilised letters to curb his behaviour, but it washes over him. And I feel very vulnerable because he makes out I am v. unreasonable and tries to hint that I am deranged to ask such things of him. sad

My life is like an episode of Jeremy Kyle atm!

skyeskyeskye Mon 24-Feb-14 14:06:11

kurri I agree that you can't be friends. My XH thinks that we should be friends and this is after he walked out on me and then 4yo DD with no warning after texting OW thousands of times.

Two years on, he thinks that we should be friends, that he should be able to come into the house and babysit DD for me. He says that you see it on tv all the time confused, that people stay friends.

I told him that I don't have friends who treat me the way he treated me. I have minimal contact with him. He is still lying about OW who is basically shacked up with him and still lying to her husband who is his best mate that they are just friends.

I wouldn't treat my worst enemy the way he has treated his friend and do not have room in my life for a man like that.

So no, UANBU to not want to be friends with him. He has unrealistic expectations after the way he has treated you.

and as for saying that he may love you again one day? I had the same line from XH when he first left... I may feel different in 3 or 6 months... so I was expected to sit around and wait was I? while he dallied with OW??? I didn't wait and neither are you. and for saying he wrote you a letter because otherwise you would have got upset and spoiled his plans? what a selfish entitled prick.

Ignore any threats over finances, each of you will get what you are entitled to, decided by a judge if necessary. Get good legal advice if you haven't already and don't agree to anything he says.

You may in the future have amicable thoughts, but right now the most amicable thing he can expect from you is not to have all his suits cut into ribbons and his car torched.

Get copies of everything financial you can get hold of, get over to your sister with a few nice bottles of wine, and get thee to a solicitor. And if you do find you've accidentally torched his car we will all vouch for you.

KurriKurri Mon 24-Feb-14 14:12:34

Thank you - I know in my head that I am entitled to a reasonable financial settlement. But when he goes on about getting a 'really good lawyer' and saying 'this is all going to get very messy K, you shouldn't have got a solicitor' - I start to panic.
And I think any money from the sale of our house will go on lawyers fees so no one will get anything. Which is crazy.
My solicitor seems very good, and I am not trying to be greedy or to have anything I'm not entitled to. But I am getting all these veiled (and not so veiled) threats all the time.

He says this stuff, then denies it, in a head tilty 'you've lost your mind you poor old thing' kind of way.

KurriKurri Mon 24-Feb-14 14:18:15

I am hanging on to the idea that in six months/a year (please God no longer than that) It will all be over with, the divorce completed, finances sorted and me away from him. Then I can regain my self respect. I've got lovely friends and some great family members supporting me,so am very lucky.

I think he imagines he can fill the very important role of 'friend who is nasty to me and makes me feel shitty' - but I usually call those folk enemies!

PeppermintPasty Mon 24-Feb-14 14:25:20

Hello Kurri, I remember your thread and your awful, entitled and stunningly selfish ex.

What I don't remember is what is happening wrt divorce. Is this going ahead?
As for moving out, I would do anything in your power to make this happen. Once you are free from the day to day horror of having to live like this, I think you will feel better at once. I cannot believe it! The stress you must be under must be bloody awful.

Get away from him and keep away. You will feel yourself coming back to you.

You are so far from being unreasonable, please believe us!

PeppermintPasty Mon 24-Feb-14 14:26:07

Ah, the perils of not refreshing the thread!

bleedingheart Mon 24-Feb-14 14:30:10

I don't have much to add but I hope you get you settlement and all you are entitled to and he FTFO with his OW who fleeces him and leaves him destitute.

He cares only for himself. He doesn't want to be your friend, he just wants to look like a nice guy and tell the children 'mum forgives me, why can't you?'
Vile excuse for a human being.
I really think you deserve so much luck right now and I wish all good things for you.

KurriKurri Mon 24-Feb-14 14:32:16

To answer your question Kinkyfuckery - I have filed for divorce. He was vaguely saying 'we will get divorced at some point' then using divorce as a threat to me 'If you don;t stop looking so miserable all the time I'll have to speed up the divorce process'.
It was just bullying so I thought I would get on with it and started the divorce process, but he was very annoyed that I took matters into my own hands.
I assume he wanted to call the shots in every way. But I needed to feel I was making choices for myself and my future.

skyeskyeskye Mon 24-Feb-14 14:39:07

kurri It was six months in my case. I started proceedings in May 2012 and was divorced in November 2012. I could have been divorced in the August, but we hadn't sorted out the financial stuff, so I wanted to remain next of kin in case he went under a bus and I'd get the life insurance grin.

He doesn't like it because you have taken control. well tough shit ! It is no longer about what he wants, but about what you want.

You are right to sort it out asap, that is the only way that you can start to move on

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