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Why do I feel so much pain and anger? STBXH new partner.

(27 Posts)
Wishyouwould Fri 21-Mar-14 11:31:39

Split with my abusive STBXH well over a year ago. We share DC 60/40. He is a high earner and I was (now work) a SAHM so I am staying in the house until DC are older.

I have been absolutely fine with the support of family and friends. Ex has continued to be vile to me, start arguments and then blame me, threatened to move back into the house and make my life hell, you get my drift. My DC are my world, we have an extremely close and loving relationship.

In December he told me he was dating someone we have both known for years. He wanted to introduce her to our DC pretty much straight away (they had been going out for a few weeks) and I said no way it was too soon. They are still together and I know it's only a matter of time before he introduces her as his OH to our DC. I feel so much pain. I don't love him, I don't even like him so why do I feel like this? She seems like a nice person so I know things could be much worst. But the thought of her spending time with my DC is ripping me apart. His new partner and I share mutual friends and I feel like people have already taken a step back from me.

I tend to dwell on things - he mentioned he wants things in the open because he wants to meet her Mum and Dad - he couldn't even pass the time of day with my parents and only spoke to them when he'd had a drink. It pains me to know they are going out having a great time when he couldn't even communicate with me or show me any affection. It seems so unfair.

I have started counselling because I know I need to get rid of the sudden anger and move on but it's just so hard. Please tell me how you have coped with your DC meeting and spending time with your Ex's new partner.

TheGirlFromIpanema Fri 21-Mar-14 12:04:20

The counselling is a good idea Wish. You are going through a big upheaval and change in your life and some things will stress you out more than others. It does get easier with time I promise thanks

I will say though, that it's not your decision over who/when he introduces new gf to the dc.
Try to imagine how you would feel if the situation was reversed?

Its hard I know, but unless you have actually parenting concerns he is well within his responsibilities/rights to parent how he chooses when dc are with him sorry.

TheGirlFromIpanema Fri 21-Mar-14 12:07:26

gah, didn't all post.

I meant to go on and say that if you show a level of 'reasonableness' (even if you have to fake it) you might find that friends don't simply step away. It will be hard in your circs for everyone (except him I imagine angry) People might not know what to say to you. If you can take the lead and be gracious and charming you will come off better than either of them in the end, in terms of how others perceive you iyswim?

Wishyouwould Fri 21-Mar-14 12:58:33

Thanks for the reply. I know you are right and I won't make a fuss but the thought of them playing happy families is tearing me apart, I really don't want to feel this way.

Allofaflumble Fri 21-Mar-14 15:36:45

Most people feel like you do when their ex meets someone new. You can't help feeling bitter that someone else seems to be getting on with them when you could not. Its so painful at the time. I broke up with someone recently and know if I hear he has moved on to someone else I will want to kill! You are reacting so normally though. ((Hugs)).

BranchingOut Fri 21-Mar-14 15:47:09

They are in the honeymoon period. Do you think he is going to keep it up for long?

Wishyouwould Fri 21-Mar-14 15:56:19

Thanks for the Hugs Alloff

I know Branching I keep thinking maybe it was just me that brought the worst out in him? Maybe they will be blissfully happy? He was verbally abusive to me, constantly telling me and our DC to shut up (he sees nothing wrong with this and told me he'd overheard 3 people telling someone to shut up in the pub the other week so it's obviously the norm!) He was worse when he'd had a drink - from groping me (happy drunk) to punching a hole through the wall in our house (nasty drunk) so in reality he probably won't change.

struggling100 Fri 21-Mar-14 16:01:19

I think what you're feeling is completely normal. It's a kind of more distanced processing of everything that's happened to the relationship, a milestone that you need to pass. In other words, it's not a sign that you're not 'over' him - it's the final phase of the 'getting over' process.

Break ups are unfair. You have put up with a lot of crap from this guy, so it's completely natural that you'd feel a bit resentful that he's now happy and treating someone else well, when he treated you so poorly. None of us are perfect, and you shouldn't beat yourself up for this!

However, by the sounds of things this woman hardly has a 'catch' in her hands - he sounds abusive and awful! You know deep down that you're much better off without him. So what you're grieving for isn't the 'real' relationship that you had with him, but a kind of ideal that you maybe had at the start that he was the one. But that ideal isn't dead - in fact, by moving on from him, you've made it more alive!

I found it interesting how much you talked in your message about your DC, and that you mention that you feel that friends are stepping back from you. One very natural fear that many parents have is that a new partner might 'replace' them in their DC's lives. I wonder if this might be the case with you? Of course, you already know rationally that this fear is just one of those insecure thoughts we all have at times - no-one could ever replace a wonderful, loving mother like you! But it's still a common and completely normal reaction in the circumstances, and something that you can explore a bit with a counsellor (props to you for going!)

As for friends - if they do step back, they weren't worth knowing. But please do remember that they probably aren't - it's just that when human relationships change, people take a while to adjust and to figure out how things 'fit together'. They're very likely equally distant with your ex and his new partner - it's more uncertainty than rejection! thanks

Wishyouwould Fri 21-Mar-14 18:05:08

Thank you so much for the reply struggling you are spot on.

I know I'm so much better off without him in the long run. I feel lonely sometimes (when he has the DC) but nowhere near as lonely as I felt during the last couple of years of our marriage.

I know I'm in a better position than lots of ladies on here - many of them are having to deal with husbands who have had affairs and the OW meeting their DC. I also console myself with the fact that our DC are 11 and not toddlers who would be sitting on her knee, etc. I know deep down that his life will not be a bed of roses and you are right I am grieving for the life I'd hoped for. I'd just wanted to be a lot further on than this after 12+ months instead I'm having sleepless nights and want to curl up in a ball.

Allofaflumble Fri 21-Mar-14 18:19:39

If you have a moment, look up the words to Desiderata. Its a kind of poem filled with wise words. Right now you are distressing yourself with imaginings. I do it too. There is very little reality in what we think. Be kind to yourself because you are the best friend you will ever have . smile

hamptoncourt Fri 21-Mar-14 18:27:08

Hello OP, I thought I would post with a slightly different viewpoint as this may help you.

My XH GF does not get on with one of my DC, Not.At.All. It has created a really difficult situation for me and my DC that I would far rather be without. I would be so much happier if she did get on with them and they were playing happy families.

I am sure you want your DC to be happy in the time they spend with their father, and that includes time spent with his new partner. Try to think of it that way, as something separate from you or him, just as an unavoidable new part of your life that you need to make positive for your DC.

You don't say how old they are but it is important that you never let on that you feel any pain/jealousy etc regarding their contact with the GF even when they are teens and are deliberately winding you up. Just say, "Oh, XXX was there was she? That's nice, shall we have ham or cheese sandwiches for lunch?" You need to make sure the channels of communication stay open so they can tell you if there is a problem somewhere down the line. My DM was absolutely horrible about my dads new wife, who was lovely to me, and I never forgave her for it.

I note that STBX is being stupid about stuff like moving back into the house? He wouldn't be bothered with all that shit if he had really loved on, and as soon as your divorce is final you should have an occupation order as part of the settlement so he won't be able to threaten that any more.

I suspect you will feel better when the divorce is finalised and you really have your fresh start. Good luck.

hamptoncourt Fri 21-Mar-14 18:29:32

Sorry, see x post, DC are 11. They will be making their own contact arrangements soon enough. You can take a back seat then.

wyrdyBird Fri 21-Mar-14 19:11:14

I keep thinking maybe it was just me that brought the worst out in him? Maybe they will be blissfully happy? He was verbally abusive to me ...

Just to say, don't blame yourself for his behaviour, or imagine you brought out the worst in him. What you saw is what he is. The new GF will be treated in the same horrible way you were, sadly.

magiclife Fri 21-Mar-14 19:17:55

Threads like this always make me smile. There is an assumption from most (female) posters that when the man moves on, which he invariably does more quickly, then its just "the honeymoon period" and that when that is over he will have the same unhappy relationship that he had with you. Posters seem to actually take solace in that. It seems to me that a relationship is based on two people and how they interact. No two people will be the same as another two, so although aspects of personality will remain the same the relationship will be invariably be very very different. Maybe this is some sort of coping mechanism? I can speak from experience and say that I probably wasn't pleasant to my ex wife, we fought and fought. I actually didn't even feel myself because I altered my behaviour around her, so awful was the relationship. With a new person everything changes. Loving, caring feelings I never had for ex which enables you to truly love and nurture that is reciprocated, people think I am a different person. Im sure if the new partner treated me as my ex did I would be out of there like a shot. Its not always men to blame. Quite often it is a combination of two personalities that just should not be together and each of them could form a happy loving relationship with someone they are more matched with. It always amazes me also how many of these threads claim the husband was/is an EA when miraculously goes on to form a perfectly good relationship with someone else. EA used to be called "arguing"!!

I don't think there is a right and wrong timeframe for introducing children. And a lot depends on the age. An older child it may well be better to introduce relatively early so that they do not see their parent sneaking around or wondering what is going on. Whatever though it is best for you and your children if everyone gets on. Kids need both parents around and know that they are loved and if your ex's new partner is going to be a fixture then it is better that everyone gets along. Not saying it won't be hard at first but polite acceptance is the way forward.

Good luck

Wishyouwould Fri 21-Mar-14 19:27:56

magic My Ex hasn't just been abusive to me though. He has called our DS names and referred to him as a 'f*cking idiot' when he was too nervous to do an exam. He has always spoken to his Mum in a sneering and condescending way in fact was one of the things that did cause arguments between us.

Wishyouwould Fri 21-Mar-14 19:28:29


hamptoncourt Fri 21-Mar-14 19:31:28

There is a big difference between being emotionally abusive and "arguing" magiclife.

wyrdyBird Fri 21-Mar-14 19:46:13

Abuse is not arguing. You're making a rookie mistake, magic.

Abuse is a very different animal, with its own highly predictable patterns. It is deep within an abuser's personality, showing itself in distinctive attitudes and behaviours. It is nothing to do with getting on better with one person as opposed to another.

There is plenty of literature on the subject if you want to understand it better.

Of course it's usual to move on to another relationship, and for both partners to get on well - IF you are not dealing with an abuser. This is what most healthy people do.

Most men, and most women, are not abusers. Some, unfortunately, are.

magiclife Fri 21-Mar-14 19:57:11

I know all about EA and that it is very different from arguing. But its disproportionate, virtually every marriage breakdown now claims EA.

A new poster on Mumsnet doesn't make someone a "rookie" wyrdybird...

Tinks42 Fri 21-Mar-14 20:36:02

I personally can understand what Magic posted. He is right in a certain respect. I fought constantly with my ex, it also became rather "abusive" on both our parts near the end. I'm now with a totally different personality and it works far better for both of us.

UnlikelyAmazonian Fri 21-Mar-14 21:42:16

magic you do make me smile. smile


Tinks42 Fri 21-Mar-14 21:46:51

get a room....

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Fri 21-Mar-14 22:31:48

I also understand what Magic is saying and think it's perfectly true. When we're hurt, it's quite natural to take solace in the fact that a new partner will get the same treatment as we did, that our ex will never be as happy as they were with us and so on. It's dangerous to think that way because we are setting ourselves up for disappointment when our perceived 'hens coming home to roost' do not, the partner is happy and his/her new partner is happy.

Sometimes people work through flaws in their character - some do not. It's not helpful to perpetuate the 'he'll get his comeuppance' and 'they'll never be happy' crap. It's certainly doing a disservice to any children involved.

Both parties in a relationship are responsible for it and the 'fault' or reason for a break-up (excluding affairs) could be shared between both. Break-ups are hard - and sad - but they happen daily and nobody is perfect. The term 'abuser' is freely bandied around on this board but from what some posters post, it's clear that often they don't recognise their own abusive behaviour.

I read what hamptoncourt has posted; I think most parents would be very sad to think that the other parent's partner doesn't get on with our children - it's probably sad for the partner involved also.

When people have children they owe it them to keep things on an even keel and make it easy for them to have relationships with both parents, extended families - and anybody else the parent has a close relationship with. To keep up the bitterness when a split has happened and a relationship is over is just unfair to all parties and doesn't help anybody get over anything. Children do pick up on antagonism however much some people think it's well hidden.

Wishyouwould Fri 21-Mar-14 22:50:05

Thanks for the input everyone. I don't want to be bitter, I want to move on which is why I'm having counselling and posting on here.

I ended the marriage because our DC were picking up on the awful atmosphere which was getting worse every day. I'd wanted to end it 2 years earlier but Ex begged for another chance and we went to Relate but nothing changed in fact things got worse.

Thanks again for the replies.

shey02 Fri 21-Mar-14 23:35:43

It's really great that you are reaching out for help. It's normal to have feelings like this. However, for your own peace of mind and harmony and that of your children's emotional health it's important that you keep this from your dc, your ex and his gf. In time you will adjust and it will be you with a brand new life and brand new partner. And you will want your children to be emotionally healthy enough to accept them and for your ex to support your relationship and not undermine it.

It really is a time for detaching, for your own emotional wellbeing. Don't worry about what the ex does, whom he introdues and when is up to him. You said she's nice, so thank god for that, she will spend time with your children and want to get to know them... However, she is NO COMPETITION to you, so stop comparing relationships, it will drive you crazy for a start. Your children will always love you best, because you are there for them 100% and no one replaces mum. If you let your kids they can have a healthy relationship with dad and gf and still it will not alter their love for you. Children have a huge capacity for love when they feel loved and prioritised. When children feel pressurised, depressed, with divided loyalties, etc. they will carry a parents pain for years and reject the alienated parent and that's no life for a child. It's a long, hostile road for everyone.

And regarding your mutual friends it's likely that if you conquer your dark thoughts about all this, your friends will be there for you. Perhaps they fear you rejecting them, or fear a complicated situation, but if they are your friends, nothing need change. You don't have to share info with those specific friends about your ex and neither do they with you about the new woman. That would be a healthy boundary in this new situation. Hopefully, you have other unconnected friends and family for support. Hugs.

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