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I'm angry that XH has moved on. Please help me get a little perspective.

(23 Posts)
PoppetyPoppet Thu 07-Jan-16 18:28:25

Please help me understand my feelings on this because I shoujdnt care and I wish I didn't.

I was with him for 13 years, met when I was 17 so spent my entire adult life with him until three years ago when I left him. He was a serial adulterer, had many many affairs and did some unforgivable things to me including cheating throughout my pregnancy, eventually leaving me days before I gave birth and then came back when she broke it off. There were occasions where I would wake up and he was having sex with me. He was emotionally and financially abusive towards me and treated me like a house maid, constantly shouting at me for not doing enough housework, expected his dinner on the table when he came back from work. He was awful with money, never paid bills.

The straw that broke the camels back was yet another affair and I finally reached rock bottom with him. Nobody could understand why I was with him. On top of the awful way in which he treated me he is very physically unattractive (I'm not shallow by any means so overlooked this), he had a drink problem, is fat and has terrible personal hygiene. In hindsight I only stayed because I felt sorry for him and my self esteem was in tatters. I have spent a lot of time feeling angry at myself for staying, for all those wasted years. I was not perfect towards him but I treated him well and was faithful throughout.

Our relationship as co parents remains very strained. He will openly argue in front of our dc, has owed me money since our separation which he won't pay back, and is generally just entitled and difficult - same as when we were together really. I supported him through joblessness and a career change but he refuses to do any school runs or have the dc outside of his contact so I am stuck doing part time work and all the responsibility towards the dc falls to me. He swans off on mini-breaks and stag dos, announcing that he can't have the kids but if I ask he always says no so my social life is planned carefully around the DC. He just seems to have the best of all worlds - a good career, a good social life and the fun bits of parenting.

He has had several GFs since, all were drug or alcohol abusers. He only ever seems to stay with them a few months before moving on but introduces our dc to them each time. I have also moved on, I'm with a thoroughly decent guy who is the polar opposite of XH and treats me very well. I'm very happy with him.

So to the problem, XH told me recently that he had met someone and is thinking of introducing our DC to her. Afaik, he was still with the last one, I didn't event know about the new gf even though he's apparently been with her a few months and is 'really into this one'. I checked her out on facebook and was surprised to discover she is quite attractive which has really bothered me.

Throughout his vile treatment, I consoled myself with the fact that he'd never get anyone like me but that's obviously not true. He doesn't deserve to be happy. He doesn't deserve anyone nice.

Please can someone help me understand this? I'm not a believer in karma or divine justice and I'm reeling from the outright injustice of it all. I feel like I was robbed of my happiness for well over a decade and he continues to make my life difficult. Where are his just desserts? Where is his pain? I thought I had reached a point of indifference so I'm shocked at how much this has bothered me sad.

bjrce Thu 07-Jan-16 18:41:20

Thing is op. He will never be happy. Doesn't matter how beautiful she is, he will still treat her bad eventually. Just think would you like to be in her shoes? I think not. Count yourself lucky, forget about him and focus on your own happy life.

kittybiscuits Thu 07-Jan-16 18:43:46

But the poor bugger is with that vile pig. Don't lose sight of that bit.

Jan45 Thu 07-Jan-16 18:57:40

I can only imagine you were not thinking straight to have put up with all that crap, I mean, it's really bad - no offence but yes you should not have tolerated that at all.

Why on earth do you think he is happy, he goes through women like a sad old pervert and doesn't even have a decent relationship with his child, in fact I'd have relished it if he had fucked off forever and left the child alone too - I'd stop engaging with him also OP, why do you want to know about his love life - in fact if any person had treated me as badly as that I'd have fuck all to do with them.

Any woman with an ounce of intelligence wont stick with this pig cos that's exactly what he is, a vile, horrible creature.

MarkRuffaloCrumble Thu 07-Jan-16 19:01:01

I can understand why this has rocked you, even though you're happy with a lovely new fella.

We are all told that karma will catch up with people, that good people get the good stuff and bad people come a cropper.

Unfortunately that isn't true.

Bad people still get good stuff, they end up seemingly happy and content because other people fall into the same trap as we did, believing their lies. The trick is to learn not to care, but that's not easy is it?!

Looking at a pic of someone on FB tells you nothing about her, about how he will treat her or about her motives for being with him. Chances are he won't have changed so he'll either be awful to her too, in which case she will also leave him, or he'll be nice to her as he thinks she's 'worthy' of his niceness, but he will still be unhygienic and controlling and generally an arsehole and sooner or later she will realise she can do better.

He won't be happy as you and I know it. But that's not because he deserves bad things or has earned some misery via divine retribution, but because he isn't very nice and if you spend your life being horrible you can't really be truly happy.

Unfortunately you can't really stop him introducing people willy nilly to the DCs, even though you know it's inappropriate to have a string of GFs in their lives. However, you can make sure that they understand the fleeting nature of these relationships and try to make sure that they don't get too attached - your ex will probably be inadvertantly helping with that by seeing them so infrequently!

Cabrinha Thu 07-Jan-16 19:07:00

I don't think you need help to understand it - I think you've nailed it!

He doesn't deserve to have a happy relationship. Precisely because you can't fall back on believing in karma, you are prickling at the injustice.

It's simply not fair. It's not about being jealous of her, and you certainly don't want him!

But I think it's very human to want to see wrongdoing punished, and there is justice in the punishment fitting the crime.

Therefore - people who have treated us badly in a relationship should live and die alone. And frankly it's fucking irritating when they don't!

I felt very similarly when my prostitute shagging XH got a GF and all the trappings of that - her mate's husband to go play golf with, etc.

I can only say that it faded in time. I still think there's no justice - but I'm not so bothered now.

Ride it out - there's nothing complex to worry about, it's just fucking unfair!

PoppetyPoppet Fri 08-Jan-16 00:20:56

Thanks for the replies everyone.

I can't sleep, I'm just feeling so so very angry. I've been thinking about it and I seem to be getting angrier the more time that passes. When I first left, i was over-joyed at the sense of freedom, then I switched to trying to be amicable for the kids. In the process I let him keep everything. It was me who moved into rented, he kept the marital home which happened to be my childhood home - he we bought it at a huge discount below market value because we bought it from my parents.

But the more time that goes on, the more bitter I feel about things. It's like I'm only just really understanding the depth of his abuse towards me. And the fact that he continues to be a nasty bully whenever he wants to, just deepens my hatred. He has always held all the power. These days I fight back a lot more but it's getting me nowhere. He still has ultimate control and power because I care more about our children's welfare than he does and he knows it despite telling me what a terrible and selfish mother I am at every opportunity.

I know now that I need to disengage and find a better way of dealing with him. I need to take back control by accepting the situation for what it is and stop seeking a fairer distribution of responsibilities towards the children. It just isn't going to happen and I may as well accept that it will probably always be this way. The feminist in me rages at that.

So how do I let go of the anger and the expectation? I want to feel at peace with this. this anger is eating away at my happiness now. He's taken enough, I don't want to give him any more.

HappenstanceMarmite Fri 08-Jan-16 00:28:36

He's taken enough, I don't want to give him any more.

This. You just need to work through this stage. I believe it is part of a grieving process, even though you know (in your logical head) that you are much better off without the creature. Good luck.

Guiltypleasures001 Fri 08-Jan-16 11:12:28

Hi op

It's fully understandable you feel this way it's shit but,

I'm going to be very honest here if I just go by the info given in your original post, you seem to have an awful lot to do with each other outside of child contact. Why and how do you know all,this information. If he's telling you all this and your standing there listening it has to stop now, he picks kids up drops them off, there is no need for all this extra info.

Get someone else to meet him at the door, email or text contact only don't engage and don't go looking up his gf's your picking the scab off on a daily basis. If by any chance this new gf is different is that not. Good thing, what if she has a decent influence on him and he starts doing what he should be doing.

Yes it's a kick in the teeth if she could do this but you and the kids might gain ultimately, just say to him when you find someone who gives a fuck tell them I said hi. thanks

PoppetyPoppet Fri 08-Jan-16 11:37:13

Thanks for the replies everyone. I really appreciate it flowers.

I usually find out through my dc. He apparently showed them photos of this new girlfriend on Facebook. At one point, he was seeing someone and the children met her but she abruptly went to rehab. I found this out through mutual friends - it's a small town and people often rush to spread gossip. So I checked this woman when XH mentioned he was planning on introducing them. He volunteered this information during a phone call we were having about something else. I feel no malice towards this woman (although I'm a staunch socialist and it appears she's a Britain First supporter). I just worry about the company he keeps and the fact that he sees no issue in introducing our DC to these people. I moved on before him, he took it badly at the time hypocrite and I think he's punishing me for that. He hates my DP and constantly has something to say about my 'fake family' as he puts it. I think he's playing the 'who can move on best' game.

I found out this morning from my eldest that he's been quizzing her to find out if I'd checked facebook to look for his gf since telling me about her. This has proved to me that this is all games to him and he has no issue in using our DC as pawns. I had actually forgotten that the dc told me he'd met someone new and showed them pics on Facebook but I had no desire to check until now. It's just bothered me that she's attractive because I know that he treats women as trophies. I just don't want him to experience any happiness from a romantic relationship. He doesn't deserve it.

AndTheBandPlayedOn Fri 08-Jan-16 13:24:11

Is thinking about him a bad habit?
You have been successful in physically leaving him flowers. The psychological side is still a problem. If you are finding it impossible to put effective boundaries in place for the sake of your own mental health, it might be a good idea to see a counsellor about the undying frustrated anger. His happiness or misery really shouldn't be associated with your happiness (or misery). Find the off switch.

I understand that having children with a partner/spouse comes with an expectation that two people would be a team to raise them (whether living together or not). I sense from your post a kind of resentment at having a vast majority of the responsibility of child rearing fall on your shoulders. I get that. But I hope that you are careful to not let that resentment bleed into resenting the children themselves. I think kids would pick up on that- not good.

You already have another partner-are you not getting child rearing relief now?

As for the x using your children...they sound like they are old enough to respect a boundary to not talk about their dad to you. Also, tell them to say that you do not care what he is up to (and say that how many ever thousands of times out loud to yourself until you believe it).

PoppetyPoppet Fri 08-Jan-16 14:47:57

Thank you AndTheBandPlayedOn, you're right, I shouldn't care about his happiness or otherwise. I definitely didn't use to, I'm not sure when that changed - probably when I started to hate him for leaving the shit work to me with the dc and refusing to do his fair share which prejudices me.

I do have a DP but we don't live together and whilst he often offers his help, I feel guilty for accepting it. The only time I don't feel guilty about being away from the DC is when they are with their dad. I definitely don't resent my children but I am probably guilty of letting them know on occasion when I am feeling let down by XH.

Unfortunately they are still too young to navigate and fully understand his questioning. They are just 7 and 5. I have told them that they don't have to answer his questions but they always do. He is continually butting into my private life on the basis of what the DC say. He will ask them something like, 'do you like mummy's BF?', they know he hates my DP, he has openly ranted and raved about hating him despite refusing to meet him, and so my dc feel torn and tell him 'no'. He then comes at me saying I'm exposing my DC to someone they hate when I know that they do like him, I can tell from the way they interact.

AndTheBandPlayedOn Fri 08-Jan-16 15:37:22

They are young, but imho they can be coached on your side as much as they are being coached on his, iyswim. They can respond with "Why do you ask so many questions about mummy?" "Why do you want to know that?"
[I was going to say "What happens at mum's, stays at mum's" but that may not be age appropriate...even though kids love to parrot stuff like that.]
Imho, they can be taught the concept of privacy and the idea that they do not have to say everything that they know. (This may have other consequences so be clear about safety and when to talk and when not to.) And it is a two way street-you getting privacy means your ex gets privacy.

He is manipulating, telling them what to think (regarding liking your dp) in hopes of sabotaging your relationship with dp. This is a teachable moment for your dc to understand that their own opinion is valid and should not be dismissed...especially by their daddy since he probably doesn't know your dp. And Imho, it might be age appropriate to tell the children that your ex has no say in your new relationships, just as you have no say in his...that's what grown ups do-find new relationships.

Good luck.

cappy123 Sat 09-Jan-16 12:05:38

* I just don't want him to experience any happiness from a romantic relationship. He doesn't deserve it.*

Despite your pain, watch that thought process. Everyone has the right to make better choices and learn from their past mistakes. He is your children's father, and if he changes for the better, then that's good for them and you; just as your happiness (single or with someone else) is good for them.

My SIL left her now exDH after his affair and generally bad behaviour and expressed similar thought about his moving on. Now she can see how things are far from not rosy with her and his other relationships - ppl find him a nightmare. Meanwhile SIL, now a single parent, is in a great place and having her pick of suitable guys.

If you have no reason to distrust or find fault with this woman, please don't. Get help to look after yourself - you've been through a lot in your early adult life - so you can be give the best love and care to yourself and your kids first. It will get better...

springydaffs Sat 09-Jan-16 20:40:20

You stayed with this horrific abuser bcs you felt sorry for him?

Look at CoDA , go to the meetings.

It's likely you're addicted to him - par for the course in codependency: addicted to an abuser

(T-shirt btw)

PrincessBooBoo Sat 09-Jan-16 20:59:54

Listen, you've got rid of him, so let him go and dont give him any more head space

littleleftie Sat 09-Jan-16 21:04:50

It seems you are having an awful lot of conversations with him where e has the opportunity to get at you?

If it isn't about the DC, you don't have to talk to him. Would it help to insist on text/email contact only? Then you could just delete/ignore any impertinent questions/comments.

When you are truly not engaging with him any more hopefully you won't give two hoots who he is with. flowers

ricketytickety Sat 09-Jan-16 21:12:16

What would be really good for you and your dcs is that he falls for this woman (if she really is in a relationship with him) and you don't have to interact with him anymore. Poor woman tho!

You will need some help to effectively work through what he did to you. It took me months after I left my abusive relationship to realise I'd been abused and many more to get the help I needed to stop stressing about it all.

PoppetyPoppet Tue 12-Jan-16 11:59:21

Thanks everyone fur taking the time to reply. It's all really helping.

I do only ever contact him about the dc, most of the time it's about a variation in contact - he or I need to swap, usually for work. He always hijacks those conversations to have a dig at me.

Things have taken a little twist in that I overheard my DD's talking about whether they had kept the 'secret'. They were whispering but obviously I could hear them. This 'secret' was that they'd already met the new gf at the point they just only have just started seeing one another. I had already managed to work this out after I looked her up on facebook since I remembered my XH taking them to an event and she had photos on her profile of this event (she was working there doing something with children and my dc had this thing done) so I out 2+2 together.

What was alarming UK me was that my XH is actively encouraging my dc to keep secrets from me which is downright dangerous and I had to have a talk with them about it. I also spoke yo him and he said that it wasn't about keeping a secret from me, but from the general public as they had reasons they didn't want everyone to know hmm. I'm cross that yet again he's involving my DC in a relationship that is clearly not sufficiently stable or established. There are clues to their involvement on Facebook so I've no doubt that these 'reasons' for secrecy are not innocent - I expect it's something to do with the new GF's ex since she's still showing as married on Facebook.

Whatever the reason, I'm disappointed that he's done his usual thing of rushing the introductions. As far as I'm concerned, he should have waited to tell them about this new relationship until they were ready to be 'out' as an item.

springydaffs Tue 12-Jan-16 16:02:08

What did you think of my suggestion that you look at codependency via CoDA?

mintoil Tue 12-Jan-16 17:19:11

poppety -in the nicest possible way - if I had a partner who was as invested and interested in their ex's life and relationship as you are I would dump them.

You cannot control when he introduces DC to OW. He can introduce them to a different one each week if he wants. You have to start letting go.

I understand your concern about "secrets" but it does seem like you haven't really moved on love.

PoppetyPoppet Tue 12-Jan-16 19:08:29

Springy, I looked it up and I have some traits - I'm a people pleaser for sure. I have self esteem issues off and on but it's usually linked to my weight. But I don't have all the symptoms and connected issues. My boundaries are much more healthy now, and I don't have a fear of rejection. I was single for a while after I left XH and I was the happiest I'd been in a long time. New BF treats me exceptionally well and builds my self esteem rather than break it down. I trust him implicitly when I thought that trusting again would be impossible. So I possibly am codependent but right now it's not causing me any issues iyswim?

mintoil, perhaps you're right. Until this, I couldnt give a fig about XH. As I mentioned in my op he's had several GFs since we separated and I genuinely didn't care. I posted because my reaction to the news that he had met this new one took me by surprise. That lasted about a day and I'm caring less and less each day.

My main issue is in accepting the inherent unfairness of our co parenting relationship on top of trying to accept and deal with what I think is a delayed response to his abuse during our relationship. I still feel like he is trying to abuse me now. He's all about playing games and trying to punish me for leaving. He's just so fucking unreasonable and I'm tired of dealing with him, tired of being the bigger person, tired of being the one who has to make the sacrifices. I'm particularly feeling it at the moment and so this news, delivered by him like he was on cloud 9, was badly timed on my front.

I do feel like I've moved on in a romantic sense. I took so much of his shit that he genuinely thought I'd be around to take it forever but he pushed me too far. In the past, I took him back every time he came running full of fake regret. I don't want him back. But I do want him to be a decent father, I do want him to share the burden more fairly. It may help to explain that this isn't the first time I've done this. I had my son when I was still at school and his dad walked never to be seen again when my DS turned two, so 14 years I've raised him alone without even a penny in child support. I had XH around but he was worse than useless with DS. I let go of that particular set of unfair circumstances a very long time ago and enjoy a good relationship with my son as a result.

PoppetyPoppet Tue 12-Jan-16 19:14:52

Forgot to say too, that whilst I'm posting about this on here, XH has no idea how I'm feeling. Neither does his new gf. I haven't and wouldn't ever contact her. To XH, I'm being neutral, same as all the other times. I worked out that he'd already introduced the dc to her but I said nothing - I know thats not my place despite him being very vocal on my bf being involved with the dc. I have told him that I don't want him to tell the dc to keep secrets and he knows I looked her up on facebook because he quizzed the DC about it. He obviously wanted me to. But I countered that by saying I was just checking she wasn't a drug or alcohol abuser due to his track record and I had no interest in her beyond this. And perhaps I also checked to satisfy my curiosity but I scrolled her profile for a few minutes and haven't looked since because beyond knowing vaguely who she is, I genuinely don't care.

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