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Exwife

Published on November 1, 2012 by savannah girl

My boyfriend of a year has been divorced for 5 years and I've been divorced for 3 years, both from long term marriages. Whereas I only communicate with my exhusband regarding our 13 year old child, rarely think of him, and even more rarely talk about him, my boyfriend can't stop talking about his exwife. She left him and initiated the divorce. They have two grown daughters, one of whom is even married with two kids. His daughters have told him they want nothing to do with any girlfriend he may have and refuse to spend the holidays away from their mother with the result that he has to spend the holidays with his exwife in order to be with them. What happened to rotating between divorced parents? Anyway, I can get over all of that. I recognize they will always have a tie between them. They will see each other at family events, such as a birthday party, and should be cordial. They may even need to confer with each other should issues arise with regard to one of their children or grandchildren. I can live with all of that. My problem is not with the exwife or the daughters - it is with his talking about the exwife so much. At first it seemed occassional and while it bothered me, I could grin, bear it, and brush it aside. However, recently it has gotten worse and he brings her up in very unnecessary contexts. Discuss politics? I get to know how she votes. I also get to know about her reading and car buying habits. It's just too much. He wouldn't talk about her if she were not on his mind. Friends advise me to gently let him know it hurts my feelings, but I don't know how and don't know whether it would serve a purpose. At least I know what he's thinking even if it does hurt my feelings. If he dials it down for me, he may still be thinking about her. He even said he finds out more about what's going on with the grown children from the exwife than from his daughters themselves. That really bothered me because that suggests that they talk often about things he could discuss directly with the daughters instead. What should I do? Please help - this hurts! Thanks.

ANSWERS

My dear Savannah Girl, I can identify with what you're going through because I used to be a similar type of man. I was Feminized. I was a Drama Queen. I couldn't find proper strength in myself so I needed to seek it elsewhere. And then I found "Men's work." Your husband needs to contact a man in your area and attend a men's meeting to discuss his challenges with his ex, his daughter's, and with you. Discussing it with women will only engage him in deeper drama and continue your level of misery, which he may NOT even be aware of. We're guys, and often we're just plain blind. Discussing it with men will allow him the proper outlet, and will allow him to identify his "blind spots" that are causing pain to both of you. I also highly suggest that you contact the closest Landmark Education" institution and enroll your husband and yourself in The Landmark Forum. It will transform your lives for the better, but be prepared to cry quite a bit as you both release lots of crap. If your name suggests that you live in Georgia, you're in luck as I have contacts down there. Feel free to contact me privately at DatingDeMistyfied@gmail.com, or simply write to me here at YourTango. I wish you all the best and know that when you take my advice, things will definitely change for the better.

Oz

Ouch. You have met a man who is still in love with his wife and does not want to let her go. By listening to him talk about her you have become the "friend" not the "girlfriend". As hard as it is, I would suggest talking to him about this and be ready to move on without him. A man's heart that is tied to the ex will never have you be first. There is no real future in that. Talk first and have that conversation determine if you are staying or going.

Savannah Girl, Talk to him. Make him aware of what he's doing. Maybe that will help him see he needs to step back from his ex and handle that relationship more appropriately. I think a conversation might enhance your relationship and perhaps change the way he thinks. Ask him why this has escalated recently. Communication is the lifeblood of any relationship. There are problems of some kind in any relationship. The real question is whether or not he will change his behavior once you've pointed it out and have said it hurts you. If he disregards it or doesn't get it, that's a problem. If he thinks about it and says "You're right. I understand." and then reduces his references to his ex, that could be good for both of you. It's time.

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