Even Though We're Divorced, My Ex-Husband Still Does One Thing That Drives Me Nuts

Most divorced parents can relate.

Son talking to his mother Rido, DragonImages | Canva

My son asked me to go get something to eat with him. He didn't seem like himself and told me his brother was coming. We went out all the time, but this felt different. He was extremely serious.

"I have something to tell you," he said. 

"Oh no," I said. "You’re worrying me. Is everything okay?"

At this point, the waiter came up to our table.

"Do I need a drink to hear this news?" I joked.

"You might want to order one," said my son.


The waiter walked away and my youngest son came walking in. At that moment, my phone pinged with a heart emoji from my middle son. Okay, now I was getting anxious. What was so important that my boys felt the need to meet with me to tell me?

And why was one of them so worried, that he was sending hearts from afar?

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"What is it? Just tell me," I insisted.

"Dad is getting married," said my oldest son.

"Is that all?" I said with massive relief. 

"Don’t you care?" asked my youngest son. "You were married to him for decades."


"No,” I said. "I don’t care."

"How could you not care?" he asked.

"When your father was willing to hurt you all to hurt me during the divorce," I said. "He destroyed any of the remaining feelings I had left for him."

My sweet boys were worried that I would be hurt to find out their dad got engaged. They thought I would find it sad. They were apprehensive to tell me. They were relieved I wasn’t upset. But I think they were also surprised at just how neutral my feelings were.

I mean, I felt nothing. Not a thing, nada, zippo.

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Watching my children suffer through a long abusive divorce devastated me. They were being punished for their mother leaving their father. They had to tolerate their dad withholding food money, school supplies, electricity, transportation, health insurance, and other things.


They had to see repo guys in our driveway, sheriff’s deputies at our door with warrants in debt, foreclosure notices, and more.

Who could feel anything for a man who would do that to his own children?

My kids aren’t the only ones who wonder if I might still feel something for my ex-husband. This doesn't mean actual romantic feelings. It just means enough emotion to feel something toward him. Or to still feel pain when I discuss the things that happened during our divorce.

It’s a common question. 

I get asked it routinely, especially since I transitioned my work as a marketing/PR consultant and former business columnist to a relationship columnist. I write about my experiences to elevate awareness of divorce abuse and to provide support to others going through it. I'm passionate about this. I am no longer passionate about my ex-husband at all.


Nothing about my ex-husband phases me much anymore.

I can't deny that even that in itself feels a bit odd. It's weird to see someone you were so connected to and feel such disconnection. I remember the first time I saw him with his now wife. I didn't feel a thing. I didn't feel sad, uncomfortable, nostalgic, or any other emotion. It was weird to see him with his arm around someone else. That's the only degree of anything that I felt.

RELATED: Why I Fought So Hard To Protect My Children From Their Father

But there is one thing my ex-husband can still do that drives me crazy.

If he upsets or hurts our children in any way that is the only time he can really elicit emotion from me. Like the time he left our son in a Florida airport without realizing he never got on the plane.


His excuse? They were seated separately so how could he know?

Our son was 25 at the time and took responsibility but at the same time, who does that? What father doesn’t tap their son who is sitting waiting for him by the gate on the shoulder when it’s time to board? When he realized his dad might not be coming he tried to board with ten minutes to take off but they had already closed the doors.

He was politely waiting for his father. His father didn't notice him and flew the two hours home without even noticing his son wasn’t on the plane. 

That is the only thing that can still bother me, otherwise, it’s a relief to not care.

No, it's a gift.


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Colleen Sheehy Orme is a national relationship columnist, journalist, and former business columnist. She writes about love, life, relationships, family, parenting, divorce, and narcissism.