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A man who can't let go of his ex -wife

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Initial post: Nov 17, 2008 9:07:52 AM PST
K. FInnan says:
I have been dating John for over two years. His divorce was final a year ago. He can't completely let go of his ex-wife. He continues to communicate with her. She is the reason we cannot be engaged. I am insisting he move out of the home they shared together. He admits there are many memories there. I have decided not to see him until he takes steps to move out. I am doing the right thing, right? I love him so very much.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 19, 2008 10:35:33 AM PST
Earthling says:
The problem is not in the house but in him. He may have started a new relationship before he was ready. He must resolve his feelings for his ex one way or the other. Your decision not to see him seems like a good one. The next move is up to him.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2008 5:38:07 AM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2008 11:52:36 AM PST
K. FInnan says:
Thanks, yes it is "in him", but leaving the house certainly could help. I will check out the book. I have heard of this "not letting go" problem but can find very little information on it when searching the web.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2008 2:27:25 PM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Dec 7, 2008 5:30:53 PM PST
Tyro says:
I think you should judge this not by how he thinks of his ex, but how he is with you. "Letting go" - sounds so simple, doesn't it? But in a certain sense we never entirely let go of the past. But is he present and engaged with you? Does he sincerely want to get engaged? It might take a little more faith on your part. It isn't always a good idea to give ultimatums... It may be that both of you need to let go of the idea of his ex-wife.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 7, 2008 6:25:02 PM PST
K. FInnan says:
Thank you.
What I did was to say to him "contact me when you decide between me or her. He has contacted me a couple of times saying sweet things but will not make that decision. (He is not "with" her)

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 19, 2008 6:51:29 PM PST
I am sorry you are going through this situation. I think "He" is the reason the two of you are not engaged because "He" can't let go. I sympathize with you completely. I recently started dating a guy that got divorced September 2007 and they have a 3-year old daughter. I'm not worried too much about them being in a relationship because she lives in Georgia and we are in Texas. Do you think that moving out of the house will completely solve the problem? Moving won't turn his feelings off, he needs to start talking to someone to help him move on. He's not ready for another marriage since he is not over the last one. There is a blog I read about dealing with past conflicts and how to resolve them. You can sit down with him and the two of you can read it. You read it first so that you can get ideas of how to help him solve his issues. The blog link is and it provides some very good advice. Ultimately, the choice to let go of the past is his. All you can do is offer your support. But drag yourself down in the process. Take care.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 22, 2008 6:08:38 AM PST
Monos Deja says:
Divorce means death, if the person get a divorce and goes back to the other .... well i wont go into what that means.
Death between two people, remember in the vows - until dealth do us part?

Stay away from people whom go back to the other when divorced

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 22, 2008 6:59:27 AM PST
I am a man and have gone through a divorce myself, and am now happily remarried. The first three years after divorce were hell, for me and for my wife-to-be... We lived to it, but with many unnecessary scars...
He is not ready, nor will he be in the near future, to go into another relashionship, it's too early. You need to let time do its job, so that he can sore whatever is still hurt inside him (even if it doesn't show, wounds of failure, sadness of the past, etc are still there). If you really love him, be there for him, but don't force anything (obvously, without being indulgeant on him seeing the ex-wife). give him some space to reflect, to be alone, to think and to heal...
Ultimately, he will HAVE to leave the house because the memories are there and as long as he stays it will not heal, but he needs to realize this himself!...
Everything will work out, you'll see... all it requires is love and paciente!!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 22, 2008 12:17:45 PM PST
I'm not sure what your role is in John's life. Perhaps you represent a "transitional relationship" or a bridge to get him on to the next phase of his life. I once read a very good book which might help both of you put this matter in perspective. It is called Rebuilding When Your Relationship Ends by Bruce Fisher. It helped me at the end of my marriage. I will pray that you both find peace.
Joe Langen, Author of Commonsense Wisdom for Everyday Life

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 26, 2008 6:55:34 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 26, 2008 7:21:01 PM PST
Everyone is responsible for their own actions. If you or your 'man' blame your non engagement on HIS (ex?) wife, she should be just as free to make him feel guilty and place blame on the two of you for the HOMEWRECKING that you both have caused. It works both ways.

At this point, you have NO idea what goes on inside of the house that they share(d?) and at best, you are getting one side of the story (assuming that his version is the "TRUTH") which would be a bit suspect as I have never met or heard of any 'honest' cheaters...

Like it or not, a cheater is in fact what he was (is?). Since he choose to 'date' you while he was still married to his wife (and living in THAT house). If it is taking him this long to get over a marriage, have you ever asked or thought about how long it might take him (if ever) to get over his addiction to cheating?

Quick does one allow herself to 'date' someone elses husband when that husband LIVES with his wife? Since you have settled for less for so long he does not have much to fear from your ultimatium.

In this two year situation, it is clear that you put up with way more broken promises than you will ever admit to on this post (or even to yourself) so after a month or two, things will be right back where they were for him with respect to his place in your life since you have proven yourself on several occasions to be a doormat by allowing this situation to go on for as long as it has gone on. I am sure that he will be more than happy to wait it out. Its always easier when there is someone (the (ex?) wife) taking up the slack!

The 'problem' (aside from you dating someone unavailable) is NOT that he cannot (or in this case WILL not) let go of his (ex?) wife. The problem is that you dont have enough respect for YOURSELF to let go of him.

If I was someone that loved you and interacted with him, I would be curious to know, how does one go about 'taking steps' to move out. BABIES have learned to walk out of a house in less time then this.

How does one (you) believe that in the year since the supposed divorce that he could not have 1. picked up a phone and contacted a moving company 2. went online and found a suitable place to move to (assuming he did not want to hop out of the frying pan and into the fire by moving in with you). 3. Had the issues that pertained to the home (assuming that they do own it) resolved with the final divorce decree.

Bottom line is if he WANTED to move, he would...while a hassle, it is not that hard to do. Find a place to go, buy boxes, call a mover and/or rent a uhaul. All can take place (from start to completion) in less than one week if he wanted to do so. Its really not that hard IF THAT IS WHAT HE WANTED TO DO!

I don't know-since you did not state-if there are kids involved. If there are I am at least pleased to see that he did not completely choose to walk out of their lives because of you. If he does not have any kids with the wife then your situation is waaaaaay worse than you even realize!

Is your mother still alive? do you have any friends that know about this situation? I cannot believe that you can answer either of these in the affirmative. If so they most certainly would have had some conversations with you with regards to your self esteem. If anyone told you THIS story you would think that they were NUTS for staying in it. You stated in an earlier post that he was not 'with' her. How can you be sure of that? I would bet you dollars to gum drops that he told her that same thing with regards to being with YOU!

Women like you make me sick with this 'please pick me' attitude, why do you continue to devalue yourself by demanding a choice when the 'choice' has already been made?

p.s. NO action is a choice too!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 26, 2008 8:30:53 PM PST
Dutch Morgan says:
I didin't read all the replies but as a man I know two things. He is still in love with his ex and if he won't move out of the house and there are no kids you are a placeholder, sorry :( He is hoping to be back together with his ex, he is using you to probably make her jealous, otherwise he would be takeing steps to be away from her. It's pathetic for him to do this and you for accepting it. You should take the heart ache now and move on to someone who appreciates you and that will be for you only, because trust me he isn't in love with you, he is trying to be with his ex.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 26, 2008 11:15:15 PM PST
C. COPLEN, I could not agree with you more. It is my hope that for the new year the OP will make it her mission to get on with her life and not waste any more of her time waiting for him to CHOOSE her when he has so obviously made is choice

Posted on Feb 10, 2009 11:09:24 AM PST
Ezra says:
Get the Love book by Chuck Smith. This book helped me to "know" what real love is all about-and will answer "every, single" question about love-and to know what's real and not...

Posted on Feb 10, 2009 2:02:14 PM PST
K. FInnan says:
He is pathetic. I am pathetic, but I do not have a poor self esteem. I don't think anyone will understand if they are not in the situation.
When you truly, truly love someone you put yourself aside and want to do what is best for them. I wish I would have recognized a long time ago that he should have gone back to her. I told him once that I would accept it if he wanted to. I don't know if that is best for him anymore. Too much time has gone by. She is his past. I should be his future. I have had a deadline now for the past 4 months of early Spring. Something needs to happen by then. I am not really even sure what. If not I will try, try, try to have the strength to leave.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2009 2:10:02 PM PST
Truly loving someone NEVER means putting yourself aside!... First, you must be in peace and love yourself to be able to be in life with someone!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2009 8:29:48 PM PST
K. Finnan
I owe you an apology
You said that you do NOT have poor self esteem and I actually DO agree that I was wrong in stating that!

The fact of the matter is that you have NO SELF ESTEEM!

You proved this by your own post........
You stated "When you truly, truly love someone you put yourself aside and want to do what is best for them."
IF this is true then you should now know (by your own definition) that HE does NOT love you since it is OBVIOUS that living with this woman is NOT what is best for YOU~

If HE TRULY loved you (as you have stated by YOUR OWN DEFINITION OF TRUE LOVE) then he would NOT live with this woman and yet he does~ and you feel the need to THREATEN him to make him go is pitiful.

Then your further justification 'I guess you have to be in it to know what it feels like" or something to that affect is simply justification for your own cowardice.

I do not have to eat manure to know that I do not like the taste and likewise I do not have to experience someone treating me like crap to understand that this is a terrible situation that you are allowing yoruself to remain in because you do not have the intestinal fortitude to remove yourself from it.

The fact that you have to 'try, try, try' to get out if he does not abide by your silly little threats is particularly telling about your backbone (or lack thereof) and if you are as obvious about your jellyspine with him as you are on this post, he will leave that house and get wheeled into a nursing home with you at his side like a puppydog making an a$$ out of yourself like you are now and wondering where all the time went.
(people like you have set the womens revolution back at least 80 years)

Posted on Feb 12, 2009 5:40:59 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Feb 15, 2009 7:47:42 AM PST]

Posted on Feb 12, 2009 8:51:09 AM PST
K. FInnan says:
I think you misunderstood. I said "home they shared together" not "share together". She lives an hour away from him. I would never be in the position you are thinking of.
He just still communicates with her and is still in love with her, but also loves me very much too. Sorry for the confusion.

Posted on Feb 12, 2009 12:19:21 PM PST
NOW I get it.

I am sooo sorry
I honestly thought you were saying that he lives with her now and was seeing YOU on the side. I think if you read over the replies, I am not the only one who felt this way!

With that out of the way
Now I am more confused than ever!

I am re-reading the book by Anne Frank with my niece to help her to get a better grade in her class. Basically she (ANNE) had the worst living situation ever yet she managed to find SOME good in it. If she had lived, no doubt that she would NEVER want to go back to THAT situation again yet her words spoke and astounded the readers because of the fact that in the middle of everything that we now know was going on, she managed to focus on the positive things that were taking place.

Maybe your boyfriend is the same!

He probably would NEVER take his ex back but he should not be denied the good times that were shared. Instead of thinking of it as a negative maybe you have found the ultimate optimistic person (much like Anne Frank).

Your boyfriend could have very easily sold you a bill of goods (in the current economy) about how much he hates his house and how much he WISHES he could move but can't do that. Because he trusted you, he chose to tell you the truth about his feelings....ALL of them!

I think that says way more about his love for you then it does about his feelings for her.

Cut him a break

Visit him at the house and make new memories

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 12, 2009 12:39:28 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 12, 2009 6:50:36 PM PST
Kintn, I do NOT think that this forum is populated with miserable people. I do not understand how you can come to THAT conclusion....
You stated that ' if her life was so great and happy what is she doing here...?" It is easy to read that to mean that only people who are unhappy are able to post?

SUrely this is not what you meant (or maybe it is)
Just wanted to point out to YOU that things written may NOT be what YOU happens....

However, I do want to apologize to not only you but to everyone on here for my reply as I can NOW see how you felt this way about ME. I read the OP's original statement and thought she was saying that her boyfriend still lives with his ex wife. This made me VERY angry...not because I care who she slept with but because she accepted the rules and then wanted to change the game in the middle of the story. HOWEVER This was not the case. I made the mistake by reading her words incorrectly.
While not wanting to make excuses,
it appears that I was NOT the only one to read into her statement that way.
If my understanding of what I initially read was infact true, I would in NO WAY apologize to you, and I would write again to give her more of a lashing as I feel strongly that the OP (if she was in THAT situation) was being lied to and used and if she could not have figured THAT out on her own then she might benefit from a bit more tough love then the usual "its going to be okay" replies that posts that love triangle situations like these usually get.

If the situation was what I thought it was (that the op was in a love triangle) I would NEVER back away from what was said, however I am admitting that I made the wrong conclusion based on what was written and for that I am sorry.
Not only do I hope that the op understands THAT, I moreover hope that the OP considers hanging in there a bit longer with her boyfriend and trying to work out THIS situation with him because it does seem like one that they can both overcome together!

p.s. Feed your dog more
it is not normal that he EATS kitty feces.

Posted on Feb 12, 2009 3:17:30 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Feb 15, 2009 7:48:30 AM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 12, 2009 6:49:40 PM PST
Kitan, as much as I would like to continue to trade insults with you, the fact of the matter is that I have no idea what a "phsychiast" is! I am an english teacher!!!!!!

Your attempts to insult me make you look so silly that it takes no effort. You stated that "employees 10,000 employees". I mean out your OWN issues prior to attempting to swim in the pool with sharks!

Posted on Feb 12, 2009 7:11:53 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Feb 15, 2009 7:49:03 AM PST]
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Discussion in:  Relationships forum
Participants:  22
Total posts:  50
Initial post:  Nov 17, 2008
Latest post:  Sep 11, 2009

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