Wedding Woes

You need therapy.

How do I get over my ex in a practical way? What do I have to do? Or say? Or think?! It’s driving me crazy. We got married about 20 years ago and divorced about three years ago. We have two boys together, and they still see him regularly. Things hadn’t been right for a long time. I know that I was fighting the temptation to browse dating apps during the last few months we were still together. I know that he never left his home office until I’d made dinner. I know his inability to clean up after himself drove me insane. And I know that his more laissez-faire approach to risk set my anxiety racing. I know that he didn’t really want me (I think he married me because I was pregnant, and I think he tried to do the “right” thing). He never made any effort to do anything with me. And I think this fed into me becoming depressed, irritable, and generally a pain to live with. I didn’t like the version of me that I became, so no wonder he didn’t either.

But now I feel so stuck. I am old, grey, and overweight. I don’t make enough money to pay the bills (he sends child support) and I feel like that’s because I took just over a decade out of work to care for the kids, whereas he worked his way up in the financial industry. But that’s not actually his fault. I didn’t have the education that he did, so I probably wouldn’t ever have earned as much. We could have looked into a nanny or daycare. I blame him for so much. 1) My lack of conversational skills because every time we tried to talk I felt like he told me I was wrong, so I learned to shut up. But am I re-writing the past? 2) Ending up in this backwater town. I miss the big city but the kids like that we only live a very short drive apart. 3) My looks and my pelvic floor, which really is just my youth.

He’s been nicer to me these last few months than he was while we were together. Sometimes I’ll text him an update about the kids and his reply mentions my feelings, which never happened before. He’s still incredibly closed off about his life. For example, I heard from a mutual friend that his dad had died. He had no reason to tell me now, but it made me realize that he never really would have told me how he felt about it anyway. He never let me be an emotional partner to him. He’d wake up from nightmares and never tell me what they were about. Or act generally stressed but never tell me what was going on. I hated how much he didn’t talk to me. So, why do I still want to be with him? And how do I stop it?! I can go from thinking it would be easier if he just dropped dead and viscerally hating him one second, to then realizing he still feels like family somewhere in my heart and daydreaming about getting back together. I saw his dating app profile recently. It’s exactly the kind of guy I’d want! But he doesn’t want me.

—Can’t Seem to Move On

Re: You need therapy.

  • Options
    Time for some therapy. Even if he was a terrible husband you played some part in this too. Did you want to stop working? Did you agree to move? Will your kids adjust if you move somewhere else? Did you try pelvic floor physical therapy. 

    It’s time to get some professional help here because you’ve now spent 20 years plus 3 years letting him dictate your life. Get some support so it doesn’t become the next 20 years too. 
  • Options
    levioosalevioosa member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    Really though, why do you want to be with him? Therapy. 

  • Options
    Yikes!  What a sad letter to read.

    She can't change the last 23 years, but it's high time she took back her life to claim the next 23+ years.

    Therapy should definitely help.  She also needs to stop blaming him for all of her perceived faults, because otherwise she's going to keep defining herself by that.  She needs to know she has the power to shape the woman she wants to be now.

    And how old are their kids?  The oldest one has to be an adult by now.  Child support isn't going to last forever, so she needs to make a plan as to how to better support herself.  Maybe that involves obtaining more education.  She needs to be thinking in advance, now.

    She should also start making her plans to move to a city, after the kids become adults and leave the nest.  It's a future goal she can look forward to.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Options
    mrsconn23mrsconn23 member
    First Anniversary First Answer 5 Love Its First Comment
    "I am obsessed with blaming my ex-H for everything wrong in my life and 'stealing' all my good years from me, but I want to get over it.  However, I still want him to pine for me and maybe come back one day.  But I also might want to date too, probably to prove to my ex that I still 'got it'."  

    I'm shocked they're not lining up for you, LW.  
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