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Is This Right Or Wrong?

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PurpleParis | 08:41 Sun 23rd May 2021 | Relationships & Dating
10 Answers
Long story..my other half and I have been together for 16 years, both previously divorced twice.
When we got together his mantra was 'exes should go die in a corner.. never hear or speak to them ever again!'. This fine for him as no children from either of his marriages but I have two children, grown ups now, from my first marriage.
We found out through FB that his first ex wife's husband died last year, so he said he would just send a message to her sister saying how sorry he was. Nothing happened for two months and then she messaged him directly.
From there they started messaging but I wasn't aware until weeks later that this was every day and that they had spoken on the phone. It came out and I got very upset about it because the first thing he had ever said to me, when we were just friends, was that no one would ever match up to Sydney, no matter how much she had hurt him, no one would ever match up to his feelings for her.
I got so upset that he agreed to tell her they couldn't speak anymore...after all he'd got the answers to his questions, so why did he need to keep this going? So he deleted her off Messenger and called her to tell her that he couldn't speak to her and she apparently said she understood...goodbye etc.
Then yesterday something came out in a conversation that could only mean he was still in touch with her, so I asked him and he admitted he was. I was bereft, I couldn't believe he had gone back on his word. He says he didn't talk yo her for a week...but then decided that I was wrong to object because there is nothing going on and never will be, he doesn't look at her as his ex wife but just as an old friend.
I told him that I feel like he has cheated on me, he hates cheaters.. but that's how I feel because he has betrayed my trust....am I wrong to feel like this? Should I have no objection to this 'relationship' he has with his ex wife. I hasten to add, she is in the USA and we are in the UK....but no one will ever match up to her....that's all I keep hearing. I don't want to lose him after 16 years but equally I cannot be taken for a fool. I need some advice from people who have no vested interest please.

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You have no right to dictate who he talks to but equally he should recognise how upset it makes you and put your mind at rest.

His feeling for her 16 years ago will not be the same today; his feelings for you will have developed and he needs to tell you that nobody can match up to you and reassure you that you are the love of his life.

You also need to build on your own self-esteem so that you are not so dereailed by something as trivial as this
First of all, congratulations for posting in the correct section, most ABers "scuttle" to Chatterbank.

Is your husband's ex really called Sydney?

Bottom line : she's in the U.S.A you are in U.K.
Only worry if he books a holiday in the U.S.A for one OR a single ticket.
Let it drop or you will lose him.
She could be just a friend....why not?
No big deal at the moment but if you go on about it to him, it may become a big deal.
This sort of situation is quite common in communities.
if my o/h told me constantly that no one could match up to an ex, no matter how far away i would seriously question the relationship.

as an aside Mr Em used to do just that, until his son told him off for constantly referring to an ex, and then we got on fine.
He's wrong, he's doing something which he knows hurts your feelings.

He should break off all contact with his ex & stop mentioning her to you.
I don't think there are shoulds and should nots in this. Some people could cope with it, some people could not. I'd be concerned that he felt he had to keep it a secret....and its not about what he thinks is right either....YOU have to decide if its a dealbreaker for you and if its not right now, at what point it would be? and also what you are going to do about it if it is a dealbreaker? If what you would do is leave them maybe it would be a good idea to have a plan and a reserve of money if you haven't already. Once you have got a decision and a plan, you may find that this is enough and you are happy to stay in the relationship or it may not....either way you are ready.
I can understand him offering his condolences but why does he need to keep in constant contact with her? The fact that he didn't tell you either is deceitful.

I do get the occasional email from two of my exes wishing me happy birthday or a Merry Christmas and I will send one back but my husband knows about it and he also knows they are both happily married with families of their own.

I think your husband needs to understand that his actions are going to have an impact on your marriage. I think you are right to have an uneasy feeling about this.
Its worth remembering that absence makes the heart grow stronger, and distance. He's feeling nostalgic for a time gone by and you could try talking about those days with him, and then bringing him back into the present with some events and activities to be planning together.
There could be the possibility that your husbands Ex is using him as a crutch to get over her husbands death. He may not be initiating all these texts and phonecalls, but has not got the heart to tell her to stop contacting him. Ask him dirrectly what he and she are getting out of these conversations and I would definately speak or text to her directly, in a friendly manner, giving your condolensces and asking how she is coping. You may just find out that the husband she has lost was 'the love of her life' and your OH is nothing more than a shoulder to cry on.
There are times when formal couples counselling is appropriate and this seems like one of those times. It sounds to me like he has gone into two relationships without resolving the issues from his first and now there will be serious trust issues going forward whatever happens. Some pretty heavy conversations ahead. You may not like the final solution If he hadn't lied to you I would be more positive, my instincts say he has hope of a different kind. ( hopefully unrealistic)
The only woman you can't compete with is the dead one.

Conversations are like sex. You either want it or not... You can not force another person to speak to you, to open up, to share the most sacred, to share pain & joy. So the deeper the conversations are, the more often it happens, the more connected people feel no matter how great is the distance.

I see that you posted this question a month ago now, so I hope you haven't done anything you regret about it.

If this is still relevant, discuss everything that bothers you. Define your goals as a couple, your freedoms: what is acceptable and what's not.
Define what exactly you consider as cheating and what consequences should it be.

Discuss your reputation as a wife.

See, your husband can be saying around how wonderful you're as a life partner, but does his ex have this great impression of you?

A jerk has no bad feelings humiliating a partner.
A King holds his Queen on her throne.

16 years is a long time together. No one today wants to stay married for solely survival reasons. Marriage is like an emotional enterprise where faithfulness is a choice and Love is the main motive.

Faithfulness is not biology.
It is a value created by homo sapiens ( or "wise men").
This is why Family has always been and always will be in great value to us as wise species, and for evolutionary reasons.

Is this still your husband’s value? Does he feel proud of what he has, what's been accomplished during all this time?
Because if not, be ready to let him go.
It's better to be honest with each other, it's better to relieve each other's sufferings (if that's how it feels), it's better to speak up about what's wrong etc., than to continue living unhappy together and pretend that everything is fine.










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