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'My ex-wife married my best friend and it's now ruining my new marriage' UPDATED x2

'My ex-wife married my best friend and it's now ruining my new marriage' UPDATED x2


My ex-wife married my best friend and now it's ruining my marriage.

sowingseason-yeah writes:

I (37M) have been with my wife (26F) for 5 years and married for 4 years. We have 3 kids from her previous relationships (2 boys and 1 girl between the ages of 5 and 8). I really love her and her kids. Things were perfect until 3 or 4 months ago.

I've had 3 big promotions in 5 years. We bought a house last year. She stays home with the kids and is trying to make a social media career happen. I have always been on the fence about having kids, but she really wanted us to have one together, so I agreed to try to have my vasectomy reversed. She's 7 months pregnant now. We were so happy.

My ex-wife (38F) divorced me in 2019 and moved about 2 hours away a few months into the pandemic. Our divorce was amicable, but once it was finalized, I never heard from her again even when I would wish her well on birthdays and holidays.

I even sent her a graduation gift when I heard that she finished her PhD program. Other people in our social circle, including my parents and sister-in-law, who sent her a gift, received handwritten thank-you cards. I didn't get so much as a text.

My ex-wife is a really kind and thoughtful person, and the woman I knew would've at least sent a thank-you text if her worst enemy sent her a gift. Even though we broke up, I didn't think she hated me.

My best friend (35M) and I were best friends since college. He's the best person I know, and at least 10 people think he's their best friend, but he said that I was his always. We kind of lost touch during the pandemic. We live 2 hours apart, and he is a lawyer and teaches classes at a university, so he is really busy.

I have a really busy career and a new wife and three kids. I didn't really realize that the texts between us were fewer and that the last time he finally replied to me was in late 2021. He also falls off the face of the earth when he gets with a new girl, and then when things cool off, we all hear from him more.

We have always been the kind of friends that could go an extended period of time without communicating and then pick up right where we left off. I kept saying that I would eventually call him when things were less busy.

My wife and I went to visit the city he and my ex-wife live in last summer for a week, and I tried calling him a couple of times to meet up, but he never answered. I was sad but just figured he was busy with work or obsessed with a new girlfriend.

I have other friends there, so I got to see them. Then I went to the city again by myself in October for a Halloween party. I figured he'd be at this party, and I was psyched that I'd get to see him then.

He was there. When I went to say hi and hug him, he looked a little surprised and gave me a weak hug. I told him that I was there during the summer and that I tried calling him so we could hang out. He just said, "Yeah, I was on my honeymoon that week. Sorry, I didn't get back to you."

I was really shocked to hear that he'd gotten married and a little hurt that my best friend got married without me even knowing he had a serious girlfriend, but still happy for him. Like I said, he was a great guy and girls love him.

I spit out a rush of questions, like who is she, where is she, what's her name, what's she like, where'd you meet her, how long have you been together. He paused for a moment and then just bluntly said, "It's ( My ex-wife's name)." My ex-wife doesn't have a unique name or anything, but it isn't the most common name either, and instantly I knew that it was her.

I can't describe how it felt to hear those two words come out of his mouth. I felt sick to my stomach, and I immediately wanted to die. I have never felt like that before. I just said, "What the heck." He told me that I didn't get to be mad because I broke her heart, and they didn't start dating until 2 years after we got divorced and that I chose to be with some waitress anyway.

I drank the rest of the weekend because it was the only way I was able to sleep. I feel betrayed by both of them. My best friend since I was 20 years old married my ex-wife behind my back.

I was married to her for 6 years, and they were never even friends, and now they are in love with each other. I also found out that he talked poorly about my current wife and me behind my back and never liked her.

I went back home, and I know that I was distant with my wife and the kids because I was just hurting so much. After a couple of weeks, we had a big fight, and she called me out on being distant and accused me of cheating.

I finally came clean and told her about my ex and my best friend, which she scoffed about and said she'd known about them for a long time now because of social media. I flew into a rage, and we fought for hours.

She betrayed me by not telling me the entire time she knew. She didn't say anything when I mentioned my best friend not returning my calls or messages. I didn't get to sleep before going to work, and after work, I just stayed with my parents for a few days.

When I finally went back home, we got into another fight where she accused me of still being in love with my ex and said that I wouldn't care if I wasn't. I called her foolish and said that she wouldn't understand because she doesn't have any friends. I wouldn't care if my ex-wife got married to anyone else if it wasn't my best friend. I don't see what is so hard to understand about that.

We made up eventually, but I feel sick to my stomach every day, and things aren't the same in our relationship. I love my wife, but I've come to realize it's not the same way I loved my ex-wife. My wife doesn't love me the same way my ex-wife did either.

I have started to regret the things that led to our divorce because we were really happy until the moment she left me. I don't even have my best friend to call because he's too busy with my ex-wife to care about me anymore.

Everything feels empty and like a lie now. A lot of friends agree that they both betrayed me but think I need to move on. Even my dad and brother told me to get over it. My sister-in-law yelled at me, and my mom tries to comfort me, but I know she's over hearing about my problems. I have to pretend I'm okay, but I'm not. No one gives a dang about mental health when it comes to men.

I brought up couples therapy to my wife, but she said that she thinks we are okay since we worked through things. Guess I have to pretend for the rest of my life now because divorce is not on the table. I need advice on what to do and how to get closure. I am thinking of driving to their.

OP provided a brief update and answered some questions:

I need therapy. I asked my brother to help me but neither of us even know where to begin to find a therapist. He said he would ask his wife to help us and she texted me this morning and said she was only helping because of my brother. I guess that’s fair.

My ex-wife found out about me sleeping with my current wife. I broke up with my current wife for my ex-wife so we could work things out. She decided she wanted a divorce a couple of months later even though I begged her to try with me. Out of respect, I tried to make sure the divorce was as easy as possible. I got back together with my current wife while we were separated.

I buried a lot of feelings down when I married my current wife and they all came flooding out. I miss my best friend. I miss my ex-wife. I am so sorry I hurt her. I love her and never stopped loving her and that scares me because I don't want to hurt my wife. I know I f#$%ed up.

OP provided another update:

This is kind of an update to my last post a few months ago, and I am also hoping for advice on how to best navigate this. I have tried a couple of times to write this update, but I get stressed trying to make it all make sense, so I will just dump it all here and hope it comes out okay.

I guess I should start by saying that I had/have a lot more issues than my original post addressed or than I even recognized at the time. Therapy is helping me uncover a lot of it, and it’s really uncomfortable on the good days and crushing on the bad days.

So many people talk about how they feel so much better after going to therapy, but I feel worse. I’m still going to go, though, because for as much as it sucks, it is helping me learn better ways of dealing with things. It is also helping me explain myself to me a little better.

Like I am a cr%^py person, but I wasn’t always a cr&%py person, and I am starting to see where it all went wrong. I feel like understanding that is the only way I can address those things and then become a better person.

I did inpatient therapy, and then after my release, I see a therapist in her office once a week and meet virtually once a week. I also see a psychiatrist once every two weeks and started on some medications.

It’s weird how I can kind of see them helping parts of my brain but dulling other parts and making my body not feel the best. I try to explain it to the doctor, but he just tells me it is going to take some time for them to fully work and that eventually I will get used to it.

My wife had the baby, but while I was away, she told me about the possibility of the baby not being mine. I grieved that so much, but I decided it wasn’t much good in dwelling on it too much right now until we knew for sure once she is born.

The results came back last week, and she isn’t mine. We haven’t made any decisions right now about our relationship but are living together for the sake of the kids and her recovery from having the baby. She said that if I didn’t want to be with her anymore, she’d go back to her home state with her mom and step-dad.

She also mentioned that she knew she wouldn’t get alimony or child support because of our state, but I told her I would help her get back home and on her feet if that’s what ended up happening.

Since I got back home, I have stepped up more and been more active as a dad, which has been really good for me. Being a responsible and present father helps me forget about all of the other stuff in the moment, but it would be a lie for me to say that I don’t worry about how much it’ll hurt to lose them if we break up since they are not biologically or legally mine.

I also just worry about them a lot and think they deserve to have a safe and stable, happy childhood. I’m really sad that the baby isn’t mine. I wanted her to be mine more than anything in the world. But I find it really hard to be angry with my wife, for some reason. I cheated on my first wife with her, so it’s kind of karma in a way.

And what could I really expect when our relationship started the way that it did? Plus, there’s this other part of me that understands that she is a deeply damaged person like me. I don’t really want to go into a lot of details, but we both lived through some similar stuff happening to us when we were kids that bonded us.

Neither of us really dealt with it, but I thought that I was okay because I grew up privileged and she didn’t, so I always had more opportunities than she did. I also thought that since I didn’t think about it as much, I was okay. She thought about it all the time, and she wasn’t okay.

My ex-wife is an amazing woman, and she deserves to be happy. I sent her an email and just kind of poured my heart out about how sorry I am for hurting her. I would rip my heart out to give it to her if it helped her heal from the heartbreak I caused her. I said in the email that I didn’t expect a reply and that I would never attempt contact with her again after that.

She got in contact with my brother a few times to check on me, and she’s called me twice, and we talked for a few hours about everything. She’s really happy, and she’s doing well. I’m proud of her, and she deserves to be happy. I am really lucky that I had the years that I had with her, but now it is time to accept how I screwed up and try my best to do better going forward.

I don’t think I will ever contact her again, but would be happy to hear from her if she ever reaches out again. It still hurts a little, but I understand now that that door is fully closed.

The door with my friend is closed too. We haven’t spoken, and we probably never will, but that’s okay. I found out from other friends that he was always in love with my ex-wife and that he was the person who convinced her to move to where they live now after our divorce.

I think knowing helps because the story I created in my head was far worse. I also understand now why no one wanted to tell me. My brother and I got so close again, which his wife isn’t the happiest about.

I am not sure where I would be right now if it wasn’t for him. We invited them over during the weekend, and at one point, she and I were in a room alone for a few minutes, and I told her that I was sorry, and she just hugged me and told me that I was stupid, but that she knows I am trying.

I also have two really good friends who have been there for me through everything, even though they have been clear from the very beginning that they have not agreed with my actions. All of them are more than I deserve.

My relationship with my parents isn’t in the best place right now. They are both really mad at me because my brother confronted them about what I told him related to the thing that happened when I was a kid.

They feel like his is blaming them and that they did the best they could for me. I think that they are really embarrassed too. I get it, and I don’t really blame them, I don’t think they knew what to do. But I am not going to apologize to them either so until I do, they don’t really want to be around me.

I’m not sure that this is the update that anyone wanted to read, but it’s all I’ve got. My life is still very much in limbo, maybe even shambles. But I am doing my best to fix it and to fix some of the hurts I have caused others.

I would recommend therapy as much as everyone recommended it to me, but I would caution to add that it requires a lot of honesty to work and that sometimes that kind of honesty reopens old wounds. But those wounds are dirty and infected so you’ve gotta clean them up and treat them to get better, which is going to hurt but I am not sure there is any other way.

OP added some context in the comments:

The baby’s father is a man she had a three or so week fling with. It's a guy she met at the gym. She said that they had a fling and that he ghosted her. Neither of us were listed on the birth certificate.

The way it was explained to me was that I would have had to file some sort of acknowledgement form or get a court order once we established paternity since she only put her name on the birth certificate, but there was a lot of questions about it since we are legally married.

I think I am still shell shocked, to be honest. I can feel it in my stomach, almost literally. Like my stomach is so full of knots all the time that I can barely eat. But the feeling hasn't made it to my brain yet. But I am constantly thinking about and worrying about the kids.

I have no legal rights to them so if we break up and she moves away, I'll probably never get to see them again which is a selfish thought. The older kids aren't mine either, they are my step-children technically.

So in theory, yes I would be willing to raise a child that isn't mine, but it is different this time because this child was conceived during our marriage. I just feel like I would be screwing the kids over because I support the family financially and they deserve to have a good life.

What do you think? Should OP stay with his current wife?

Sources: Reddit
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