Love doesn't just disappear, it says with you for a long time, even after a relationship has ended. This can be both beautiful, painful, and complicated.
In a popular post on the True Off My Chest subreddit, a woman shared the story of her ex-husband ultimately dumping his fiancee for her.
My ex husband (M40) and I (F41) separated 4 years ago. It was I who asked for the divorce but we had a lot of problems and we both knew that we weren’t compatible anymore. My biggest issue was that he never was there for me nor was he understanding. It was after our daughter was born (F6). He never helped me and he just went on life like it was before she was born.
Nothing was the same after our daughter was born of course and I couldn’t reach to him. We fought all the time. I was suffering from depression and weight gain and I felt s#$t about myself. I probably wasn’t easy to handle either.
The divorce was amicable and he proved all my worries wrong that he would neglect our daughter (since it felt like he was unwilling to adapt to his new role as a father after her birth) but no. I was happy that he proved me wrong and that he turned out to be a great father to our daughter but at the same time I wished he would’ve stepped up earlier when we were still together.
He started seeing his fiancée (F31) about 3 years ago. This killed me because I still loved him very much but I wanted to be happy for him for our daughter’s sake so I pretended I was just that.
After a while he introduced her to my daughter and she seemed to be nice and she was very good with my daughter and loved her and my daughter seemed to really like her so I was at least relieved that she is a good person who cared about my child. I never told anyone about my feelings and regrets but kept it to myself because it is my own doing and now I take the responsibility.
About 6 months ago, when my ex was dropping off our daughter he told me that he was engaged. I felt like I wanted to pass out and I don’t even remember how I managed to pull myself together and put on a smile to congratulate him. I cried for weeks afterwards. I didn’t even know what I was expecting but I was devastated.
A few weeks after I met my ex-husband’s sister at the grocery store and she asked me how I felt. I felt my tears welling up and all she needed to do was to hold my hand for me to burst out crying. She asked me if I still loved him and I tried to act happy for his sake but she probably wasn’t convinced. My ex was a bit changed afterwards and at first I thought I was imagining things.
While we’ve always been cordial towards each other he was more chatty now and he made excuses to stay longer during drop offs and even a couple of times I thought that he made sure to arrive around dinner to ask if he could stay because he was hungry. Then a few weeks later the sister showed up at my place with my ex-husband and she told us that we needed to talk.
He said that he never knew that I still loved him and that he still loved me too. If he knew he would never have tried to move on. Later I heard that he ended his engagement. His mother called me (even before I knew he had ended his engagement) to tell me that I was the AH for ruining his happiness.
That I broke his heart and now I waited for him to find a good woman who could give him a good future, a better future with more children to just pick him up again. Also his fiancee sent me many many dms calling me an old witch who is using my daughter and his love for her to take him. That I’m pathetic and desperate and he only thinks about our daughter.
I feel bad because his ex has been nothing but good towards me. And she lost 3 years on him. AITAH? I didn’t answer the ex fiancee and I haven’t spoken to him yet. He is asking me out on dates and is talking about counseling so we don’t make same mistakes again. I feel so guilty.
Well, communication for the win. His suggestion of counseling is a good one - you can both learn to, like his sister, get to the heart of the issue. I wouldn't feel guilty, if I were you. Feel badly for his ex? Sure. And speaking of communicating, your ex needs to do that with his mother if you are going to pursue this new, improved relationship with your ex. And he needs to be direct and succinct.
You have nothing to feel guilty about. You went out of your way to support his new relationship and keep your feelings about him to yourself. Your former SIL did the right thing based on the knowledge she had about both of you. If your ex wasn’t interested nothing would have changed.
But he was interested and made the decision to end the engagement because that is what he wanted to do. You didn’t ask him to. IMO your ex has made a wise suggestion which is to go to couples counseling to address having healthy communication between the two of you rather than first leaping back into dating which may fail if you fall back into old habits.
The worst that happens here OP is that you would as a couple decide your relationship will remain as it is now. But at least you will have tried and will know why it failed which is useful going forward.
"The worst that happens here OP is that you would as a couple decide your relationship will remain as it is now. But at least you will have tried and will know why it failed which is useful going forward."
That is exactly what he said too.
I am curious though how long have you and your husband known each other? How much history do you guys have?
16 years this Christmas.
Oh honey, that’s ALL I needed to know, go get your man!
Sorry but seems like OP doesn’t know how to communicate at all while ex husband seems so dense. Why did he wait until OP brings up divorce before start being a good dad? If he still loves OP, why he went as for as propose another woman? Dating to move on is understandable but to the point of asking for her hand? That’s way too much 🤦🏻♀️🤦🏻♀️
I think me trying to communicate was just heard as nagging towards the end of our marriage. I was diagnosed with depression too so it didn’t help either. Anything I’m not happy with about his behaviors was because “you are depressed and not happy.”
I don’t think he really understood that his life had changed either, like he just couldn’t book a last minute skiing trip with the guys because it was cheap and leave me for three days. What made me leave was the night when he was out with his brother in law and our baby suddenly had fever and I couldn’t reach him because it was too loud at the bar.
It broke me and I was terrified of the future. In hindsight, maybe I was rash and if I was in a better mental state I probably would have tried harder.
His mother sounds like a nasty b#$ch.
I don’t think she is. But she and I never were close from the start and I have heard that she adored his ex fiancée which is fair because she is more pleasant and social. I am very hurt of course by what she said, and it makes me feel guilty, but I can’t be mad at her.
That’s why I haven’t told him yet what she’s been saying, because I don’t want to create problems between them and I don’t want it to look like I’m egging him on or something. We still don’t even know if we are getting back together or not.
We have a long way ahead especially with our daughter between us, we can’t get back together unless we both are sure it will work this time so we don’t confuse our daughter. She is already too excited the few times he has been staying for dinner after dropping her off. I don’t know.
It makes me more worried that if this doesn’t work then I have ruined his relationship for absolutely nothing and it makes me feel like s#$t but he disagrees and says it isn’t for nothing and it is worth a try. We either get back together or we move on properly this time.
Thank you for all your support I didn’t expect the majority to be on my side. I want to make a little update. My ex-husband has been spending more time with me. Often without the knowledge of our daughter because we don’t want to confuse her in case this doesn’t work out. I love him so much so I don’t know why I am so terrified. We have also had a couple of therapy sessions together to talk.
We will continue with therapy. My husband’s sister has been the one taking care of our daughter when we are seeing each other. We go on walks, dinner dates and therapy. On Christmas, he spent the day with us. There were some problems because he was supposed to celebrate with his parents, my daughter and his sister and her family.
Mother-in-law refused to include me so he ended up asking me if we could celebrate at my place. Sister-in-law chose to celebrate with us instead. I had my sister and her family too. Our daughter was very happy about this. Since he has been staying for dinner a few days a week with our daughter. We are freighted about how to proceed. I am afraid to mess up my daughter.
Our plan is for him to move with us or that we move to a new house together as a fresh start. Only problem is that my husband’s ex refuses to leave his apartment and we are gonna need to sell both properties to be able to have one bigger house to a “new start” What do you think? Are we hurting our daughter?
Anyone here who is or has been in the same situation and can tell me what children think about their parents be together after growing up with them apart? Are we taking it slowly enough?
Info: how old is your daughter? Does she remember a point in her life when y’all were together? Was she aware and knowledgeable when y’all split the first time?
She is 6. No she doesn’t remember us being a family. She was 20-months old when her dad and I separated. (I have made a long and detailed post a few weeks ago about it but I don’t know how to include it here because it gets automatically removed).
If you're both 100% sure your getting back together and want to stay in your house or get a new house ask your daughter. Would you like to move to a new house would you like daddy to be with us.
I see no harm in asking your daughter her feelings on the situation. Now, I’m not saying give her your full history, but get her feelings and thoughts out there. She may have questions, and letting her know she can ask anything and all her feelings are valid may also make your and your partner feel a bit better moving forward. If you both don’t know or ask your daughter, you may be going slower then necessary.
From my point of view, if you and your partner are both together with your daughter in a happy household and your daughter is happy when you're both around, don’t panic to much. You can always have mommy/ daddy daughter days out as she is probably used to that from when you were separated and it be fun thing for her to have all the attention of just one parent for the day.
I think a new house would be a lovely adventure for you all sorta stamp a new life, make fun plans to travel and never stop communicating have relaxed conversations cuddle up about thoughts and feelings make sure your both doing all you can so you both feel validated this is a second chance grab it with both hands.
I can imagine there will be drama from his mother and ex so this is the time where you both need to be strong together and make sure your both work as a team to deal with it together. Good luck 😃
If I ask my daughter she would be more than thrilled. The times her father stays for dinner she is just so happy. She almost lives with me full time now because he rents a room since his ex still refuses to leave his apartment (she has her own apartment but still wouldn’t leave his). I guess we are both terrified of moving forward because we don’t want to hurt our daughter.
Isn’t it manipulative if I asked her if daddy can move in when she knows that I want him to? I don’t know. Maybe I am overthinking things (the therapist said as much). We do a lot of family activities together now the three if us and she enjoys it very much. I don’t know.
This whole thing only have been 8 months since he proposed to his ex till us trying to reconcile. Maybe stay like this for a few more moths with few more therapy sessions.
What l'm concerned with is the complete lack of acknowledgement from ex that he f@#ked up as a parent causing you to leave. I hope that gets addressed in your therapy sessions before you move forward again.
There’s like a complete disregard for the ex,she wasted three years of her life and it’s so sad. This is one of the reasons why I’ll never date a man with a child or that has been married before not saying this is your fault, but the sister-in-law completely caused this she meddled in something, that wasn’t her business and caused this whole mess.
He’s absolutely trash for dropping her like that, and wasting three years of her life after he literally asked her to get married. I am so sad for this woman and no one‘s even mentioning her.
Hi OP! I think if you two are truly still in love, you should try. Otherwise you will ask yourself forever. To handle life with a six year old is much easier than with a baby, so if this was the main stress factor there is a good chance you will be fine.
Children of that age do not easily understand the difference between liking and loving each other, and do not understand why merely liking each other is not a good enough reason for grown ups to continue living under one roof. So instead of trying to make her understand the subtleties of love, maybe better tell your daughter you think that maybe living together is more practical.
In case it does not work out maybe tell her that you realised you get onto each others nerves and that not living under one roof turned out to be the better option. I am glad you do couples therapy. It is really important that you two learn to unriddle things and to communicate clearly.
This is the best way to avoid more disappointment in each other. Please take care of yourself, and in case you live together, please be careful to get the same amount of free time each. No couple can and should spend every minute together, and it is great to do things with friends, too, but if one gets a day off, the other needs to get one, too.
Do not listen to your MIL's strange comments. Her reaction made me think that good communication and clear thinking about human interactions is something your husband definitely was not able to learn from his mother! You did nothing wrong, take care and stay the strong and independent woman that you are!
This has ended up surprisingly romantic for everyone except OP's ex's fiancee.