I’ve always thought the term “remarry” is confusing. I don’t know if remarried is even the right term for when our ex-husband is getting married again. It seems if he was truly getting remarried, he would be remarrying me! But, of course, my ex husband remarried another woman.
When our ex-husband is getting remarried, all sorts of questions arise. Are the kids supposed to attend? Are friends and family required to go? Why am I feeling such conflicting emotions? Sadness? Anger? Jealousy? Relief?
I think a lot of our response, when we are dealing with our ex remarrying, depends on whether we are in another important relationship ourselves. If we’re not, the pain is magnified. And many ex-husbands get remarried quickly. Especially if they are marrying the woman they had the affair with.
Why Does It Hurt?
So then why does it hurt so much when our ex-husband gets remarried? Our divorce is over, we’ve struggled through the pain and think we’re doing pretty well. But if you’re like me, it was another blast to my self esteem and my own healing progress when I was dealing with my ex moving on so fast.
I remember the day I found out that my former husband was going to get remarried. He had told the kids the night before, and they told him that he should tell me before I heard it from someone else. So he called at six something in the morning. I had gone to the gym to work out and had a message to return his call. I called him, and that’s when he told me.
I tried to sound in control and aloof on the phone, and told him I hoped he had learned some things during the last few years, and that I hoped he found what he was looking for. When I hung up, I couldn’t stop the tears, and I pretty much was a mess the rest of the day.
My kids each called or came by. Everyone did their best to make the day easier for me. The trouble was, not only was my ex about to start a new and better life, as far as he was concerned, I was still devastated about the whole sordid mess.
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He Got Married Quickly
One of the most difficult things about divorce and remarriage is that if our ex-husband was having an affair that caused the divorce, he is often way far ahead of us in his recovery. We often find out about the other woman long after the affair started, so the ex is already on to his new life when we are just discovering what’s been happening.
So while we are still in the can-hardly-get-out-of-bed-sobbing-screaming-grieving phase, he is already thinking about remarrying his new woman and may have already introduced her to our kids and friends.
When he is thinking his life has taken a big leap forward, we are often still wondering if we can ever get over this, and if we can survive the loss and despair we feel.
It’s Really Over
Hope dies hard during separation and divorce, especially for the woman who doesn’t want divorce. She is hoping against hope that her husband will change his mind and come back home. I even had a fantasy that my ex-husband might come over to me during the last court hearing and say, “What are we doing here? Let’s just go home and fix this!” He didn’t.
When our husband remarries, we know our marriage is really over. There is no hope of fixing it. There is going to be no miraculous healing and reconciliation. He is now married to someone else.
That’s a hard reality to face. In our head, we know that our marriage is over. But now that he is going to marry someone else, our heart has to catch up to the truth that all hope is gone and so is he.
You Don’t Want To See Your Ex Happy
I read that true forgiveness is wanting good things for the person you are forgiving. I’ll admit, during our separation and divorce, I wanted him to be miserable every single day of the rest of his life! I didn’t want him to be blissfully happy with a new wife. I wanted him to miss me and our family and what he had given up. He didn’t.
That’s hard to accept, especially after a long marriage. The thing is, we will be the one who is miserable if we don’t find ways to not care about what he’s doing. It takes more time than we want for those feelings of caring to go away. Especially if our ex-husband remarried fast.
Unless we get to the point where we are more concerned about making our life wonderful and not being concerned about his life at all … we’ll never have the life we want and deserve.
Hard to See Him Moving On
It’s normal to miss your ex-husband and to simultaneously watch him move on. Our success at moving on means letting go of him. It’s especially challenging for women who are not in a new relationship (and should not be until they have done the grieving and healing they need to do!). It hurts that he is moving on with no trouble at all.
My advice: Let him go! Let them go! We will only make ourselves miserable if we focus more on what he is doing than focusing on grabbing life by the horns again and creating the life we are meant to live going forward!
Be patient. The healing will come. The joy will return. It just always takes longer than we think it should to get back to normal. You will get there. Get the help you need and your life can be everything you want it to be. It might be good to start really moving on yourself with our free online 10-Day Divorce Recovery Crash Course.
Feels Like Being Replaced
One of the hardest emotional places for a midlife woman to be is when “my ex is remarrying someone our daughter’s age!” And you’d be surprised how many men go looking for someone to make them feel young again.
I heard a hilarious skit the other day on the radio in my car about a millennial helping his boomer dad fill out his online dating profile. When his son asked for the age range he was looking for, the dad said, “18-35.” The son, said, “Dad! You’re almost 60!” The dad said, “okay, change it to 18-35 or 48+” (Sigh. Funny, but sadly often true!)
Many younger women love attention from older men and are perfectly satisfied to find a Sugar Daddy who will buy her lots of shiny new things. Often men look for women who are lower on the hierarchy of power than they are. Just look at the sick weirdness of Hollywood and television “stars!”
Meanwhile, a perfectly normal midlife woman finds herself replaced by a skinny, younger woman who has a pre-childbirth body, and none of the history the midlife woman had with her husband. It’s just a hard thing to accept, after all the love, energy, time and loyalty you committed to your marriage, to feel as if you’ve been left by the curb of life like an old sofa.
Most divorced women, especially in midlife, will admit it’s hard not to be jealous when everything seems to be going in the right direction as far as our ex-husband is concerned; while our life is almost always more of a challenge financially, socially and in many other ways.
When your ex-husband is getting remarried, he usually wants to tell the world, so please stay off of his facebook page, unless you want to pre-pay for a couple hundred more sessions with your counselor! JUST DON’T DO IT! Stop looking at facebook and the pics of their beach wedding with everyone in flowy while clothes all tan and barefoot and beautiful. DON’T DO IT!
Changing For Her, But Not Me?
Everyone knows the story of midlife crisis men who suddenly start working out, getting new clothes, taking renewed interest in cultural stuff, staying up with the latest music, movies, trends, etc. While they were married to us, sometime it was like pulling teeth to have a date night once a month.
I’m wondering how many marriages could be saved if our ex-husbands had brought us flowers for no reason at all or bought jewelry or took us to fancy restaurants and to a beautiful hotel for the weekend “just for fun.” Just when most of us were looking forward to this time of less work, less kid stuff and a chance to rekindle our romance together, these guys have a completely different scenario in mind.
A Sense of Relief
Most of the women I work with are in the throes of grieving the loss of their marriage. They are on that terrifying ride of unfamiliar, intense and erratic emotions ,,, hate, anger, fear, worry, loss, loneliness.
In a few cases, when our ex-husband remarries, relief actually shows up. if the ex-husband was abusive, or not emotionally available, or if the marriage was not good because of alcohol, or drugs or other addictions. It can be like a burden has been lifted. Even then, relief may not show up until much later when the grieving and healing are done, and we have started seeing the new peace and stability that having him out of our life can bring.
After their ex-husband remarries, many women also feel relief that they don’t have to wonder if he is in the dark somewhere screwing his girlfriend when he was supposed to be working late. His new wife now has to deal with all of that.
Having those ugly, devastating betrayals out of our life is truly a relief. It just takes some processing to get to the point of appreciating that gift.
When our ex-husband gets remarried, we have to put that into our bucket of things we simply cannot change or cannot control. In fact, we have to learn strategies to stop fretting or being sad about anything in those two categories. Our ex-husband remarrying is one of those things.
We need to concentrate on taking care of ourselves physically and on taking concrete actions every single day to get closer to the life we deserve.
That’s exactly what we help you do in our MasterPlan life transformation program.
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