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Ask TherapistJen Your Own Question
TherapistJen
TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2807
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker.
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My ex husband is getting married net week to the woman he left

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My ex husband is getting married net week to the woman he left me for(his secretary -cliche,I know) I have forgiven him for what he did ,and we were even sort of friends again. I never expected this flood of emotions when I heard -it was as if all the rejection and hurt just bubbled up again.

My adult children are going to the wedding and I have really conflicting feelings about this -it is as if they are condoning what he did and blessing the new union that is being built on the ruins and hurt he left behind. It is as if they have no respect for my feelings,and that everything is just ok.

CoachJenK :

Hi. Welcome. I am a Licensed Master Social Worker with more than 20 years experience working with individuals and families on a variety of issues.

CoachJenK :

This is extremely painful for you and you are correct it brings up all of the emotions around his leaving you.


 

CoachJenK :

it is natural for you to feel as you do. when you say you have spoken with others and not received satisfactory answers what have others said?


 

Customer:

I am referring to friends and colleagues -their opinion was to move on and let it be,which to a large degree is true of course,but does nothing for the conflict I am experiencing,and almost anger towards my children that they can accept it so easily.


 

CoachJenK :

yes I was aware that it was friends you were speaking with....I think both things are true...meaning that you are moving on and have done a good job in doing so, BUT these feelings are raw again and it feels like a repetition of the betrayal because your children are going to the wedding.


 

CoachJenK :

In soeaking with your children have they been able to understand your view and express theirs to you as well?


 

CoachJenK :

it may feel that they accept this easily but it may not be that way...they may have arrived at it over time as you have like almost being friends with your ex. Their view might be that although they dont condone what he did that they love him and will support him.


 

CoachJenK :

But I do believe better communication with your kids around this is crucial so you can understnad what they feel about it all and they can hear you.


 

CoachJenK :

I think that could ease things for you so that when they do go you can know in your heart that they love and care for you and for him and always will.


 

CoachJenK :

but again I truly understand how painful this is and how it brings up all the old feelings again.


 

Customer:

I know need to communicate here,but this is difficult -how do I broach the subject with them without pushing them away?

CoachJenK :

how old are they?


 

CoachJenK :

is your goal to get them to hear your feelings or for them not to go to the wedding?


 

CoachJenK :

great question....


 

Customer:

They are adults -son 28,daughter 26,both unmarried. They are both very religious,with strong fellings of what is right and wrong,and this is clearly wrong,but they do not see it this way. My ex husband is a very good manilulator and even though he has not had a good relationsip with either for a long time,has all of a sudden started "wooing" them and building relationships but I do not trust his motives -it is likely to disappear after the wedding. They have always just heard his explanation of why he left(rationalisations really) - I did not think it was something that children needed to be saddled with,so as far as they are concerned,it was my fault that he left me. point is, I was not the only person in this marriage and he had faults as well,but I never felt to bail because I was not happy at a point in time -one works through seasons in marriage. Be that as if may,they are adults and I can not stop them from going,however,i need for them to understand my disappointtment that they condone the marriage,as if what happened is ok now because time has passed

CoachJenK :

Ok thanks for giving me more details....


 

CoachJenK :

I think that you are correct if you put them in a position to have to choose that they might feel burdened but if you express to them how hard it is for you to imagine them being there how hurtful that feels. You do not expect them to choose but just to be open with their feelings about it all and allow for your expressions as well. You said something interesting in terms of the ex's relationship with them...if it hasn't been good and the kids desire it to be better and have for many years, then their going could be based in that desire and less about this woman and his behavior.


 

CoachJenK :

You are correct that in any relationship it is both parties and clearly his self involvement and need to be the hero prevents him from seeing his part in things.


 

CoachJenK :

But you are a lady and have held your head high all along and you can continue to do that now even while expressing your difficulties with the wedding and your kids attendance.


 

CoachJenK :

I believe that if you are able to communicate it all to them and hear how they feel you might feel relieved to hear what it means for them to be there and that they do respect you, love you and support you even if they do attend.


 

CoachJenK :

and if he disappears after the wedding you will still be there for them as you are a great mom and that is what we do.


 

Customer:

Ok thanks. This is the angle I 'll use. It is going to take courage I think to be open about it,and they might be aggressive about it,but it is something I shall have to do. Thanks for your help!

CoachJenK :

It is my pleasure. I think if you approach it with the love tha tI hear you have and the grace then they might be able to hear it well and if you


start it by letting them know that you are not asking them not to go but rather just to hear you and you hear them.

CoachJenK :

you are entitled to these feelings...you have been very hurt by your ex. Come to me anytime you need support.


 

CoachJenK :

please take a moment to click on the rating tab. My goal has been to provide you EXCELLENT support.


 

CoachJenK :

Can I support you further now?


 

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