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Question
Posted by: Jossie | 2010-11-18

Ex-Wife Calling

Dear CyberShrink.
We have been married for 9 months and the ex keeps calling at all times. We had a discussion on this but we are back to square one.
When I answered the phone once when he was not around, she went japping in his ears about me not playing the game. He spoke to me about this and told me he thought we had an agreement, I felt like I was the one doing wrong.
Concerning his children having a problem once, I have met the ex and assured her that I have no problem with them communicating. The children are grown and married, both sides. For the sake of the children I am civil towards her. There is no other reason for her to call. She receives her maintenance on time. She started divorce proceedings way back.
Maybe I was not clear enough. What I actually wanted to say was that she will never be my friend, and I never have her interfere in our lives ever.
I felt guilty in the end, suppose I should not as we are now married.
He is a very kind and soft person and I think he has a problem in ignoring her.
I am starting to detect tension now when she calls, him not answering her calls in front of me. I know she calls him at work as he tells me. He also mentioned once she said they should never have gotten divorced.
All of the above is getting to me in a serious way. Who should I approach this further. Thks

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

What "game" does she expect to be played ? She's an EX. If their children are grown and maried, there's no need for her to contact him much about them, and as an Ex they're not expected to have much of a current and ongoing relationship.
Yes, she need not be your friend, and should not interfere in your relationship.
He shouldn't hestitate to answer her calls in your presence, as there should be nothing sneaky going on. Maybe she's just lonely and bored - especially with the children grown, left and married - but needs to be mature enough to recognize that she has a duty to develop her own life and not expect others to fill her wasted time. There's so many useful things she could be doing for those in need, rather than bothering those who are not.
Maybe a couple of marriage counselling sessions for the pair of you, to formulate a joint pol;icy for dealing with this, would be in order. Meantime he must set firm and clear boundaries - he should tell her calmly but firmly that their relationship is over and that there is no need for her to call him again- if there are problems in the kids now maried lives, they can call you themselves ; that she needs to work on building an independent life for herself, and that she must accept that she will not be getting back together with him, even if she regrets anything that happened in the past.


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Our users say:
Posted by: Jossie | 2010-11-19

Thank you so much specially Bmw. He stresses I noticed it and that with work pressure makes him sick. Counselling sessions might just help the both of us to better relate and communicate. Thks All.

Reply to Jossie
Posted by: Happiness | 2010-11-18

Tell her that if she continues pushing your buttons you''re gonna klap her back to reality. Forget being civil, it doesn''t work with other people.

Reply to Happiness
Posted by: bmw | 2010-11-18

Hi Jossie - I am in a similar situation as your husband - my wife left me for another guy 20 years ago and we have grownup children. Yet, everytime there is any kind of problem in the kids lives, she phones me. I have told her never to phone me at home as it stresses my wife and as I have absolutely zero feelings for my ex, I do not tell my wife as it causes tension where there is no need. I have also had the " the grass is not always greener"  talk from my ex, but I don''t care at all. (she re-married years ago) However, the biggest tension builder in my present marraige is my children as my present wife and I could not have any, and there is huge resentment on her side. So, if I can give you any advice, support your husband and tell him in a nice way you wish she would not phone as you have a new life now, but you support and trust him 100%. It is extremely tough if one is a " softie"  and really stressful (I know, I am one!) Sorry if i seem to be rambling, just know it is not nice for your husband - I bet he would be happy never to hear from his ex again! Hope this helps.

Reply to bmw
Posted by: Maria | 2010-11-18

The children are adults so except in a dire emergency there is really no reason for her to call your husband, ever. It is up to him to set boundaries and make her stick to them. Perhaps go for counselling to help him come up with a strategy to do this, and also for him to understand just how important this is to you.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010-11-18

What "game" does she expect to be played ? She's an EX. If their children are grown and maried, there's no need for her to contact him much about them, and as an Ex they're not expected to have much of a current and ongoing relationship.
Yes, she need not be your friend, and should not interfere in your relationship.
He shouldn't hestitate to answer her calls in your presence, as there should be nothing sneaky going on. Maybe she's just lonely and bored - especially with the children grown, left and married - but needs to be mature enough to recognize that she has a duty to develop her own life and not expect others to fill her wasted time. There's so many useful things she could be doing for those in need, rather than bothering those who are not.
Maybe a couple of marriage counselling sessions for the pair of you, to formulate a joint pol;icy for dealing with this, would be in order. Meantime he must set firm and clear boundaries - he should tell her calmly but firmly that their relationship is over and that there is no need for her to call him again- if there are problems in the kids now maried lives, they can call you themselves ; that she needs to work on building an independent life for herself, and that she must accept that she will not be getting back together with him, even if she regrets anything that happened in the past.


Reply to cybershrink

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