Even though he is not legally married, doesn’t mean he’s not still emotionally married….
Some men have a very difficult time emotionally letting go of an ex-wife, especially when the divorce was not their decision. Add children to the mix, and dating a guy like this will make you feel like a constant loosening third wheel. Yikes!
You would think that if a marriage ended due to:
His wife cheating
His wife having a full on affair
His wife leaving him for another man
His wife completely falling out of love with him
His wife having zero respect for him—and clearly demonstrating this
…that he would not only want to move on emotionally, but also have very little to do with her. Unless, of course, they have children, and if so, keeping the communication strictly about the kids.
Although that might sound great in theory, there are men who are either too ego driven—not accepting their fault in the divorce, too insecure with themselves—to believe they deserve better, or a combination of both.
Your Man’s Ego – Is it a Problem?
The ego of a man (and frankly the competitiveness) will convince him that he still wants a woman who has left him, even if he didn’t try hard enough to keep (or value) her when he had the chance. Once she “causes” the demise of her marriage—cheating—or leaving him, his ego will set in and determine that he still wants her. His ego will convince him to do anything to win her back. What he fails to realize is that most women, when they emotionally move on—due to lack of feeling secure—are hard to obtain again.
Often, when a woman decides to have an affair—emotional or physical—it is because she is not feeling emotionally secure, financially secure or supported by her husband anymore. Once this break-down has happened, winning her back is not always an option. However, the ego will convince him to try even if it’s not about honestly wanting to keep her.
There are men who cannot accept a woman being the one to end things. So when she does, it is a huge bruise to their ego, making it their mission to get back together with her just so that he can be the one to officially end things. Of course this will usually tend to backfire in his face. And if you are dating or in a relationship with a guy like this, it will make you feel like you are never good enough since he is always thinking and talking about his Ex.
Is Your Man Insecure?
Many insecure men cannot deal with the fact that a woman has ended the relationship because they did something wrong. When this happens, they will seek forgiveness in the form of being a doormat for their Ex. Men like this will also look for things they are doing wrong or “think” you’re unhappy with—assuming they will never be good enough for you since, they weren’t good enough for their Ex.
Even if he emotionally pushed her towards the decision to get divorced by his actions (or lack of), taking ownership for his part is just as hard for an ego driven man as it is for a guy who has insecurity issues. Denial is an immature way of dealing with any problem, however so many men are guilty of this.
The man’s denial can also cause him to be subconsciously emotionally invested in his ex-wife—who no longer wants him. And if he’s in denial, how can he be expected to move forward with a new love? If your man is not dealing with his issues of insecurity over the failure of his previous relationship, it will likely end up being a relationship killer for the two of you.
It might be hard to determine if your man is insecure; men who are insecure don’t always acknowledge their faults in the demise of a relationship. Instead they will focus on what their ex-wife did—cheating or leaving—in order to make themselves feel better.
If he’s not being honest with himself about what he did to push her away, he will continue to be emotionally connected to his ex-wife. He will always be concerned about upsetting her and will work to please and appease her. Until your man can own up to his mistakes and forgive himself, he will remain tied to her.
Tell-tale Signs That Your Guy is Still Emotionally Stuck On His Ex:
If you and his Ex are both in need of his support—he will choose her over you
If he has kids, he won’t (or hardly) ever switch custody days with his Ex—for anything important having to do with you.
He reminds you (frequently) that she is the mother of his children and will always be in his life (duh)—but that should not mean she trumps you!
He will gladly let his Ex switch her custody days whenever she feels like it.
He will leave work early to pick up the kids for his ex-wife on her days—but she will never reciprocate.
If she calls him upset, he will stress out until he can call her back.
He has zero backbone when she is around.
In her presence he will be wanting to get her attention like a lost puppy.
Even if she is in a relationship, living with a guy or remarried, he will still go out of his way to help her when she is sick, has surgery or is injured.
Her plans will always trump your plans that you have made together.
As woman we really (really) want to believe when a guy proclaims that he is over his Ex, that he actually is, especially if it’s been years since the divorce. Unfortunately, men like this can be convincing because they are in denial themselves.
Take a long hard look at your relationship. What are you getting out of this? Would you stay in a relationship if they were unfaithful with someone new? What’s the difference with them being in love with someone “old”?
You get to choose your experiences and it’s time to think about what you really want. Find someone who puts you first, not second place to a ghost.
Instead of being present for yourself, you are torturing yourself with your partner’s past and feeling inadequate. You need to accept that your partner’s past makes them who they are. The person you have fallen in love with is a product of their past influences. They are not the person they were in that relationship. Look at them closely. They don’t even look the same.
If you can, communicate your fears to your partner. Ask them to support you and reassure as you work through these feelings. If they are the person you are supposed to be with, the feelings will fade as your relationship becomes more real and established.
Most men don’t want to admit that they are still in-love, harboring feelings or care (to a high degree) about their Ex—and what their Ex thinks or feels about the them—when the reasons she finally left were due to falling out of love or cheating. He will think that by still harboring feelings for her, he is pathetic. Is it pathetic to admit these feelings? Or is it more cowardly to be in a relationship with another woman knowing you are secretly pining for validation or in need of an ego boost? Either scenario, being with a guy like this is a lose-lose situation for you.
Ladies, being with a man who has not sorted out his true feelings and emotions (other than some therapy) regarding his Ex means that you will live in the shadows of her. Until he is open and willing—and actually deals with his unresolved feelings—he can never be the man who can one-hundred percent give himself to you. You deserve to be with a man who is emotionally baggage free. Don’t allow yourself to come second in love.
Thanks for visiting and reading …
I hope you found this article helpful and empowering.
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