Cecilia in New Palestine writes:
Will my ex-husband ever see the errors of his ways and apologize for his part in our divorce? It seems as though he wants to remain connected to me, whether it is in a positive or a negative way. I get the impression that he still blames me for the past, and won’t let it go.
He remarried three years ago, and I truly hope he is happy. It seems he is still angry with me when we talk, no matter what the conversation is about. Our discussions are usually about the kids. When they come home from their visits with their dad, they tell me that he says not-so-kind words about me, and I joke that he continues to talk about me because he still loves me.
He has emotionally hurt me a lot in the past and a big part of me still loves him. Will he ever change? Do you see him divorcing his third wife? Does he truly love her? I do not believe he even knows what love is.
Let me start by saying that, overall, your ex does not read like a happy man. This certainly does bleed through when you have to deal with him. Part of his unhappiness is just plain ego and attitude, the rest of it seems to revolve around circumstance.
Your ex also seems to be under the impression that he is supposed to harbor at least some anger and resentment toward you, simply because you are his ex. The comments he makes to your children are sometimes said specifically to get back at you, and he also seems to think it draws the kids closer to him.
Even though his current marriage has its own issues, he has no plans of divorce any time soon, if ever. He’s relatively happy with this arrangement. Sometimes he really does love his new wife, other times it seems as if he struggles to put up with her. I’m sure you can remember how his moods fluctuate. For the most part, his current marriage has a decent foundation, and the moments of satisfaction outweigh the moments of misery, so it’s working for him.
Please don’t expect this man to ever put forth a glorious apology – but in time, he will be nicer to you. He’ll even be less snide behind your back. Even though he knows he also is responsible for your failed marriage, he doesn’t really want to take responsibility. Part of you may always love him, but the rest of you should focus on not letting him get to you. He still has the power to cause you pain.
Your ex doesn’t see a huge flaw in being the way he is, and this is reflected in his demeanor and behavior. However, he will evolve and grow as an individual. Though he will soften, he isn’t going to experience a dynamic change. The two of you will always be connected through your children, and as time goes on, both of you will learn how to be at least distant friends.