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My husband treats his ex-wife better than he treats me!

Tagged as: Marriage problems, Three is a crowd, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (19 January 2011) 8 Answers - (Newest, 15 March 2011)
A female United States age 51-59, anonymous writes:

I am newly married but am frustrated as my husband still pays everything for his ex-wife even though he is not legally obligated to do so. His legal resposiblity at this point is child support and alimony (which is supposed to end in a few more years but my gut tells me that he will continue to pay that too). Some of the extra things he pays for her are her car insurance, health insurance, cell phone, etc. and he even bought her a car! She didn't work most of her marriage and hasn't worked since in over six years! My feelings as well as others are why would she go out and get as job since he pays for everything himself? He says it is because she can't afford it but again, she has no reason to work and "afford it" as he pays for everything. I think there are deeper reasons and feelings as to why he is doing this. They were married for around 13 years and I feel part of the reason may be his need to continue to control her life and be dependent on him and/or he still has feelings for her. She doesn't date that he knows of (I am not allowed to speak with her). I have some savings from working hard all my life and pay for my own bills and buy my own cars for myself along with my two kids. Because I want him to pay off his past debts he accumulated prior to meeting me, we live in my modest home which is paid off and he pays a couple hundred a month to help with the bills. He does extremely well now in his business after stuggling for years living month to month. He usually pays when we go to dinner, movies, etc. so he is generous in that way. But am I wrong to feel that his ex-wife is being treated better than me at this point as he is paying all her bills and none of mine? I shared my feelings with hinm and he thinks I am being ridiculous. Am I? Since he makes considerable more money than I do why wouldn't he want to add me onto his health insurance, car insurance, etc since he is paying those for his ex wife when he doesn't have to? He has joint car insurance, cell phone account, etc. with his ex. This just seems so strange to me. Please help me undestand why he is doing this and how best for me to deal with it. Newly wed but feel like wife number two!

View related questions: debt, ex-wife, his ex, money

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A female reader, Survivor Gril United States +, writes (15 March 2011):

WOW! Ladies, don't feel bad. Alot of us are deceived by our now husbands/spouses'. In the beginning they may tell us things will not be this way, or promise that things will change and (as my case goes) begs us to marry and have a child with them. Which I foolishly did, because I beieved his words. But many times, they are just that... words! My husband was never married to his ex, ( I am his first marriage...he was 42 when we married) but took care of her their entire relationship (10 years) They have two children together, whom he loves DEARLY and most of the time I know that what he does for her is a direct result of his love for his children. However, there is a line! As women, people can only do what we only allow them to do! I am very unhappy in my marriage and my husband is truely the love of my life and I believe I am his. I have a wonderful relationship with his children and they (as well as mine) are the reason Im still with him, however, because of his love for his children, he does whatever she (the ex) ask of him, even if it means hurting my feelings, putting me and my children second, helping her before he helps me...etc! Today March 14, 2011 six days before our aniversary, I've made the decision that my peace and happiness as well as my children's peace and happiness are more important than the love I have for my husband. I am not into ultimatums! So I plan...as should any woman. Remove your emotions ladies and look at the reality of your situation, if you hurt more than you smile, a change needs too take place, if your children will benefit better if you are separate, a change needs to take place. No man , woman or person should take your peace of mind from you. You have to decide what is best for your and your family and plan accordingly. Im tired, so my plan is to save as much as I can in as little time as possible and depart in peace.

I wish you all the best, remember to love yourself first!

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A reader, anonymous, writes (5 February 2011):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

WOW! You seem to be in a very similar situation. You may be on to something about some men catering only to bitches!! I also am a kind, loving and generous person and can't be like that either. Its unfortunate that they don't prefer and cater to us instead like they should. After reading responses here I gave him an ultimatum and told him I do not feel like his wife and felt deceived and would not have married him if I knew he was paying for all these things and I will not tolerate being second to any woman. He agreed to a time limit to "wien her off of him" as he says. I also printed out and gave him information on medicaid for her to get her own insurance and section 8 for housing assistance even though he pays her plenty in alimony and child support(although even those recipients need to have a job to qualify!!). If he continues to pay unnecessary things for her after the deadline then he will either need to pay for those same things for me out of principle as well which he most definitely can afford, or I am going to move on and find someone who will put me above his ex wife as I deserve to be number 1 in that category. Keep in touch please as I would like to see how you handle it. This site is very helpful and I really appreciate the people that have taken the time to write here. It really helps! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!

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A reader, anonymous, writes (4 February 2011):

I'm kinda in the same boat. My boyfriend who I live with, tells me stories of when he was with his ex wife such as; buying her breast implants, paying all the bills in their household and not knowing what she did with all her money ,he has spent much more money on his ex than he EVER has spent on me and I don't make half the money his ex does. She also stole a significan amount of money from him and then lied to him about it and he did NOTHING about it. When she calls his phone he doesn't answer it when I am in the room, he walks on egg shells with her constantly. He's obvoiusly very afarid of upsetting her and does not realize how upsetting this all is for me. When they were together he sold things of his that meant a lot to him just to keep her happy. He also pays child support but he lets her bully him around, he pays for many things aside from the court mandated child support and she wants more! She has a great job and yet she is also on his medical insurance which he pays for. I'm beging to wonder if being the intolerable witch with these types of men really is the way to be, however, it's not in my nature to behave that way towards someone that I love. We are not married so your situation is a little different than mine. You at least got that out of him! I'm am coming to the end of my rope with this whole situation. I have a deadeline in my head and unless he gets serious and proposes and stops making how she feels his bigger priority, I am leaving, getting out and getting on with my life and I suggest you do the same.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (20 January 2011):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Thank you all so much for your great advice!! This is my first time on here and it is very helpful. I gave him an ultimatum a few years ago when I heard he was still paying for her cell phone (I didn't know at the time the rest of the things he was paying for too). He stopped and she got her own phone. I just found out after we got married that about a year ago he got her a phone once again and she is on his account because she couldn't afford it! I also just found out that he is not required to pay her health insurance anymore which is insanely high ($800+) per month not including his child's insurance but is doing so because, once again, he says she can't afford it. He did say he feels guilty about the divorce and wants to make sure his child is taken care of so you are probably right about that and I can understand that but it is out of hand. I also feel she will never work if he always pays for everything and it will probably continue indefinitely. I think I need to resolve these things asap before going any further. And yes, I see that I am helping his ex wife with our current housing situation. It used to be a rental and income for me-now it helps him pay more things for her instead!!!!!!!!! :( THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!

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A reader, anonymous, writes (19 January 2011):

It definitely sounds like he won't stop doing this. It could be for control, it could be to care for his children. I don't understand why you're not allowed to speak with her?

I would keep your financial independence because it is going to be hard to sustain a relationship where you are not put first. You are newly wed and you are reasonably already upset at the difference in how he treats you as compared to her.

You, as you realize I guess, are also helping to support her by providing a home at low cost to him and by helping him to pay debts. It doesn't seem fair at all to me.

I don't think you're being ridiculous, but I do wonder why you entered into the situation without discussing it first, if you didn't.

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A female reader, eyeswideopen United States +, writes (19 January 2011):

eyeswideopen agony auntI agree with Ms Anonymous. You should have dealt with all this long before you married the guy. It's kind of late in the scheme of things to try and rearrange things now. If you have discussed this with him and he thinks you are being ridiculous then I guess you either accept the situation or split the blanket.

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A male reader, Odds United States +, writes (19 January 2011):

Odds agony auntIf I had to guess, it's not about her, it's about his child (children?). He's trying to provide a stable home for them, in whatever way he can, and that means more than just the minimum of child support and alimony. He wants his ex-wife to have the freedom and means to take care of them. Part of that means taking care of her, as well.

I'm not sure why he wouldn't have said so, already. Maybe he's embarassed about it, or doesn't want to talk about it because he feels that he has not handled the situation well (sometimes it's easier to keep doing something wrong than to admit it needs changing). Or maybe he feels the divorce was his fault and he owes it to them.

How do you relate with his children? Is there some way you could help him have the kids over now and then? If he feels you have some investment in his children, he may be more willing to talk about it.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (19 January 2011):

These issues should have been sorted out a long time ago and I dont understand why you married a man who is so 'tied' to his ex wife both financially and emotionally.

I think you are right. My father used to maintain my mother as a way of 'control' so that he felt #1 man in her life when it came to financial and emotional decisions regarding her and us children. My mother also never dated men because she was 'dependent' on my father and admits now that it suited her. Plus they were very good friends after they separated and divorced and had us children in common and still wanted to present a united front.

I think you are in a very difficult situation and this will all blow up at some point unless he starts setting some boundaries with his ex wife. The problem is not with her but with him and I think you are shutting the door after the horse has bolted. Why would he change now if you married him accepting all of this? Maybe you were hoping things would change once you had a ring on your finger and are now bitterly disappointed that they haven't.

I think you know you are now acting too late and probably feel that an ultimatum is due but only be willing to carry this out if you seriously would go through with it. Is he willing to lose what you both have for the sake of losing control over her?

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