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Should I tell my ex that feelings have resurfaced for him even though we are both married to others?

Tagged as: The ex-factor<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (10 January 2017) 8 Answers - (Newest, 11 January 2017)
A female United Kingdom age 36-40, anonymous writes:

Hi guys!

My ex-partner and I separated amicably over a decade ago, and keep in contact and remain friendly towards one another for the sake of our fifteen year old daughter, whom we co-parent. Our relationship, which lasted for about eight years, fractured after we lost our second child and it was something neither of us were ever able to come back from together. We've now married other people and had other children, but now I am finding these old feelings resurface for my ex! I've not thought about him sexually or in any light other than my daughter's other parent for over ten years, and here I am feeling things I felt when I first met him as a teenager! I don't know if I've ever fallen out of love with him, and I'd never ask him if he felt similarly, but our relationship didn't end in flames and I'm so confused as to why I'm feeling like this again! I find myself thinking about what our lives would have been like had we not lost our second child, and what we would have done and who we would have become together, and then I feel awful on my husband as he is as wonderful man and a brilliant father and stepfather! Is it wrong for me to still harbour feelings of love for the man I conceived two babies with? Were we wrong to be as amicable as we were, and continue to be, for the sake of the daughter whom we both cherish? Should I be open and tell him how I feel, not in an attempt to win him back or anything, but so that I can get it off my own chest?

Any help would be appreciated, guys.

Thanks.

View related questions: conceive, my ex

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (11 January 2017):

There is something wrong with your current marriage. There is a disconnect.

Find out what the problem is, have an open and honest discussion with your husband about fixing it; get counselling if necessary; and you will find you can place this ex in the rear view mirror where he belongs.

What is done is done. Leave that door closed.

Do not play with fire. It never ends well.

I know this by experience. You don't want to go there.

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A female reader, YouWish United States + , writes (11 January 2017):

YouWish agony auntFirst of all, I'm so terribly sorry for the loss of your second child. That's the most heartbreaking kind of relationship-ender, when grief tears apart what was once beautiful.

You have moved on with your life, and so has he. There are children from your new relationships involved, and it's for the sake of your new children as well as being faithful to your current husband that you must never discuss this with your ex. You both have chosen your path, and you saying "My feelings for you have resurfaced" will help NOBODY. It will destroy your own relationship with your children and current husband, a man who has done nothing wrong with you and accepted you as you were and trusts you.

You must take control of your emotions. Emotional self-discipline is not a bad word. I don't know a married person who has not experienced a form of temptation at some point or another, and your history with your ex doesn't change the fact that you're contemplating having an affair and cheating on your husband. Your history doesn't make it any more acceptable than if a co-worker approached you at work and you developed sexual feelings towards him. People who have married made vows. In all of those unrealistic "romantic comedies", they never talk about the fact that we have control over ourselves and can starve out crushes and temptations and remain faithful.

Your feelings are your burden. Work on doing the right thing within yourself and get closer to your husband, and stop entertaining and indulging on fantasies and nostalgia with your ex. What if you declared your feelings? What if you blew up your current marriage? Say you get what you wanted - and it's 5 years into your reunification with your ex, and life gets tough again. You'll start looking elsewhere again, because after the feelings surface, the past negative feelings will also surface, and now you've hurt your children and he's hurt his. It can never be the same as it was. Will you then start thinking longingly of your current husband? Our actions define our character.

Deal with these feelings yourself. Keep them to yourself as long as you live. You will gain NOTHING by disclosing them. At best, you will create an awkward situation where your civil and amicable relationship with your ex is strained and your 15 year old daughter feels the effects. At worst, he reciprocates and you two wind up in bed together. Then your 15-year old daughter will be devastated because you hurt her siblings and you taught her moral bankruptcy. You gain nothing except the knowledge that you made the single biggest mistake of your entire life. You will be a cheater. Your ex will be a cheater. Nothing will ever be as it was. Do not do it.

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A male reader, Phil052 United Kingdom + , writes (11 January 2017):

Phil052 agony auntI can understand your feelings. He was a huge part of your life and you went through so much together, both good and bad. However, my thoughts are that you should keep your feelings to yourself. That chapter of your life closed and things have moved on. It's great that you have stayed friends but I think that is where it should stay for everyone's sake.

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A male reader, BrownWolf Canada +, writes (11 January 2017):

BrownWolf agony aunt

Truth is...NOTHING regarding your EX should be on your chest, or any part of you.

They are called EX for a reason. As in EXit from your world. EXtinct, EXpire, and they should be NON-EXistent in your life.

What is the point of going backwards?

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A female reader, Anonymous 123 Italy + , writes (11 January 2017):

Anonymous 123 agony auntYou had your chance with him, you were married to him...and you didn't fight enough for it. Even though you lost a child, you still had...have...a daughter and you should have tried to save the relationship as best as you could.

You're incredibly lucky to have found a man like your second husband who accepted you and your daughter with love. Do you want to squander all that away just because of your selfishness? What about all the children involved on both sides? And how on earth would you feel if your husband was feeling this way about his ex wife and harbouring feelings for her while being married to you?

Please dont hurt your husband and play around with all the childrens feelings. Its just not right. Life isnt just about you and what you want. And to be fair, you DID have a life with the ex that you willingly gave up. Who's to say that you wont feel 'confused' again about the second husband if you go back to the ex?

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (11 January 2017):

Honeypie agony auntI think telling him would be utterly selfish and kind of destructive.

HOW do you think YOUR husband would feel about it? Or were you thinking it's none of his business? He is "only" your husband after all.....

And HOW do you think his wife would feel about it as well?

This isn't just about you and your little fantasy - there are more than YOU, the ex, your husband, his wife - and ALL the kids that can be affected by this.

If you have NO intentions of DOING anything about those nostalgic "feelings" WHY on Earth tell him? To get if off YOUR chest? With no regard for anyone but YOU.

Write it down on a piece of paper, if you MUST get it out, read it and BURN it and dispose of the ashes. And then get your head out of your ... and focus on what you HAVE - your husband, your children (ALL of them) and stop living in the past.

There is NO wrong or right as far as you having feelings for you ex. You (general you) CAN LOVE and CARE deeply for someone and NOT be with them. Grief tore you apart, but it also made you both MOVE forward with OTHER people.

So no, it's not "wrong" that you care for him, but I do think it's MAJORLY wrong for you to dwell on "what if's" and the "good old days" because it TAKES away from your CURRENT marriage and family.

Being amicable after a split up when you share a child (or more) is a GOOD thing. Doesn't mean you need to make it out to "The One who got away".

Look at your own marriage. Is it getting a little stale? Do you fantasize about the ex because you are neglecting your marriage a little? Maybe it's a little too familiar? Have some DATE-night. Do more things with the family as a unit and with your husband as a couple.

This is where your focus should be, NOT with the ex.

Now you may think I'm being a little harsh on you, but I have been in this situation. Except... I would be your ex's NEW wife in the scenario.

After 7 years of marriage, his ex-wife writes him a long a romanticized "Oh we were so good together, I never loved anyone like you.... imagine where we would be today blah blah blah..." And it was a KICK in the face to me. Because she mentioned SEVERAL times how she couldn't understand that he and I were still going strong and that it MUST be because of our kids.... blah blah blah.

They were married for 2 years - from 19 to 21. They were young and (pardon me) inexperienced. We met 5 years later and have been together ever since. 20 YEARS now.

Thankfully I HAVE a good husband who ISN'T caught up in the past and he basically set her straight in a very nice way. NOT that it stopped her, she practically bombarded him with loving e-mails, porn link (yeah nice huh?) asking him to spend his R&R with her instead of us... (yes she seriously did). I read the e-mails - my husband showed them to me. Because? He didn't want me to be in the dark. And when he didn't react how SHE wanted him to, she used the kids. He could see them she wouldn't let him talk to them on the phone etc. It was horrible.

Now I'm not saying that you would do any of those things, but I can tell you this. Even WHEN my husband told her No, I don't love you in that way at all anymore. IT STILL hurt.

So please DO think about the ramifications of this. It's not some high school crush where telling him won't have any consequences, there are 2 families "involved" that should be WAY more important than some fantasy.

EVERY action has a reaction and every action has consequences.

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A female reader, Aunty BimBim Australia + , writes (11 January 2017):

Aunty BimBim agony auntNo, what would it achieve? What are you HOPING it will achieve?

You already have a good relationship with him, I assume he is happy with his second wife, what do you think your confessions might do to that marriage? Are there children of that marriage, what of any affect on them? What if your current husband found out about your confession? What affect could that have on your children?

For heaven's sake think of the possible fallout! If you are not happy with your current situation then do something to change it or get out .... but don't do or say anything that could potentially harm so many other people.

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A female reader, Ivyblue Australia + , writes (11 January 2017):

Ivyblue agony auntPersonally I think some things are better left unsaid. This kind of seems a little unfair to burden him with having him deal with it and very unfair to both other spouses. By telling him you are perhaps setting him up to keep secrets from his wife in fear of her having issue with it. You may well ruin the great relationship that you have both established and maintained for such a long time. That in itself is a very precious situation you have given you have a child together. This is the kind of reveal that has the potential to be one of life's little regrets. Please give it some serious consideration looking at the big picture and how it can effect all concerned. Adults and children alike. All the best

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