Author Topic: My wife's ex husband died  (Read 8233 times)

Alexander80

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My wife's ex husband died
« on: August 05, 2015, 12:04:20 AM »
Hi, I have possibly a unique situation, but maybe not. for me it is. Ive been married to my second wife for about a year and 8 months now weve been together going on 3 years. got together after our divorces, no affairs here. She left and divorced her ex after having one son with him about 10 years ago. while he was in and out of jail, drug problems, abusive mentally and emotionally, and just an all around bad relationship. cheated on her horribly for years. I know im painting a bad picture of this guy, but i feel like it is important to the situation and my questions. so anyways... i came into the picture, bringing with me two daughters making her a step mom and me becoming a step dad. in the almost 3 years we've been together he has seen his dad a handful of times to my knowledge, and was blown off by him many more times. fast forward to the 3rd of this month. His father was killed on the highway. not driving, but walking at 4am on the highway, struck and killed by a 18 wheeler. now once i was informed i was immediately went into supportive mode. let her know i am available, and of course let her son know, cause its his dad..even if he didnt see him much its still his father. and after hearing how much she disliked this guy for the past almost 3 years, i really wasnt ready for what came next. Yes her son is upset in shock and she is for him. I am too. But now she is going to the wake, and wants me to go. ok thats fine. I can be supportive and be the rock she needs right now. then she tells me, her her son and her father are going to the funeral the next day. no mention of me going. Not that i think its my place to go, but i didnt think she would be going either. Her son is going in the limo with his aunts from his fathers side anyways. so im confused. what is going on here? I realize she is mourning the loss of her son's father, and probably remembering all the good times, if there were any im not aware, but there must have been at some point she isnt a stupid woman, and i dont think she would have married him just because. so im not sure what i am supposed to be feeling, cause i also feel some grief coming on, but im not entirely sure why. and im not sure how i am supposed to act or feel, or if i should just it be and just be there for her and her son. any insight advice or conversation would be much appreciated

Doug1222

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Re: My wife's ex husband died
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2015, 11:15:19 AM »
...im not entirely sure why. and im not sure how i am supposed to act or feel, or if i should just it be and just be there for her and her son. any insight advice or conversation would be much appreciated

Your situation actually isn't all that unique at least to me. I was in an EXTREMELY similar place a long time ago. We'd been married about two years at the time but together for around eight. This is my only marriage. She was married once before and had three kids when we met. I don't have any biological kids that I know of. These are the kids I've got.

Her first one was an extremely bad marriage...absusive mentally and physically, cheating, drugs, drinking...all of that. He put her in ICU and she ended up in a battered women's shelter. That's how she left him. I have three step-kids. How's this for a jerk? One night when they were exchanging our boy at a truck stop (she never told him where we lived because she didn't trust him to know), he set up an ambush to attack her. His girlfriend attacked my wife as soon as she walked out the back door of the place and beat her severely...broken bones in her face. They didn't realize I was there. Our boy started screaming and I ran out to protect my wife. Her ex rushed me and tried to attack me. I hurt him really, really bad. Nearly killed him. He ran off with his girlfriend and was arrested later in the night when he ended up in ICU. He couldn't breathe because I crushed his trachea and punctured a lung when I broke his ribs. He attacked me and I had witnesses, though. Some truckers saw the ambush. He got six months in jail. His girlfriend got a year. He was a complete dirtbag.

Her ex-husband was murdered by his girlfriend's sister. She hit him in the back of the head with a baseball bat. At the time, our daughter was about 20 and son was about twelve. (Notice I didn't say "her" daughter and son...they're mine, too. We're married. We don't do "step".) The oldest is extremely disabled, so he's different. The other two had a really hard time emotionally, though. Their dad was a horrible person, but he was still their dad. He was married to their mom for twelve or thirteen years. That's a tough place for a kid. Our daughter wasn't even speaking to him when he died. She had to make the choice to pull the plug. She still has nightmares. Our son still has a hard time on Father's Day and visits the grave. Our daughter visits the grave, too. Their dad might have been a loser, but he was their dad. It's hard on a kid.

They all went to the funeral. I might have to. I can't really remember. My dad was killed the same day that happened to her ex, so we had a lot going on. Her ex was in a coma for several months, so at least the funerals were separated. I'm sure I probably went unless I was working. After I beat him up, we didn't really have any more trouble. I'm actually pretty good friends with her ex husband's family. We see them quite a bit. It's still the kids' family. I go to their family reunions. 

I won't really offer advice except be you. Don't be so surprised. He was your wife's husband and they had a child together. Of course they're going to the funeral. She probably didn't invite you because she thought you'd be uncomfortable. The wake is less uncomfortable than an actual funeral.

I'd say just relax. Treat it no different from them losing any other loved one because at some point...they both loved him. It's very complicated for them right now emotionally. Don't complicate it more.

That's what I'd say.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2015, 11:36:08 AM by Doug1222 »

funlearningmother

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Re: My wife's ex husband died
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2015, 10:29:54 PM »
Hi Alexander

I think Doug is right. No matter what the relationship was, at some point she loved him and may not just be mourning his death but the loss of what she thought they had and/or the loss of what dreams for the future she thought they would have. I was told once that the amount of time it takes to recover from a relationship you have been in, is half the amount of time you were in it and that is IF you work on healing from that relationship. It may be even longer.
I was in a relationship with an abusive man and he died in a car accident. When I first thought of him, after he died, it was all the heavy stuff because for me it was easier to live with the loss of him if I remembered the heavy and not the light. It was so painful just to have lost him and then to try and deal with the heavy and light parts of him. I couldn't look at the light parts, it hurt so much I wanted to die. I miss him all the time because I could see the light in him, he just was to damaged to heal. I consider myself lucky when I look back at it because I had made a vow to myself that I would make this one work no matter what and I am pretty sure it would have killed me if I had stayed with him. Not necessarily physically, I would at some point have died inside and never recovered.
I do think it was not intentional that she didn't invite you. As Doug said she may have felt that you wouldn't want to go so she just didn't bother to ask or maybe even consider it. With so many emotions going on for her she is probably as confused as you are. Wondering why she is mourning him when he was so nasty alive and yet feeling she "should' for her kids. She may not realize that she needs it too and she may not realize that she is not necessarily morning the loss of him but the loss of what she thought she had.
As for you feeling grief, it may have nothing to do with him so much as what she is going through and that you can do nothing to help her. Also it may be reminding you of your own losses and maybe part of it is that you are feeling a loss at realizing that she loves him more then you expected because she has never shared any of his light side with you.
If you can be there for her and her son and allow them to talk about the light side of him, if they can, that would be wonderful. If you feel that is not something you can do then just listen when you can. Share your feelings with her if you feel it is an appropriate time. I would be careful with that one because she may think that you are lessening her loss. I do not know how open your relationship is. I needed to feel safe to allow myself to cry and let go of stuff. When I don't have that safe feeling I bottle it up inside and it destroys me from the inside out.

I hope some of this helps and if you have any questions please ask.

Hugs,
Shelby

Doug1222

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Re: My wife's ex husband died
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2015, 07:10:14 AM »
She may not realize that she needs it too and she may not realize that she is not necessarily morning the loss of him but the loss of what she thought she had.

For our daughter, that's been the hardest part. When her dad died, she hadn't spoken to him in years. She was old enough to choose and left with her mom when she did. Beating her mom up was bad enough, but there were years of problems already. After they moved out, it got worse due to some things that happened when she'd go visit her dad.

It got so ugly that their divorce decree said,"No specific visitation ordered between father and minor daughter due to the extremely hostile relationship that currently exists."

When he got killed, it meant things would never get better.

Our daughter has talked to us about it. That's what she grieved. Not what she lost. She was an adult. She knew her dad was a horrible person. It wasn't what she lost at all.

It was what she'd never have.

Alexander80

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Re: My wife's ex husband died
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2015, 11:13:52 PM »
Thanks for the replies everyone. My wife and I have a very open relationship, and i did approach her with this. I wasnt sure how, or if it was too soon ect, but I am the type of person if something is bothering me I can't just pretend it isnt. I have to let it out or it becomes overwhelming. anyways, I started by saying This wasn't my attempt to make this about myself but I explained how this was all very confusing for me. I am mostly worried about her son and how it will effect him, but as far as personal feelings about it, thats about where it ends for me. But I felt like it did have more for you. which she didnt deny, but she explained how it is bitter sweet. that this man can no longer hurt her son, but its also a loss and can never be redeemed now between father and son. She also said that in alot of ways she is disgusted with how his family is handling this. Making it seem like he was the greatest guy who ever lived, and that all he cared about was his son and seeing him, which is so far from the truth it isnt even funny. basically we are on the same page. She said she is just going to support her son, which i get, and she said she didnt think i would want to go. And i dont, that part is true. I also said that I felt it would be very weird for me to go, but also i felt like it was kind of weird that she was going as well. Which she said yeah i can see that and why you would feel that. if my son was older I wouldnt go unless he specifically asked me to. in short seems like we are having alot of thoughts, and we even talked about how he was before when they met in high school, and how she does have alot of good memories from back then, over 15 years ago... but he has done so many horrific things to her and her son that most of them dont mean anything. and let me tell you, it did make me feel a whole lot better being able to talk to her and be so open with her about it all. 

Doug1222

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Re: My wife's ex husband died
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2015, 06:44:24 AM »
She also said that in alot of ways she is disgusted with how his family is handling this. Making it seem like he was the greatest guy who ever lived, and that all he cared about was his son and seeing him, which is so far from the truth it isnt even funny.

I know exactly what she's talking about.

Quote
...let me tell you, it did make me feel a whole lot better being able to talk to her and be so open with her about it all.

Good.

funlearningmother

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Re: My wife's ex husband died
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2015, 09:49:10 PM »
Alexander

I am glad to hear things went well, that is wonderful to hear. I am like you and I like to get things over with as soon as possible. I also understand ex family. When my boyfriend died most of his family turned on me right away and then the rest did later. It was a rough time for me and I learned a lot of lessons from it.
I bet it felt so great to share with her how you felt and your concerns and to have such a wonderful response.

Shelby

Alexander80

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Re: My wife's ex husband died
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2015, 03:42:30 AM »
the wake was friday night. and I did go to that with her. It was a little awkward, more than a little, but right along with her gave my condolences ect. we hung around for a bit. Whenever anyone approached her from his family, she introduced me as her husband immediately before anything else was said, then continued to have the conversation. a few of the people said we've heard so much about you, you are a great man ect ect, to which i was dumbfounded somewhat, turns out my step-son does alot of talking about me to that side of his family(when he does get to see them). they had a video/digital picture memory board instead of the traditional pinned pictures type. we watched it for a bit. and they had pictures from him and my wifes wedding, and it suddenly hit... all my strange feelings maybe even fears, we're probably because everyone around me was remembering especially my wife a time before me, and perhaps fondly, but probably not and makes ya feel like the odd man out. but, with the way she presented and handled things, it also made me realize it was in the past and I am the now, and she made sure everyone knew that. which was good. later that night she was telling me memories, and stories about him laughing and talking openly and freely again. and ended it on a good note and basically everything is ok. Her son says he's fine but she already signed him up for counseling, whether he says hes fine or not, its still his father that passed and at some point it will be effecting him if he doesnt let things out in a positive way. Yeah it was a terrible senseless accident, I feel terrible for my step-son and his fathers family. but it seems like my wife and I have grown closer a little through this.

funlearningmother

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Re: My wife's ex husband died
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2015, 09:04:23 AM »
Alexander

That is so wonderful to hear! I know what it feels like to not realize how much of an impact you are having on someone's life and then find out. When I was with Riki before he died and when he first died some of the people around us said that he was making positive changes to his life that he had never done before. My kids have been doing that for me as well. If they are not happy with something they feel able to talk with me and share stuff. They trust me to be there for them and they know that I am healthier and happier then I was. It is wonderful to hear them talk with me and for me to know that my growth, which started out as me working on myself for them to be happier then I was growing up, has helped them. :)

I also understand feeling like the odd one out. You didn't say it but one of the things that I found sad was that I hadn't met Riki sooner. What I understand now is that I have needed to go through ever step in my life to become the person I am now and I am much better all around because of the growth my experiences have brought into my life.

It must have been nice for you, as well, to feel so connected to your wife and to know that she has left the past behind for the most part. You are a wonderful healthy man to allow her that opportunity. I just broke up with my boyfriend on Thursday and he never liked me talking about Riki. He says it's history and I should let it go. I have to talk to other people about it. I look forward to meeting someone someday that will be able to talk with me about all I want to and not hide from things.
Glad to hear she signed her son up for counselling. I hope it helps.

Sending Hugs and love to you and your family.
Shelby

L.Willis

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Re: My wife's ex husband died
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2015, 03:10:25 PM »
Thank you for posting this discussion.  I"m going through this right now.  My wife's ex-husband died over the weekend.  They never had children and have been apart for more than 20 years.  They were still friends and communicated regularly via FB.  His death was sudden and unexpected and my wife is a wreck.  I have been very supportive and I too know that this is not about me.  But it's very hard to hear from her how important he was in her life.  I thought I was the only one that occupied that space in her heart. Anyway, I know I need to deal with this so that I can continue to be strong for her.  I am seeing a counselor tomorrow. I am finding that people don't even consider what I'm going through as well. Not even a thought....so it was good to find this thread.  Many thanks to all who contributed to this.  I found it very helpful.