How To Handle Your Ex Getting Remarried

It’s bound to happen. Some day, your ex will remarry, and when that day happens, you may feel a surge of random emotions. That day for me was last Monday. While scrolling through my Instagram, I saw a series of pictures my daughter had posted of my ex-husband and his current girlfriend at City Hall exchanging rings. It was weird. And weird is still the only appropriate word I can come up with. It was shocking, of course, because it was sudden, they had been together only a short time, and he had told my daughter he would never get married again. Weird.

Trying to figure out how I feel about it is actually more difficult than I thought it would be. A few things I know to be true:

  1. I’m totally over him, so I didn’t feel sad in any way
  2. My first concern was for my daughter now that she has a stepmother
  3. I’m not in any rush to marry myself, but I feel like I’ve lost a competition I didn’t know I was a part of
  4. It’s over, it’s been over, and I’m glad it’s over
  5. Why do I even care?

my-ex-is-getting-married-and-im-mad

As I have been pondering his surprise nuptials, here are seven things I’ve realized.

1. It’s Okay To Feel Weird About It

Yes, it’s weird. It’s been 4.5 years since I walked out, never looking back and not one second of regret in my decision. But seeing your ex putting a ring on someone else’s finger comes with a feeling that’s difficult to put into words. I don’t have feelings for him (other than negative ones, I suppose), but I do have a feeling of loss. It’s a loss similar to the loss you feel right after the divorce, when you are sad that the ideal is completely gone. As a child, you have a picture in your head of what marriage and love should look like. When that fairy tale-esque picture is shattered, you feel like you’ve lost your innocence. The weirdness comes when your ex remarries and you realize that the ideal you held when you got married to your ex, really is gone forever.

2. Remember That It’s Not A Competition

I’m an extremely competitive person. I like to win, and when I found out my ex got remarried, I felt like I lost, like we were competing against each other for something. As mentioned above, I am not in any hurry to get married and still am not. But it feels like, with him getting to the alter first, he ultimately won in the divorce. (Which is as ridiculous as it sounds, but nonetheless the feeling is there). I had to remind myself that it isn’t a competition, and the “prize” isn’t anything I want.

3. Avoid Feelings of Resentment

A feeling that I had to immediately squash was feeling resentful that I worked hard to make our marriage work and worked hard to “get him” to be faithful, and now some other woman is going to reap those benefits. (I didn’t say all these feelings made any sense, mind you). Resentment just leads to bitterness which all just holds you back from moving onto much better things in your life!

4. Avoid Negative Thoughts

This one I have much more of a struggle with. I tend to think negatively so my first reactions  when I found out were, “good luck and good riddance.” I think part of me wants to hold on to whatever dignity I have left after the marriage and after his actions destroyed my self-esteem. A part of me feels like me letting go of the negative thoughts towards him and his new marriage is me absolving him of his wrongs against me.

I’ve recognized this as part of the forgiveness process, which I blogged about here.

5. Be Happy For Him

In the photos, my ex looked really happy. Good for him. While typically, I am happy when people are happy, the resentful part of me that hasn’t fully forgiven him wants to shout, “He doesn’t deserve to be happy!” That is ridiculous and selfish of me to think of anyone, but nonetheless, the sentiment is there and something I’m trying to work on.

6. Discussing The Subject With Your Kids

This was the number one important thing to me. I wanted to know what my 11-year-old thought. This woman is her new stepmother, and so I wanted to be sure that my daughter was okay with that. Immediately I texted my daughter and asked how she felt about it and asked if she was happy with the new marriage (she was). When I picked her up after the weekend, we spoke about it at length, and I am assured that she is happy and content. That helped me be okay with it, too.

7. Discussing the Subject With Your Ex…or Not

Depending on your and your ex’s relationship, you could discuss the new marriage with your ex and offer up your congratulations. If your break up is amicable, let them know you are happy for him and wish him the best. My ex and I only communicate if it concerns my daughter. I am happy with that dynamic and, therefore, unless it involves my daughter, we won’t ever have a need to discuss him and his new wife.

Conclusion

Having your ex remarry can still only be described as weird. It’s an influx of feelings that caught me a bit by surprise and as I process through them, I’m sure I’ll discover more things about myself (and most likely that I still have a lot to forgive). But onward in this divorce journey. I know that I am not alone and know that you, my dear reader, are also not alone. For those that have been there, comment below with your experience. Was it weird for you, too?

22 thoughts on “How To Handle Your Ex Getting Remarried

  1. I never married. I dated a man for just shy of 4 years. There are too many things wrong and it needed to be over, but that didn’t make it any less painful. He actually tried to win me back, in a rather scary turn of events he started stalking me. He waited for me outside of church, lingering near my car, waiting for me to be alone so he could approach me. Pastors helped, intervened and kept him away. I was shocked to hear after his aggressive chasing, that A mere 8 months later he was married. Not your experienced by any stretch of the imagination, but I totally get the weird.

  2. Came here after finding out my ex husband got married to the woman who he was cheating on me with just about a month and a half after we officially got divorced.

    Yup.. Alot of feelings. Weird feelings. Cause i want nothing to do with him anymore. I don’t love him anymore. I hated him actually.

    But what was written in this article was right.. That same feeling after i got officially divorced. Even though we were separated about a year before the divorce.

    Alot of weird emotions that i thought im over with.. Anger, hurt, betrayal, sadness..
    But it so weird.. It took me awhile to accept and understand cause im surprise at how much I was actually affected.

    Like its not even 2 months post divorce.. Im still here trying to figure out everything, picking up the pieces of my life, balancing work and life and our only child who he obviously doesn’t bother to be involved with her life.. And there he is.. Getting married and going for the honeymoon.

    Its unfair.. Again i know its weird cause its his life and he can do whatever he wants.. But by getting married to the woman who plays a part in the break up of our marriage.. It feels like she finally wins.

    I know its not a competition. But i can’t help feeling that they both got it easy after the divorce.
    Like it wasn’t easy for me.
    Not at all.
    Like they are happy or whatever.. N im still here.. Still so unsure of everything.
    Its gets so tired at times..
    But i can’t breakdown cause i have to be strong for myself and my child.
    Its just so weird and not fair.
    If any of this makes any sense..

    1. It makes perfect sense. It’s almost like the death of your innocence – what you envisioned an what Disney movies have taught us marriage should look like.

      Give yourself time, my friend. Grow from the pain and keep pressing forward. Your kiddo needs you to.

      H

    2. I feel the same way.. it’s hard to explain to other people who have not been cheated on and your ex marrying that woman that help break up the marriage. Their will be some that will say your not over him but that’s not it at all. The emotions all come back and I feel betrayed, not supported and no respect and I’m the one that stayed and took care of 5 kids why he went and started a new life., But I have survived and made it as a single parent while he can’t survive on his own and needs someone to take care of him.

      1. You’re right about feeling betrayed all over again, and for me, it was more of a betrayal and a loss of my idealism – the end of what I envisioned marriage to be as a child, fed by Disney and romance novels. It was the final piece of my childhood that I had to let go.

        Continue to thrive, my friend, and live a life you love!

    3. Omg…. totally makes sense to me! Just found out my ex is engaged to the the 23 yr old he cheated on me with…. (he’s 46 btw) and we haven’t even been divorced a year.

      I don’t want him back… so that’s not the issue. I am 50 and alone. He lied and cheated and he has someone. Its not fair. Older men have an easier time finding someone… older women, as I am finding, dont.

      It hasn’t been easy trying to survive on my own…. and it’s lonely. He has this new “happy” family. (She has a 3 yr old) and I have…. netflix.

      You are not alone. Somehow I will get through this weirdness…. this pain I don’t have a word for….. and you will too. Woman are some of the strongest creatures on the planet….. I believe that. That’s why we were given the responsibility of bearing children.

      I will cry for a week….. dream about horrible things happening to them……then pull up my big girl panties and move along and do what I need to do.
      《Hugs》 I feel your pain.

      1. Hey there,

        I’m sorry you are going through this pain. It gets better! Trust me. Being alone for a bit was actually the best thing that has happened to me. It helped me find myself, learn to love myself and to care less about what people think about what I say and do.

        Also, karma is definitely a thing.

        Look at this time as a gift. Do something that will make you a better stronger person because success is the best “revenge.” Living your best life is better than anything anyone can offer and it’s something that no one can take away from you if you don’t let them.

        Wishing you the best. Thanks for reading.

  3. I just went through this a few weeks ago. Mind you, I’m planning my own wedding. However, reading the text from the ex was “weird” to say the least. He’s actually going to marry before I will, but it’s not a competition. It just was weird. I had all sorts of feelings I couldn’t wrap my mind around. I have some very supportive family members that know my heart and the past marriage. I spoke to them about how I was feeling and they helped me ground myself and be okay with the feelings. Anyhow, I totally get it and I completely understand how it hits with this weird flair that sends you reeling with all sorts of questions, images, feelings that aren’t foreseen; but it is normal to feel that way.

  4. Came across this just trying to see if I was losing my mind. Apparently I’m not alone! My ex and I split nearly 6 years ago, and I’m extremely happy with my life (not dating ATM, while part of me wants to, it’s not a high priority, either)! I found out recently that he has remarried already, to a woman with a child (we never had children, I’ve never been interested). Our split was amicable enough, but we’ve never discussed our personal lives the few times we’ve seen each other.

    I was shocked that it felt so….well, weird. I love my life, I don’t want to go back to that life or him, but I’m still finding it…weird. Just glad to read I’m not alone in feeling that way.

  5. These posts are good. I Just found out the ex is marrying one of the women he cheated on me with. They are both older than I am and I am not a spring chicken. We were married for 20+ years, just divorced 2 years ago; she moved in the month after our divorce.
    I am alone, dating only a bit and in search of a canine. I have felt all of the emotions described here and agree it’s weird. The sharing helps. But I have to think about their marriage in this way: a relationship that is born as the result of lying and cheating/adultery, and by causing someone else’s misery (albeit temporary)…. is not a pure and healthy, hearts and flowers, relationship; there is something else, dark and sticky, going on. I don’t wish them happiness, nor do I wish them sadness – they will experience enough of each without my wishing it…. because that’s what life does. They are a non-entity for me. My marriage was an entity, that was blessed by our families, caused no one heartache in the making and it is gone now. I am a new entity with a clean canvas, a blank slate — seeking and open to find my own happiness because I know it’s out there.

  6. My ex is engaged to his high school girlfriend who he cheated on me with after we were married 25 years. They just bought a new house and moved in together. I don’t want him back in any way but can sure relate to the “weird” and the competition that isn’t really a competition that you wrote about. And I am angry that at 56 I’m starting over but I do love the person I’m becoming. Guess that sounds weird too.

  7. I’m coming at this with a slightly different perspective. I’ve been dating a man for 5 years. He claims I’m the “love of his life” and we have a terrific relationship. He’s been divorced about eight years, separated 10. His ex wife cheated on him and she’s been living with that same person for 10 years now. They recently tied the knot this past weekend. So here’ s the rub for me; (By the way, I am 59, he just turned 70. ) He’s HEARTBROKEN about his ex getting married. !!!! Really??? She’s been living with this guy for 10 years, he’s been with me for FIVE. !! I am devastated about this and its been a terrific blow to our relationship. I asked him if he was upset about the marriage and the reaction was like a kick in the gut for me and I still haven’t recovered. I clearly dont’ know how to move forward now in this relationship. Devastated… Did he think she was coming back after 10 years????? Thoughts?? anyone….

    1. Hi Marie,

      Thank you for sharing…and I’m sorry you are struggling right now. The human psyche and emotions are one of those tricky and mysterious things, aren’t they? I’m definitely not an expert, but just to venture a guess…Men (and women too) are notorious for stuffing down their emotions and not dealing with them. Likely, (and again, I don’t know him or any details) he never really processed and grieved over the end of the relationship and now, with the finality and “official-ness” of marriage, the emotions are surfacing and needing to be processed.

      I know you’re hurting with his reaction, and I totally get that. But maybe, for the sake of your relationship, seek to understand what he is feeling and going through before jumping to conclusions. In my case, there is no way I would ever want my ex back, but having him get remarried was still difficult in the sense that I never grieved the loss of my “ideal” vision of love and marriage. It was something I needed to process through. Maybe give your man some time and extra patience. Be there with a listening ear while you deal with your own processing of his reaction.

      You guys CAN move forward. Just take it one step at a time, my friend. Best of luck to you.
      H

  8. I needed to hear all these comments today and realize I’m not alone in my weird feelings. I was married 23 years . It
    Was 23 years of on line cheating and then the big blow a full blown affair . I finally decided to have some self respect and I divorced him . We have been divorced 2 years . Just
    Found out today he remarried and wasn’t expecting all the emotions I’m experiencing especially since I’m dating a wonderful man. It’s so comforting to know that I’m not alone in how I feel. Janine

  9. I was with my ex husband for 9 years (married for the last 2 of those). I am the one who made the decision to leave the marriage. He is a good guy, there was no cheating, but we just were not right for each other and we both had issues that we were unwilling to work on. I started dating a close friend of mine very shortly after my separation, which I am sure was very painful for my ex. But I just found out that my ex proposed to his girlfriend recently (I think they have been dating for about a year). Even though my boyfriend and I have been together longer, I still feel that sense of losing the competition. It makes me feel like a bad person, I wish that I was more mature than that. At the same time I am truly happy for him, I don’t have romantic feelings for him but I spent 9 years of my life caring about him deeply. The thing that has surprised me about this whole competition thing – I am wondering now why my boyfriend hasn’t proposed to me. Not that I really want to be married again right now, but I feel like somehow my own relationship has now been cheapened. I know that isn’t real but knowing somehow doesn’t make the thought go away. I don’t have anyone that I can talk to about my feelings, so I am glad to read that there are others out there having similar experiences. I guess that helps a little.

    1. Hey there Pepper,

      You are not a bad person. You are a wonderful, complex human that has to work through the crap of life and emotions. It’s never an easy road to become a more emotionally mature person and anything worth doing will be difficult. I wish you luck on your journey. Don’t beat yourself up too much.

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