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Is He Still Married To His Ex?

Updated on January 23, 2017
Miss-Adventures profile image

My passion is writing about love, sex, dating, and relationships. I write based on my own personal experiences and those that I relate to.

Even though he is not legally married, doesn't mean he's not still emotionally married....

Some men have a very difficult time emotionally letting go of an ex-wife, especially when the divorce was not their decision. Add children to the mix, and dating a guy like this will make you feel like a constant loosening third wheel. Yikes!

You would think that if a marriage ended due to:

  • His wife cheating
  • His wife having a full on affair
  • His wife leaving him for another man
  • His wife completely falling out of love with him
  • His wife having zero respect for him—and clearly demonstrating this

...that he would not only want to move on emotionally, but also have very little to do with her. Unless, of course, they have children, and if so, keeping the communication strictly about the kids.

Although that might sound great in theory, there are men who are either too ego driven—not accepting their fault in the divorce, too insecure with themselves—to believe they deserve better, or a combination of both. Great.

Both ego and insecurity can be self-destructive....

The ego of a man (and frankly the competitiveness) will convince him that he still wants a woman who has left him, even if he didn't try hard enough to keep (or value) her when he had the chance. Once she "causes" the demise of her marriage—cheating—or leaving him, his ego will set in and determine that he still wants her. Seriously?! His ego will convince him to do anything to win her back. What he fails to realize is that most women, when they emotionally move on—due to lack of feeling secure—are hard to obtain again.

Often, when a woman decides to have an affair—emotional or physical—it is because she is not feeling emotionally secure, financially secure or supported by her husband anymore. Once this break-down has happened, winning her back is not always an option. However, the ego will convince him to try even if it's not about honestly wanting to keep her. Yikes!

There are men who cannot accept a woman being the one to end things. So when she does, it is a huge bruise to their ego, making it their mission to get back together with her just so that he can be the one to officially end things. Of course this will usually tend to backfire in his face. And if you are dating or in a relationship with a guy like this, it will make you feel like you are never good enough since he is always thinking and talking about his Ex.

Being emotionally tied with an Ex does not happen with just ego driven men....

Many insecure men cannot deal with the fact that a woman has ended the relationship because they did something wrong. When this happens, they will seek forgiveness in the form of being a doormat for their Ex. Men like this will also look for things they are doing wrong or "think" you're unhappy with—assuming they will never be good enough for you since, they weren't good enough for their Ex. Wonderful.

Regardless if he emotionally pushed her towards the decision to get divorced by his actions (or lack of), taking ownership for his part is just as hard for an ego driven man as it is for a guy who has insecurity issues. Denial is an immature way of dealing with any problem, however so many men are guilty of this.

What men don't realize, denial can also cause a man to be subconsciously emotionally invested in his ex-wife—who no longer wants him. If you are in denial, how do you expect to move forward with a new love? Guess what, women have to deal with issues all the time in order to be able to move on. Not dealing with your issues because you’re too insecure, is not only exhausting, it ends up being a relationship killer.

Insecurities will only hold you back from having a successful, healthy relationship...

Men who are insecure don't always acknowledge their faults in the demise of a relationship. Instead they will focus on what their ex-wife did—cheating or leaving—in order to make themselves feel better. Hmmm...

Here's the problem, by not being honest with yourself—regarding what you did to push her away, you will continue to make the same mistake in future relationships. Also, by being dishonest, you are keeping yourself emotionally connected to your ex-wife. Constantly worrying about "rocking her boat" and upsetting her or overly trying to please and appease her. Until you can own up to your mistakes and forgive yourself, energetically you will keep yourself tied to her.

Being in denial will make you a puppy dog to your Ex and her needs. Playing the victim will keep you the victim and that is an unattractive quality. Yikes!

Manning up and taking ownership will help you not only emotionally move on, it will deter you from needing constant approval. Knowing you were part of the reason why your marriage ended means that you no longer need to seek validation and forgiveness from your ex-wife. Love is a two way streak and problems that occur are rarely one sided. By recognizing your mistakes you can also recognize hers. If she cheated, left you for another man, etc., regardless of your actions that doesn't justify or excuse hers.

There are tell-tale signs when a guy is still emotionally married to his Ex:

  • If you and his Ex are both in need of his support—he will choose her over you
  • If he has kids, he won't (or hardly) ever switch custody days with his Ex—for anything important having to do with you.
  • He reminds you (frequently) that she is the mother of his children and will always be in his life (duh)—but that should not mean she trumps you!
  • He will gladly let his Ex switch her custody days whenever she feels like it.
  • He will leave work early to pick up the kids for his ex-wife on her days—but she will never reciprocate.
  • If she calls him upset, he will stress out until he can call her back.
  • He has zero backbone when she is around.
  • In her presence he will be wanting to get her attention like a lost puppy.
  • Even if she is in a relationship, living with a guy or remarried, he will still go out of his way to help her when she is sick, has surgery or is injured.
  • Her plans will always trump your plans that you have made together.

As woman we really (really) want to believe when a guy proclaims that he is over his Ex, that he actually is, especially if it's been years since the divorce. Unfortunately, men like this can be convincing because they are in denial themselves.

Most men don't want to admit that they are still in-love, harboring feelings or care (to a high degree) about their Ex—and what their Ex thinks or feels about the them—when the reasons she finally left were due to falling out of love or cheating. He will think that by still harboring feelings for her, he is pathetic. Is it pathetic to admit these feelings? Or is it more cowardly to be in a relationship with another woman knowing you are secretly pining for validation or in need of an ego boost? Either scenario, being with a guy like this is a lose-lose situation for you.

Ladies, being with a man who has not sorted out his true feelings and emotions (other than some therapy) regarding his ex-wife means that you will live in the shadows of her. Until he is open and willing—and actually deals with his unresolved feelings—he can never be the man who can one-hundred percent give himself to you. You deserve to be with a man who is emotionally ex-wife baggage free. Don't allow yourself to come second in love.

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    • Safari Chic profile image

      Marlene 5 months ago from FL.

      Good hub. It's not a good idea to get involved with a guy who is still married to his ex

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 5 months ago

      "Often, when a woman decides to have an affair—emotional or physical—it is because she is not feeling emotionally secure, financially secure or supported by her husband anymore." True!

      However I would probably add people cheat because they are looking to compliment what they already have. Very few cheaters are looking to (replace) one relationship with another.

      Divorce or breakup was always an option but for whatever reason the person has chosen to (stay) with their mate and attempt get whatever they feel is "missing" from someone else.

      Whatever they're not getting in their eyes does not rise to the level of going through a messy divorce and lowering their living standards. Since cheaters (never believe) they will get caught cheating seems like the most cost effective and appealing route.

      I agree there are some couples who never really stop being "couples" even after a breakup or divorce. They just expect any future mate to accept this as a fact of life.

      If someone challenges them especially if there are no children in the picture their mate attempts to shame them by calling them "insecure" or "paranoid".

    • Miss-Adventures profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Bailey 5 months ago from Denver

      Thank you Safari Chic for reading my article and commenting. I'm glad you liked it.

      And yes, it's not a good idea to get involved with any guy who is still married to their Ex.

      Unfortunately, with a guy who is no longer legally married but is still emotionally married, this situations isn't always easy to spot until you are already emotially invested in him yourself. And men who are still wanting or pinning for their ex---even years after the divorce---will convince themselves and you that they are over their Ex amd moved on even when they clearly have not.

    • Safari Chic profile image

      Marlene 5 months ago from FL.

      You're welcomed! very true, I agree.

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