She left him after 20 years... probably caught him mostly by surprise, maybe she was cheating on him, and she tried to make him look like the divorce was all his fault right? If she left after the kids were gone, she might not have been able to hurt him that way, but, it's also possible that he's paying a financially crippling amount of child support, which is pre-tax to him, and post-tax and deductable on other stuff for her.
He probably would have done just about anything to save his marriage but, for a lot of guys, by the time anything is even clearly communicated to them, it's too late. Guys take everything at face value and unless she said, "I am on the verge of divorcing you, and we need to make certain changes" He probably didn't even see it coming.
Some women even intentionally push their husband's buttons as much as possible to provoke a negative reaction, such as yelling or name calling or worse. While the negative reaction is inexcusable, anyone is capable of snapping when their family is being threatened and the person they love is tearing into them verbally.
Hopefully, you look at your boyfriend as a human being. It sounds like you do. Any human being with feelings is going to be hurt after being discarded after a 20 year marriage.
The reason he feels ok to talk to you about this is because he loves you, and he's hoping that he can trust you. He was probably looking for a lifetime relationship and he wonders how he's ever going to get that, since statistically, most guys get left.
The way our society is, it teaches women that they are strong if they abandon a marriage the second it gets hard. Seriously.
"You go girl, you deserve happiness. He sounds like an asshole. Life is too short to be miserable."
Some women give consideration to how their ex-husbands might feel but, many don't. The guy was just an accessory in their life, pretty much useless to her after the kids came along.
It's honestly hard to understand how almost any guy isn't bitter, at least a little bit, when he thinks about how this stuff works. Don't women get bitter about the number of men who cheat... or the number of guys who are just out for sex?
Of course right?
It's too late to make a long story short but, my point is this.
Just because the guy is bitter about what happened doesn't mean he'd want to go back. It sounds like he trusts you as much as he can and he probably loves you quite a bit to be sharing like that.
If you need him to talk less about his ex-wife, or to focus more on the positive aspects of day to day life, and how great you two are together, just tell him. Gently steer him in the right direction.
The best way not to be bitter about the past is for him to think about his present and think about how much fun and how much affection he has when he's with you.
My significant other deserves a ton of credit for helping me to get past my divorce. I'm very lucky to have her. If she wants to talk to me about things that she is bitter about, or vice versa, we're open to it, and we're also aware that we need to keep that stuff in check and focus on enjoying each day.
Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow is a mystery... but today is a gift. That's why they call it the "present".
If you show this guy that you are consistant, trustworthy, and loyal, you should have a huge amount of trust and interest from him that will last ages. If he doesn't appreciate a consistant, trustworthy woman after what he went through, he's pretty foolish right?
- Response by wp2007
, A Creative, Male, 36-45, Pittsburgh, Artist / Musician / Writer