He was my ex before he was hers but she can have him (or better yet I hope she gets rid of him too!)

by Michelle
(Australia)

My ex came back into my life after 10 years. I had split up with him originally because he had a drug and alcohol problem. There were no issues of infidelity on either side. I told him he needed to go to a rehabilitation centre and to sort out his problems and invited him to "come back and see me when he had 12 months sober".

I heard a couple of years later that he'd had a child with someone interstate. I was devastated. I'd genuinely loved him and had wanted that child to have been mine. I put it out of my mind and went on with my life.

Over the coming years for my own reasons I did not have another long term relationship. I had a few tries but nothing lasted and after a heart attack, and death of a former ex partner who I'd loved deeply but left also with good reason, I had grown lonely. In addition I was dealing with a terrible situation of workplace bullying and in a moment of vulnerability, thought I wonder what ever happened to...?

We found each other on the internet. He was still interstate and still with the mother of his child. I didn?t think anything of it when I said I'd be happy to catch up for a cuppa if ever he was in town. I didnt mean for an affair!

He made it his business to be in town very soon after! He asked prior to coming down could he stay at my place. I said, no, you're with someone else now and I dnn?t think it's appropriate (i.e. he was travelling alone).

We arranged to catch up for dinner and for him to stay at a motel instead. During the dinner I felt sorry for him. I also realised how much I'd missed him. I ended up inviting him to stay at my place after all. He was half drunk that night. I said clearly I didn?t want to have sex but he pestered and pestered. Eventually I gave in because a part of me wanted that to. After the sex he told me everything a woman in my position could ever want to hear. He was in an unhappy relationship. He wanted to leave her. Perhaps he could get back with me. He stayed 3 days and the sex became on tap with me a more than willing partner (unlike initially).

He went back interstate. Upon his return he paid me far less attention than I felt I deserved. I told him no to contact me again and that I was not going to be his 'other woman'. We had no contact for 6 months and during that time I got involved with someone else. The new relationship didn?t work out and soon enough I emailed him.

He was still unhappy and saying he wanted to leave the Mother of his child. I questioned myself deeply. Did I really want him to come down and visit again knowing he may well return interstate and treat me badly again? Feeling sorry for him due to his still unresulved addiciton issues, and me having many years of recovery from those same issues, I felt that maybe I could help him and decided the risk was worth it. He stayed a week, returned interstate and promptly separated from his partner, including moving out the home they'd been living in. I was surprised but impressed. He seemed to be doing the things he needed to do in order to be with me at some point in the future.

The relationship proper started at this time. I felt better not being the "other woman". He came down for a third trip. Except after returning interstate this time, even though he was still living apart from the mother of his child, he started treating me terribly again. I couldn?t understand why. I suspected that perhaps he was using drugs. I was worried my invitation for him to come and live with me in light of that may not be wise (we'd discussed flying his child down for regular access visits as it's only an hours trip between cities and soon the child would be free to decide to live with either parent of their own accord and may decide to live with us fulltime).

He continued treating me badly from interstate. One day I lost the plot and decided I'd had enough. I knew where the mother of his child (or ex and I was being led to believe) worked and I called her. I didn?t tell her explicitly about 'us' but instead said I felt she had a right to know he had sleeping around with other women all over town for a long period of time. The call was cut short when perhaps in shocl she handed the phone over to him (they worked together).

It was true what I had told her. He had admitted to me that he had had 4 affairs throughout their relationship and "countless" one night stands. I knew that he has a history of sexual abuse as a child and put his behaviour and substance abuse down to this. Thus, I'd had been suggesting that he go into a residential rehabilitation centre for a period of time, to deal with these issues before moving in with me.

Now I don?t know if what I have done was right or wrong. I just know I had to get him out of my life. He was treating me terribly. It had also occurred to me that he was chickening out of dealing with his issues and planning to reunite with the mother of his child without telling me that this was what he had planned. Either way he was constantly shutting me out and not treating me any thing like a partner. Enduring that from the man I'd once loved so much all those years ago was just too much to bear.

I felt that if I was going to be miserable then so could he be. I felt used by him trading on how I'd felt about him in the past. I now see that due to loneliness and vulnerability that too allowed myself to be 'played'. And I feel terrible about my part in allowing myself to get sucked in by him. I had never been an other woman before and never will be again.

I doubt that he will contact me again, and if that is the case it is the result I was wanting. I am deeply hurt as so too must be the mother of his child be. We both deserve better. At least now if they reconcile she will hopefully have an inkling of the type of person she is dealing with.

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