After a period of general calm with XH of no communication, I literally bumped into him with his GF the other evening on the street (I turned around from the ATM machine JUST as they where walking past) and being this the VERY first time her and I ever met, I said, 'Hi, I'm *****, ***'s wife' and was about to put my hand out (I don't know what the best approach would be, but this is what came to me spontaneously), but she very deliberately didn't say ANYTHING, just aknowledged with her eyes. XH made a nervous laugh sound. So I broke the moment by telling XH I would get the kid's cellphone from my car (I was on my way to drop it off, and I guess he and GF popped out to the corner store to get some groceries), and stupidly/snidely (I ADMIT) I said to him, 'What a bitch!' meaning that it was bitchy of his GF not to even say hello to me.
Anyway, low and behold the next day I got a furious email from him saying did I mean bitch as in 'whore', because "if anyone is a whore it's me for me having used him to have children, trying to make him build a house for our family"....basically everything that a family does, he interpeted it as me being a huge whore (we were together almost 20 years).
I am really taken aback. I totally get that I was out of line for my snide remark, but seriously, he literally said I was a WHORE for having been his wife all those years...that I 'sold myself' to have children and a husband!
Plus GF sent me an email saying 'f off'.
All of us here in this forum have had more bitter/less bitter separations/divorces, I know mistakes and harsh words can be said, but is his reaction justified? Can someone really be considerd a whore for building a family with her life partner, but after almost 20 years realise it's not working out?
You can't justify reactions, they are usually irrational, as your reaction was to his gf. He just hasn't learnt to let your comments roll of like we recommend learning. You are obviously both raw, and that shows by the way you both behaved. Both of you need to learn to keep thoughts to yourselves. Good luck with that, it's been 3 years and I am still struggling!
To be honest, I do think both of their reactions were justified. You referred to yourself as his wife? I would have taken that as disrespectul and catty if I was his GF. I wouldn't have wanted to shake hands either (though I probably wouldve anyway, because thats how I am). Then you call her a bitch? I'm sure he told her and she was pissed about that, as I wouldve been. So yes, his email and her response were appropriate.
I have seen lots of men on message boards feel like their wives used them to have children (basically sex them up and then cut off/ration sex after the babies come, then divorce later)....I think its crazy, but apparently some guys feel that way. Or, he could just be taking up for his GF since you lashed out first. I think you need to be the bigger person and apologize to the both of them, because there are kids involved. How would you feel if your son found out what you said about her? Also, you're playing into the crazy, jealous ex role will just make them closer anyway and make him seem like more of a catch.
My ex lashes out at me once in awhile when he's having a bad day and its ROUGH to be the bigger person. I usually succeed 90% of the time.lol And when I don't, I end up feeling worse anyway for engaging him.
Update: Baby girl born Nov 19th!
DCmama, I also think their reaction was due, my behaviour was poor, but I'm not sure about the apology. I've thought about it, seriously, but at this point all communcation between us is too dysfunctional it's best to leave it alone. My ex probably lashed out particularly to defend his GF. It is true that I shouldn't be saying anything I wouldn't want my kids to know about. All around it was a bad time.
I've found a family mediator offered by social services and XH has agreed to come to an initial appointment, so maybe we are on the right track to learning how to communicate in order to co-parent without falling into our bad communication habits.
It's a step in the right direction towards what I hope is a happier and emotionally healthier life.
Edited to add: I just received an email from XH's GF that HE will not be attending 'couple's therapy' with me....So much for healthy communication all around...
I went to the appointment on my own to receive any advice the mediator had on re-establishing civil communication with my XH. She did have some advice and I feel it was the right thing to go, even if XH didn't attend because he feels he has no communication issues at all.
I don't have any advice that hasn't been given and I think you are on the right track getting assistance in communication. HOWEVER, I think something that might help you is to reframe yourself in your own mind not as X's "wife" but Y and Z's "mom." Seems stupid right? I know. But it really helped me personally let go of my marriage and my "claim" to my exhusband by thinking of myself as his wife and re-framing my identity as G, S, and M's mom instead. I'm assuming(because I truly don't know) that even though my ex husband does not allow his girlfriends to have any contact with the kids that the girlfriends know of their existence and their names and at least minor details about them. So in referring to myself I try to think of myself as their mom instead of having a claim to him in being his wife or exwife. It works vice versa too. When I refer to him to other people in conversation, I don't refer to him as my ex-husband. I refer to him as "my children's father." Both things are true. But my old relationship with him has no bearing on my present and future and him being their father does.
Yes, that's a good idea, referring to him as just 'the kids' dad' cuts off any connection as a couple, and keeps the actual connection as parents to the same children.
I appreciate all advice, it keeps things in perspective for me.