Is my ex-husband in MLC?

by G
(Connecticut)

My X and I were married for 16 years, together for 20. He got into some new age reading about 5 years ago and then of all a sudden one day, he told me he wasn't happy with his married life anymore and hadn't been for some time. He walked out on me on Feb. 2010.


I entered into therapy and read a ton of books on fixing marriages and learned a great deal. He was never a willing participant and sadly, our divorce was final July 2011. We had been separated for 1 1/2 years.

I recently found out that 8 mos. after our separation, he met a girl from Brazil (not sure if it was thru a work friend or dating site) and has been with her ever since. He just got engaged to her over last w/e. I believe her to be in her 30's and not sure of her immigrant status.

He knows that I still love him and feel that we belong together but his new age persona keeps telling him "this is what is right for him now." He said that he has no regrets of our time together and that I made him who he is today. He never had freedom moving from his parents home at 21 to my house. I fully understand that.

I am very concerned because I know these situations with marrying immigrants do not usually end well. This is so out of character for him to rush into something. He is a very intelligent person who always thought things thru. If he felt smothered in our 20 year marriage, why did he rush into another relationship and now seemingly engagement? The ink is barely dry on our divorce papers. Is this a rebound relationship?

I am devastated of course, but more concerned. I told him when his world comes crashing down around him, he always will have a place here at our house. He was appreciative or seemed to be. There are friends of ours who are keeping a close eye from a distance on him because they feel he is in a crash and burn situation. They don't want him to be alone when it happens.

Would love your view on my situation. I thank you for your time and look forward to reply.

Noel's response

It could be a rebound relationship. My own experience, as well as that of many others, is that a major loss, through death or divorce, usually takes about three years to recover from. When we are in the state of recovery from loss, we are not aware that we are not 'normal' again, but we are much more emotionally vulnerable, so it is a good idea not to get into another permanent relationship during this time. One psychologist calls rebound relationships 'throw-away' relationships. They are good to have, but you should not make them permanent. I got married again a year after my first wife died, and it was a big mistake. We got divorced after 13 years of difficult marriage.

If you or your friends can talk him out of getting married in the near future, it might serve him well. If he goes ahead with it anyway, make sure you are financially protected, and that if you still own any assets jointly (e.g. a house), you are in no danger of losing them.

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