Break-Up And Divorce – The residue of the anti-hero

Why do ex-wives have such a hold on some men?


Case Study

I observed a man talking to his ex-wife over the phone. The ex-wife was demanding more maintenance for the children. He was getting very impatient with her.

The current wife was listening to the conversation. She tapped the husband on the shoulder. “Tell her she is being unreasonable. We just don’t have the money,” she said. Whereupon the husband promptly waved the wife away with his hand, gave her a dirty look and turned his back on her. The wife retreated to the bedroom and slammed the door. The man now had two women angry at him. So he went out for a beer, or two or three. The wife could not understand why he was nasty towards her.

I explained: Talking to an ex-wife is stressful to a man because he has already been the anti-hero to that woman and men detest being the anti-hero; he wants to compensate for being the anti-hero, not because he wants to please the ex-wife, but because it makes him feel better about himself. Secondly, you were telling him what to do and say, which implies he is an idiot who can’t communicate with his ex.

Thirdly, you were implying that he does not earn enough, so he is a bad provider.

That is a big insult. When the husband arrived home later that night, he was in a fighting mood. The wife looked at him and said: “Do you want to fight or do you want to make love?” (She actually used the F-word). Later when they emerged from the bedroom he sheepishly remarked: “Now I remember why I married this one. She understands me.”


Why do some men go out of their way to please their ex-wives? They seem to jump every time she snaps her fingers? This is a major bone of contention to second wives. The simple reason is because he disappointed that woman – he was the anti-hero. He will do anything to make up for it. He will perpetually try to please her, so he can feel better about himself. It is not about her, it’s about him.

Probably in their marriage she kept raising the bar and for years and years he was conditioned into believing his efforts were just never enough. So he tried harder and harder to make her smile. Eventually he called: “Enough!” and left her, but whenever they make contact, he regresses back into that “I have to try harder” mode. The man should realise that this woman is unhappy in herself.

No matter what he does, he will never satisfy her. He will never be her hero. Let it go. Some dragons will never be slain. At home, in his castle, there may just be another new woman, who does actually appreciate him and he can be the most wonderful hero to her.

When he dances for his ex-wife, he is being the anti-hero for the current wife too. Being the anti-hero to two women – the maths just don’t add up. Do the common sense pragmatic thing and be the hero to the current wife. You will get more sex.

Why do ex-wives make the men’s lives hell? Because they get away with it.


Case Study

I know of one second wife who discovered her husband had actually been to court to fight custody demands and took out another mortgage on the house, without telling her. The guilt of the deception drove him to drink.

He just could not face his current wife. Finally he broke down. He realised heroes don’t lie. His current wife forgave him and they restructured their finances to pay off the outstanding maintenance.

This woman had his back.


Why do some men confess their financial failures to the ex-wife, but the current wife is the last one to find out? Because he has already been the anti-hero to the ex-wife and disappointed her. He can’t afford to be the anti-hero to the

present wife, so he hides these circumstances from her. Will the ex-wife spitefully inform the current wife of their financial predicament? Chances are very good she will. Then he is in deeper trouble and he is the anti-hero to two women.

Again. The maths don’t add up. Rather tell the current wife first. Women appreciate truthfulness. It makes them feel safe.

IT MAKES THEM FEEL SAFE. Remember the part about the woman’s intuition?