18 things men say about their ex-wives

When divorced people date, they talk about divorce. A lot. And that means talking about your ex. A lot. Which means through writing this blog, dating, and generally living life, I've heard a whole lot of thoughts and opinions from men about their ex-wives. Ladies, here's how your ex feels about you. How do you feel about him?
sell engagement ring

  1. Until you split up, he never appreciated how much you did for the kids and the house.
  2. When you keep having fights with your friends it validates his opinion that you are impossible to get along with.
  3. You're a really great mom.
  4. You're messing up the kids.
  5. He wanted to be that guy who cheered you on as you pushed the baby out, and caught him as you squeezed the child out your bleeding vagina. But now that he did that, he feels differently about your vagina. He's not proud of that, but it is what it is.
  6. He wanted to be that guy who loved you and found you attractive no matter how fat you got. But he just isn't attracted to you now. No matter how hard he tries.
  7. He did love you no matter what.
  8. One day he realized he didn't love you anymore.
  9. When you didn't have sex for months and years, it didn't just hurt his feelings. It devastated him, and made him worry about his manhood and himself. It was a really, really big deal.
  10. You insisted everything be done your way, which made him not want to do anything at all.
  11. Now that he's on his own with the kids, he's a better dad.
  12. He loved being the provider while you stayed home with the kids.
  13. Now that he's paying child support and alimony, he really resents that you gave up your career.
  14. He's a little bit happy that you're struggling financially because maybe now you'll appreciate how hard he worked how much you blew through all the money he earned. And by a little bit happy, he really means a lot happy.
  15. It's not that he liked her better than you. It's just that she liked him back.
  16. He's so much happier now!
  17. He wants to kill your boyfriend.
  18. Sometimes when you have the kids and it's late at night, he secretly wishes you'd text him and ask him to come sleep at home.

Online therapy is an awesome option for busy single moms. Very affordable, anonymous, and convenient, as you connect with a counselor via text, phone or video. Check out online therapy now >>

What about you? What does your ex-husband say about you? What do you say about him?

About Emma Johnson

Emma Johnson is a veteran money journalist, noted blogger, bestselling author and an host of the award-winning podcast, Like a Mother with Emma Johnson. A former Associated Press Financial Wire reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Glamour, Oprah.com, U.S. News, Parenting, USA Today and others. Her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was named to the New York Post's ‘Must Read” list.Emma regularly comments on issues of modern families, gender equality, divorce, sex and motherhood for outlets like CNN, Headline News, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fox & Friends, CNBC, NPR, TIME, MONEY, O, The Oprah Magazine and The Doctors. She was named Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web,” “Top 15 Personal Finance Podcasts” by U.S. News, and a “Most Eligible New Yorker” by New York Observer.A popular speaker, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality. Read more about Emma here.


  1. Erica on April 1, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    haha! love the contradictions! We just can’t win, huh?

    That’s okay, neither can they :)

    • Emma on April 1, 2013 at 10:32 pm

      We’re all screwed! Except when we’re not, of course ….

    • Victoria on December 31, 2016 at 8:11 pm

      I don’t usually comment but this one sucked. A similar article for the opposite side actually was funny semi sweet. This one makes guys look like assholes.

  2. Heather Buen - Dallas Single Mom on April 2, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    I just went out on a date and many of these are exactly what I heard. Especially the one about missing intimacy and when he would try to touch his wife,she’d snap back at him.

  3. Joseph Martin on April 7, 2013 at 8:07 am

    Ms. Emma Johnson, I will say you got 2,4,10,11, 14 and 16 are correct. So you only scored a 33%, a little research is necessary. I will say every case is different, but when they go to court, it is surprising how similar the cases become. This unequal treatment under the law is what creates the most As for number 18 the court are men bad, women are good… screw the men!
    As for number 1: I wish I could have said that, but sadly it was not so.
    As for number 3: I wish I could say that.
    As for number 5: Wrong again, we appreciated her more!
    As for number 6: Men are really not that shallow.
    As for number 8: Correct, I was there for the children.
    As for number 9: Sex, really? By that time, why? I do not need her to fulfill my “manhood” or to make me feel better about myself. I did not ever need her to validate me.
    As for number 12: We are family men, one of us needed to take care of the children. The one who had the best opportunity to earn a sustainable living should work. Him or her.
    As for number 13: She never had or tried to have a career.
    As for number 15: You assume all men cheat, nope women do too. That is my case.
    As for number 16: I am much happier now. The new wife has opened my eyes, SO MUCH! Just for clarification. I met her two years after my divorce. The difference is astounding.
    As for number 17. RUN FOR YOUR LIFE GUY! Save yourself!
    As for number 18. Are you freaking kidding?! Only if she was not going to be there EVER again!

    • Emma on April 7, 2013 at 12:53 pm

      Hi Joseph,

      Thanks for your insights. Of course every case is different. Duh. Thanks for showing us how awesome you are.


  4. roaring20's on November 7, 2014 at 12:31 am

    #18 If a man wants to have sex with his ex-wife than he wouldn’t have left her to begin with! Men leave their family because they are beyond miserable there’s no way they would want to be within 200 feet of their ex! The past is in the past for a reason movin on!
    #17 Why would the ex husband want to kill the guy that got his ex-wife off his back he left her so she would f

    • roaring20's on November 7, 2014 at 12:34 am

      He left her so she would finally leave him alone if anything he’s happy she met a new guy maybe they will get married and the ex-husband wont have to pay alimony anymore! Its a win win for the ex-husband! I think for some reason you think the ex-husbands are sitting around thinking about their ex wives but that’s not even close to the truth!

    • Radman on January 8, 2017 at 9:19 am

      I wish my Ex would find a man ignorant enough to stay with her. Then she could concentrate on ruining his life and forget about emotionally abusing me. He would secretly be my best friend!

  5. Truthfully on January 14, 2015 at 11:58 pm

    I think my ex is sitting around thinking “I better treat this one right” about his new fiancee. I wonder if he questions whether I will ever let her know that he tried to get back together with me two years into their relationship and I encouraged him to finish things with her and said I would not interfere, rebuffing his advances. Mine is not a better dad. He is less involved and enjoys his 85% free time traveling with his fiancee, which is what he always wished we had.

    • Emma on January 15, 2015 at 11:32 am

      Sounds like you played the classy card, good on you :) It took me a long time to fully appreciate that my ex and I are simply on different paths on this plant, even if we are frequently crossing paths. When I accepted that, I stopped trying to control him, let go of a lot of anger and we’re all better for it.

  6. Book of Job on April 24, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    My list will seem a bit different:

    – I resent that you left me and the kids to move home with your mother, giving me only 3 hours notice. It’s a lot of work to manage the kids, even though they are wonderful.

    – I also resent that I now have to handle the role you had in my business as well as mine.

    – I still resent that you repeatedly yelled at me when I ran the funeral when our son died, and didn’t hug me even once. I was 80 miles away when the accident took place, and certainly was in no way responsible. Running his funeral was the most difficult thing I ever had to do, and getting yelled at when I repeated to you what the medical examiner, police and funeral director said to me was too much. Why did you keep shooting the messenger?

    – I resent that you wouldn’t help me with the tornado repairs, even though the tornado came only a month after our son died.

    – I feel that I did way more of my share of the work than did you after our son died and we got hit by the tornado.

    – Now that I’m doing it all on my own, I now know that you did a lot more than I realized.

    – I regret not forgiving you for yelling at me so much when our son died. You were going through a tough time then.

    – I was going through a tough time, too.

    – I regret withdrawing from you during the last three years of our marriage. I found I got yelled at less that way. Once again, I realize you were going through a tough time then. I still wish I was nicer to you during that time.

    -I wish you would call or visit the kids. That’s really hurting them.

    – Believe it or not, after 9 months, I miss you. We have a long, shared history, including 20 good years. Our values lined up well. I can’t talk to you anymore, and I miss the ear and sounding board that was always there for all but the last three years of our marriage, and was even frequently there during the last three years of it. I wish I could go for a walk with you.

    – I wish I could talk to you about the kids’ problems, but you are too disconnected from them now to offer any sensible advice. it’s tough going it alone.

    – I never thought I would spend the rest of my life with anyone but you.

    – I really resented it when you kept telling me that our deceased son was our least favorite child. Where did that idea come from, and even if you really believed that, why did you insist on saying that to me?

    – As goofy as it was before you left, it’s even goofier now. I wish we had worked harder to stay together. I wish I had worked harder at it personally. I made a lot of mistakes, particularly in the three years since our child died. The kids have had a tough enough time as it is. I think if we had given it more time, we could have worked through it. It was a horrible storm, but it would would have passed in time.

    Note to readers: this may be a bit of a downer compared to the whimsical nature of this post. However, I thought this would change a few people’s perspectives. This story is true, with a few details (not many) disguised, to preserve confidentiality.

    Right now, I’m way too concerned with containing an ever-expanding balloon and keeping my kids in one piece to worry about exes boyfriends (doubt if she has even thought of that) or finding girlfriends for myself or thinking about money or whether or not I’m eating Ramen noodles. I’d be happy to live in a cardboard box if it would bring my son back, and if the angel of death appeared and offered me the chance to trade places with him, I’d switch in a heartbeat, as I think any parent would do.

    • Emma on April 27, 2015 at 3:54 pm

      This is really intense and very honest. I appreciate you being so real– powerful stuff. Please copy your comment so you can revisit it again. I’m glad you are able to express your feelings. Best wishes to you

    • Michael on May 24, 2018 at 11:58 pm

      I loved the hell out of my wife and one day I came home from being out of town working and when I walked in the door it was like a tone of bricks hit me I knew something was up,it took me a while to find the evidence that I needed but I got it and alot more now if you love the person trust me youll know

    • Sandy on February 4, 2019 at 6:46 pm

      @Book of Job
      I’m really sorry. I cannot even begin to understand how you must feel but thank you for doing your best. Being a native of Oklahoma I can relate to tornados just appearing out of nowhere and reaking havoc on your life, but to also lose a child while having an unsupportive spouse- just wow. That is just so much, I feel for you.

  7. Scott on August 19, 2016 at 11:46 am

    Ms. Emma, The list has enlightened me to the fact my problems are not unique. I met my wife when I was 14 years old and 6 years later in 1993 we got married. I troll the Internet not looking for reasons to get divorced but to troubleshoot my marriage and improve our relationship. It takes hard work to keep it on a positive and healthy lifespan. For me love is not a feeling but a choice. It is hard to love someone at times. I suffer from 9,and 10. I can see 15 being the end result. So how do I fix it now? I know you can’t answer it because your not my wife. How ever I will send my wife this article and the 18 things your exwife wanted to say to you. I hope it helps us as much as it helped me. Thank you for doing your blog.

    • Emma on August 20, 2016 at 6:48 am

      I’m glad it resonated.

  8. Megan on January 9, 2017 at 8:09 am

    This just hurts even more to think my ex may feel like this

    • Emma on January 9, 2017 at 8:26 am

      Which part?

  9. Kylie on January 25, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    Why do you care so much about what others have to say about their ex-wives? Unless you regret divorcing him, who gives a rat fuck about what other people think?

  10. Skinp on March 22, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    You left out Midlife crisis.

    Which most times has nothing to do with the wife /husband.

    Narcissism is also a reason.

  11. Isaiah on January 17, 2018 at 10:52 pm

    To the blogger and the posters:

    I want to share the fact that children have human rights. In the absence of any abuse or neglect (the majority of cases), that means rights to see their mother AND father. Frequently. Often. Always.

    Whatever your feelings fro your spouse, please do not disregard your childrens’ rights. Optimally, you will also not criticize or attack their parent, and you will ensure that others do not attack them, because you know that they think of this as an attack on their soul. You are an adult, think about them before you speak or act.

    Please respect their rights and give them your love. /preach

    • Dan on February 4, 2018 at 11:30 pm

      I couldn’t agree more with your post. Children get pushed aside in a unjust family court system far to often. Decisions by judges and pressures from society that ultimately leave children with a very unhealthy and unbalanced post divorce life. Although still hurt and saddened by my high conflict divorce, my children now reap the benefits of a father that was willing to loose everything to be as involved as possible. To all you dads!!! Keep up the good fight for your children. They need you.

      • Sandy on February 4, 2019 at 6:53 pm

        Not to mention having both parents involved can safe guard kids from abusive step parents or parents. It is really important for both parents to know what is going on with their kids. Sadly there are sick people out there looking to exploit kids and single parents esp mothers are likely targets. Every guy who ever came around me and my sons learned really quick my ex was not going anywhere and yeah most didn’t like that but too bad. Having kids with someone is a lifetime commitment and unless they are abusive they should be involved and have the right to protect their young. Sometimes a man can read another man better than a woman can and sometimes just knowing a strong man is going to be around is enough to send the predators away. Bottom line is being a parent is putting the welfare of your children first and your feelings second. You don’t have to stay married but kids don’t divorce their fathers when their mothers do. But I’m politically incorrect so there you have it.

  12. Jeff on October 25, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    “It’s not that he liked her better than you. It’s just that she liked him back.” BINGO!

  13. MommaR on November 4, 2018 at 5:50 pm

    LOL, My ex hasn’t thought of me or our son since he left, pissed him off I changed back to my maiden name. He hasn’t talked to our son in 2 years, he hasn’t seen his kids from his 1st marriage in 20…it’s all about him, but he has crazy ex’s, glad he is gone.

Leave a Comment