Ex husband has doubts about thought work


My ex husband and I went through a very painful divorce that I initiated in 2018. I still love and care for him, but he did not want to live with me or have kids after agreeing to both before getting married. He gave no indication to me that he didn’t really want to do either before getting married and completely changed afterwards even though he said that he loved me.

Last November, he came for a visit to the United States (he lives overseas) and we talked about how I had started doing thought work. He is interested in more airy fairy forms of self development that don’t resonate for me, but wanted to learn more about thought work. When we listened to a few podcasts of Brooke’s and another teacher, he’d fall asleep in the middle of them. I was hopeful that if he took to thought work, we could possibly work on some of the issues that caused the divorce and have a chance at reconciliation.

Since he didn’t seem open to that, or to couples counseling during the marriage, I didn’t push it on him. Recently he reached back out to ask for a brief synopsis of thought work again, so I sent him a long email explaining it, including examples of models. Today he texted me to tell me that he thinks the fundamental premise of thought work is flawed, that emotions cause thoughts and that it basically doesn’t work.

Keep in mind that he’s never really attempted it. In fact, I’ve heard the exact sentiment from a lot of men when I describe thought work to them and I don’t really understand the resistance to it. Anyway, I haven’t responded to his opinion about thought work because I don’t think I need to. As a husband, he failed to meet any and all of my expectations – he didn’t work, he didn’t build a family with me, he resisted anything I tried to put into place for us, but he continues to remain in touch with me even though I told him that I don’t want an involved emotional connection with him anymore.

Sometimes I respond to his communication and sometimes I don’t. It depends on my mood and whether I think I think it’s something that would make me happy in the moment. I’m trying to understand his point of view as he comes from an entirely feeling place and doesn’t believe that there are any thoughts preceding his feelings even though I try to tell him there are thoughts preceding his feelings and that he’s just not aware of them. He rejects this notion.

At this point, I’m trying to unravel how I maintain sporadic communication with him even though I’m clear on the fact that we’re not getting back together unless he changes. I know that’s my manual, but he needs to adhere to it if there is going to be a romantic versus a friends connection, and I’m happy with my reasons for thinking that way so I’m not trying to change it. I feel guilty for not wanting to be his friend.

I feel like I’ve failed in understanding him or accepting him as he is. For me, it’s just easier to cut ties and move on, but then I worry that I’m not feelings my feelings about our failed marriage and that I’m just pushing unpleasant thoughts away by choosing to viciously ignore him.

How can I get clear on what the feelings are because they are so ambivalent? Is ambivalent a feeling I can run through a model, or is it too ambiguous?