How much should you share with your partner about your interactions with your soon to be ex?
The entire time I have been dating my boyfriend, he has been in a bitter divorce and custody battle. Before anybody scolds me about getting involved in such a complicated situation, let me tell you that there was a major head vs heart battle within me, and ultimately my heart won. I love my boyfriend and for the first time in my life have felt that I've met "the one". So I certainly understood the challenges going into it, but lately I have been gripped with major anxiety and insecurities about his relationship with his soon to be ex.
As info: he and his wife share placement of their 12 year old son, one week on, one week off. She lives with her boyfriend. My boyfriend and I do not live together, but over the past year have been spending nearly every night together - at my house when he doesn't have his son and at his house when he does. I did not start staying at his house with the son until his father and I had been dating for nearly a year. It was important to us to allow his son to come to terms with all the changes in his life in a healthy manner. Over the past year, his son and I have gotten quite close - he now gives me goodnight hugs along with his dad (unsolicited) and he has made multiple comments about our "family". He is a happy, wonderful, well-adjusted kid and I'm honored to have him in my life.
Recently, his music teacher sent an email to parents asking for family photos to include on a slide show for the school musical. My boyfriend submitted photos of us. I did not know about this.
Last weekend, my boyfriend and I were at his son's hockey game. It was the mom's week with the son, but my boyfriend and I like to go to every game he has whether or not he is with us that week. His wife's boyfriend and his parents also attend the games. My boyfriend and I were in the lobby after the game, waiting for his son to come out of the locker room so we could congratulate him on a good game.
Out of nowhere, my boyfriend's wife approaches us and remarks that it was "completely inappropriate" of him to submit a photo and then she proceeds to berate me calling me a whore, skank, etc. "She is not his family. I'm his mom!" Meanwhile I have no idea what she's talking about and I stand there idiotically asking "what photo? what are you talking about?" She threatens me that if I come to any more hockey games, she'll tell "the other wives" who I really am (she blames me for the end of their marriage). I was stunned. After that experience, my boyfriend filled me in about why she was so angry. They had texted about it earlier in the week. Apparently she never submitted her own photo so I'm sure part of the sting was not seeing a representation of herself at the musical. Anyhow, after the dust settled, I am now feeling very angry toward my boyfriend. I feel like it was irresponsible, unfair and disrespectful for him to have kept me in the dark about what was going on. I realize he couldn't have prevented her irrational behavior, but he could have spared me the embarrassment of not knowing what was going on. It showed her (and others within ear shot) that we don't really have a united front and that we don't communicate well. I'm also struggling with why she is lashing out now, two years post separation. She lives with her boyfriend and has for the past year. It makes me insecure and wonder what else my boyfriend might be hiding from me. I got so upset that I told my boyfriend not to call me again, and now we are in the midst of a 3 day cold war. I miss him terribly but I'm afraid. He says he didn't tell me about their interactions because he didn't want it to ruin our time together and also that he didn't know she'd act so inappropriately. But my position is that he should have told me regardless. Am I overreacting? Do I have a reason to be worried?View Thread
Thanks, IC. That's a very sensitive and wonderful response. I do feel for her, to an extent, if she weren't seemingly hell-bent on making everybody's lives miserable. I could write an entire new post on her shenanigans other than this one But the truth is, she lost something good. Hopefully she can channel her energies into building a happy, healthy home with her new bf and her children. If she were able to see the big picture more clearly, she'd embrace the fact that her son is loved doubly now. But you're right, she's human and who knows how I would feel or act in her position. Thank you.View Thread
This might be neither here nor there but related to the original post - what he's describing is not "porn". Bikinis and underwear is not the same as nudity, depictions of sexual acts, etc. It does seem to me that his wife is being a bit overzealous with her control over this particular issue. That said, I don't disagree that he needs to work with his wife to help alleviate her concerns. It just seems to me that her concerns are rooted in low self esteem and are a little over the top. This guy isn't jerking off to videos, he's reading a men's magazine and sure, admires the photos.
BTW, I am a 33 year old female who basically destroyed a serious relationship (we were engaged) in my 20s because of my insecurity. I was constantly checking my fiance's internet history and obsessed over his usage of porn. For me, it was a sign that it wasn't the right relationship (or I had some growing up to do). I am now in a much healthier relationship (although we have our problems too) and I don't worry at all about what he's viewing online. Sure, it'd be nice if I were the only woman he was ever turned on by but I'd prefer to think of it that here's a guy with a healthy sex drive who is attracted to other women, but he's choosing to be with ME.View Thread
Thanks for the replies. I really appreciate them. After thinking about things a bit, I do think I overreacted somewhat. I felt pretty embarrassed to be ambushed like that. I think it was the straw that broke the camel's back - my boyfriend has a history of not telling me things in a timely enough (imo) manner. It's a bit of a personality conflict we have - I like to take care of things immediately whereas he's much more easygoing. Unfortunately, I think his carefree, issue-avoiding personality has created a lot of problems in his life, and now I'm dealing with the consequences. This episode with the photos was a symptom of a larger problem. And of course there was the aspect of jealousy rearing its ugly head. I often feel threatened by their relationship so when this situation arose, it made me feel like she and he have the primary relationship while I'm just an outsider. The way she used the phrase "the other wives" made me feel like she still sees herself as his "wife" (and, thus, by extension me as the "mistress"). I wonder if her boyfriend is bothered by the fact that she's still so emotionally invested in her soon to be dissolved marriage. Again, thanks for the support.View Thread
I'm reminded of a quote by Margaret Mead: "One of the oldest human needs is having someone to wonder where you are when you don't come home at night." Hopefully our partners would do more than "wonder" where we are, but I think the message is pretty clear that we all want our loved ones to be concerned about our safety and general well being.
I had a boyfriend who was wholly committed to "taking care of" me. I loved that side of him... until the red flags popped up that showed some underlying insecurities and control issues he had. One afternoon, a friend came to meet me at work so that we could do some Christmas shopping together. He wanted to take my car to the store. My car wouldn't start, so my friend gave me a jump. A half mile down the road, the battery died. We ended up making a detour to a battery shop where I purchased a new battery. Not a big deal - but then later when I told my boyfriend what had happened, he was very upset that I didn't call him. "I'm your boyfriend, I'm supposed to take care of that stuff for you. That's what I'm here for." "Yes, but J had a set of jumper cables in his truck and we took care of it." Yet that wasn't enough of an explanation; he reiterated that he should have been the one to help me out.
I've lived alone most of my adult life, so I've grown accustomed to doing things for myself. Basic household things like taking out the trash, mowing the lawn, etc. When this boyfriend moved into my house, he took over a lot of those jobs. He wanted to take care of us, and "our family", which was great and very much appreciated. However, if one day I'd come home and take the trash out, or start mowing the lawn, he'd come rushing out and scold me for it, arguing with me to leave the trash (in the middle of the driveway!) so that he could take it out. While I think his intentions were overall good, it felt less like he was taking care of us but rather controlling me with his "kindness". Sounds strange put that way... just one of the many power struggles in our relationship.
That might have been slightly off topic (and rambly!) but I think the takeaway is we need to evaluate when our partners are caring for ("protecting") us because they have our best interest in mind, or if there reasons for doing so are a bit more self-serving.
And while your beau probably DID have your best interest in mind by suggesting warmer clothing, that's just annoying! I probably would have had a cocky remark for him on that one. Then again, I could totally see myself making a similar comment to somebody if I thought their attire was not appropriate for the weather View Thread
Thanks CJH. I have a condition I'm dealing with but I don't think the grim reaper's comin any time soon Just need to be monitored regularly and I'll kick this thing. In the grand scheme of things, it's definitely not a big deal. I just need to take care of myself.
Hey guys, thanks for thinking of me Guard, I gotta laugh at your tactics - of course I'm going to respond after that!!
Things with the director have gotten to a comfortable place. Of course I could elaborate with a soap opera-esque retelling of the last few weeks, but the bottom line is that I am no longer worried about it. Unfortunately, I picked up a different admirer along the way and now my concerns have moved to how to thwart his unwelcome advances! ha ha It's all good though. Throughout this journey I have learned that I need to be more assertive about things - it's better for everybody that way.
Guard, thanks for setting up the Singles board. I might start a thread on there. I've been navigating through the excitement and anxiety of having a new crush and it's been throwing me for a loop. My brother and I have recently reconnected and he's been enjoying dissecting the latest developments with me. And to be clear, the crush is most certainly NOT the director, or anyone associated with bowling
I hope all is well with everybody. I have been so totally swamped at work that I haven't been able to read the board, but I do care about my friends here very much!View Thread