Socializing > Relationships/Remarriage

Where to Draw the Line ??? With Exes

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Captains wife:
As a widow dating a divorced man I am having a really "difficult" time with the amount of time NG is (sometimes) in touch with his ex during "our time" - I get if there is an emergency etc. regarding their child but they have fought on the phone in front of me (I put my foot down and said never again) and now they are text fighting while we are on dates, while we are hanging out with my son....and this last time he started it by sending her a link about the flu shot early in the AM which totally set her off and then the barrage of texts started and lasted throughout the day...until I firmly asked him to put his phone away while we were supposed to be on our way to a romantic dinner. Id like to add they cant seem to stand each other but it irks me nonetheless.

I just wouldn't do this, I think its disrespectful - but maybe I'm being unreasonable. If others have opinions I'd love to hear them....

Well, here's the thing. You don't get to draw the line. What I mean is you can suggest where the line is drawn, insist where the line is drawn, or ask where the line is drawn.

If NG won't/can't draw it where you are comfortable, then you have to decide if the relationship is worth the trouble or not.

At the risk of annoying Mrs Dan once again, NG is already under extreme pressure from his former wife. You have to be careful how you handle this - you don't want to inadvertently make him feel like he is battling you too. Nothing good for anyone will come out of that. If you can structure the push back to the ex such that NG feels like he has a partner that has his back and is helping the situation, that would be optimal. I can't tell you what that is though. I wish I could.

It sounds like a mess - I wish you much luck.

Best wishes - Mike

Hmmm ..... well I agree that you don't want to be another battle that he's dealing with, however this irks you and I would draw a line and let him know what you're not willing to put up with.  If you can't have time with him without a text/phone argument going on with his ex at the same time - arrrggh - that for me would be very difficult too.  Maybe a polite conversation about how much it does bother you, and ask him if he can hold off on those arguments for another time?  I also understand the kid thing, crisis situation, etc. but other than that it is being disrespectful.  I've asked my guy to put his phone away at dinner and he was understanding about it and so far it's been better.

Hi CW, your post reminded me of when I started dating DH.  Back then there were no cell phones but his ex would phone and pick a fight with him.  She wanted his attention and it didn't matter what kind of attention it was.  He would be arguing with her on the phone and it was supposed to be our night.  I remember asking him "why are you still arguing with her.  Didn't you divorce to stop the fighting?" It was like a light went on.  I guess it's what they had done for so long it just happened.  He realized this and the arguing just stopped.  He stopped engaging in the battles and giving her the attention she was seeking.  Maybe this isn't the same since it was your BF's text that started the barrage of text fighting that time. What is he getting out of this?
I have to agree with Portside, in my opinion his post nailed it.
Best of luck to you, it's not easy that's for sure.

Captains wife:
I don't 100% agree on the one point made - I DO get to draw the line and have tried to. But he doesn't 100% seem to get it. (Although I can see he has tried to make some adjustments to keep his divorce issues out of my space - there's been improvement along the way). This is one issue when you try and blend a relationship between a widowed parent and a recently divorced parent. I have been trying to be supportive throughout this relationship given he is dealing with a difficult ex and I am very cognizant of the fact that the last thing he needs is another woman bitching at him - HOWEVER, its also not fair if I am expected to continually tiptoe around to appease him since he is dealing with a difficult ex situation. Its not my problem that he married a nightmare person and I should be permitted to be upset when it seeps into our relationship. I love some of the points made here - including the question of why he would start such an argument and why he cant just walk away from the argument (in my presence) AND the point about divorcing to "stop the fighting".

He is a wonderful person and Ive been hoping that things will calm down more on this side + I can get more used to dating someone with another parent in the picture. So time will tell. But I appreciate the ability to vent and get feedback here.....


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