Socializing > Relationships/Remarriage

Where to Draw the Line ??? With Exes

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--- Quote from: Captains wife on January 22, 2018, 03:18:24 PM ---now they are text fighting while we are on dates, while we are hanging out with my son....

until I firmly asked him to put his phone away while we were supposed to be on our way to a romantic dinner.
--- End quote ---

The nonsense I dealt with because of NG and his son's mom was so bad in the beginning that I now (years later) have a Pavlovian gut reaction (literally) every time I even hear her name, every time she calls or texts, every time she's mentioned.  And that's the problem with this, and why you DO get to draw a line - it infects your relationship, your life, your emotional landscape.  It adds so much stress and hostility and negative emotions.  Not everything needs to be fully aired, and certainly not while on a date with you.  For us, it became clear really quickly that the main goal was to limit interaction, limit depth of conversation, limit responsiveness, to the point where he only engages if it involves major parenting decisions or emergency situations.  I'd say he probably responds to only about 5% of her text messages.  Anything beyond that is just asking for trouble, in our situation.  (And keep in mind that our situation is a bit extreme - his son's mom is really really awful and has done terrible, completely abnormal things.  Her craziness also isn't solely directly at him - it's part of her interactions with most people.  She's just a very unhealthy, malicious individual who thrives off of hurting and causing problems for people.  I didn't believe people like this existed, but then I met her.)  I think you need to be really clear and maybe even repetitive if you've said something and he doesn't seem to get it.  Keep it simple: I don't want this kind of ugliness in my life, in our relationship, in my kid's life.  It needs to be limited and kept at bay and not dealt with during quality/together time unless absolutely necessary.  It's a little concerning that he keeps engaging in the hostility so much, that he doesn't seem to recognize how toxic and pointless it can be - you'd hope he'd mature past being so drawn in to the disputing.  (As for worrying about seeming like her by demanding normalcy and peace in your life, that happened in my relationship.  He told me I was being like her once.  I was infuriated.  I had never been so insulted.  Over time, I stopped holding the grudge (he apologized), and over time, he realized that while I may have been similar in that I was someone who was addressing a problem with him (oh no!), my goal was peace and goodness, while hers was malice and toxicity.  You need to do what you need to do to create a life that you want, and allowing this to go on doesn't seem like something you can (or should have to) tolerate.)  IMHO

Since you've noted an appreciation for feedback I'm going to give you some more...

--- Quote from: Captains wife on January 23, 2018, 08:24:45 AM ---Its not my problem that he married a nightmare person...
--- End quote ---

I disagree completely. If you're in a relationship with him it IS now your problem. It doesn't mean you caused it or you're to blame, but thinking it's just his problem is not realistic.

--- Quote from: Captains wife on January 23, 2018, 08:24:45 AM ---and I should be permitted to be upset when it seeps into our relationship
--- End quote ---

You are 100% correct about this.

As for who actually draws the line, that's just semantics. Portside says you can't do it, and I see his logic, because you aren't the one with the ability to sever communications with his ex. On the other hand, you DO have the power to draw a line, as in "um, if you don't curb these exchanges with your ex that make me very uncomfortable, things aren't going to work out between the two of us and we should probably just say our goodbyes". An ultimatum, if you will. And if that's how strongly you feel about it, by all means go that route. I'm not sure I could put up with that level of engagement, but of course your mileage may vary.

CW you are so right about this "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."  If he's not curbing his interaction with her you have to wonder what he's getting from it.  Not responding sends a loud signal to her too.  If he chooses to continue doing this you have choices to make too.
Hugs and peace to you.

Very good points made here and to consider.

CW, I think you have read a bit of my dilemna of dating a divorced man with young kids and a controlling ex he is battling with for custody.  NG doesn't fight with her when I am around. He is so logical, it is precise, emailed generally as he saves it all for documentation. 

But, I still had issues with the time and growing a relationship if I am always the consolation prize.  I had a deep conversation with him NY Day.  And I did tell him I would let him go if it created too much turmoil for all of us. I told him I was not going to beg him to spend time with me but we had to have face to face time, too.  I was prepared to say good bye, and I will if need be.  Life is too short to have him thinking I am a nag for him and his time.  If I have to "beg" for time, we are " not there."

NG has stepped up, and we are spending time when we can, and it is more.  But I also am strong enough to let him go if need be.  Not a manipulation on my part but a truth. 

Good luck with deciding how best to handle it for you.  I have gained some insight and strength from the readings shared here.

That's rude in my opinion unless it's an emergency. Etc.

But he has to be the one to shut it down. Sometimes yes it's necessary..especially with kids involved...

But outside of that..he owes her nothing. They are divorced. They both financially went through the nightmare of divorcing. Only to argue via text? In your presence??No no no.

But make him think it's his idea to shut it down...


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