Ex-wife and Son problem

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-02-2003
Ex-wife and Son problem
9
Fri, 08-15-2003 - 12:32pm
Hi, I'm new to this board - I was hoping someone could shed some light on my subject.

Im have been dating a man twice my age for 2 and a half years. He was married for 17 years (divorced for 4 or 5 years)and he has a son almost my age and a teenage daughter. His daughter and I get along, but his son treats me like dirt about 98% of the time. I know it is fueled by his mom's(the ex-wifes) jealousy and regret she feels for destroying her marriage. I have been nothing but respectful to her and the son. My bf says that I shouldnt put up with them treating me that way, but I feel like it would make it worse by standing up for myself. Understand that I am not one to take crap from anyone, but I feel like if I jeporadize what little progress I have made, that it will strain mine and my bf relationship since he worships his children. I wish I could just go off on the mom and the son, but what good would that do? Any insight would be appreciated.
Avatar for lucy4980
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 08-15-2003 - 1:27pm
Your boyfriend should be a man and deal with his ex-wife and his son. That is his job. Instead of telling you not to put up with their treatment of you, he should be telling them that he wont put up with it.
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-02-2003
Fri, 08-15-2003 - 3:30pm
I have told him to, but he says that since his son and I are both adults that we can handle the situation without his interfering. He isnt going to do jack b/c he would have already handled it by now. Plus, theres nothing he can say or do to persuade them to treat me differently. Thanks for the insight.
Avatar for lucy4980
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 08-15-2003 - 3:58pm
What a weenie! I'm sorry - this is your boyfriend we are talking about, obviously someone you care about, but I cannot help it. Anyone from his side of the family is his responsibility and anyone from your side is your responsibility. If this man has an ounce of long term potential, he would be protecting you from bad treatment by anyone and everyone within his sphere of influence. Maybe his lack of a spine has something to do with why his ex-wife didn't want to be married to him anymore. I don't know any details, but it seems logical to me.
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-02-2003
Fri, 08-15-2003 - 5:28pm
When it comes to his children, he is a weenie - he acts like they are incapable of doing wrong. When it comes to his ex-wife and everyone else, he treats them like anyone else or he tolerates them. He treats me wonderfully, but I feel like that it isnt fair for him to be so indifferent about it. Should I confront him or his son?
Avatar for lucy4980
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 08-15-2003 - 6:42pm
I'd definitely take it up with him since he is your partner and the reason you are in proximity to the other folks anyway. It's his job. At the same time, if the son or ex-wife says something nasty or whatever, I'd call them on it - tell them that you don't appreciate being treated like that or being spoken to like that.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2003
Fri, 08-15-2003 - 9:03pm
I agree with the other posters who say its your boyfriend's job to deal with HIs son and ex. Surely, he can speak to them and tell them that they don't have to be your best friend - they don't even have to be your friend at all, but they should at least treat you in a polite fashion. I don't think its appropriate to be rude to anybody more or less.

If he absolutely refuses, then perhaps if you can't speak to them, you could send her a little note that says just that - we don't have to be friends but we should be polite to one another.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-02-2003
Sat, 08-16-2003 - 12:01pm
Thanks for your insight. I talked to my bf last night and he said that he has said something to his son about the way he treats me a while back - he said that his son doesnt think he's treating disrespectfully - what a crock! He is treating me like that b/c his momma doesnt like me and he cant understand why we dont try to kill each other when ever she comes over to the house and vice versa. All I know is that as long as the ex-wife has something against me, so will he. Boys are very defensive of their mommas, and its like hes waiting for me to take a shot at her, when really I have no need or desire to.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sat, 08-16-2003 - 3:13pm
Huge red flags flying here!!! Does anyone else see them? First off, he has been divorced for four or five years, his children are adults, and his X is still hanging around? Can you say "I am the concubine?" The biggest red flag of all is that he lets anyone, especially his X, treat you with disrespect. Someone else said it already, that he does not have any long term potential because of just this one thing. This is part of the concubine thing. Some men and their families really have a problem with letting go of the first relationship and then treating any subsequent relationships as being as relevent as the first. They have spent so many years making this other person the center of their lives and it turned out badly. This first bad experience then affects every subsequent relationship. Part of me can't blame them, but part of being a healthy person is being able to learn from your mistakes and moving on. Sometimes these men also have a Madonna problem. As the mother of their children, the first wife is untouchable and holy despite all evidence to the contrary. Even if this is not true, these men have been well trained not to upset the mamma. As the second wife, I have to deal with this where my DH's grandma is concerned. If I were to give her a grandchild, things might be different, but as it is, I am irrelevent to her. Fortunatly, we live so far away that I see her maybe every 2 or 3 years, and even though she is 84, I call her on it abd so does DH.

In his life, you should be the alpha female. This means that if you have problem with something or someone, he sits up and takes notice. If the X is a witch to you, then she should no longer be welcome in his house unless she can treat you with respect. The son treats you with disrespect, he is dealt with immediatly. If he can't or won't do this, you should run as far from him as fast as you can. This is basic to any decent relationship. I am a Step-mom and I will tell you that it is never easy blending a family, and it seems to be more difficult for familys with adult children. What you are experiencing here is the tip of the iceberg. Think about what will happen when/if you have children, or when his children have children. How do you think his current complacency will affect your life?

On the other hand, he is right about you being responsible for allowing these people to treat you badly. It is up to you to teach them how to treat you, and you have taught them that treating you like crap is okay. Even so, if you don't have your BF backing you up, nothing will change.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-02-2003
Sat, 08-16-2003 - 4:51pm
His X hangs around to get a check from him for child support b/c she has custody of thier teenage daughter. His son lives with us except during school (college) and he comes home on the weekends and summer. So the X will always be around, whether I like it or not. She and I havent confronted in the 2 years, but she has said terrible things about me in front of the children and threatened to "beat my ass" and cornwad things like that, but she has never done it because she knows she has no room or reason. Her influence over him has caused static between me and the son, and now that me and the X are somewhat decent, he cannot comprehend why we all of a sudden get along. And that Madonna syndrome thing is right on target! Gah!!!!!