HIS EX..SHOULD I WORRY?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-18-2004
HIS EX..SHOULD I WORRY?
13
Tue, 05-18-2004 - 10:45am
I've been with my fiance almost 4 years now. His ex-wife continutes to be a sore spot between us. They have 3 kids together, and I do realize that that will always be, and they do need to communicate because of that. But what i have a hard time with is when she calls and asks him to come over and do things for her, like fix something on the house, or fix the lawn mower, things like that. 2 of the kids, both boys, twins who are almost 17 are there, and to me it seems that some of those things she could get them to do. He usually goes over there to help her out, and for him it's some time with the kids. The problem for me comes when he leaves here at 8 in the morning and it's 10 or 11 at night when he gets home!! What ends up happening there is some of her relatives, friends from her work, come over, and it turns out to be a nice big party. I'm left home, wondering what time he will be home, no phone call from him, saying he will be late. There have been times that I have found out that his help day has turned into these parties, and he says he has to lie about it to me so I don't get upset, so i'm trying hard not to get upset with him, so he won't feel he has to lie. He says him and his ex get along better now than when they were married, and they are good friends. Sometimes, after he's had a few beers, he'll get on the phone with her and just talk, and laugh for maybe an hour, sometimes it has been longer, knowing how upset I am with all of this. I think some of what he says to her is just to upset me, he's told me that. I don't think I have any real reason to worry about him going back to her after a few years now, but is it necessary for them to be so "chummy"? Or am I just being insecure.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 05-18-2004 - 2:10pm

No, you are not being insecure, and he is being quite insensitive to your feelings.

PAMELA

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 05-18-2004 - 2:14pm

Oh I forgot.

PAMELA

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-18-2004
Tue, 05-18-2004 - 5:07pm
thank you for your advice. i did not mention it but yes i was married as well, for 20 years. my marriage was abusive, and it took me many years to be able to get out of it.

as for his ex, yes she is a very controlling person, and that is one of the main things that broke their marriage up. sometimes i think she still controls him at times, but i think he may be allowing it perhaps from maybe some guilt about their divorce, although it's what he wanted, he and i have talked a lot about it, and i think like anyone who has gone thru this, wishes things had worked out as they are supposed to..you know..the white picket fence, the kids, growing old together..even me, even with an abusive marriage, hated to see things turn out as they did in my own situation, and i have no contact with my ex. so i think in some ways he feels obligated to her, and i think that comes from the kids they have together. he feels he needs to have a good relationship with her for the sake of the kids..and i agree that they do at least need to be civil to each other, but to the point of socializing i'm just not sure. he feels that i want him to hate the woman, which i guess would make things easier, more reassuring for me as for his feelings about her, but i honestly dont want that for him. we have a wonderful loving and close relationship, and we both knew going in what we did NOT want and what we DO want this time, and we are working hard at doing that, and he seems to be sensitive to my feelings about the situation for the most part, and has these wonderful moments when he pours his heart out to me about how he feels, including how much he does NOT miss what he had with his ex..so sometimes i wonder if maybe its just me being insecure..again.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2003
Tue, 05-18-2004 - 5:32pm

I totally agree with everything that Pam said, including getting couples' counseling together.

Maggie  

"Success is a journey, not a destination"

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 05-19-2004 - 10:08am

You story is more similar to my own now.

PAMELA

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-12-2003
Thu, 05-20-2004 - 8:46am
hi Pam...i appreciated reading yours and the others advise in this thread...i too am dealing with falling in love with a divorced dad and all that it entails...we are both in our 40's, dating exclusively for 1 1/2 years, just moving in together...he has young teens...i am widowed with young adult children and my home is becoming an "empty nest"...so the thing is i have no X-spouse for my DF to deal with being as i am widowed...whereas he has a very dependant X-wife...she refuses to work and so he fully supports her and the children financially (and this includes every little thing such as even paying her speeding tickets - she got 3 in one month! and she doesn't even take the incentive to write the check, he was notified by DMV that there were outstanding tickets left neglected by her and by than there were heavy fines added to the tickets; or this winter she let the oil burner run dry and than she called in a rage demanding he leave work and fix her heater)...she moved her b/f in at the new year and yet she still calls upon my DF to run to the "rescue" (for example, she called one nite when her car had a dead battery while out to dinner with the kids and her b/f, it just seemed odd to me that a woman would call upon another man (her X no less) to aid her simple need for a jump start of her car battery when she had her new man in tow!...or last summer before she met her b/f she called my DF in the middle of the nite to take her to the emergency room as she was sick...i assumed a divorcee would find a support system so as not to call upon her X during such crisis)...i understand that he is concerned for his childrens, as in the nite he ran to fix her car he said to me "these are my kids, i can't leave them stranded in a parking lot!"...i agree with him...and yet i see that she does manipulate him and he does seem to enable her and he uses the reasoning that he is trying to maintain peace with her for the benefit of the children (she has had many, many temper tantrums with him regarding her demands (for instance, last month she had a fit demanding all of his income tax return so she could re-side the house) and i have witnessed her ranting in front of their kids which i know my DF trys hard to avoid)...it seems that he walks on eggs to try to appease her and not have her fly off the handle and threaten he won't see the kids, threaten she's gonna run away with the kids and he'll never find them, or call him names in front of the kids (such as telling the kids he's a dead-beat dad who doesn't love them, etc.)

and so, here we are now at a point where he hasn't slept at his apartment in months and stays with me....we get along wonderfully and have a very mature relationship.....i feel great about him...and yet i can't help but wonder....will this cause us discord down the line?...will i eventually get annoyed to watch most all of his money fly out the window at her careless whim?... will i eventually grow weary of having him rush to her rescue?...this seems to be our only bone of contention, his extremely dependant X....as i said, she refuses to get a job and despite that he makes a great income most of his money goes to supporting her in the manner she was accostomed to....he also drops off take-out food a few nites a week when the kids call him that they are hungry and theres no food in the house...this despite that he pays every bill AND gives her more than his court-ordered support...he often even goes to the grocery store and fills her pantry in his hopes there'll be food for the kids...he went along with her insistance the kids go to an expensive private school....last weekend when he went to pick up his kids to take them to little league he wound up mowing the lawn as it was soo overgrown he knew his kids were embarrassed by it...meanwhile she has a live-in boyfriend who he said came to the door in his robe at 2 in the afternoon while he sweated cutting the lawn!...i worry now, does her b/f assume he can run my DF ragged for him too??...one day after dropping off his kids he told me he ran to the grocery store for her and her list included foods he assumed her b/f enjoys...i couldn't help but feel "is my DF being p***y whipped by them both now?!?!"...i understand he feels he has his back against the wall, he worries his children will suffer if he balks, he feels somewhat hopeless for any positive change in the immediage future and talks of his feeling he will endure years of this til the kids are grown....he truly feel he has no other choice and i can see his point...so far it has not bothered me simply because it has been none of my business...but now that we are getting serious i am concerned it will begin to annoy me and i fear we will start to bicker about this....ps he does contribute generously to my home finances and he does willingly help with chores at my home, but i sometimes feel sorry for him, as if he has two homes to tend to and two women to keep pleased....and i also feel compassionate towards her and understand her side too and i do not want to become annoyed with her and cause more of a rift....ps, he doesn't spend any time alone with her and i have no concern that they harbor any feelings for each other...i am secure with his feelings for me and i trust he has my best interest at heart too.

i sure wish i had some feedback as to am i foolish to get involved with him or is this part of falling in love mid-life when its likely we will have to deal with X's?

thanks for any insight/input/advice...am i missing a red flag here??...honey

ps, sorry this is soo long, i guess i need to vent about this and am very much needing some outside opinions!...thanks to anyone who cares to reply to me.

Edited 5/20/2004 8:53 am ET ET by honeynvinegar2003


Edited 5/20/2004 9:01 am ET ET by honeynvinegar2003

    

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 05-20-2004 - 11:39am

HoneynV it sounds like there are red flags everywhere.

PAMELA

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-12-2003
Thu, 05-20-2004 - 1:08pm
thanks for your thoughtful and thought provoking reply Pam...ugh! LOL....you certainly made some valid points...being as i lost my husband suddenly when he was only 42 i was forced into a very independant life and obviously i had no choice but to stand on my own two feet and not lean on a man...it sure makes sense your stance that to accept "above and beyond the legal agreement" can leave an x-wife "beholden" to her former husband... and i wouldn't want to ever feel that way to anyone either...its baffling to me that my DF's X desired the divorce and somehow figured she could be an unemployed divorcee...i don't know of one other single mom of teens who does not have to work...when they were back in court a few months ago re: support the judge actually lowered DF's payment but he told the judge "i can't take that reduction, the kids will be homeless and starve if i don't pay the mortgage, etc" and so he continues to pay every household and all of her personal bills and on top of that he provides her with $300 - $500 spending cash a week (supposedly for groceries and gas)...

as for him seeking custody of his kids, his reasoning is that he works long hours (leaving at dawn, returning after dark) and he feels its most conveninet for the children to live with her as shes a stay-at-home mom....last year he was tempted to file for custody and than said he'd be better off waiting til the end of summer because he didn't know how he'd handle child care while they were off school...besides which the children want to live with her.

i have been reluctant to add my $.02 for fear i will be intruding and so i don't often communicate to him how odd i feel his arrangement is...it seems he and her are indeed in a "habit".

oh my...so you do see red flags eh?...that sucks LOL...i often wonder how in the world did i get involved with the weirdest divorced guy on the planet???

any suggestions what i can do Pam??

thanks! honey

    

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 05-20-2004 - 1:43pm
To Honey and Harley - ACCKKKKK - How can you stand it???
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-12-2003
Thu, 05-20-2004 - 2:11pm
hi luv...and thanks for your input....my DF is not friendly with his X, they don't socialize or "chat"...but he does cross a line that is disturbing to me and that is this zany "habit" he and his X have where they function on such a messy level...i hear ya! i can't imagine calling for the aid of an X in ANY emergency (besides child related)...i found it very odd that my DF's X called him to jump start her battery while out to dinner with her new man!...i had to wonder what did her b/f feel having her X come running to the rescue?

the reason i have been able to "stand it" is because i have pretty much stayed out of "his business" until now...we are getting more serious and i suddenly realize i need to give his "arrangement" with his X some deeper thought...so far it has not disturbed me in the least, i suppose because i see no sign they have any connection beyond this odd

"habitual co-dependancy" that Pam mentioned...it didn't phase me in the least when he'd mention all last year such things as mowing her lawn or dropping off her car to get repairs or filling her refrigerator...simply because i enjoyed our romance as it was at that point and i was very hesitant myself to get too emeshed in each others privacy... being a widow dealing with grieving children i was very protective of the privacy in my own family as well, and so i afforded him that same privacy i guess...it is only recently that i've realized this is surley an issue that might distress me and us as a couple.

i have always felt i was a very intuitive woman and yet i don't get that same feeling you do that "something doesn't smell right"....i'd very much appreciate if you'd elaborate on that feeling you got from my post luv...what do you think is going on?...i wonder if, despite my being mid-40's, am i naive? am i missing some big, obvious clue??...i'm very curious to hear others input!

thanks!!

honey

    

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