BF is "errand boy" to his ex...driving me crazy!

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-13-2005
BF is "errand boy" to his ex...driving me crazy!
10
Fri, 12-07-2012 - 2:02pm
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I've been with my bf for 6 years now.  He has a complaining, controlling, manipulating, miserable ex who uses anyone she can.  I've gone through a lot with him and his two daughters (13 and 14), their jealousy, their accusations of how they feel like I am trying to take him away from them.  But when he reminds them of everything I've done for them (to try to bond with them), they say in the next breath that I try too hard.  Just a few months ago, his ex told me that want my bf all to myself.  The woman is 43...she acts like she's a teen herself.  But after I she had her say, I understood where the girls are getting it from.  My bf and I decided to seek therapy to find how we can work through these issues.  I have no children myself.  It was very upsetting to hear him tell me how the girls felt about me.  Especially after I felt I had a strong relationship with his older daughter...and this was the one who told him those things.  I was extremely hurt, to say the least, and disappointed.  But we decided to work these things out. 

That was 6 months ago.  Things have been going pretty smooth.  Then the ex starts asking him to watch her 4 year old son (the baby she had with the man she cheated with on my bf, and now married to).  So every so often, when bf has the girls, he takes her son.  Maybe twice a month.  I don't mind that, as he is a cute little boy, we have fun with him, and I think it might even be good for my relationship with the girls.  Until he had a meltdown tantrum when I was taking him and daughter #1 to Friendly's to meet my bf and his daughter #2.  For 30 minutes, the boy was screaming in the back seat that he wanted to go to his Daddy's pizzeria bc they had the "best recipe".  Nightmare night.  But kids will be kids.  BF's ex called bf to apologize, knowing I was the one who had her son....I don't get the apology.  It's ok.  She is who she is.  But now, lately, she's been, I feel, going out of her way to get to me.  My bf and I went on a trip, early flight, when landed at 9 in the morning, he had a message from is ex.  She wanted to tell him that daughter #1 was upset with something I did.  His D just recently got a fb account, and I tagged her in the pictures I had of her (like I did with the older D last year).  Ex wanted to tell him that they don't like their pictures on fb, and asked I delete them.  These were vacations we went on over the past years...almost like family albums.  Yes, I got pissed.  In the ex's fb account, she has tons of pictures of the girls.  Three albums are actually all my pictures.  I'm an amateur photographer and she asked for copies of certain events I took pictures of.  But what really ticked me off was the fact that she waited until we were on our way to Florida for a nice little getaway.  She had two weeks from them time I tagged his D.  I sent D a text apologizing if she didn't like the pictures, and asked her which ones she wanted me to remove.  Didn't get any response, and haven't heard anything about it since (three weeks ago).  Now when bf has the girls, their mother calls or texts them to ask/tell their father to pick up trivial stuff for her (packing tape, leash for their dog...), so on our way to drop them off, we have to make stops for her.  Ex will also call early in the morning, 7:30, 8, for stupid favors; wanting him to drop off a coupon at Macy's bc she's doing some Christmas shopping.  I don't think I would mind him doing favors for her if she was a decent person.  But it aggravates the sh!t out of me.  He can't say no to her.  She has a car, she has a husband, yet she feels the need to use her daughters' father as her errand boy.  I know it's a control thing.  I asked bf why he can't say no to her.  I told him how it makes me feel.  His response:  "it aggravates you because you let it aggravate you."  I know I my feelings are valid.  And if I feel this way, shouldn't he WANT to acknowledge it, respect it, and maybe even work on it together?  I've been feeling every overwhelmed by this, and have been absorbing way too much.  Ugh.  Am I off base here?  Am I being ridiculous???

Yell 

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Avatar for Kendahke1
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-09-2012

Frankly, you should pass on taking pictures. Really. Let their mother take their pictures.

Your boyfriend has no loyalty towards you--he's made that abundantly clear now.  He is more interested and invested in taking the path of least resistance and he doesn't care who (you) gets washed away in his ex's deluge just as long as it's not him.  Well, if he's going to be like that, then he needs to be alone and not involve ANY woman in his life, except for his ex and his children.

He is not being fair to you and you deserve to be treated far better than he's treating you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-13-2005
Thank you for the very wise advice. After a few issues with his ex, we are no longer facebook friends. But his girls....definitely a good idea limiting what they say on my page. Not that they look, I wouldn't put it past his ex goes onto my page through their accounts. BF won't "demand" anything....especially from her. If she calls him with a complaint about me, he calls me immediately. I don't think he ever stuck up for me. We've been having issues for a long time. It has either been getting better, or I have just become numb to it. I've been told that I am "allowed" to take pictures of the girls at their winter concert. I definitely will, and I am VERY curious to see who would like the pictures I take. Yes, I think I am becoming very bitter about everything that has transpired. I just don't feel loyalty from him. Perhaps everything is crystallizing.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-13-2005

My therapist suggested I ask him why he can't say no, which I did the other day.  It did bring up an arguement because he doesn't see WHY it should bother me!  From what I got out of the arguement is that he abides by her requests because (and this killed me) she saves him a lot of money.  Their divorce agreement states that he is responsible for their health insurance.  For what ever reason, his ex put the girls on their family plan.  I really don't think I can deal with this much longer.  Yes, I love him.  But I don't want to be in a relationship where my partner is controlled by his manipulative ex.  It only wears the relationship down.  And it makes me feel that I am not THAT important to him.Frown

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008
Sounds like she's got him running around like a trained seal. I can see him doing favors for the kids but she's got a new husband now who should be helping her with that stuff. What is he afraid of if he's says no to her?
Avatar for Kendahke1
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-09-2012

You're neither off base nor ridiculous... you are, however, unrealistic about your boyfriend.

This isn't going to stop until he puts a stop to it.  Letting it aggravate you has a whole lot to do with you remaining in the relationship with him. If your'e going to stay with him, you're going to have to put up with all of this because he's already shown you for many years now that he is not inclined to reign any of them in.

For whatever reason he's got--and it sounds more like he doesn't want to lose the 'friendship' of his daughters rather than acting like their parent and his guilt over divorcing--even though she is the one who cheated and brought the demise of the marriage about--is probably the reason why he rolls over for them and lets them interrupt his life and your plans together.

All of this could be put to rest if he would demand space and respect from his now married ex wife, but he's not going to do that because she will in turn use the daughters as weapons against him. It's really sad that she is that juvenile and has no qualms about destroying her chidlren like that for her own selfish ends, but what's sadder is that he's complicit in allowing her to destroy those children because he wont' stand up and act the man.

My advice for you is that if you insist upon remaining with this man, then you're going to have to find a way to tolerate the intrusion into your life by his ex wife and the manipulation of his children against you and be quiet and content in the relationship because nothing is going to change until he makes a change. And it's clear he's reluctant to even see that you're suffering as a result to his not stepping up to the plate.

As far as facebook is concerned, you need to go into the custom settings under the privacy settings next to your name at the top and set his daughters and his wife's accounts to not being able to see what you post to stop them from being able to see what you have on your wall.  That'll stop all the nonsense from them.

And I'd make her pay for copies of pictures in the future, but that's me... I"m not trying to be her friend, LOL.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

I think you should also check out the Making a Second Marriage Work board--even though you're not married, a lot of people there have or had similar issues w/ their DH not wanting to rock the boat w/ the ex--a lot of times it's either guilt (doesn't sound like that here since she cheated on him), fear that the ex will cut off visitation (which is ridiculous since that is his right as a father)--who knows what else?  I totally agree w/ you that your happiness should come before his ex's.  He's basically made himself a doormat to her so why should she stop?  I have a good relationship w/ my ex but I wouldn't ask him to run errands for me on a regular basis.  And babysitting her kid w/ someone else--esp. the kid with the man who she cheated with?  Who does that?  And who would say yes to it? I def. think you need to bring it up in therapy--hopefully the therapist will have something to say about why you're aggravated.  But in the end, if he doesn't change or doesn't want to change, then you'll have to decide if you could put up with this.  If he wants to be errand boy & you're not going with him to do the errands, then it doesn't really affect you.  If you don't want to have to babysit for someone else's child and you're living with him (I assume you are) then you can say no, you're not going to get sucked in to that either.

P.S.  I think it's gross that the stepfather moons girls that aren't his (even if they were his it would be odd).  I'd be very watchful about his actions--and yes, most guys who heard that about their DDs would be pretty upset and at least investigating and certainly talking to the mom & the SF about not doing that any more--he must really be very non-confrontational.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-23-2011
i agree with xxs that this is a boundary issue. some people (man and woman) just can not say no to others. the girls are teenagers- so they are just learning about boundaries now. they will try to see how much they can get away with. since their mother is manipulative and gets away with it, the kids will do the same. that might be why your relationship with them is changing. Why aren’t you and your boyfriend getting kids of your own? –if I may ask. :)
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-03-2009

You've signed up for all this six years ago.  All the things that are happening are beyond your control. The two options you have are either to accept and ignore the ex and the kids, focus on bf, and keep the relationship with the rest of his family (the ex's) to a minimum. Or get a new guy who doesn't have baggage.

You are trying to create a family of your own from damaged leftovers of your bf.  There is a reason why he left but couldn't get far.  The same reason then will keep you in the mud as long as you choose to stay in it.

Like I said, stay with him and keep the rest of the family at an arm's length (or more), or start fresh and make a family of your own.

=

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-13-2005

Thank you for your quick response!  Smile   But unfortunately, I don't think he sees it as a problem at all.  We argued about it last night.  She is saving him money by having the girls on her health insurance, rather than on his which is what their divorce aggreement stated.  He does not like confrontation, especially with her.  A good example...a few weeks back, the girls were laughing, telling us how their stepfather comes into their room at night and moons them.  This struck me.  I said..."so you see his underwear?"  No....they pulls his underwear down too!  And this is done on a regular basis.  If it was something that happened at my bf's house, his ex would send teh cops!  Instead, my bf says he will talk to her when he finds an appropriate time.  This was a month ago, and he hasn't brought it up with his ex. 

I am really feeling that my feelings don't rate when it comes to his ex.  Keeping his ex happy is more important than how I feel in our relationship.  It's a horrible feeling.  We are supposed to see our councelor next week together.  But I am afraid he won't be open to setting boundaries on his relationship with his ex.  She might get mad if he says "no".

Frown

Avatar for xxxs
Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010

  This is a boundary issue.  It will be difficult as the girls have learned to manupulate as their mother does.  Counseling is the recommended step.  IMO Helping your husband set boundaries will be necessary. 

dragowoman