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? from a fbs friend of mine...

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AnnieOakley posted 4/18/2013 12:28 PM

I am asking this for a friend whom is a FBS (5+ years ago, separated 2 years, divorced 1 year) and is 6 months into an exclusive dating relationship. They are both in their mid 40’s. Both are very open to the possibility of this being ‘it’. But are taking it slow. She has no children; her SO has a 13 yo from a relationship, never married. Child was actually conceived after he had broken off the relationship and there was one last night of drunk, I’m lonely, sex on New Year’s Eve.

The SO and his ex have done very well co-parenting and are on friendly terms. He currently lives about 1.5 hours away from the son. Both parents are pretty flexible with their schedules, etc. If one has plans, 13 yo has games, etc. they try to accommodate each other as well as the child’s obligations.

The part that my friend is having a very difficult time with is that there are times because of the schedule that her SO will spend ‘his’ weekend at the ex’s place. He and his son do their own thing, hang out, exercise, etc. but yet the ex is of course around to varying degrees or another. The ex has never married and has never to her SO’s knowledge had another serious relationship.

My GF and SO talk or text a few times during those weekends, but she is of course trying to be respectful of the time with his son. They have decided at this point their relationship is still too new to include the son. GF is perfectly fine with this. In fact SO has mentioned doing a casual volunteer event with son the end of the month and she is putting the brakes to it.

She honestly does not think he is cheating on her, but emotionally struggling with him alone in a house with a woman from his past. She says that her need to feel ‘first’ over his ex is probably due to multiple A’s from her ex WS. Which in my jaded opinion-I would struggle as well. They have had several conversations about it. It is an open subject, but with no real resolution at this point. The SO feels that once she meets the ex and sees the interaction-she will understand that he feels only for her as a ‘sister’ type, but who just happens to be the mother of his son.

Thoughts, opinions? Has anyone else had or know of co-parents that have that kind of arrangement? I feel for her, as it is causing a great deal of pain, but just don’t know what would be considered ‘normal’?

I told her I would put it out there to a group of people MUCH wiser than myself!

million pieces posted 4/18/2013 14:33 PM

I'll take a stab. My SO (who was also a FBS) has a very good parenting relationship w his ex. They too have one son who is 13. They end up seeing each other a fair amount, pretty much every day. She leaves for work very early, he goes over to her house and gets their son ready for school every day that he isn't with him. In addition, they go to almost all events and end up sitting w each other most of the time. Like your friend, I don't think there was, is or will be anything between them again, but it is just something different. Especially since my ex and I still really only communicate via email and would NEVER sit next to each other. My SO has gone out of his way in the last 2.5 yrs (WOW!) to check in with me and make sure I'm ok with things. We've had some bumps (she likes to be the center of attention and really is a manipulative bitch) but nothing on his part.

It is so hard as a parent, you advised to keep things friendly and you want to because it makes thing soooo much easier but then boundaries are blurred. My SO is NOT flirty w her and really the only time I've seen him touch her was at his dad's death/funeral. So since his mom's funeral is this weekend I've been preparing for this mentally.

So does yr friend's SO stay at her house on those weekends? I wouldn't even want a sisterly relationship, more formal than that.

If it is totally innocent, it will get better when she sees it and becomes more involved in the family. I know it also really helped when SO's whole ENTIRE family tells me how happy they are with me and are pretty cold towards his ex (NEVER in front of their son).

More later, have dance, soccer and LAX to deliver kids to.

AnnieOakley posted 4/19/2013 13:39 PM

Thanks MP for your response.

My friend was relieved that there are other situations out there that are similiar to hers. Her response was along the lines of "oh yikes, almost everyday, ugh"!

Everyone knows that communication is the key to this and I basically said the same thing about once she actually sees the interactions between them herself.

This A stuff is so far reaching and we've both said it has done a job on our psych. At times it rears it's ugly head seemingly out of no where and I personally need to ask myself if I am over reacting for no reason. Same for her. Which is why I posted it here!

Thanks again.

Amazonia posted 4/19/2013 13:44 PM

She says that her need to feel ‘first’ over his ex is probably due to multiple A’s from her ex WS.

I disagree with this. IMHO, a current SO should come before an ex, even if that ex is the mother of one's child. SO might not come before the kid, but seriously? Needs to be waaaaay before the ex. That's not baggage from her past, that's just common sense.

AnnieOakley posted 4/19/2013 21:16 PM

Thx Ama-I appreciate your response.

I just got this text from GF. I'm triggering all over the place and trying to come from a rational thought process, but don't even know where to start.

I don't think he is cheating either. But I'm struggling with what would make her feel safe/secure other then, flippin STOP seeing the ex! Which is not rational or reality.

Just got off the phone w/ SO, and it turns out that 13 yo now has practice tonite until 8 or 830. Ex told him earlier this week, no plans. “Come get him Friday after school and the entire weekend is yours”. Ex’s bday is tomorrow. Which he had mentioned on Wed that he would need to take son shopping. Now since son won’t be done until 8 or later, I asked him…so does that mean you are planning to take ex out for dinner and then stay overnight at her place bcuz it will be too late to drive 1.5+ hours to your place? Said he does not know if ex will have eaten by then and yes that is all a possibility. They have ‘always’ taken one another out for their bday’s.

I really don’t believe he is cheating, but I am fuckin’ dying here.

He keeps talking about how important it is to maintain a harmonious relationship w/ the ex to not damage the balance w/ his son. I get that. To a degree, but I just don’t feel like I/we are a priority. I keep telling him that I need to feel safe/secure and then I can understand this with time and seeing it for myself. But right now...all I know is that my SO is spending nights in another woman’s house.

He keeps asking me how does he do that w/out changing the harmony of his relationship w/ ex and son?

I have no clue.

Amazonia posted 4/19/2013 21:44 PM

He keeps asking me how does he do that w/out changing the harmony of his relationship w/ ex and son?

His situation/status has changed. His boundaries are SUPPOSED to change.

hurtinky posted 4/19/2013 23:59 PM

I briefly dated a man who, in his 50's, adopted the infant son of a woman he (said he) briefly dated. He told me that he didn't much care for her, but fell in love with the baby. Bio-dad wasn't in the picture, so he asked to adopt the kid. (He had no children.)

He had the distance thing to deal with too, and did the overnights. I thought it was kind of weird, but since we were only casually dating, I didn't say anything.

Then, it became obvious that when she said "jump," he asked how high. She called and texted him constantly. She wanted to know what he was doing, and he felt it was necessary to tell her. All the while, he complained about the situation and her, in general. It was beyond bizarre.

He tried to act like he didn't particularly like her, but he didn't show any inclination to change the situation.

Some people just don't know how to get their own lives.

I don't see this as boding well for your friend. Unless she likes to feel like she doesn't really matter.

cmego posted 4/20/2013 07:34 AM

He keeps asking me how does he do that w/out changing the harmony of his relationship w/ ex and son?
His situation/status has changed. His boundaries are SUPPOSED to change.


HOW that happens is up to the bf. But, reality is he is now in a relationship and he has to find that balance between the old and the new. If he doesn't, then he is going to lose your friend.

If it were me, I would sit him down at a time and try to do a quick discussion of how I feel. I wouldn't do that until I was sure of what bothers me so that I can explain it to him. If he wants her in his life...he will find a way to make it work. If he isn't interested in making it work...she has her answer. I'm not saying this will happen overnight, but he needs to show he is willing to try.

jadasae posted 4/20/2013 08:43 AM

Ummm...I probably have a very different take on this and as a BS I can feel for the difficulties but as a child of of divorced parents who stayed uncommonly (even freakishly civil) I can attest to the fact that some people can do this. My parents separated when I was 15, my mother visited frequently, but remained very civil, my father (the BS) was always outwardly on good terms with her and in fact once the OM was out of the picture they developed a much closer relationship again, with my dad and mothers second husband also becoming friends. There has never been anything remotely romantic between them again. Does my mum lack boundaries when it comes to my dads life....yep, but he lets it works for them....would another partner on either side have a right to start requiring them to change their style of parenting/friendship...nope I don't think so...and as a child of this relationship I would be seriously pissed off (and I mean seriously and I'm 50 now) if some one had made that sort of demand. This relationship existed before your friend came on the scene...and so if they want to be with this person I believe they have to suck it up. I don't love the way my new husbands daughter treats him at times but its not my place to start telling him what to do with her, this is how it is, I either deal with it or go elsewhere, I joined his life as it is....why do we so often get involved with someone then start the 'oh they will be perfect when they change x, y z,....sorry if this seems harsh but thats the way i see it.
let me add, if he knows its a problem and he is thinking about a way to address it, that's great, but meanwhile its not her job to sit him down and try to make him see the error of his ways, he will either change things or he won't, but he needs to come to that decision...she has to decide is she happy with him now, as it is and maybe always will be...yes or no and make her decision accordingly...maybe its her boundaries that need to change...just a thought....

[This message edited by jadasae at 8:51 AM, April 20th (Saturday)]

PurpleRose posted 4/20/2013 08:59 AM

I know I would never feel safe with this type of relationship, so my answer would be that she should cut ties with him. But that is just me.

Did your friend realize this guy was overly invested in his son's mother? And has she flat out told him she is not ok with him spending so much time with her?

I'd like to think that your friend's relationship would begin to take a more important stance with this guy, how she feels, etc. it doesn't mean he has to stop seeing his son or spending time with the boy.

It means he has to stop spending time with the ex.

Big difference.

Is he willing to do that?

Amazonia posted 4/20/2013 10:12 AM

it doesn't mean he has to stop seeing his son or spending time with the boy.

It means he has to stop spending time with the ex.


betterlife posted 4/20/2013 10:41 AM

this situation is exactly what i am going through, and was just going to post about.

the ex and child (3 yrs old) of my S.O. are currently in town visiting S.O. the ex and child live in another country, so the only time S.O. gets to see the child is either when they come here or he travels there.

from my previous post, the responses made me realize that i was not comfortable with S.O. spending time with the ex. (note- the ex and child are staying with him at his apartment. another thing that make me feel uncomfortable.)

2 things have happened which dont feel right to me:

#1. the ex, child and S.O. have gone on a mini-vacation together. --who goes on vacation with their ex?

#2. S.O. told me that he was really tired the other night (at his apartment), ex & child came into his room, sat on his bed chatting. he fell asleep. the ex told him the next morning that she sat there for 20mins watching him sleep before she took the child to her room to go to bed.

i say.... WEIRD!!!

i like what a previous poster said

a current SO should come before an ex, even if that ex is the mother of one's child.

because of his mini-vacation (4 days) our communication has been by text and very infrequent. i am only replying to his texts, and not initiating. i figured he would want his space to focus on his child and he was wanting to clarify some issues with the ex regarding money, etc.

i dont feel safe with this type of relationship, and my gut is telling me to cut ties with him. but am i being overly reactive, jealous?

i want so much to be in a loving relationship and to be a priority, but he is not making me feel we have this at all.

i also think that because the ex & child live in another country, it makes it very difficult for S.O. to not spend any time with the ex given the child is so young.

hurtinky posted 4/20/2013 11:10 AM

Relationships like these (with an ex) should evolve, depending on the circumstances. IMO, it really isn't about jealousy, it's about respect and being a priority.

AnnieOakley posted 4/29/2013 10:54 AM

Thank you all for the responses.

My GF replied:

I am willing to see how this developes between us. We've talked at length about why he does not move closer to the son, so that he does not need to spend 'his' weekends in her house.

There would be a bit of 'starting over' with his business dynamics, but just as important is that he states he does not want a long distance relationship with me. He wants us to spend a couple nights together during the week and then the weekends that we have.

He is working on meeting my emotional needs and I am working on realizing what is left over A stuff that is not his fault.

We are still early in this relationship and I am encouraged that others on the board have been able to work with a similiar sitch. I won't allow myself to feel less than, but this is not yet a deal breaker for me.

His son is first, and then us.

Thank you all, I've encouraged my GF to sign up here. What a great group of peeps you all are!

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