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My baggage v. yellow flags?

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Newlease posted 6/7/2013 15:01 PM

SO and I have decided to move in together. We have discussed all the possible pit-falls and benefits. Everything is moving forward. We have been dating 3 years.

My problem is his relationship with his XW. They were divorced probably 2 years prior to us starting our relationship. They did not D due to infidelity, but because they "grew apart." They were together 15 years, she is 16 years younger than him and 4 years younger than me.

They ended on friendly terms, which in and of itself is not a problem. But they have no children together and really no ties to each other.

She calls him from time to time to "help" her out with things around the house. At first this really didn't bother me much - I it in a positive light. And even though XWH and I are on friendly terms and share children and grandchildren, I would never ask him to do anything for me around my house.

SO's XW has very few friends, her mother recently passed away after a long illness. XW was very close to her mother. Anyway now she has NO family here and she was able to retire early from her job due to a sizeable inheritance.

She seems to be getting more needy of SO's attention. I have expressed concern and asked that the next time he goes to her rescue that he take me along. However, she usually calls for help when I'm at work.

My XWH's affair started as a result of him playing KISA to a younger co-worker.

So is my dismay due to the baggage from that, or is it legitimate. And how do I address it without sounding like a jealous shrew?

All suggestions, comments, and hugs are welcome.


Crescita posted 6/7/2013 15:59 PM

This would make me uncomfortable too. I donít see it as baggage, just healthy boundaries.

Iíd be honest about it; you respect that they are on friendly terms, but it makes you uncomfortable that she is so dependent on him and would prefer if he were less available to her.

If the relationship is top priority, and you arenít giving him unreasonable demands, he should be happy to accommodate. If he values their friendship too much to scale it back, or turns it around and makes it about you being insecure, I would consider that an orange flag and pause the moving plans.


Newlease posted 6/7/2013 16:05 PM

We have discussed it. And I have told him it makes me uneasy.

I have always tried to be the "cool" girlfriend who doesn't get jealous because she feels secure. But right now it feels like an act.

I don't want to issue ultimatums. I asked to be taken along on the next "rescue mission" but she called him today in tears saying she needed help getting the deadbolts installed in her new house.

He called me to let me know he was going over. I think he is trying to be a nice guy. He keeps reassuring me that there is no romantic feelings left.

I hate feeling this way. But I can't seem to stop it, or be ok, or cool.

I know some of the people here are friends with Xs - do any of you think I'm overreacting?


lieshurt posted 6/7/2013 16:25 PM

she called him today in tears saying she needed help getting the deadbolts installed in her new house.

A bit melodramatic isn't she? In tears over her deadbolts? Really? And he doesn't see that this is just her way of manipulating him to do what she wants?

Newlease posted 6/7/2013 16:45 PM

Well, she just purchased a new house - much bigger and nicer than either of us could afford - and the neighbors had a key. They appear to be very pushy neighbors and she wasn't feeling "safe" so she wanted them done right away.

I really want to give her the name of a handyman service. She can certainly afford to pay for this kind of thing.

Do you think I'm being unreasonable?


Newlease posted 6/7/2013 16:47 PM

I also have to add that he doesn't just drop everything and jump to her aid. A few times he has ignored her messages and by the time he checks, she has figured something out.

They use to flip houses when they were married, so she has some skills at fixing things. He encouraged her to fix her own deadbolts, but when she called for the 2nd time in tears, he went over.

GAAA - I hate feeling this way.


little turtle posted 6/7/2013 16:57 PM

I would not be okay with my SO going to help his X all of the time. Luckily for me, the only connection my SO has with his Xgf is mutual friends and her dad is his mechanic (owns a shop). An occasional help with something is a different story. I would be okay with that as long as I could tag along or at least was fully in the loop (again, not often occurring). My XH stopped helping me with things out (mechanic and projects) of respect for his SO. I now have to find other ways to get things done. Your SO needs to stop rescuing her. She's retired early. She has money. She can pay for services rather than call upon her XH to save her. I get that your SO probably feels as though he's helping out and doing her a favor, but it's unnecessary. She's fully capable of living independently without him. It's not your SO's fault she doesn't have family or friends to turn to. Since he keeps saving her, she's had no reason to reach out to other people. If he doesn't stop, it's never going to end...

Besides that, the deadbolts weren't an emergency. Your SO could have waited until you got out of work to go over there and help her out. Or she could have called someone to hire to get the job done.

Saw your latest post -- she can get the name/number of a handyman on her own. I wouldn't give her one.

Crescita posted 6/7/2013 16:59 PM

He called me to let me know he was going over. I think he is trying to be a nice guy. He keeps reassuring me that there is no romantic feelings left.

Hmm, sounds like he doesnít quite get it. Itís not about whether or not he, or she, still has feelings, itís the fabricated dependence and urgency that is pinging you. This isnít legitimate emergencies or needs. She can call a handyman! He doesnít need to help her, and she doesnít need his help.

I wouldnít hesitate to pass on the number of a highly recommended handyman.

Amazonia posted 6/7/2013 17:00 PM

Ohhhh no, I wouldn't be comfortable with that at all!!

tryinghard2013 posted 6/7/2013 17:05 PM

Nope I think you will end up in trouble if he isn't willing to cut the ties they have no kids no reason to ever see each other.

cayc posted 6/7/2013 17:37 PM

She can afford a new house but not a locksmith???? Really.

She's at the very least using your SO, so if he can't see his way to recognizing that he's got a boundary issue with her, he should at least see he's being used. I'd be annoyed at both aspects.

Sad in AZ posted 6/7/2013 18:07 PM

Your SO should be telling her to get a handyman.

I do have to at least tap you with a 2x4--you should have brought this up LONG ago. You've let it go on this long, it's going to be awkward to say that it's bothering you now.

phmh posted 6/7/2013 18:15 PM

(((Newlease))) I definitely have hugs!

I think it can be hard to strike the balance between listening to yellow/red flags and dismissing them because you think your baggage is making a mountain out of a molehill.

Is he a KISA in other aspects of his life?

I would not be OK with this, not at all. It very possibly could be the start of a slippery slope, especially now that she has more time on her hands.

If I were in your shoes, I would postpone moving in or making any other major changes that might be difficult to undo until this was settled to my satisfaction. It's called a breakup because it's broken, and she needs to figure out another way to get things done.

SBB posted 6/7/2013 19:13 PM

Yellow flag for sure.

I remember setting boundaries during False R and being struck by how simple they were. Also how they should have always been in place (they were for me - not for him, evidently).

This to me is a boundary for yourself. He doesn't need to 'get it' - the fact that you're so uncomfortable about it is reason enough for him to honour it.

I remember being told he didn't want to hurt someone elses feelings by breaking ties with men and women I didn't consider friends of the marriage. I had a lightbulb moment and told him so "So, you're not OK with hurting the feelings of friends and acquaintances but you're AOK with hurting your wife. You need to start protecting ME and our M rather than your social circle.".

I still stand by it and it is relevant here.


Nature_Girl posted 6/7/2013 20:13 PM

She can afford a new house but not a locksmith???? Really.

My sentiments exactly.

Here's my take: XW realizes that your SO/her XH is taking his relationship with you into new territory. Consequently she is stepping up her neediness in order to maintain her bit of control over him. There is unfinished business between them, although it may be unacknowledged.

You need to start being true to yourself. Your desire to portray yourself as "cool" has come back to bite you in the ass. Start being honest. It's okay for you to lay down a boundary & tell your SO that you are NOT cool with his relationshp with his XW. That doesn't make you uncool, it makes you honest.

kernel posted 6/7/2013 21:17 PM

Trust your gut. He may not have any romantic feelings left but she sure does and she is playing him. Time to be honest with him about how much this bothers you and about boundaries that SHE is crossing. You can offer to have her over for dinner with both of you and other friends if he still wants to maintain a friendship. She needs to be a friend to your relationship, and you need to make it clear it's what you need. If she's so innocent of any manipulation, she shouldn't have a problem socializing with the two of you as a couple.

[This message edited by kernel at 9:18 PM, June 7th (Friday)]

NWfleur posted 6/7/2013 22:06 PM

If they'd had children, I could MAYBE see this being more acceptable, since he'd be helping with things that directly related to his kids (such as, fix the lock so the kids are safe.)

But since that's not the case, I think it crosses boundaries a bit. What is your relationship with her? Are you friends? I agree with others, she can call a professional or work it out herself. Her ex husband doesn't need to be her handy man.

exhausted lady posted 6/8/2013 14:54 PM

I really want to give her the name of a handyman service. She can certainly afford to pay for this kind of thing.

Do you think I'm being unreasonable?

I don't think you're being unreasonable at all. She needs to put on her big girl panties and deal with life. Your SO needs to put you first in this situation. If he won't, I think I'd call that a red flag - not yellow.

If she inherited that much money, she can damn well call a handyman.

Got2GO posted 6/8/2013 19:45 PM

Run! Girl Run!

If you are having doubts now understand nothing will change! Don't move in with this character. Enjoy spending time with him but don't move in with him. Obviously he is still attached to his ex. RUN!

Mousse242 posted 6/9/2013 09:37 AM

Honestly, not cool. He now has you in his life and needs to make you his priority not her. That means boundaries.

She can now afford to hire someone to do handy work, repairs, etc. If he really feels he *must* go over there, it needs to be done after hours with you going along too (after you get home from work).

You have valid concerns on this one and they need to be addressed. Now, before you actually move in together.

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