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sigh....blending families/rules are hard

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million pieces posted 8/2/2013 19:46 PM

I've posted before about my SO's ex. She is VERY self centered and crossed the line over the past year when his family was have multiple crisis's (the death of both of SO's parents, one lingering and one very sudden). They do co-parent well and for the most part, things are ok. I am reasonably sure that 99% of the craziness of her inserting herself in his family was "emotions of the times" and has not been repeated at any other time. But then again, she was never called out for her crossing of the lines.

Anyway, SO's oldest niece is getting married in Sept. I've been helping her mother (SO's sis) out planning and setting up for the bridal shower. Wed night she calls and ask SO that because there have been some cancellations for the wedding invites, does SO want his ex and her BF to be invited? And he responds, "I'm not sure, let me ask MP"

Sooooo, when he asked me I just shut down. I didn't want to be the jealous GF who doesn't want the ex there. I was honestly very hurt and very pissed. I tried to explain calmly why this puts me in an awkward position and why I don't want a repeat of the past two funerals. Where she is walking in the procession line, standing next to me, trying to sit with the family. SO completely and thoroughly apologized and says he will try to be more sensitive to me in the future. But I want him to NOT WANT HIS EXWIFE THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE!

I don't know, I'm doubting everything right now. What is my role especially if he puts his son first. She is his son's mom.

GabyBaby posted 8/2/2013 20:03 PM

Gently, MP-
This seems to be a reoccurring theme in some of your posts about your SO.
Your SO's ex isn't the problem. HE is.

He has failed (and continues to fail) to firm boundaries in place with regard to his ex. The questions you should be asking is why you're willing to put up with this and what you're going to do WHEN (not if) it continues.

(( million pieces ))

million pieces posted 8/2/2013 20:23 PM

Oh, I know it is a problem between SO and I. I thought I could just ignore it, mainly because it was just such an inappropriate time to discuss something like that but also because I didn't see it coming up again. But I was wrong.

He is truly a KISA, and grew up mediating between his sisters. And he has gotten it through his head that a good coparenting relationship is best, NO MATTER WHAT. And his ex takes advantage of it. But I didn't feel like I had much to comment about because my ex and I have NO parenting relationship.

persevere posted 8/2/2013 20:24 PM

And he responds, "I'm not sure, let me ask MP"
THIS is the part that bothers me the most - he threw you under the bus.

I'm glad they all seem to get along fairly well, but it sounds like they all accept her on some level. (Even though I do recall the overstepping the X has done before during family situations).

All that being said, it is still your SO's responsibility to develop what he believes to be appropriate boundaries. Are you generally both on the same page about what is appropriate? Or is he just agreeing with you to placate you?

SBB posted 8/2/2013 20:35 PM

Your SO's ex isn't the problem. HE is.

Enforcing your boundaries on someone who doesn't share them only 'works' where you would notice they are not upholding your boundaries.

If they don't share them they don't enforce them unless they 'have' to ie: you'd find out.

Even before DD the sad clown constantly asked my permission to breach boundaries. I would say "I am not your mother, what do you think is appropriate".

In False R he admitted he thought I was OK with him spending zero time at home and spending 90% of it working and the other partying because I gave my permission- I'm guessing because I didn't leave his dumb arse.

I know where this road leads and I know you do to.

million pieces posted 8/2/2013 20:42 PM

That bothers me the most too, that is why for a while I refused to answer him (although it was clear from my face what my answer was). And to be fair, the sister that asked him this questions was very clueless about what happened before, his other sister wouldn't invite her in a million years. SO claims it was because it was after a long day at work, he was fried and he was caught off guard. He said he is used to attending functions w his ex (and her BF) and at first didn't think much of it but wanted to run it by me first. I am afraid that all my pent up hurt and frustration came out in the next hour and it really hasn't gone away. I know I need to figure out what my boundaries are and how they match his, but I just don't know what mine are...

Kajem posted 8/2/2013 21:43 PM

The dynamic has been that XW, her BF and your SO have formed a workable parenting relationship between themselves. However unhealthy you or we think it is.... For them (and the kids) it works. It doesn't sound like they are looking to change it. How do you see yourself fitting into that dynamic? Ask SO-how does he see you fitting into the dynamic. Ask him before you share your thoughts.

Both of you agreeing where/how you fit in will help define the boundaries for both of you.

Good luck ,



million pieces posted 8/3/2013 08:44 AM

Thanks K,

This is another perspective that I need. He wants us to get married in a couple of years and that is why I think this is coming up in my brain more. Where do I fit in? I am an hour away from their daily interactions. It is hard. I was so envious of their good relationship when we first met because mine was/is so bad but as I've gotten to know his ex better, that is the problem I'm having.

We talked a little last night. He was very respectful of my feelings (as usual). He says he was a little surprised at my reaction as I've always seemed fine with everything. I explained the bad timing of the previous situations and how I did try to bring it up about a month after his mom passed, but that wasn't a good time either.

He asked also if any of my feelings were because of a lack of trust/faith in our relationship. I said I trust him completely with her, but I just wasn't sure of the fine line that he was willing to go to to keep the peace between them. Never once have I seen an inappropriate comment, word or gesture between the two of them. But I'm not there most of the time they are together.

I told him the bottom line was that I respect his PARENTING relationship w her but I don't like her and I don't want a friendship that is separate from that. Not because of the fact that she is an ex, but of her personality and her continued crossing of the lines. I truly think that since everything revolves around her, she has the urge to rub their relationship in my face whenever we are around to establish her position over me. And no one calls her out on it other than his one sister. And once again, to be fair, I haven't told SO of most of the comments she has made to me in the past.

Sooo, we left it at how he is going to be more aware of his/our boundaries. He is going to clue his other sister on what has been happening over the past 9 months. He has even offered to go to couples therapy to see if we can get some guidance on how to navigate blending our worlds and families.

[This message edited by million pieces at 8:45 AM, August 3rd (Saturday)]

persevere posted 8/3/2013 14:19 PM

He has even offered to go to couples therapy to see if we can get some guidance on how to navigate blending our worlds and families.
It sounds like he's sincerely trying to walk the tightrope right now - therapy seems like a logical, proactive next step. And Kajem's post was extremely on point - where you fit into this dynamic is something you both clearly need to discuss and understand.

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