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EX left boyfriend at Starbux

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cmego posted 4/20/2014 21:31 PM

Ex is gay. Has a partner of 2 years that I met once early on in their relationship. Ex has pushed to have partner be a "part of the family", but after a cheating incident last year, I said no. (partner sexted with someone and ex found out and told me). Ex has partner around the children every time he has the kids. So, e/o weekend, partner and ex play happy family and I am aware and say nothing.

Where I have issues is on "my turf". Ex isn't local and only see each other briefly at kid hand off e/o weekend. I have refused to let partner come to soccer games and school functions...since there has been teasing already, plus it is one of the few times I see ex and that is when we talk about everything going on with the kids. It is what I consider our "family time". So, about 2 hours a month when ex and I are together with our kids discussing everything. Both kids have special needs, I do all of the doc appts, anything going on we talk about during the soccer games. I just don't want partner there. I did tell ex that one day, when I'm in a stable relationship and want to include someone more in the kids lives, we could discuss further. Ex's family supports my "line" of no soccer and no school functions. (For the record, ex only shows to about 50% of the soccer games and maybe 25% of school functions and 0% of doc visits.)

In the last few months, I have told ex that partner is welcome to come to the house when ex drops off the kids. Ex has also asked if partner can watch the kids occasionally. I agreed it was fine. They are taking vacations together too.

Here is what pisses me off. I've agreed to 95% of what ex has done/requested about partner. What they do on their time is their business, it is only when it crosses into "family time" that I draw the line.

So, my kids were on spring break with their Dad all week. He took them to the beach and I don't think partner went with them. I was DYING to see my kids tonight. They pull up in the driveway and I go running out to see them, my ds comes running up to me and grabs me as tight as he could and whispers, "Don't tell Dad. We left "B" at Starbux since you don't want to see him."

fucking asshole.

One, I've already told him partner was welcome to drop the kids off. Two, he could have asked me via text if is was OK if he had any concern. But…nope…makes it a huge deal in front of the kids AND B that I don't' want to see B, so let's leave him a Sbux and don't tell Mommy.

I also heard about an incident on vacay where he asked the kids to lie. Where they were staying is a "family only" rental place (meaning it isn't open to just anyone to rent. It has to be a family member, and ex isn't family but just a friend of the owner). But, the kids were instructed to lie to the neighbors and say that the owner was their Aunt. I also heard about ex getting heckled by a street performer and ex and performer got into a yelling match in front of the kids.

I just don't even know how to combat this. He is being a whiney little drama stirring baby. I think ex and partner enjoy portraying me as being terrible. My exSIL told me they don't really like partner, he is "immature and whiney" and they avoid spending time with them.

Just don't fucking put my kids in the middle of your stupid little games. I don't even know what to say.

Do I tell them that I didn't tell Daddy to leave B at Starbux? I'm not supposed to know this happened, but 8 year old ds can't keep a secret. I want to ignore it, but my almost 11 year old was kinda distant with me when she got home. I'm going to have to address this, but I don't want the kids in the middle of a "he said/she said" fight.

And now that I think about it, they were running about 15 minutes late, so I called ex and asked where they were. He flat lied to me. He said, "Oh, just passing in front of Sbux now. We will be there in a min." Reality was they were late because they had to go drop off B, and concoct the "don't tell mommy" story.

betrayedfriend posted 4/20/2014 21:44 PM

I think you need to be open and honest with your kids and maybe send x AND B a text in front of your kids that you are fine with B coming to drop offs/ pick ups. For some reason your x doesn't want B there and is scapegoating you to the kids. You definitely need to talk to the kids though, it's time they know you will tell them the unfettered truth.

deena posted 4/20/2014 21:46 PM

I would suggest talking to the ex about this.

Also next time the kids go with ex tell ex in front of the kids to bring partner when he drops off the kids. That you would like to say hi.

It doesn't have to be a he said she said thing. Just be open and honest about it.

It helps the kids if they see that you get along with partner and ex.

It is hard when they are young, but I have learned (from SI), that kids know when something is off and if they don't know the truth they will draw their own conclusions which can be way off.

Nature_Girl posted 4/20/2014 22:56 PM

I have had to combat these kind of lies ex tells the kids about me. I do it with the kids only. I do not bother trying to talk to my ex about it, plus I don't want the kids to get in trouble with him for telling me things. Ex tries very hard to paint me as a truly horrible person looking to get him & the kids in all kinds of arbitrary trouble. It is a never-ending battle to help the kids untwist reality so they see the truth about me.

I suggest you talk to your kids, but don't talk to your ex.

SBB posted 4/21/2014 00:59 AM

Cheaters lie, liars cheat.

They lie so much that they see no harm in it. It becomes a part of their DNA - big lies, little lies - they just can't NOT lie.

Mentioning this to him will just pet the drama llama. I wouldn't bother.

I'd adopt a K.I.S.S. attitude. Keep It Simple, Stupid. House = your turf, kids activities = your turf. Yes to house but no to games just complicates things for little brains.

He knows what your agreement was he is just causing drama for reasons known only to himself. Let him knock himself out with this crap.

I have been honest about not liking or being friends with OWUmpteen. She doesn't come up anymore except in passing when they talk about their time with dad. Yet me not liking her seems to be a hot topic over there (ah, good old wayward glue). The girls will tell me daddy said I don't know her and I just don't like her because I'm not a nice person. I say that is his opinion and I don't agree with it and we talk about how we get to choose who we are friends with and who we are not friends with. There isn't a right or wrong.

They know I don't say bad things about the sad clown or his whore - so the hints he says don't add up, not even to a 6 and 4 year olds.

Whenever my girls come home spouting some crap he has spewed I refrain from calling him a liar because I don't want them stuck in the middle of a he said/she said situation.

Instead I say: "hmmm.... that isn't how I see it" or "that isn't what I thought we discussed." and we talk about difference of opinion and how two people can disagree or see things differently without needing anyone to be right or wrong.

eg. Some people think vanilla icecream is the best - some people think chocolate is the best.

Where it is a direct accusation I will say that we are not understanding each other clearly and it is something their dad will talk to me about if it is that important to him.

They know there are things parents need to sort out between themselves.

Recently my big girl has been complaining that her dad keeps asking her which house is her favourite. He said I HAVE to choose. I said you don't have to choose if you don't want to. Sometimes you can't choose. I think that's a bit unfair - like you asking me if I love you or <DD3> more. I'd be sad if you told me I HAD to choose because I know I couldn't. My heart loves you both just as much as each other. Why do I only get one favourite? You're BOTH my favourite.

I try to focus on the overall theme rather than the specifics - especially when he is imposing adult issues on them. I channel my inner optimist: "every challenge is an opportunity".

But sheesh - it's so fucking unnecessary, isn't it? Why cause drama where there is none? Oh - right, I forgot you love the drama.

cmego posted 4/21/2014 06:11 AM

I talked to my kids this morning, and I was honest about why.

I said, "I need to talk to you guys about yesterday. I don't know what Daddy said, but he didn't ask me or tell me B was in the car. I didn't tell Daddy to leave B at SBux. If he would have asked me I would have told him it was fine for B to drop you guys off."

My 10 year old dd said, "who told you??" My ds said, "*I* DID!!!".

10 year old dd said, "Daddy and B were whispering in the car and then Daddy said, 'B is staying at Sbux'. It made me feel bad, Mommy. I didn't think you wanted B here."

I replied again, "Daddy didn't discuss it with me, plus, I called you guys and Daddy didn't tell me then either…I wasn't given the opportunity to let B come here. I will talk to Daddy about this, I don't want you guys put into a position where you feel like you have to lie to me."

What a fucking asshole. It is the usual MO, which is to manipulate everyone around him then conveniently leave out information all to make himself look better. It is so frustrating.

Not only do I want to confront ex, but I was to copy the boyfriend because I don't know what is being said. I'm talking myself down at this point…but those two clowns don't get to put my kids in the middle of their drama.

cayc posted 4/21/2014 06:38 AM

I think you handled this perfectly. I always read these threads from the perspective of child (since I don't have the parent perspective). As a 10 year old child, I knew right/wrong/unfairness and I knew stuff was wrong and no one would talk to me, no one would clarify ... so to address things upfront? Without anger? That would have been heaven!!!! Your kids are smart. They have a driving *need* to understand. Fulfilling that - even if the subject creates some cognitive dissonance in the moment (your DD's confusion about telling and competing loyalties) - is a good thing. Knowing they can tell you when Dad's not on the up and up and you'll stay calm and understanding will go a long way to ensure they confide in you.

As for your stbxh. Yes, talk to him and copy B. But I'd think a little about befriending B, and chatting with him separately. B can be your ally in this. Remember, he's living the same bullied/lied to life with your stbxh that you were.

cmego posted 4/21/2014 07:20 AM

Since I don't have B's contact info, and he has me blocked on FB (childish much?), I asked my SIL for his phone number and I'm going to text them both.

SIL thinks this is all fueled that B believes they don't like him. My exBIL (ex's brother)/SIL live IN my neighborhood. Our kids walk to each others houses and go to school together. Yes, I *AM* close with my exSIL/BIL and ex lives almost 2 hours away. SIL told me this morning that B was showing some jealousy of my relationship with them.

Are they children? B has nothing to be jealous OF.

So, I have no idea who is saying what. This could have been driven by B being uncomfortable, I don't know. I just know that my kids will not be put in a position to feel uncomfortable because of these childish antics by two grown men.

Grrrr…thanks for letting me vent here so I don't go ape shit on my ex's ass.

SBB posted 4/21/2014 07:43 AM

cmego, tell me to STFU if I have the wrong end of the stick here but maybe BF doesn't want to see you and your kids inferred that it was because you didn't want to see him? Not that X stated that.

He is well within his rights to choose not to associate with you. If he has you blocked on FB I wouldn't go tracking down his number to confront about this. I wouldn't take too kindly to my SOS X confronting me about parenting issues between them anymore an I would be happy about the sad clowns whore raising issues with me.

He isn't parenting with you - X is. If you must address this then do so with the other parent. The additional drama is just that, drama. You don't need it. I also don't think you'll get what you're looking for - just more fuckery.

Again, I may be on an Easter egg and hot cross bun high (the girl who used to burn water now makes hot cross buns from scratch! WOOWHOO!) but unless someone told your kids that he was left at Starbucks at your request I don't see how you can confront about this.

If I'm wrong and they are feeding your kids this rubbish then yes, it is parental alienation and you do have cause to confront. Just make sure you aren't making assumptions. And I would discuss it with the other parent. Not the third party.

Williesmom posted 4/21/2014 07:49 AM

Yeah, I probably wouldn't include B in my text. I would text Ex only about it - he's the one that you have the parenting partnership with.

I don't have kids either, so just MHO.

cmego posted 4/21/2014 11:47 AM

Oh, I think it is parental alienation. Wrapped up to look like I caused it all.

I texted ex and basically told him I was tired of these sad games he is playing. I told the kids the truth and he needed to cut it out. He put the kids in the middle, didn't ASK me if it was OK for B to drop off the kids, and now the kids feel like shit, and they feel like they have to hide things from me.

It was the usual shit. "I was just doing it to protect you. It won't happen again."

If I could count the times I heard ^^^^^, it would be in the hundreds. That is his standard passive aggressive response. IT is always wrapped up to be what is best for me.

I don't even know what to say.

Tripletrouble posted 4/21/2014 18:35 PM

Ugh. Looks like you handled it well. I'm reading through this thread thinking about all the ways infidelity messes with the littles. I don't have any advice, but I'm just sharing that I appreciate the frustration with having to counter the mess created by an unhealthy parent.

ChoosingHope posted 4/21/2014 22:38 PM

Cmego, I think you handled it well - especially with your children. This is not easy stuff, and I hate when they put the children in the middle. I love that your daughter could identify and articulate that she felt bad about it.

cmego posted 4/22/2014 07:07 AM

Talked to my kids more last night, and I think they just want us to be one big happy family…I keep trying to explain to them the concept that B is not part of MY life…he is part of Daddy's life. The two only cross when the kids are involved.

I used the "It isn't that I don't like B, B just isn't one of my friends and I can have separate friends than Daddy. B is welcome to drop you guys off and hang out with at Daddy's as much as he wants. But, Mommy has to be comfortable too."

Ex is still throwing a fit and hiding from the kids. He was supposed to discuss with kids last night and didn't. What a surprise.

So, that conversation morphed into they don't want a "step dad", they want to live with me because they think Daddy and B are going to move in together soon and that is going to "be weird" (they are with me 90% already). On and on. Then ask again why Daddy and I can't get back together. Trying to explain "gay" and the difference of having friends vs. what butterflies feel like to an 8 year old. Oy vey. I'm also clear that I don't promise them I won't re-marry, but that I am just being slow and careful about dating and would introduce them to someone once I knew they were going to be around for awhile. This is a hard concept for them. Which, I don't understand because B has been in the picture 2 years now…so why they have a harder time accepting I will eventually move on is confusing to me.

This is tough stuff for adults, much less kids. I just keep trying to be open and honest without bashing ex.

betrayedfriend posted 4/22/2014 07:53 AM

They're going to have a difficult time with it because your x made them feel disposable. In time, as long as you move slowly, and keep open communication they'll come around.

caregiver9000 posted 4/22/2014 17:10 PM

Quick thought.

I read your last post and one thing that occurs to me is that trying to explain friends vs. butterflies vs. gay and therefore not "for mommy" might be confusing the issue?

Maybe I am reading too much into what you typed. But I can imagine that at that age being gay seems like something "you decide" and that daddy wasn't gay when he married mommy so if daddy weren't gay then y'all might get back together. Maybe. Kids will hold onto the flimsiest of excuse for something they desperately want.

I don't have experience here in any way. My kids have never expressed a desire for us to get back together. They relish the peace of our home and manage the visits. They wish for a different relationship with dad sometimes but never for an intact two parent family.

Have you thought about discussing the "daddy broke a promise that married people make and that is why we can't be married anymore?" or some similar generic (not gay) version...??

Probably you have said this but somehow the kids have not grasped the wishing you back together won't work. I wish I had a magic wand easy fix!!!

Also, I am walking out the door and just trying to get this typed and said. Sorry if it rambles or doesn't make sense.

One more thing, the kids do fear you attaching and not dad because you are the rock, the stable consistent parent of 90%. Having that change is horrifying! They will cling to the now familiar as hard as they wish for the past familiar.

I have said that I won't spring anyone on the boys without talking to them about it first. That there is no worrying because there are so many steps between now and a "potential future boyfriend" that I will alert them to when to officially begin to worry. Of course every conversation now becomes "mom's new boyfriend" and suspect to sneaking and 20 questions and teasing (which I think means they are comfortable on some level maybe?)

Just keep repeating what works. over and over and over.

again sorry for the rush job!

cmego posted 4/22/2014 18:22 PM

Care, I don't have any idea what I"m doing most days.

They, or my younger son, isn't understanding "Daddy likes to date boys=gay". So, I tried to say something about butterflies in your tummy. He is starting to have crushes on girls, so we talked about that a little.

This is uncharted territory, trying to explain how Daddy is gay yet chose to marry me. The older they get, the more I will explain, but I'm trying to keep it at 8 year old level.

He was crying in my lap, "I don't want a step-daddy!!" Then 8ds said, "Why can't YOU marry B and we could all live together!" As in, if you won't marry Daddy because he hurt you, then marry B so we can all be together. They like B, I get that and I'm glad. So, they just want us all to be happy and don't understand the nuances of infidelity and divorce and gay and dating and moving forward.

Daddy and B are FUN, so why wouldn't they want us all to be together?! There is no responsibility, just fun, fun, fun. I heard they drank chocolate milk twice a day while they were gone…so who knows what else he let them eat.

I guess I need to have another IC appointment and think about getting ds some therapy.

Ex perpetuates the wedge and doesn't have to deal with the fallout of leaving the boyfriend at SBux. I'm the one dealing with the kids and their questions and pain. We are over 3 years out now, you would think this would be getting better.

SBB posted 4/22/2014 18:48 PM

so why they have a harder time accepting I will eventually move on is confusing to me.

Because you're the one they can depend on and they have you all to themselves. Remember he is their only point of reference for their parent re-partnering. I understand their fears.

You did good mamma.

caregiver9000 posted 4/22/2014 19:54 PM

Care, I don't have any idea what I"m doing most days.

This I don't believe. Ok, I believe you believe it, but you are doing it and doing it damn straight up well! Navigating and processing and winging it and doing it and talking it out. It might not feel like you know what you are doing, but you are doing it!! Kudos on that, btw. Seriously, kudos.

trying to explain how Daddy is gay yet chose to marry me.

This is where I wonder if you could frame it differently. Do your kids know other kids from divorced homes? Grownups choose to get married and have children. You did and lucky you, you got great kids out of the deal. (Kids need to hear this I think. To know that they were wanted no matter what the state of the marriage is NOW.)

I also think it bears saying that they will always have a mommy and a daddy. Other adults may come into (and out of) their lives and that is great. Hopefully, those other adults will be positive additions/fun/kind/whatever.

Poor little guy with the "step daddy" fear. Don't let him see Snow White or Cinderella!! He had the attachment anxiety at school too? right? He just needs a ton of reassuring. It doesn't mean you aren't doing enough or doing it wrong. It just means he needs it often for whatever reason right now. Kinda like checking under the bed and being summoned to do it again five minutes later. It isn't that he doesn't trust you or believe you, just that the fear is bigger than his trust or belief right now.

I cannot even fathom how to respond to you marrying B... I kinda snorted here. That probably won't translate for you with ds very well. On your own there kiddo!

Interesting to me, Stretch used to let OW out at a street corner to "walk/exercise" when they brought the kids home. I did snort when the kids told me. I asked them why they thought dad did this. I got a variety of answers over the months this went on. Dad said it was being respectful of you. hmmmmm, ok. That's nice. Later it was that OW was afraid I would yell at her. I asked if they were afraid I would yell at OW? One said no, one squeaked a tiny maybe??? I assured them I would not. It would be rude.

I never made a big deal about it. Eventually she started staying in the car. I guess I made it about them and their discomfort. Never ever ever were they going to get invited in for coffee or get a cheery wave (even with just one finger... ) But I was not peeing on the property line either.

Ex perpetuates the wedge and doesn't have to deal with the fallout of leaving the boyfriend at SBux. I'm the one dealing with the kids and their questions and pain. We are over 3 years out now, you would think this would be getting better.

He doesn't get the fallout or the trust or the doubts and fears and confidence. He doesn't get to deal because he hasn't earned the privilege or the trust to have that. You get the questions and the pain because you are doing it (see paragraph 1). Because they know you can and will deal with them.

3 years out. It can't get better because it keeps changing. But all of you are doing better at adjusting.

cmego posted 4/22/2014 21:00 PM

Interesting to me, Stretch used to let OW out at a street corner to "walk/exercise" when they brought the kids home. I did snort when the kids told me. I asked them why they thought dad did this. I got a variety of answers over the months this went on. Dad said it was being respectful of you. hmmmmm, ok. That's nice. Later it was that OW was afraid I would yell at her. I asked if they were afraid I would yell at OW? One said no, one squeaked a tiny maybe??? I assured them I would not. It would be rude.

Add something else to the WS handbook, eh?

I have no idea if I'm fucking up my kids by having this all out in the open or not. I don't know. Lots of families just rug sweep everything and survive just fine. My family wasn't a big group of talkers. I turned out OK. But, my parents were together and loved me, I was well taken care of, no major FOO issues either. So, I go round and round if I'm doing the right thing.

I imagine my kids future dates rolling their eyes when my kids want to talk out everything little thing.

All I hear in my head is "NO MORE SECRETS."

My little guy is more sensitive. Requires lots of snuggle time and very attached to me. This isn't the first time he has asked me to "marry B", so I keep trying to explain it a different way without saying, "Fuck NO I'm not marrying my exH's boyfriend! Are you crazy??!" I know kids don't get it. I do reassure them that I am happy I met Daddy or I wouldn't have them…and that *I* wanted them. *I* chose to have them full time and they are my focus in life right now.

They determined that the dog is like priority #4. We were actually discussing what my priorities are. #1. Kids. #2. School. #3. House. #4. Dog. And, now I realized I didn't list myself as a priority. Funny. Ex's #1 priority is himself, and I don't even remember to list myself as a priority.

Part of me IS tired of discussing this for the bajillionenth time. I know they need reassurance and I keep telling myself that one day this is all going to pay off. I hope.

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