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I'm at a loss about BM over communication...

Kona_California's picture

I have confronted BF about this several times, including this morning. I've been past my limit and telling him I'm out the bloody door if this toxicity is continuously invited into my relationship. He always says he'll be better about enforcing boundaries and in general it's better than before.... but it isn't where I've always expressed I've wanted it to be. 

BM is the type who disrespects reasonable boundaries and sends long-winded, abusive messages that have nothing to do with the well-being of SS5. I would definitely support open communication between co-parents, but I feel that's a privilage for those who can be respectful. Since BM is a bully I've told BF he needs to cut off all the messaging since he'll still engage in back-and-forth with her. This is advice coming from not only all of you experienced folks, but multiple friends who are MFTs, and my aunt who is a family law attorney. 

BF keeps giving reasons why he feels there needs to be open communication on email, What'sapp, phone calls, texts, etc. He says "what if there's an emergency. I want to be able to skype with SS5 when I want to and she is also allowed to in the CO. It will look bad in front of a judge if I'm not flexible to her wants." I think these are all BS excuses. 

It's. Always. Something. With this woman. And he isn't completely innocent either. 

I feel like this is something I just can't handle, but at the same time not something so big to end the relationship. I'm at a loss. 


ndc's picture

Frankly, I think it *is* big enough to end a relationship over.  Not necessarily because of the communication, but because you have made it crystal clear to your partner that you don't like it and can't live with it and he is not willing to put up boundaries for you.  If it's not this, it will be something else.   

His excuses are pretty flimsy.  I'm not sure I would end a relationship over this, if this is the only issue the two of you have.  BUT if he behaves similarly in other areas - doing what he wants knowing that it bothers you - it's going to be a long, difficult slog.

lieutenant_dad's picture

Well, I hate to break it to you, but it's either big enough of an issue to end the relationship or it's a small enough issue that you have to disengage and not care anymore.

Your BF isn't interested in meeting the standard you are wanting to set. Your BF has made his decision about what he's going to do, and that means the ball is back in your court to decide how you want to proceed.

You can try to find a new compromise with him and move your line closer to his. Or, you can move your line to his and accept what he is comfortable with. Or, you can erase the line completely and disengage from it. Set your own boundaries (like leave the room if he gets into a text frenzy, sleep on the couch if she calls in the middle of the night, leave dinner if he feels to chime in on date night). Disengaging isn't the same as ignoring; it's doing what you need to do remove the stress of the situation, usually by removing yourself because you can't remove the stimuli.

Or, you realize that this is not how you want to live, and you take an entirely different path than the one you're walking down. You can end the relationship.

However, living in a state where you're mad and can't/won't move forward isn't good. You either accept the situation for what it is or change the one thing you can control - you. You're not going to be able to make your BF do what you want him to do; you can only make your decision and toss the ball back to him to decide his next move (or kick the ball down the street because you're done playing).

Siemprematahari's picture

There's a difference with being "flexible" and basically BM having him by the b@lls and controlling his every move. Since he's never enforced strong, proper boundaries and remain consistent she feels she gets to do as she pleases and to hell with respecting his time and space. He has the power to shut this down and have one major way for contact but his fear doesn't allow it.

She will continue to rule his life and how he chooses communication because he allows it. I'd be annoyed by this to and will let him know that this shit show is tiresome and one day I won't be around to continue to see another woman have his balls in her purse.

strugglingSM's picture

I personally think that not maintaining appropriate boundaries in your home and in your relationship is a big enough issue to end a relationship over. This is about BM wanted to show everyone that she is still in control of what your BF does, not you. 

He's okay with her being in control, which means he hasn't made space in his life to have an actual adult relationship. 

If there was a true emergency, the police could find him. 

Dealing with people without boundaries is difficult. My DH has finally set boundaries with BM and it basically cost him his relationship with his family because they now tell him that he's "not nice enough" to BM and "not respectful enough to her". None of them ever weighed in when BM was screaming at DH in front of the kids. His family also lacks healthy emotional boundaries and that was a struggle, too. 

I think at this point, you have to decide if you're okay with your BF's behavior or tell him you're done. He won't change unless he faces some real consequences...and even then, he might not change. 

Kona_California's picture

It always shows peolpe's abusiveness when you see how they react to enforced boundaries. They try say you're a bad person/disrespectful/mean and gaslight the hell out of you. So ridiculous. I'm sorry for your H they ended up being that way.

futurobrillante99's picture

Until the pain of pissing you off is greater than the pain of pissing BM off, this WILL continue.

1. Stop reading her abusive emails. Let your SO deal with them on his own. You don't want to hear about the content of the emails. All you want to know is what affects your finances, your schedule and the peace in your home. And by peace, I mean the presence of the BM or SS. Your SO being in a pissy mood shouldn't affect you.

2. If your SO insists on letting BM keep his balls in her purse, let him feel the pain of that ALONE. If you have plans and she manipulates him into being her bitch, you proceed with the plans without him.  DO NOT make things easier for him.

3. Keep your finances separate. If she manipulates him into giving her more money, let him feel the pain of financial strain by himself. Don't cover his bills for him.

4. If you're spending time together and HE chooses to communicate with BM, leave the room, the restaurant, the concert, whatever - LEAVE or ignore him and then make sure he knows by your actions that each time he puts BMs feelings or demands above yours, he's creating a rift between the two of you and you will do him no special favors. Sex? Not tonight. Delicious meals? He can make himself PB&J.

Only when he has to experience consequences of pissing off the woman he lives with every day will he consider telling the BM to eff off.

futurobrillante99's picture

Not sure if it's your style but I'd start telling him to "Ask BM" whenever he wants something from you since he seems to still be treating her like a wife since he cares about her feelings more than yours.

If he asks for sex, tell him that will be kinda awkward since BM's got his balls in her hands and you don't do threesomes.

Kona_California's picture

I've said things like that to him and he just rolls his eyes. I said something like "since your son is such a god I'm sure you're dying to put your man parts back into the motherland so just go ef her already. I apologized for saying that later because I guess it was hurtful.

Kona_California's picture

This is really helpful. Thank you. I like these examples of how to respond with clear consequences that are rooted in me staying in control of my world. 

The thing is, he communicates with her while I'm not looking. Either during the work day or while I'm in the bathroom. He told me in the past he would put an end to all the unnecessary back and forth, but he basically has just makes it look like that's the case. I recognize that this is partially my insecurity of allowing that to bother me all day. But it's also partially him giving me reasons to be paranoid because he'll plan things with her and make decisions without me.

One time he left the house to drop off SS5 at school, just around the corner, and forgot his phone. I didn't think anything of it when I saw it. Apparently he turned around when he was half way to come back home and grab it, making his son late to school. He sprinted inside to get it and asked if I looked through it. I said no, why are you so paranoid. I ended up squeezing out of him that he was afraid I would see how much he's been messaging her and that she said some nasty things about me to him. And he was going to lengths to keep this from me. I think if I was a much more secure and confident person I wouldn't even care. But it really affects me and I think about it all the time. 

InDisbelief's picture

If it's been like this and you've already made it clear that it bothers you and he has done little to nothing about it, it probably won't change. Or he may just become better at hiding his communication with his ex.  He is the one that isn't respecting your guys relationship. She is only doing what he is allowing her to do. It takes two to communicate, and the moment she starts talking about things that aren't related to the child then he needs to stop replying. I think if it's causing more pain then it is worth ending a relationship over. I had the same problem you had at one point. He would do everything you described. I brought it up and told him it bothered me. Instead of fixing it, he just got sneakier about communicating with his ex while I wasn't around. I wish I would have ended it a long time ago, but I didn't think it was a big enough issue at the time. But IT WAS! Well it should have been for me anyways...

Kona_California's picture

Ugh yeah that's what I'm dealing with. That's so hard. I hate how cowardly most men are about hiding crap like this. Did you end the relationship or still considering?

InDisbelief's picture

Mine ended. But not just because of that issue. There was so many more problems that came up aside from this. I actually stayed a lot longer than I should have.