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Ladies (and Gents), talk me down

Merrigan's picture

I want to lose it on my SO. His ex wife's bday is coming up, and the skids asked him to pick up their present for her. I get that this happens in divorced families.  HOWFKINGEVER, he went out by himself, bought this special birthday gift request, and while doing so received a text from BM asking him to pick up a few other special items for her. HE DID. And then delivered them to her home with a card he bought for the skids, and hid it away so the skids can say it was a "surprise".  He told this to me in front of my coworkers, who had secondhand embarrassment for me. It's humiliating, and he does this shit ALL THE TIME. Always doing repairs, running errands because it's "for the skids".

I had no time to say anything other than "that's bizarre". I like to think things through before reacting, and I've always told him he can talk to me about anything. I've given him so much grace about her because she was abusive. BUT FCK ME, SHUT UP ABOUT HER. 


Merrigan's picture

And how about I send her covid-denying ass to my sister's covid unit, which is overwhelmed with dying patients, including her fellow doctors that have contracted it while treating others. But nooooo, not being able to go to the gym is "tyranny". 

Hesitant to try's picture

How old are the kids? Too young to do their own shopping and picking up? If not too young, and they just like to find reasons to include dad, then this seems like enmeshment. If they are too young to shop and pick up, then they need to find another relative to help with their shopping (aunt, grandparents, close adult friend). In any case, sounds like your SO enjoys still being the dad/husband for the original family. I've seen families like this... it's like they are partly divorced but not completely. This type of dynamic never bodes well for the new partners that join the group. I assume bio Mom doesn't have a boyfriend who can help with her repairs and errands??

My SO's ex was like this at first. I told him early in our relationship that I couldn't have a relationship with him if he was still having a relationship with his Ex-wife. From then on, he stopped doing her favors and suggested she call a neighbor or one of her brothers when she needed help.

Have you two discussed this issue before? Sounds like it's not new. 

Catmom024's picture

When questioned about why he does these things for BM does he say the words:  "Because sHe'S ThE mOThEr oF mY cHILDrEn"

notsurehowtodeal's picture

No, this doesn't happen in all divorce cases, especially when the kids are teenagers. My SD never once asked DH to help with a present for BM, and she was younger than your skids. I don't think you need to be talked down, I think you are justified in going off on him. If he wants to do repairs and run errands for his ex, maybe he needs to decide who he wants to make mad - you or her?

And why would he tell you that he did this in front of your co-workers? Does he often try and humilate you in front of others? You don't need to extend any more grace when it comes to BM. You need to start demanding that your SO treat you with respect.

Gimlet's picture

What is it going to take, Merrigan? 

He keeps showing you who he is.  You seem like a smart young woman, why aren't you seeing it?  

shamds's picture

My husband is a guilty disney dad who still hasn't managed to launch 2 adult kids from the exwife. Covid is the convenient excuse now!! Later on it'll be another.

but never in a million years would skids ever manage to coax or convince him into buying presents for biomums birthday and be her errand bitchboy!! I'm his wife and he buys presents for me, but skids can't even manage a happy birthday to their dad so they get nothing from him.

Merrigan's picture

Thank you everyone for reading. I can't reply right now because I can't think of any response that justifies what I'm putting up with, other than saying something silly like I'm at fault. I'm listening to all of you, and thank you again for being my sounding board so many times. 

hereiam's picture

You don't have to justify anything, we just want better for you.

At fault for what? You are not at fault.

Ending a relationship is not easy, even if you know it's the right thing to do.

Gimlet's picture

You aren't at fault for anything but being an optimist and seeing the person you think your boyfriend could be rather than accepting the person he is.

You deserve better than this.  You know it.   It just has to sink in and I will tell you this until I'm blue in the face or you start deleting my comments. 

advice.only2's picture

That's a negative ghost rider!!! He's not that into many more cliched movie quotes and titles can I use to convey just how No No No all of this is.  

Wilhelm's picture

Time to put your foot down and explain why it is not acceptable. 
If the children are small I would suggest they make their own gift for their own mother. As mother's  we can appreciate the sentiment but surely do not need elaborate gifts. As they get older they can purchase a gift for their mother with either pocket money or money earned from jobs.

When I first met DH he use to get conned into buying elaborate gifts for BM. When mother's day came around they wanted a 'good' gift for BM. I asked if their school had a mother's day shop as the school I taught at did. Oh yes but one of those gifts was not good enough for mum she would be horrified. The children at school loved taking their own money and buying the small gift being sold by the parents group. I am sure most mother's were delighted that their child had been able to choose and purchase a gift on their own.

The next year mother's day came around and when asked for money to buy BM a gift DH offered a nominal amount. 
These SD's didn't bother to buy DH presents while they were with BM.

Rumplestiltskin's picture

No need to talk you down. You should jump off that ledge! The relationship, not suicide to be clear. I am divorced and feel no obligation at all to pick up gifts for my ex. The kids can make him a card with crayons if they want if young, and pick it up themselves or have delivered by Amazon if they are older. It's the thought that counts and a home made card from the kids is a lot more thoughtful than a present bought by an ex. 

Winterglow's picture

He is not worth your time, Merrigan. Dump him. You might tell him he can come looking for you when he's finally over his divorce. OTOH, you'll probably have found better in the meantime. He isn't worth the grief or humiliation. 

Why couldn't his kids get their own gift? They're teens, after all, not toddlers.

tog redux's picture

I helped SS get gifts for BM a couple of times - that consisted of me driving him to the store and he picked out the gift and bought it with his own money. Rest assured, I did NOT go to BM's house and hide the gift so she'd think it was a surprise.

My DH would never get her gifts from SS.

I'm with the others - what's so great about this guy that he's worth putting up with, given his lousy boundaries and poor parenting?

simifan's picture

My ex and I thought gift giving was an important lesson to learn, we included it in our agreement. We set a $20.00 spending limit for Birthdays, Mother/Father's Day, Christmas. We each took the kid shopping and he picked out the gift. 

Exjuliemccoy's picture

THAT'S parenting, teaching the kids to show consideration on their own, not doing it for them. I have a feeling this idiot still has a feeling or two for "the mother of his chiiiildruuun".

Can you imagine what Merrigan's co-workers thought? This guy is that oh-so-NOT-stellar combination of clueless and arrogant.

Merrigan, you SHOULD lose it on him.

Rumplestiltskin's picture

I wish you could time travel and say, in front of your coworkers, "Well, aren't you just the best darn ex-husband a girl could ask for!" 

Exjuliemccoy's picture

Are you saying your bf has open access to BM's house, even being able to enter when she's not there??? WTH?? They are still semi operating like a childcentric married couple. That's bad, very bad. But the deal breaker for me is this: he doesn't put you first. He's not looking for a partner; he just wants a woman to plug into the life he already has. Just a Lego piece with no needs or expectations of her own.

You seem like a kind, sweet woman. You're likeable and intelligent, but don't want conflict or having to be the bad guy. I'm the same, but was lucky because my DH always put me first. I never had to fight for that, and that was a foundation we could build on despite all the Hell steplife threw at me. Your guy doesn't put you first; instead, he pressures you to fit into his life, to conform and accept the nonsense. 

People who are introverted, conflict avoidant, or not assertive get chewed up by these failed First Families. But relationships aren't supposed to be so hard. This guy doesn't understand you, and life with him will be a cycle of irritation, resentment, having A Serious Talk, followed by a period of calm before the next irritation. He will argue, rationalize, and resist change, more so once you move in or marry. 

Find a man who adores you, honey. Who wants to build a life with you and make you the center of his universe. All of us StepTalkers are rooting for you, and I'm pretty sure some with adult sons would love to have them date someone like you. Break ups are hard, I know, but you can't meet someone better while you're with this guy.

Peach's picture

Oh, hell no!  This would be the hill to die on for me.  He is out of his mind.  You need to blow this shite!

Lady.Tremaine's picture

I was going to tell you to create boundaries by helping stepkids get a small gift from them to bm and then I saw your SD is 16??

This is insane levels of inappropriate.  I am not the best at sticking up for myself but girl make boundaries.  This is gross.

Merrigan's picture

We're talking again (He was reaching out but I ignored it). He says he's afraid of losing me.  I said he has to cut her out if he wants a future with me.

That's just it. 

tog redux's picture

At the very least he has to have an appropriate co-parenting relationship with her - and that example is NOT it.