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Completely fed up

Fedup89's picture

So, I have been with my boyfriend for 2 years.  I have a child from a previous marriage.  He has a child with his ex.  They have been separated for almost 4 years (I am not concerned that he still has feelings or anything, and him and his son have moved in with me).  The issue is the mother of his child.  The reason they haven’t officially divorced yet (which he is in the process of doing currently) is because she’s a manipulative, selfish, b****.  She constantly threatens him if anything doesn’t go her way.  He has been so scared to do the divorce because he is worried she will try something.  He loves his son very much and consistently is the only parent who does anything for the kid.  He has his son more than she does and does all the dr appts, school, etc.  Point being, she sucks.  She will send him to us after her days and he hasn’t had a shower, brushed his teeth, and in clothes that are 2 sizes too small.  Now that I have that prefaced, this next part is where my constant frustration comes from.  She is constantly using my boyfriend to get her way, is never appreciative, and expects him to bend over for her any time she needs something AND HE DOES.  It doesn’t matter if it inconveniences me at all. He says it’s for his kid, which i understand, but where is the line drawn “for your kid” and just constantly helping her? For example,  I have to watch his son for her after school every Thursday and  Friday until she gets off work (he works during this time).  This in itself is whatever, and I don’t mind.  The issue is that every other Friday I usually take my son to my sister’s house and we all have family time (dinner, conversation, my son plays with my nephews, etc.).  I can’t do that anymore because she won’t allow me to take her son over there too while we wait because it inconveniences her somehow (it’s no further than my house).  By the time she would pick her son up, there would be no point in me leaving the house. So now my own son’s routine is messed up to accommodate her.  My bf wants to just play ball with her while the divorce goes through, but I can’t take the constantly having to do everything she wants.  I’m literally at my wits end.  She decided to pick up a shift at work next Thursday (her day) and asked my bf to watch their son. She KNOWS he works that day and KNOWS it would be me that would watch him, yet she never communicates with me.  We were going to go see a movie that day and now we can’t because she decided to pick a shift up at work.  Keep in mind, she doesn’t spend any of her money on the kid and I know she’s not struggling.  She refuses to drop their son off with me on Saturdays, yet expects me to watch him for her when it’s convenient for her.  I can’t take it.  I know it will be better once the divorce is over and she can’t make threats anymore, but the interim is killing me and stressing me out.  I’ve started grinding my teeth in my sleep (according to my bf) and I never used to do that.  I feel like it’s from the stress. Someone please give me some advice.

Siemprematahari's picture

Why is your BF so scared of her? Does he have visitation set in place? Your relationship will not survive if he’s busy trying to please BM and placing you in the back burner.

I have to watch his son for her after school every Thursday and  Friday until she gets off work

You don’t have to do anything, especially if it’s to wach HIS son after school every Thursday & Friday until she gets off work. This is not your problem and both he and BM need to figure that out. You shouldn’t be inconvenienced like that and your BF should respect and honor you enough to not even put you in that predicament. If I were you I’d tell him to figure it out with BM and continue having family time at your sisters house. This is not your child and not your issue.

So now my own son’s routine is messed up to accommodate her.

Your sons needs or routines should never come 2nd to anyone and you need to really shut this down. This may be accommodating to BM but it’s not for you, so again they have to figure this out on their own.

Things will not magically improve once they “divorce”. She will only ramp up her crazy and if you continue to give her so much power over your lives it will never end. She can’t do anything that you don’t allow. Your BF needs to step it up and stop being scared. He’s allowing this woman to dictate his life and he needs to man up and do something about it.

CLove's picture

Siemprematahari generally gives really solid advice, in a solidly gentle tone.

In a nutshell - BOUNDARIES

In the beginning phase of relationships is when we really should get those established, however it seems we are either so new to this arena, or just are not used to people who run roughshod over other's boundaries (boundaries, what are those?) so we are a bit forgiving and dare I say, door-matty.

So learn about setting and enforcing boundaries or this will get much worse...

CLove's picture

I also got the whole "I have to keep her HAPPY to make things easier" (variation you probably also get toe hear) and watched as my then-SO jumped through hoops, and walked on eggshells. Well, the good news is that once the divorce is final, the child custody arrangements are written and judge has signed off, you at least have something to work with.

Can you look into temporary custody orders while this is all happening? This helps a ton.

But heres the rub. All this "bending over backwards" that you and your So are doing, wont actually earn you any goldstar bonus points in court. When sh!t hits the fan, it gets ugly, and all these "allowances" and "helpful schedule modifications" will not really do anything.

What DOES count is: how much he makes, how much she makes, what is custody time awarded. What assets are to be divided, what spousal support and to whom. Thats it.

AND, unless there is some kind of custody arrangement in order, you dont really have much to work with.

I dont know where you are located, but consult your lawyers. We did not and used a paralegal to get through his divorce. It wasnt too too bad, but it wast optimal. And she filed a child support modification order a few years after.

My best best best advice that I had to revisit just yesterday, was to DOCUMENT THE HECK OUT OF EVERYTHING POSSIBLE. Then document some more. Take photos if it would help.

The other thing is that you shouldnt be the counted on baby sitter for either parents - they need to be able to figure that out on their own without you. Once you go down this rabbit hole, trust me, its a long way back up and out.

Keep positive and focus on your bio! I have been there and jumped those hoops and I know it will frustrate the heck out of you...!

Fedup89's picture

Thank you both.  As far as watching his kid for him, it’s a give-take.  He drops my kid off at school and picks him up for me every day and he doesn’t HAVE to do that either.  My issue is NEVER watching his son for him or even for her.  The issue lies in everything else mentioned...i.e. her somehow being inconvenienced having to drive to my sister’s to get him and not letting me have him on Saturdays even though I have when it’s convenient for her.  My bf helps me out SO much with my own kid.  I feel if I don’t help with his, that I look like an a**hole because he does what he can for my son as well.  He even lets my ex drop off my son on my ex’s days in the morning to take him to school so my ex won’t be late for work.  Very sweet.  The difference is that my ex isn’t a POS and appreciates things and constantly is thanking my boyfriend for being great with our son and helping out like he does.  If my bf’s ex would show one ounce of appreciation and respect towards me like my ex does to my bf, I wouldn’t have such an issue.  I feel like I’m stuck in this constant state of being “used and abused” by her.  It’s just wearing me down.

Siemprematahari's picture

It's great that your BF helps out with your son but is it inconveniencing him? And he's being respected and appreciated for it by both you and your X. Your BF's X is taking advantage and not respecting you and what you do for their child, so that's a big difference. I get what you're saying but you should't allow her disrespectful behavior to dictate what you do or don't do because she's inconsiderate.

Fedup89's picture

You’re right.  The pickup/drop off is a little inconveniencing for him but not in a way that interferes with a prior routine.  


I also forgot to mention that my bf’s kid is really weird with me too.  My son tells my bf he loves him and talks him up to my ex.  His son is really distant with me.  His son also told his mom, my bf’s mom, and my bf’s sister that I’m mean and control everything.  Basically, before they moved in, my bf’s son had no rules.  He stayed up as late as he wanted and played video games for HOURS.  I don’t allow my own son to do this, so once they moved in there were some rules established.  It is completely ridiculous for a 6 year old to be playing video games for that long and doing what he wants.  So now, he’s made me out to be some horrible person to everyone.  The BM drama, on top of his son throwing me under the bus like that despite me being the one trying to help him read, making sure he has a good healthy dinner, making sure he has all essentials he needs, trying to relate to him in some way, has just made me feel resentful towards all parties including his son. 

Pregnantwithquestions's picture

I really try not to jump to conclusions, but please hear me out. Based on what you said:

1) BF's son had no rules prior to you. Hours on end of video games and staying up late

2) BF and ex haven't gotten divorced because he is "too scared" of how BM might retaliate

3) BF bends over backwards to accomodate BM, presumably because of point #2-- scared of retaliation

4) BF isn't willing to or hasn't stepped in to enforce the rules, allowing you to essentially be seen as the "controlling" one.

5) You're going out of your way to accomodate BF, BFkid and BM while you and your son alter your schedule


It sounds to me like this guy has 2 issues: he has been or is paralyzed by fear and lets that control his decision making (or lack of it) ... and he is also a lazy parent and partner. 

I would bet if you sit back and really evaluate this guys behavior-- you'll find he has used you to keep in a holding pattern with his ex. He lives with you, you parent his child and coordinate the "hard stuff". He has the convenient excuse of doing everything "for the kid" and because you have a heart, you let that be a good enough excuse until it becomes apparent that it ISN'T in the best  interest of anyone but him (and possibly BM, who he doesn't want to upset). I don't think there's romantic feelings between them, but you don't need romantic feelings to still be 3rd wheel in your own relationship when a man refuses to put boundaries in place with BM.

If half of these men researched their local laws and consulted actual legal advice vs allowing fear to dictate their decisions-- then they'd see that oftentimes BM's have precious little say and THEY are GIVING these women the power they claim to be so scared of.

I'd call him to the carpet on this behavior. First of all, there is no "trying to get a divorce" for 4+ years, there's inaction on his part and allowing BM to call the shots. Then there's the issue of his child speaking of you like you're the fun police coming in and ruining a good time. It's about high time that BF sits down and starts enforcing some rules, #1 being that kid understands where these rules are coming from (and it's not the big, bad stepmonster... it's from big, bad DAD) and then you take your son to your sisters house every Friday and continue that tradition and cherish that time together-- BM can throw a fit and come get her kid from your sisters house or your BF can rearrange his work schedule to be home by the time you need to leave to go visit your sister. Those are his options, sorry not sorry. 

Exjuliemccoy's picture

You need to toughen up, hold your bf accountable, and learn to say "That doesn't work for me" and mean it.