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I just don't get this!! Am I being unreasonable???

leftfield's picture

Started dating another man with kids. 'Im 34 and live in a small town, there is no way around it. I've learned a lot from this site over the past year and I took time off from my last rship to reflect, learn, etc.

New guy: has 2 kids. Been divorced 4 years. Met him on eharmony. During our first date, we began talking about previous relationships. I asked him about his ExW. He said he despised her until 2 years ago, but now they get along and all is well. They have 50/50 custody. He said they work so well together, that they really don't have set days to have/drop off the kids. They work the visitation schedule around each others' schedules. Great, I thought. She sounds reasonable.


I haven't yet her yet because he wants to make sure we are in a solid rship. That's understandable. But, Saturday night I was at home while THEY, yes THEY, and the kids are playing at Chuckie Cheeses and going to the new museum together. Like one big happy family. And then Sunday, she brought over a cake that she made for all of them. And they both call eachother all the time. And they sit next to eachother at practices, games, etc.

Ugggh I'm jealous. He said it's best for the kids this way and their rship is platonic. I hate that I'm so jealous ab this. Is this such a bad thing? I haven't met her yet, maybe she is really nice and we will get along fine and all will be well. My sister said she doesn't think their "relationship" will continue for the next 12 years as is. She said they will either get back together, have a FWB, or have a big fight and hate each other again.

Should I run?

Disneyfan's picture

If you can't handle the type of relationship they have(I sure as heck couldn't), then toss him back.

leftfield's picture

He told me on the first date that he has a good rship with her and nothing will come in the way of that. He said he won't introduce me to her for "a couple more months" because if things fail b/w us, he does't want to seem "unstable" to her- in other words, he doesn't want her to think he has shorterm gf's around the kids.I can understand that.

I didn't know he meant they are bff's who still hangout like a family on lazy Sundays.

Disneyfan's picture

He was kind enough to share a very important piece of info with you on the first date? Why did you agree to a 2nd?

You know how this will play out if you stay. You will try to get him to change the way he interacts with BM. He will always be able to say I told you from day one that that would never happen.

Walk away from this one.

leftfield's picture

It's many women who are SM's or dating a man with kids end up dealing with BM's who don't give a shit, who cause trouble, who nickel and dime the BD, who are unreasonable with visitations. She doesn't seem to be that type of person from what I hear. They settle everything w/o any probs. I'm not sure of she will cause probs b/w us, but is it worth it to wait this out? Every man in this area has kids. Maybe I should find someone who has a working relationship with their ex instead of this?

This isn't what is classified as a working rship, is it? This is extreme, no?

twopines's picture

Are you the person who broke up with your bf who had BM boundary issues, then got back together with him? You're dating another guy with kids now?

Am I confusing you with someone else?

leftfield's picture

No!!! I didn't give u guys an update on that!!!

He wasn't dating her after all. He called me and actually admitted that he would inflate their rship to ME, to piss me off. He said he's always had a problem with playing head games with women and he knows he needs to change. Psycho!!!!

leftfield's picture

I was a hot mess last Fall b/c one of my ex's was playing head games with me, making me feel inadequate when he would talk about his ex. He was always going out with her, too. Or so I though. He made his confession a couple months ago. He said he was never meeting her and his son out when he said he was....but he was meeting the girl he was cheating on me with!!! He then said he and his ex were not nearly as "bff" as he made it seem. He said he was playing games with me - to jugle his other rship.

nakichick's picture

Haha I've never thought of my homicidal tendencies being tested before. God must be proud of me, I've resisted so much for so long!

karendow's picture

My now exboyfriend always seemed to want to help and be close to his kids mother. She was a alcoholic during their marriage and after 17 yrs he had her move out and his kids stayed with him full time because they wanted to. He helped her thru everything initially because he felt bad and she was so helpless, as he had always done everything during their marriage. When he started dating me, I found it unusual that he still felt the need to baby her and keep the peace. She would call him for all kinds of little things, such as things going on in her family or about people they both knew. I started to feel jealous also because he couldn't seem to say "no" or set boundaries regarding their separation/divorce. He said he helped her because it made his children feel good that their mother had him to fall back on and said it was all about the kids.

Well, things got worse from their,,,,,,,,,on our first vacation we booked together at a lake about 2 hours from our house, with he and I and our children, I was asked to stay home for a couple of days of the vacation so that the kids mother could come up and enjoy them. Then I could come up for the remaining vacation time. I said of course "no way". I said he had the burden of of helping his children cope with the fact that he has moved on in his life with someone else and putting me first. He said the kids were feeling soooo bad and they really wanted mom to come for a couple of days. I took the time with his children to tell them myself that I know divorce is hard and that they miss spending time with both parents and that I was sorry that they had to deal with it and it would get easier. I am a kind and generous person but I was not giving up any time with him and I was hurt that he asked that of me. I was also torn up about the fact that he was a wonderful father but wanted to make everybody a little bit happy instead of drawing boundaries. The day we came home home from the lake and went to our respective houses, he shut his phone off and took her to dinner with the kids cause that was what they really wanted. I was soo angry I told him he had better make up his mind who his priority is.

Well.......things got worse from there. His ex moved on to a boyfriend and my bf oldest was graduating from high school so he was throwing her a party at his home. Everyone was coming. His ex threatened not to come over if I was there cause she would feel "uncomfortable". His bd begged him to have me stay home so her mom would go to the party. He said it put him in a terrible spot because it was his daughters high school graduation. I said it was simple......BM was being manipulative and he was allowing it. I told him his BD needed to realize that her mom was coming "with boyfriend" and he was having me there and if BM didn't like that she would be more than welcome to have her own graduation party. Well.....guess what....he asked me to stay home..........and everyone else went to the party and asked where I was.............needless to say I broke up with him and told him he wasn't ready to move on.

One month later he begged me to go back with him. We had a long discussion regarding his inablility to put us first as a couple and he swore he would from now on. I moved in with him about a year later and right when I moved in BM would come over to the house and just come in to visit the kids because they lived there......once boundaries. I told my bf it was unacceptable for her to come and hang out with the kids in our home and he was upset cause he thought I was creating a problem.......once again.....I was the troublemaker for expecting to be put first.

When his ex wife finally seemed to move on with her bf and not need him any more, I still was not first. What was important for his kids, came before he and I. They seemed to make decisions with him without regard to my feelings. He has a very enabling quality when it comes to his kids and his ex. We lived together for almost 5 years. 5 years of me fighting with him to be heard. Fighting for first place. Fighting to get him to see that we need to make he and I the priority and make decisions about matters together, not he and kids and I have to deal with it. The "kids" are now 23, 21, and 17. He wanted to move his 23 yr old daughter back into the house with us full time and his 5 yr old granddaughter full time because she had this baby and her relationship didn't work out. He wants to give the grandbaby a home and have his daughter START college next year and get her degree. His daughter is selfish and wants everyone else to watch her child. I voiced my opinion and let him know that we should be going in a direction of adult children moving on in their life separate from us and once again, putting ourselves first and heading to a more peaceful life.

Well...........Guess what..........I was told by my BF that he was not happy with me any more and wanted me to move out! He stated that the kids..."kids",,,the "adult kids were the most important part of his life and he was sick of fighting with me over that. Needless to say...we have been living separately now for a month....he is not interested in the least with me and just wants to provide for his "adult" kids and granddaughter.

The writing was on the wall,,,,,,,,way back in the beginning for me, and I knew it then but I followed my heart instead of my brain and now I am without him anyway......depressed, name it.....but i really don't have anyone to blame but myself.....

The moral of my sad story is this....a woman has a little voice inside her head that says "oh no" I don't think I like the direction that this is going. But being women...loving and understanding and all, we don't listen to the voice and we try and rationalize others behaviors and convince ourself that maybe we are the problem. No one can tell you what to do except for "the little voice" going off inside your head....listening to it now....will save alot of grief later as the years tick by and you are still not number one.

It doesn't sound to me like he is ready to put you and himself, as a couple, in a steadfast and unshakable union, which is where you deserve to be....take care of your self and if he cannot put you first in his life then you put yourself first and make decisions yourself that are in YOUR best interest........GOOD LUCK to you sweetheart....!

TheBrightSide's picture

Karen...I hope you're doing well.

Sorry you had to go through this for so long.

Take care of yourself.

Put yourself first (no one else will).

Now you're free to be with someone who WILL make your relationship a priority.

karendow's picture

thank you so much...i am having a very difficult time but i know time heals and i have wonderful children that feel he doesn't deserve me.

LilyBelle's picture

Sounds like he is a good man who wants to keep being a family with his ex for the kids sake, and wants a woman who is willing and able to be OK with that. Almost like polygamy, but not quite.

If you are that woman, by all means stay. But if you're not, wait for a man who will be truly available to you. Once kids are past age 3, they don't have to be a package deal with their mother. It's wonderful for kids to have some occasions and family memories with both parents present if it can be amiable... but if it is a routine thing, you will have to realize that it may not change, and if it does change his kids will resent you for it, and he may even resent you too.

A lot of men in your area are going to have kids... that is ok. Wait for one who has kids but who has closed the relationship with the ex, who is a good parent and establishes good boundaries, who will be able to honor and cherish you.

You're worth waiting!

Hang in there!

karendow's picture

The problem with a good man like that is they end up promising everybody everything because they cannot say no and prioritize their relationships and somebody always ends up getting hurt. Even in a a biological family the couple has to be first consideration with regards to kids and others. That is the only way it will work.

The question is will he, when the time comes for the relationship to take a serious turn, be able to make the transition to ex wife and kids second on the priority list........only time will tell.............but in the meantime....the GF heart is hanging out there hoping she will be able to be first. That thought always makes me feel like the puppy in the window...."pick me...pick me"""........I wish her well...

young_step_mom's picture

I don't think this type of relationship is a problem, as long as BM extends the same courtesy and relationship to you.

Has he brought gfs around her before? Has she brought bfs around? You should tell him that you understand that he doesn't want you to meet her or the kids until you are sure this is serious but tell him you are uncomfortable with their relationship and think it is important for you to meet her (not necessarily the kids) before you two move forward. If she seems to be open to you being included in their relationship I don't think there is a problem. The problem would be if she begins to disrespect you or purposefully not include you and in that case you definitely need to get the hell out before you are more emotionally involved.

If your bf denies the request and isn't willing to even discuss this then at least you will see where you stand with him and how much he really wants this relationship to work (or not).

young_step_mom's picture

And let me just add that when I think it is ok to be frienly I am referring to them sitting together at a soccer game (with you) or having a birthday party together (again, with you). I DO NOT mean family vacations or "I have to go over because the satellite dish moved and she can't fix it herself" or even "we are so friendly she can waltz right in when dropping off the kids." There should be BOUNDARIES, even if they do act like best buds when they are around the kids.

karendow's picture

young step mom,

Absolutely right....."friendly" meaning reasonable regarding childrens affairs or events is one thing but crossing the line and infringing would be another.

Starla's picture

Well you are already second questioning matters, I would listen to my first gut instinct if I were you on this. Or you can tip toe around BM down the round when DH has a fear about one thing or another. But if you ask me, people who hide from the start always scares me. Good luck Smile

unwillingparticipant's picture

DH and I have friends like this!!! I had no idea they weren't the only ones. The only difference in the situation we are witness to is that the ExW is remarried and has been for 10 years. So BM and BF go everywhere together "for the kids". Attend all their activities, go out to dinner as a family while the ExW's husband sits home. We (dh & I) have 10000 conspiracy theories that we chitty chat about on a regular basis.
1) They're secretly having sex
2) The ExW's husband is gay and/or having his own affair
It's the craziest thing ever. I dont know how these people do it. They're divorced for a reason, right??
If I were you, I'd run. You can NEVER trust this man 100% around this woman. She was married to him, she fathered his children, she has a history. How can you ever compete?

witsend71's picture

Things will change when BM gets a bOyfriend. Is he good to yOu when kids arent around? Is he attentive or selfish? If he's a gem it might be worth the heart ache w BM but if you're always chasing after him for time and attention then it's not worth it. 34 is young.. You could find someone w/o kids. It sounds like his great relationship w BM means her calling the shots...and probably always will.

leftfield's picture

He always wants me to play with them. But he does give me lots of attention and kisses when we aren't playing.

I think I'm going to drop the bomb on him tonight. This is starting to play out like my ex. To the poster who said I need more time alone, I think u are right.

EyesOfaStranger's picture

Show up to one of these games they go to together.. Sneak up behind him, throw your arms around him and say "hey baby" then quickly come around him and kiss him....

EyesOfaStranger's picture

Dont fool yourself honey. He's still "into" her. My DH's good friend does this exact same thing with his exW. "for the kid". But it's plain and easy to see (from any outsiders point of view) he is still in love with her. He hates her guts.. Yes. But he can't help it. So he keeps her close that way. She even has a bf. And when his exW is not around he will trash talk her... Oh she's such a horrible person... all the horrible things she did to him and the kid. But that phone rings and he answers. She "needs" him and he goes running "for the kid". Yea... Whatever.
Run honey.

stepnicole2010's picture

No, no, just no. Sorry. Sad

BM is being "reasonable" now b/c she hasn't met you and doesn't feel threatened. She is still the one with him on a Saturday night. Coming over with a cake too, seriously?

I would predict as soon she knows he has a new girlfriend or after she meets you and he shows any true indication of being serious w/you, out comes psycho BM.

Also, if he told you on the first date that he has a good relationship with her and nothing will come in the way of that, then he has made it clear. She is #1.

I am with Karen - there is a voice in your head telling you what's right. Trust it.

staying calm's picture

The fact that he hasn't introduced you makes me nervous..I understand the reason but it will be a big shift in "their" dynamic once he brings you into the scene. I experienced a lot of this same behavior when I first started dating DH. I had to have the talk with him about setting boundries. He was so used to being that way with her, (they were married for 10 years, divorced for 4 when we met) that it was hard for him to change. BM also put up a big fight and turned into the classic Crazy BM, which sucked becuase she "seemed" so normal!

Poodle's picture

If you met this guy on eharmony, sorry I don't know that dating site but isn't it possible to find a dating site where you can specify the type of partner you want? I remember a couple decades ago going on a site and specifying that I didn't want to date anyone with kids (yeah, I know, that was when I was young and foolish Biggrin ), and sure enough, I met a whole bunch of lovely single guys with no kids. Shortly after that I got together with my DH who was a college friend from years back so I disapplied my criteria cos I knew and hugely respected him, but, the point I'm making is, dating agencies can filter potential partners for you and you can exclude the daddies that way.