You are here

Sad for my boyfriend

BanksiaRose's picture

I can't seem to add to my original post under this forum section, so I've made a separate post. 
At the moment I'm struggling to arrange my thoughts clearly, so please bear with me. 

I have mentioned in a comment on someone else's post that things have improved quite a bit, especially on the boyfriend's part. He's stuck with 2 kids that his wife basically had on her death bed with a severe, life limiting illness, convincing him that she was going to be the outlier to all stats, since she had some menial job in a hospital and was almost a physician (spoiler alert- she wasn't). She carked it a good few years ago, well before I came onto the scene. The kids have now got diagnosed with ASD and ADHD, and there's a genetic risk of the older one developing schizophrenia, all that from the maternal side. He's almost a teenager and throughout life mentioned and then denied voices instructing him to hurt others, some occasional paranoia about ridiculous things etc. This is the space to be watched, unfortunately.

 Anyway, since I got involved and directed them to the right professionals, diagnoses and meds came along, and they're responding very well, letting their kindness and intelligence shine through. We get along a lot better, and I do enjoy their company a lot more. They're also in the gifted range of IQ, like their father, and I love learning science facts from them, talking about relationships etc. This is not to say that everything is hunky dory now, they'll still need a lot of professional help (occupational therapy, psychologist etc.), but it's a great start. And the biggest bonus is that they've always accepted me from the beginning, even though I've got a lot firmer boundaries then their father. They keep saying how much they would rather live with me than their dad (who makes them go to school and has limits on screen time, gasp!), and I jokingly say that they know me well enough now to realise that with me they'll have broccoli for dinner and there'd be no space for nuggets in my fridge, ever. In that area all is going well. 


One thing that's shifted for me, in a good way, is that I got validation for my suspicions about their BM being an extremely selfish and manipulative, cruel person. And I am just figuring out how to deal with it. Full details in another post in this section of the forum, but basic, I made all these conclusions independently, and everyone in my boyfriend's circles and the boyfriend himself have been limiting their comments about her around me, I assume to be respectful, which is how it should be. I should also say that my natural/default position is to not blame the woman when I first learn about a relationship breakdown, until I'm shown otherwise, so it was unusual for me to get this strong bad feeling about the BM, who had a pretty sad life story with her illness etc.

 Any statements made around me about her were mostly factual/neutral, with a couple of very basic nice things said about her. And it drove me nuts, feeling this chasm between my perception of her (an awful, possibly abusive and entitled leech with a reasonable outward image) and the impression I got from others that she was seemingly an ok person. Which could also be just that people don't speak ill of the dead, or that she's been long gone and everyone thought it not worth talking about old bad deeds, or any number of things, now that I think of it. 

Anyway, I ran into a woman from by boyfriend's social circle a little while ago, who's known him for close to two decades. She's known for having no filter, so to speak - not an ill-meaning person, but she'll say whatever is on her mind, good or bad. Somehow it came out of the conversation that she asked whether BF talks much about the late BM, and I said that he does to a respectful degree, and I get an impression he puts her on a bit of pedestal. She was surprised and said that he has no reason to put her on a pedestal, since she was always known to put him down, make fun at his expense (in a clever way, where people would laugh, but it would then leave a bitter taste in one's mouth) and was generally high-strung and anxious. And apparently that was obvious to everyone who knew them. 

 The conversation ended at that, but she said she's happy to talk again. I was fully aware to not overshare with this woman because of her lack of filter and was very vague and generic myself, in case you're about to warn me. 

This conversation, even though it lasted a few minutes, seems to have had a huge effect on me. I suppose I feel like my gut feeling was right (it usually is), and that I wasn't just misdirecting my anger about the kids' problems at the absent person who isn't here to defend herself. At the same time, I also feel that my occasional irritation with the boyfriend is now directed at the rightful target. And I'm more aware that he's the kind of person who put up with any kind of treatment to be loved. Well, he's grown a lot better boundaries since he first met her, but I feel that little wounded boy is still somewhere in him. I got annoyed with him a couple of times (poor parenting related), and I could see the immediate fawning response in him, even though I'm not particularly scary, I don't raise my voice (although I'm sure you can hear irradiation in my voice and I'm very clear about what I find unacceptable and how I expect it fixed), and that made think about all the crap he had put up with in his marriage. 

He's very willing to talk to a psychologist in the near future (his own idea, unprompted by me), since he's never really shared any of his grief or difficulties, and I was the first one who got a bit of a glimpse into all of this. He knows that I'm not his therapist and that there'll be plenty of stuff I'm not an appropriate person to share with, so I'm not worried about this. But part of me also feels like I need to very gently start bringing up the idea that perhaps he was mistreated/used/abused/controlled in that relationship. I feel like it won't be completely novel to him, but I also worry that he might clam up and get defensive , although I have no evidence of ever presenting like that. Is it my place to bring it up? Should I leave it to therapist (god know when that will be though)? Any other thoughts?



la_dulce_vida's picture

It's a known phenomenon for people to "not speak ill of the dead." Most of us have been raised with this notion.

It's further complicated when the deceased person is the "saintly biomom." Even living biomoms must be revered for their golden reproductive organs. How much more saintly is the biomom who dies "too young"?

While your partner shouldn't trash the mother of his children, he should be a little more realistic out of respect for you. It's enough for him to tell those kids their mother loved them. Painting her as a saint is a disservice to them.

I feel for you.

In my own personal experience, my XBF is a widower and he put his late wife on a pedestal. From all accounts, she was a lovely woman but she was also human. What bothered me the most was his inability to let her rest in peace. She passed away nearly 9 years ago, but he still gets moody and distant on her birthday, date of death and their wedding anniversary. He also won't distribute her ashes in the manner she requested AND has some of her personal items (shoes) set out like she'll be coming back any minute.

She was a lovely woman but I don't believe he was a good husband to her. He has rose colored glasses on about their marriage. I think she was very unhappy with him and the reason he can't let her rest in peace is because HE feels guilty.

It sounds like you're a good influence on the children. KEEP living apart. I have kids on the Autism spectrum and it's a stress on any relationship.

It's good your partner is considering counseling. It's hard to look honestly at our past traumas, but if he does it, it will demonstrate great strength and character.

Winterglow's picture

If I were in your shoes, I would let the professionals deal with this. Any intervention on your part, no matter how well-meaning, will only complicate things. OTOH, tak to your bf about his therapist, if only to be sure that he is comfortable with the one he chose and to ensure that he knows that he can change therapists if the first one (or three) aren't a good fit.

Be there to listen if he wants you to but avoid giving your opinion or view. 

ESMOD's picture

Yes.. absolutely.

Honestly.. it's actually fairly easy to blame his EX for all the problems you think you see here... one person somehow "confirming" some suspicion.. is honestly bunk.. you weren't there.. you don't know all the dynamics.  you honestly need to probably completely back away from this focus.

There is also a matter of perspective.. you say "put on a pedestal".  the reality is that there is little to be gained by pointing out his EX'es faults to his kids.. I wouldn't be interested in hearing daily and repeated honor speeches about her but that he speaks of her in a positive way when it comes up, to HER biological children that for better or worse.. are being raised without her?  That shouldn't be a huge issue.  

I would also totally expect people to moderate talking about her when you are around.. they would naturally assume most people don't want to focus and talk about their partner's EX.. dead or not.  I don't think you should ever hope to hear "oh.. thank goodness the witch is dead.. she was horrible.. you are so much more lovely".  so them being neutral.. avoiding talking about an uncomfortable subject (someone's dead ex.. nice or not).. that's normal.. and honestly you should appreciate that you are not being forced to hear tons of stories about  her.. and if you are... I would probably learn to change the subject.. or spend less time with those particular people.

I do agree as Winterglow said.. you can listen neutrally.. but your opinion and your ideas need to stay in your head.. the most you should suggest is that if he thinks talking to a therapist would help for him or his kids.. he should do it.

Again.. your opinion that she was selfish to have kids etc.. that your SO is "stuck" .. I'm sure he has a wholly different view.. and honestly.. would not appreciate knowing that you feel that way.

Harry's picture

I don't know where you live but in US this is covered by social security disability. 

These kids are never going to be on there own.  If they are showing signs of these mental diseases at this early age. It's bad.  Normal these diseases don't show until early teens.   You have a whole host of problems ahead of you.  A. They feel good don't need the meds. B. The meds stop sexual functioning.  Better to function sexually then take the meds.   C, meds make them feel different. Better to feel good then take the meds. D. They want to control there own life. Stop meds.

RUN fast  or start a lawer fund , you will need . Start a furniture replacement fund. A jewelry replacement fund. A money replacement fund.  Medical fund 

Rags's picture

I applaud your confidence, setting and enforcing boundaries in your relationship (wth your SO) and with your Skids.

On the topic of speaking ill or discrespectfully of the dead.... That does not negate the facts.  They are what they are.  Facts are neither good, nor are they bad. They are merely facts.  Death does not negate the facts, erase the good, or the bad that the dead have perpetrated in the lives of others.

So, do not allow SO, the SKids, her family, his family, or their friends to white wash her life and the damage she perpetrated just because she is dead.   Polishing a turd does not change the fact that it is a turd. Polishing it just makes it a shiney POS.

Stay the course on living your best life and dragging SO and the partially orphaned Skids along as  you live your best life. Do not let them detract from that life.  BM... blessedly, can add no new baggage to the lives of your SO or your Skids.  Your leadership in getting them all into the right support conduits medically, psychologically, behaviorally, and via therapy, is what has made the difference and may just get all of you to a BM baggage minimized future together.  She is gone, she can do no more harm though her toxic influence likely will never be entirely minimized.

Take care of you.

Give rose

An interesting somewhat related thing, one of my dad's closest friends was widowed about 20 years ago.  His wife highly preferred their eldest of two kids. She catered to him, babied him, etc... This "kid" is now in his early 40s, ineffectively dealing with a divorce, his not yet XW just gave birth to cheat baby twins with her bottom dwelling BF. The entire situation is insanely beyond belief. But, totally happening.  He has sold cars he did not own, (dad's friend owned them and the idiot son used them)  been terminated from good jobs that he was doing exceptionally well at becaus... he refused to get his ass out of bed and to the office on time.  Stayed home to day trade his way to stock market $millions while his hopefully STBXW worked and be SAHDaddy to their two kids.  He is not a ban person, just a lazy POS idiot that dad's friend refuses to put his boot up the ass of.

My dad's close friend is burning through $Hundreds of Thousands on his eldest because the eldest is the deceased wife's favorite and he feels disloyal to her if he were to write this idiot off. The idiot is not stupid.  He is a STEM degreed BS graduate from a top tier university.  But, can't pay his bills, barely remains employed at a very low level, etc...  Dad's friend deludes himself that if he does not continue to burn money on his eldest that his GKs will be homeless (they live with their cheater mother, gangbanger-y not yet StepDad, twin infant half sibs,  and only visit their father), he will dishonor his first wife.

Meanwhile back at the ranch and decades later, their youngest is a professional rockstar medical professional, highly successful, and needs shit for nothing from daddy.  Dad's friend did buy the daughters first home for her.  As he did for the idiot son.  But, the daughter demands, asks for, and needs... nothing from daddy.  Daddy has bought the home he gifted to the idiot son... twice. Once when first purchased, and recenty again to buy out the not yet XDIL.

This is all beyond me. Dad's friend is exceptionally smart, intelligent, and a man of quality. Yet.. he flushes shit tons down the crapper on his idiot eldest.  THe topic of the deceased first wife does not come up except in context to the never ending burning of money of her favorite child.  That dad's friend has no delusions on his complete and total POS status.

Your SO and SKids are blessed to have you and your leadership in their lives.