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Please give me a man's perspective. Am I being a selfish witch here?

boston0823's picture

Please give me a man's perspective. Am I being a selfish witch here? My BF of a year and I are talking about moving in together and getting married. Our relationship is great and wee see eye to eye on everything BUT his role with his ex-wife. He believes that it is his responsibility to help her with car problems, house problems, etc. for the sake of his son. He also thinks it's completely appropriate for him to go out to the movies and other events with his ex-wife and son. He says that those are the few things his son has left of his family. She calls or texts him at all hours and I do know it's about the son, but it still bothers me. I know he loves me and he has done so many things to show me his intentions with me are pure. He engages with my 16 yo son and they get along well. We've spent time with our boys as a family and it's wonderful. I just can't understand why he still needs to do those things for his ex-wife or spend family time with them if he's truly moved on. Am I being selfish? Or am I being reasonable in expecting that he set boundaries with his ex-wife and stop being a husband to her and doing these "family" things with her and his son? Please help me. I am on the verge of leaving an otherwise healthy and beautiful relationship.

anabihibik's picture

I am not a man. However, it is psychologically confusing for his son to see his mom and dad acting like a family. They either are or they aren't. Divorced dads often have guilt feelings over "breaking" the family they had for their children. They often see their new SO as a way of giving that family back to their kids. Sometimes, they think they need to continue to give that illusion to their children that their family is still their. They aren't teaching their children how to adapt, how to deal with changes in relationships, or reality, though. Long term, that's more damaging to their kids. Instead of giving their kids examples of healthy adult relationships and healthy boundaries, they are giving them a fairytale that won't end up making anyone happy. Have you heard of the book Stepmonster? You might read it and give it to your significant other, or suggest counseling to help him realize what this could cause down the road. If he is unwillint to meet your boundary of not being ok with this behavior and the message that it sends, then you might need to consider if participating in this is something you really want to do.

ExhaustedStepmom's picture

No, he should not be giving her extra money, helping her around the house, helping her with car stuff, etc. They are not married anymore, his loyalty should lie with you. Do not put up with this, make it very clear. Otherwise you will become very resentful. Stepmoms or girlfriends are often treated like second class citizens, or not part of the core family. You deserve someone to take care of you.

Guiltriddenameteur's picture

Sorry but no. It will create more confusion for his son. If his marriage is ended, it ends. Son comes to you guys on his days and stays with her when it's not. This whole family bull cr*p for the children boils my p*ss. As for paying for things for her, that's what he provides money for his kids for- or buys stuff his kid needs. There's a line. Paying for car stuff is not for his kid. That's for her. My OH does it too. She's recently given him a letter of tax overpayments to her for nearly 3k. He wouldn't have told me about it if I didn't see it. Says he's not going to pay it but I think he already has. And if I find out he has, out marriage will not be happening. I already told him she sorts it out herself and if that means the kids come to us every night for tea to make sure they don't suffer then that's what will happen but SHE is paying her own debts. Personally I think it went in one ear and out the other but unfortunately unless I snoop through his bank statements I will never find out if he's paid it.