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  #1  
November 13th, 2012, 09:01 PM
Member
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 13
Hi, there. I'm a new member and this is my first post to this forum. I'm looking for advice on how to handle a dilemma I am having with my boyfriend and his son's mother.

Some background info on us: I am 32, he is 41. We have been together on and off over the past year, but really made a conscious decision this past August to try and make this relationship work. We are expecting a child together in May. While not exactly planned, we are excited and happy about the pregnancy.

When I met my boyfriend last December, he had recently gotten out of a relationship with his now 18-month old son's mother. We began seeing each other casually and unbeknownst to me, he was trying to reconcile with her during this time. Although they attempted to work things out, she mostly had made up her mind about not wanting to be with him and almost completely shut him out of his son's life. As a result, he missed out on many important moments and milestones in the first year of his son's life (eg, Father's Day, his son's 1st birthday, etc.). This affected him greatly as he is very much in love with his son and he fell into a deep depression because of it.

In March, we began seeing each other a little more seriously and I began to fall in love with him. As things progressed, I tried to get a sense of where we stood as I hoped we could begin seeing each other exclusively but sensed some initial hesitancy on his part, most likely because of the situation with his ex, however, eventually we agreed to see only each other.

As time went on, we would break up and get back together again as I would sense that he hadn't quite moved on from his ex, however, he would always call constantly when this happened and express his love for me and desire to make things work between us, and reassure me that it was simply his son that he missed and not her.

After a 2-week separation in July, we got back together in August and as I mentioned, made a decision to take our relationship to the next level. He moved me into his apartment and I could sense that something was different this time.

In late September, we found out I was pregnant. Additionally, he and his son's mother were finally able to work out a visitation agreement for his son where he would have him three times a week for four hours, provided there was a court-approved supervisor there (the mother is afraid that he will kidnap their son in retaliation for being kept away from him for so long. She also worries that since he hasn't been involved in much of his son's life, he doesn't know how to take care of him very well). While happy about getting visitation rights, my boyfriend wants to have more unsupervised time with his son as it will allow for more fun activities and it is sometimes difficult to arrange to have supervisors there due to their work schedules and other commitments.

Since getting visitation rights back for his son, my boyfriend has been spending a great deal of time texting his ex and having lengthy conversations with her on the phone almost daily. He contends that this is necessary because for one, he enjoys hearing his son's voice on the phone and likes to check up on him. He also feels that by being friendly with her, it will help ease her concerns about him being alone with their son and will eventually help him get unsupervised additional visitation time.

At one point, he even proposed letting her work for him as a trainer in his personal training business as she is unemployed with little job skills and has no means of affording daycare. He contends that it is a way of him helping her and that it is her only real option of making a significant income.

I've looked at his cell phone and noticed that there are missing portions of conversations between them because he deleted them. He also sometimes accompanies his son's mother to his son's haircuts or other outings and neglects to tell me. He explains that he deletes the conversations because he doesn't want us to argue, and doesn't tell me about being alone with his son and his son's mother because he wants to see his son as often as he can, but at the same time, doesn't want to upset me or cause me stress while I am pregnant.

While I want to be supportive of him spending time with his son, I am obviously very uncomfortable about him being around his child's mother when it is not necessary due to the fact that I feel like he hasn't completely healed or moved on from their painful breakup. For example, he became depressed when he found she was dating in October and brings her up sometimes in casual conversation.

Despite all of this, I do know for certain that he loves me, will love our child unconditionally and is and will be an amazing father. When we are not fighting, he is incredibly affectionate, loving, passionate and a good partner. We have strong emotional and physical connections and I have never experienced a love like I feel for him.

I have proposed family/couples counseling and he is very willing to go, however, I'm wondering if this relationship is even salvageable or if it holds nothing but future heartache for me. The stress of the whole situation is taking a huge toll on my physical and mental health.
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  #2  
November 14th, 2012, 07:14 AM
Rachel's Avatar Just Rachel
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If you're checking his cell phone, it would appear that there are some serious trust issues and I would urge you to re-evaluate your relationship with him. If you can't trust your partner and feel the need to check up on him, then you probably don't belong together.

That being said, I don't find it odd that he goes to haircuts, etc. with his ex and their son. It's actually really good that they have an amicable relationship. Only good can come of that. If you think they are too chummy, perhaps you are reading more into the situation than is really there. Or if he's given you reason to not trust him, refer back to my first paragraph and take a good long hard look at your relationship and whether it can stand the test of time.

I have lengthy telephone calls with my ex husband from time to time. And our children are adults now, but we have remained friendly over the years and I do care about him, in a totally non-romantic sort of way. My DH doesn't care and is happy that we were able to put our issues with each other behind us and raise our kids without (much) drama. I would love nothing more for than for him to have a similar relationship with his ex wife, but she's crazy so I don't see that happening.

Anyway, welcome to the board! I'm Rachel, mom of Sarah (24) and James (21) from my first marriage, and Daniel (7) and Keelan (15 months). Neely is my other half and his boys, William (13) and Clayton (11), live with us full time.
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  #3  
November 14th, 2012, 07:41 AM
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^^ Dito to Rachel.

welcome!
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  #4  
November 14th, 2012, 09:35 AM
Platinum Supermommy
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Welcome!

Unfortunately in my experience, when someone hides things it's because they have something to hide. I'd be very concerned about this relationship. Since you are having a child together, I'd definitely do the counseling. Whether you stay together as a couple or not, you will still be raising this child together. If you can learn to communicate better & co-parent, that will be better for everyone involved.
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  #5  
November 14th, 2012, 10:10 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,684
Sup?!

I was in a similar position. In the end it ended up being that M's mom didn't want to be with my husband but she didn't want him to go either. She wanted to be together on her terms and she cheated and he wasn't here for that. It took a really long time for her to realize they didn't work and for her to stop doing crazy stuff like insisting that if he wanted to see his son he would sleep at her house instead of at a hotel. Initially he tried to hide that from me because he thought it would make me upset. What he didn't get is that it would make me upset with HER not him. The only thing I got mad at was him hiding things from me. Them working together is not a bad thing, however it has to come equally from both sides. If it's not, he's pretty much just jumping through her hoops to get access to his child and he WILL get tired of that one day and man up. You just have to ask yourself how long you're willing to wait.
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  #6  
November 14th, 2012, 12:32 PM
K.A.T's Avatar Enjoying her Sticky Bun
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Rachel nailed it. It sounds like you have trust issues. So until you can manage to get past those issue, you're going to have a hard time the relationship he has with his son's mother. If you truly feel that he's moved past it and he loves you, then you need to work on your personal issues not just couples issues.

Good luck and welcome to the group.
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  #7  
November 14th, 2012, 12:43 PM
.Katie.
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Hi and welcome!

I don't think there's any situation that warrants deceptive behavior. Those who have nothing to hide, hide nothing kind of thing. I can tell you from experience that establishing boundaries is huge when blending a family, especially in the beginning. While I agree to an extent with Liz and Rachel, the frailty of newly established and blending families is huge. I don't think that means she has trust issues at all. They are building their foundation.

If it makes you uncomfortable, say so! It's your relationship and you have to live in it. If he loves you, he won't put you in situations that make you question his integrity.
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  #8  
November 14th, 2012, 04:58 PM
Mega Super Mommy
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Posts: 3,769
I would really talk to him about boundaries.. I have felt the very same way, my DH would be super duper nice and talk to his ex all the time and tell me it was so he could see the kids.. SHE used it against me, and create a lot of drama because of it, will this happen with you? maybe not, every situation is different, but if you feel uncomfortable with things that are happening then you need to have a serious talk with him, does he have to stop being nice and trying to have a good relationship with his ex for his child? no, you want everyone to get along! but you also need to feel comfortable, especially since he was very much not over her for awhile.
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  #9  
November 14th, 2012, 07:09 PM
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I agree with stresswife. Like M's mom climbed into bed with him while he was sleeping and took photos and sent them to me. (She's a horrible photog and one of the ones she sent I could see his eyes were closed and realized he wasn't participating because he was knocked out.) And that was our breaking point. It took me calling off our wedding to wake him up. And he realized, I have possibly lost the woman I love forever and I STILL don't have unsupervised time with my kid. She won't let me take him anywhere by myself. It's always on her terms on her turf and now I've lost the woman I was going to marry.

You have to trust him if a relationship is going to work at all. I want to make that very clear. There are gonna be situations you're not gonna like that's part of being a blended family. And you're gonna have to have the love and trust to make it through that. BUT there also has to be full disclosure and honesty throughout. If there's things happened that make you uncomfortable or that you don't like, it's easier to deal with if you don't have to deal with the emotions that come from those things being hidden from you on top of dealing with the actual events.
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  #10  
November 15th, 2012, 08:10 AM
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Location: Bay Area, CA
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Thank you so much everyone for the warm welcome, for taking the time to read my post and for offering your insight. It's helpful to hear about your own similar experiences. We do indeed have trust issues. I've made an appointment for couples therapy for us and I'm hoping we can begin to work on our trust issues.
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  #11  
November 15th, 2012, 10:01 AM
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I'm glad you made the appointment!
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  #12  
November 15th, 2012, 08:28 PM
.Katie.
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Good luck!!!
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  #13  
November 17th, 2012, 11:55 AM
mom2more's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I am glad that you made the appointment.

I used to be really friendly with my ex. We split on bad terms, but eventually became friends again. Before meeting my husband I did a lot of things with my son and ex together. We would throw joint birthday parties. Sometimes I would even hang out with my ex and our friends. We would talk on the phone for long periods of time about things besides our son. Nothing about us, just about random things. But our situation was a little unique because we grew up together and had the same circle of friends.

After getting serious with my husband I had to stop because it made him uncomfortable. And in thinking about it I realized that I would not be comfortable with him and his ex being that friendly. I wasn't doing anything wrong, but if I wanted to make things work in the relationship with my husband I had to put my time and effort into that relationship instead of a "friendship" with my ex. We are on good terms still.

Maybe your guy just needs to realize how it makes you feel and realize that he can be friendly with his ex while still being thoughtful of your feelings?
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  #14  
November 18th, 2012, 06:23 AM
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Location: Bay Area, CA
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Thanks. ^ I hope he really wakes up and realizes it soon because it's causing a ton of problems and an indescribeable amount of stress in our relationship. I'm not a distrustful or insecure person, but there is something about there relationship that I am very uncomfortable with.
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  #15  
November 26th, 2012, 03:01 PM
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We have a counseling appointment scheduled for this Friday, but in the meantime, we've been fighting constantly. It's been difficult for both of us and we are both kind of reaching our breaking point.

For example, tomorrow is his son's doctor's appointment for his shots and he wants to accompany his child's mother to go the appointment. While I think it's nice that he wants to be present, it bothers me when he spends time with her. There has been so much back-and-forth with him trying to reconcile with her when we break up (the most recent time that I know of was in mid-August before we got back together) that it's hard for me to believe that his feelings for her have completely dissipated since then. And if there are still feelings there, I feel like spending time like that together is only further nurturing his feeling for her. He has told me in the past that it does stir up a lot of emotions for him when they do these types of family activities together.

He is feeling resentful of me now because he feels that he can't have lengthy conversations on the phone with his son or be around his son/son's mother as much as he'd like because of me feeling uncomfortable.

Such a tough situation all around...how do we cope until Friday without killing each other? I am trying not to start fights with him for both of our sanity, but it's difficult because I am so angry with him...I am really feeling like the only reason we are together and pregnant now is because his child's mother wouldn't reconcile with him in August.
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  #16  
November 26th, 2012, 04:54 PM
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.....I don't know how to phrase my answer to this in a constructive way. I'm going to think on it.
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  #17  
November 26th, 2012, 06:42 PM
K.A.T's Avatar Enjoying her Sticky Bun
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Ahh all I can say is good luck.
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❤ Big Thanks to Vicki, trishosaurus, & Shortcake for the great siggies of my kids! ❤
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  #18  
November 26th, 2012, 08:11 PM
plan4fate's Avatar I may bend, but not break
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there comes a point in time where you have to decide to trust him, or to leave. He has every right in the world to go to that doctor's appointment, or to call and get an update on his son. Those actions in themselves are NOT suspicious. Either he's doing something more that you've not told us, or you've hit the jealous wall.

My dh had to live with his ex for 3 months after the papers were signed because their savings had been spent. We were technically together, and I had to go to bed each night knowing that she was sleeping on the other side of their bed (with Reme in the middle). Did it bother me? Of course it did. But it was something I had to accept and live with and make the decision to TRUST him.
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  #19  
November 27th, 2012, 05:42 AM
Keakie's Avatar Learning to walk in faith
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I'll be the odd woman out. While I don't see any problem with him wanting to attend appointments or call to see how his son is doing, the fact that he has struggled with his feelings about his ex and has plainly stated that those family-esque events trigger those feelings and the fact that he has tried to get back together with her while you were on the rocks is WAY outside the realm of wanting to be involved in his kid's life. I'm sorry. I think it's crazy to suggest that, given his own statements about his unresolved feelings about his son's bm, the OP should just deal with it/is being irrational for feeling uncomfortable.

Having said that, I don't think that checking his phone, asking him not to see his son and otherwise trying to police him into establishing appropriate boundaries with an ex spouse and into committing fully to you is the right answer either. I realize that you are expecting a child with this man and you live together and that complicates the situation a lot, but I don't think that this man sounds like someone who is ready to fully commit to a new partner - not because he wants to attend spend time with his son or have a good co-parenting relationship with his son's mother (I think all of us on this board would agree that if you *can* have a peaceful, even friendly co-parenting relationship, you should absolutely do it because it makes life infinitely easier for everyone involved) but because he has flip flopped between the ex and his current partner repeatedly and recently, and is regularly in situations that trigger emotions about his ex. That doesn't sound like someone who is building a solid foundation with someone new.

I don't think he's a bad guy. I just don't think he's been able to resolve his emotions about that relationship, and it sets all of you up to have a difficult time. I'm not advocating that you split up, but personally, I think some distance or a trial separation may help both of you decide whether or not this is how you want to live. I see a lot of things in this situation that could build resentment on both sides for years, and that's not how you want to start your relationship. If you are going to commit to one another, you need to be comfortable with his interacting with his soon and yes, co-parenting with his ex. At the same time, and I've put on my firefighter suit at this point because I'm sure the flames will be rolling in for this, I don't think it's unreasonable to expect someone to consider their spouse's feelings when interacting with an ex. His relationship with the ex and his relationship with his son are separate.

That doesn't mean he should cut off all contact with his ex to make his current partner happy because IMO that isn't healthy, but I do think it's totally reasonable for someone to say, hey - it makes me a little uncomfortable when xyz (when you talk on the phone for hours, when you hug so and so, whatever it might be). I would feel better if (you kept the phone calls under an hour, you don't hug at every drop off and pick up, whatever - we've been on the same page so I don't have any BTDT examples and am making those up as I go so forgive me if they're lame). If it's something that, really, isn't necessary to maintain a good co-parenting relationship, won't affect the child negatively if it stops and it makes a spouse uncomfortable, I don't think it's unreasonable to ask that the interaction is scaled back/changes slightly/whatever. Having a child with someone doesn't give you free reign to have 0 boundaries with them when you have a current spouse who you're supposedly committed to.
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  #20  
November 27th, 2012, 07:32 AM
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I agree with Keakie!

(Did I say that? This may have been a 1st )
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