Jump to content

I miss my ex-boyfriend's son more than I miss my ex himself.


Recommended Posts

A couple of weeks ago, my boyfriend of just over a year broke up with me. This was a milestone relationship for me because, even though I'm nearly 30, it was the first one that lasted a year...and it was the first one with a child involved.


My ex, who I'll call B, is still married to his first wife and had been the whole time we were dating, although they're separated (not legally). The two of them have a two-year-old son, almost three, that had a very big part in my life in the past year. Toward the end of the relationship with B, the son (I'll call him J) had a bigger part in my life than even B did, because it got to the point where B would find just about any reason not to be home, leaving me to take care of J.


It started when I'd been laid off work in January and instead of looking for another job right away, B asked if I could be a stay-at-home mom for J since B's wife had run into some trouble in her personal life and asked us to take full custody in November of last year. I loved J very much and I wanted the best for him, so rather than going back to work when B was willing to support me, I decided that I would stay home with J instead of finding some babysitter to watch him (since B's wife has J's insurance card and hadn't had him up to date on immunizations, we couldn't take J to a daycare center).


For just shy of six months, I spent every waking minute with J. J would wake B up in the morning and B would wake me up when he was leaving for work. I would spend the whole day with J, playing with him, cuddling him, watching his favorite cartoons with him. I rocked and sang to J and put him down for his naps; when B worked the night shift, I even put J to bed, which was hard on him because he really wanted his daddy. I took J's binky away from him and taught him how to talk when neither of his parents could be bothered to get the ball rolling. I potty-trained J. I bathed J (with no help, even when B was home). I took care of J when he was sick, and when he ended up in the hospital on an IV drip to rehydrate him, I was the one who stayed the night with him, alone; neither of his parents showed until the next day when his mom came to "relieve" me (B tried to call off work, but when he was told no, he took that as a final decision).


I loved J like he was my own son, even though I have no children. My parents loved J like he was the grandson that they don't have, showering him with affection and gifts whenever they were in town. My entire family embraced J (and B, for that matter) as though they were my child and husband even though neither of them really were.


I miss B and I still love him. I'd like to still be friends with him, but I think he is just after a friends with benefits sort of relationship and I can't handle that emotionally right now, so I am choosing to cut contact once he finishes moving the rest of J's things out of the spare bedroom of my apartment. That said...B promised since we're still going to be friends that I could still visit J. He said he understands how much I love J and how much J loves me and how big a part of J's life I was. He said he would never take me away from J because I became a better mom to J than his biological mother and that's actually (sadly for J) very true.


But since I can't handle the kind of "friendship" B wants to have with me, I'm assuming he will take back what he said and I will never see J again. I could probably ask J's mother to let me Skype with J or call once in a while. I could also possibly file for visitation through my state's courts because I qualify as a "significant person in the child's life," but I don't want to disrespect her or B by doing that and I don't think it's fair to drag them both through court for visitation when they didn't even do it to one another, so I probably won't do either of these things. ...but I miss J so much it hurts. I feel like he was mine and he's died because I'm pretty sure I'll never see him again. Maybe that sounds ridiculous, but I literally feel like I've lost a child. I sometimes find myself standing in his old bedroom, all his toys everywhere, and crying, holding some of his clothes or one of his favorite stuffed animals.


I've looked everywhere for a support group for this because I cannot possibly be the only woman who misses her ex-boyfriend's child/children in the world, but I can't find anything. I don't know how to cope with this loss. I'm pretty sure I don't want B in my life anymore unless he changes the way he thinks about relationships (his reason for breaking up with me is that, in his own head, when he's got a "title on it" he feels trapped), but it breaks my heart knowing that if I don't, I won't have J in my life, either. What do I do? How do I heal?

Link to comment

I know how you feel. I dated a guy for two years with kids and I miss them more than I miss him. Ultimately, I had to let the kids go when the relationship ended. I think general therapy and a general support group would be helpful to you.


Additionally, I hope you avoid still-married men in the future. The "I cannot put a title on it" is a not surprising skirt of emotional attachment; he is and has always been emotionally unavailable to you. Don't hold your breath for him to change. Men only change (rarely) when you set your boundaries from the beginning.


I'm sorry for your loss.

Link to comment

To be fair, I didn't realize he was still married until well into the relationship, because he always called her is "ex-wife." (ETA he still does, actually.) Although, I probably should have realized once I found out that she wasn't legally an ex-wife, that his reasons were excuses for either laziness, a very open statement of not ever wanting to marry me in the future, or both. His reasons were that he didn't have the money for a divorce and he was afraid if they made it legal, she would go for full custody of their child and that child support payments (which they'd worked out on their own) would become too expensive for him to afford.


I'm not holding my breath for him to change. He's made it pretty clear that he's unwilling to even try. When he tells me he still loves me and wishes it wasn't this way, I don't believe him and that doesn't even really hurt. I almost wish it did so that I'd feel like a normal, jilted ex, but I don't. I've accepted that there's no getting back with him and once I'm moved out of this place we shared starting the first of next month, no contact will be an option and I'll be holding it very strictly. He never treated me as well as I thought he did, looking back on it. It's just his kid I miss


I've set a five-year goal for myself and there is a child in it. It is not J. Part of that makes me feel alive again and excited and motivated...and then part of it makes me feel like I'm somehow betraying that little boy because I spent more time with him than both of his biological parents combined. Will that nagging feeling in the back of my mind ever go away? Or, rather, will it go away sooner than later? He's only two...I've come to grips with the idea that he'll never even remember me by the time he's old enough to care, but I've always thought J was an old soul and there's something so sad in his eyes even when he smiles...I can't help wondering if he understands more than I think he does and will he really actually feel the void for me that I feel for him? Will J feel like he's missing a mother like I'm feeling like I'm missing a child? Probably not...but that's the part I need to drive into my head and I'm not really sure how.


B leaving me before I got established at a new job (because, again, he said he would be happy to support me if I was a stay-at-home mom and I was good with that) left me financially crippled and so right now a therapy group would be AMAZING, but not affordable, as in my area, they do sliding scale for therapy but not free and I haven't been able to find any groups that might be free of charge. Maybe I'm just looking in the wrong places, I don't know. A sliding scale is nice for people with little money, but for someone who has literally NO income at the moment...that doesn't help much.


Thank you, I keep hoping that it'll get better and he'll either change his mind and we can work it out (highly doubtful and quite honestly, every day that goes by makes me want him back less and less and it's only been a couple of weeks) or that I'll be able to move on from the loss of his child quickly and smoothly. I appreciate your response. Finally...someone that knows what I'm going through. I've been looking for months (because I think I felt the breakup coming even though I couldn't admit it to myself enough to go find a job and a new place to live) and couldn't find anyone who understood this particular sort of pain. So thank you thank you thank you for responding. At least I know for SURE now that I'm not alone in knowing how this feels.

Link to comment

It might be woeth seeing a lawyer to see if there is any way you could get court-ordered visitation - if that is a possibility then your ex might be cooperative in allowing you to see the boy if he knows you could get it mandated by a judge.

Link to comment

I think it is best to let this child go. I know you love him and looked after him and felt like yours. It was very good of you to be so kind. Unfortunately he is not yours. If you do not want a relationship with his dad it won't work to have a relationship with him. It is counter productive to everyone. What happens one day when you find the man you want to be with forever? Will he be happy that you are having visitation with an ex's child? What if you have your own children? This boy will be a fast second and he will know it. The older he gets the more it will hurt him when you eventually do "leave" him. He is young enough to forget now and go on with his life. Just let him do that.

Link to comment

DN - I spoke with someone at the courthouse when I had picked up custody papers for B once upon a time and asked them what "significant person in the child's life" would actually be and they explained it. It sounds as though I would have a case. I don't really want to do that, though. It wouldn't be respectful to J's mom (who has nothing to do with my break up with B) or with B, who I'd like to phase out of my life.


Victoria66 -

What if you have your own children? This boy will be a fast second and he will know it. The older he gets the more it will hurt him when you eventually do "leave" him. He is young enough to forget now and go on with his life.


These are also reasons why I don't want to go to court to ask for visitation, even if I think I could get it. I have, like I said, come to terms with the fact that he's so young he will forget me quickly and as much as that pains me, I don't want to hurt him for the selfish need for him to remember me. I'm willing to let him go and I really think that even considering asking for visitation is really just my denial of the situation. I'm trying to get through that phase of the grief. I don't want to hurt him anymore than I already am by not being in his life and if he's at an age where the pain will fade quickly, then who am I not to let him move on just because I'm having a hard time doing the same, right? I appreciate your advice. Now my question remains...how do I deal with the loss on my own? My family is great for support but they all live out of state. I have no friends, anymore, because they were all friends with B first and quietly took sides even though our break was amiable. I feel like there's this emptiness in my heart and soul without J, but in order to let him move forward, I have to deal with that...so...how?

Link to comment

I want to join a support group online REALLY bad but I can't find anything for this sort of issue. I've been looking for months (because I guess I felt it coming even though I kept telling myself not to worry about it) and my online friends have been searching, too, but nobody seems to be able to find what I'm looking for. We must be searching with the wrong keywords, or something...

Link to comment


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...