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Relationship ups and down


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Here's a little of my history:


I'm 40yrs old, 3 childrens from the same mother, seperated 1 yr ago, were together 17 years.


Met someone, good chemistry, moved in last month after a few months of dating.


Here's my problem, most of the time everything is super, we work well together, she also has 2 kids with almost full custody. Overall the children also work well together (as well as 5 children with similar ages 9-15).


for the most part (95%) of the time we have fun together !


Once is a while, my girlfriend will get really defensive about my ex spouse, saying things like she doesn't feel she will ever by as perfect as her. I don't believe my ex was ever perfect, who is anyways ? She will also get very distant and be much more aggressive in her comments to a point where she doesn't even want my help at all. It doesn't last very long, 1-2 days every couple of months.


When she does get like this in turn me upside down, I do really love her for who she is, I've never compared her, there are some thing she does that irk me and likewise for her. We both try and work on these issues and most of the time it doesn't create any problems per say. But when she does get "emotional" these issues come up first hand, she will try and attack anything she can about me or my children.


Is this common, I don't have any experience with mood swings if this is the case... need some help !

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I would like to add that the rest of the time my girlfriend tells me she find me wonderful and attentionate et feels lucky that I am in her life.


I would also like to add that she has had very rough previous relationships:

-one who physically abused her for 9 years

-one who dumped her after 3-1/2 years and asked her to move out within 2 weeks because his ex was moving back

-one who cheated on her, with 2 other woman, in the same weekend.

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Usually after the few days as passed she does apollogize for "some" of the things she's sais. She does often say that she knows she has a difficult attitude sometimes and she is trying to work on it and that she does appreciate everything I do but once in a while she reverts back to thoughts that she will never 100% please me...


in the meantime however when those few bad days come up, it makes me feel awful, I have a very bad self esteem when it comes to relationships, having been only in one, and have had separation trust into me in spite of my efforts. So likewise when it starts going badly I shut down, I loose pretty much all appetite. I love her very much and for that 97% she makes me feel like the best person in the world. But that 3% is gut wrenching.

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First off, moving in with someone you dated for a few months with 5 teenage (ish) kids was an irresponsible move to begin with. You don't move that fast with this many moving parts. That being said, she is insecure and lashes out like this to get validation from you that you want her and she is worth something to you. She doesn't have a healthy self esteem nor a healthy way to express her emotional needs.


Not to harp, but that's why you don't impulsively move in like that. You are now impacting 7 additional lives. She will likely need individual counseling to deal with her self esteem issues and communication methods.


Good luck.

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Just to validate, this was not in impulsive move, we've been dating for more than 6 months, we were impacting the children more by not living together as we were always in between the 2 places. My house was large enough to accomodate everyone confortably therefore it was a logical next step. We also did a trial run of a month+ to make sure there were no major hicups.

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It's all new for everyone so things will smooth out over time. Of course she needs to work on whatever stuff she has. In the meantime, don't talk about your ex. Perhaps when you have to deal with your ex do so privately. Refer to your ex as 'the kids mother' from now on to re-frame things for yourself in your mind and and all the relationships involved.

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That is good advice, I do try and refer to my ex as 'the kids mother'. I do however try not to deal with her "privetely", since I do not have anything to hide about my previous relationship I would think if my girlfriend found out about private communications she might be more inclined to thing there is something going on there.

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Happens for 1-2 days per month.....one thought that comes to mind is pms? I know usually it's so dismissive to blame that, etc. but in your case it would seem to fit the bill. Maybe the best advice to you is simply duck. Don't take it personally, try to pacify her and literally just duck and give her space. In the alternative, when she is not on this warpath, it might be a good idea to sit down and actually talk about it. Tell her what you are telling us - that you care about her deeply and these unwarranted attacks not only bother you, but are affecting you and hurting your relationship. In short, what is her issue is the million dollar question here and only she knows the answer to that.

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Have you told her how this makes you feel? Have you asked her to step up and work on her issues? It’s okay to make it clear to her that this is deeply painful for you and you need it to stop. You can offer her support. You can offer her options. But she needs to be willing to put the work in.

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I used to turn into an absolute shrew when I had pms...just saying...


Are you officially divorced?


I am separated, my ex and I were never married even though I did ask a few times and we were together for 17 years. I do understand were my girlfriend can see this as a threat, I was not the one who initiated the separation and she did live through a similar situation with an ex of hers were he decided to go back after 4 years.


I try and reassure her that I moved on, she's not easy to convince, especially since I have equal custody of the children with my ex, so we have frequent interaction, although we aren't on very good terms.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I can understand your gf, as from time to time, I feel bad about my husbands 2(!) exes. Both are in good terms and talk about many things other than kids. Even single week, he goes to visit his kids (other than when they visit) and spends time in both houses and socialises with his exes. One of them was in his life since he was 17, so almost 30 years. She decided that she's "like his sister", that "he's the most important man in her life" which she tells him, that he's "her best friend". She was presented to me at the beginning and even felt that she had the right to criticize to him the way I decided to give birth (she's a nurse who worked in this field). When I expressed to her that I didn't appreciate her discussing my personal decisions with my husband, she even sent my messages to him, I guess to get some validation that she's family and that she has the right to express her opinions about our new addition. You get the idea about their relationship. Well, if I complained, husband would say that she's a very important person to him, that's she's right to consider herself "like his sister" and there's nothing I can do about it. If my husband would tell me how great I am and be neutral with his ex like you seem to do, I wouldn't have any issues.


When I would get like your gf (we're human after all), he would tell me something good about them and I would have to suck it up. And with time, I learnt to suck it up, because we cannot change our situation, we have to learn to live with it.


You seem to be neutral with your ex and you seem to reassure her, so I think it's much easier for your gf to realize that the ex is history and she's the woman you love. If that doesn't happen despite your neutral dealings with the ex, she really needs to work on her negative feelings, because trust mostly comes from within. I wish I had man who would reassure me and understand me when I felt jealous....

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  • 2 weeks later...

17 years is a long time to be with someone, and this woman is the very new, comparatively. She probably feels very inadequate and she does seem a bit insecure right now because of the extensive history you have with your ex. I mean, we are all flawed creatures after all.


So I think you'll probably have to give her a lot of love, attention, affection, and time. Overtime she will understand how much she means to you and how there could be nobody else that you care for.

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