Jump to content

Attempt at more security about her ex


Mrfog

Recommended Posts

My current partner five years has always had a decent relationship with her ex, with whom she had a child with. They have been split up for about eight years now and I’ve always been comfortable with their relationship and in fact envied it and wished I had that relationship with my ex. My current partner and I had recently decided to spend some time apart, living in separate places in an effort to sort of reset. During this time obviously the coronavirus began and we decided it was safest if we kept distance (me and my son are possibly high risk due to asthma). She has confided in me that she has been hanging out with her ex a lot and he’s been supportive etc. etc. It’s a bit straining on me under the current circumstances as it feels like for me, they are getting closer during this time - while I cannot have that quality time with her. I gently approached the subject and she got upset. Saying I didn’t trust her etc. I asked her because she promised to call me last night and never did. I suspected she was hanging with him which turned out to be the case. it’s tricky to feel 100% comfortable. My current view is that if once you’ve been in such a long term and intimate relationship with someone, certain boundaries are important. And that if two such people begin spending 1 on 1 time too often, it’s only natural that you run the risk of “old feelings” creeping back to the surface. Looking for some advice. While I know everyone has to determine their own level of comfort with such a topic, I’m trying my best to view things differently than I currently see them. I’ve always liked this guy, and honestly never saw myself having any comfort with exes but I’ve even hung out with him on my own before.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As for me, I'd only be comfortable with my husband or bf being in contact with his ex for the sole purpose of communicating about the child, not being buddies and hanging out in their leisure time. It's not unreasonable, but of course there are very free spirited people who would be okay with this.

 

You two already took a break from each other once, instead of staying together to work on problems. To me, that's always a sign that one or both don't care enough, and that the incompatibility is too much to overcome.

 

And promising to call without doing so? An uncaring trait for a partner, and she's either avoiding another difficult discussion or just isn't that into you.

 

When a relationship is more frustrating and upsetting than it is satisfying, it means it's not the right relationship. Free yourself so you can meet someone who shares your relationship boundaries.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry to hear this is happening. What were the reasons you chose to take a break? Were you living together? She may be turning to her ex for support . However she may or may not be getting romantically attached. If you are on "reset", she may feel free to date again .

 

Stay safe with your son. You did the right thing isolating yourselves a bit given his asthma. Try not to insinuate anything. But reflect the communication breakdown and whatever separated you in the first place

My current partner and I had recently decided to spend some time apart, living in separate places in an effort to sort of reset.

 

I asked her because she promised to call me last night and never did. I suspected she was hanging with him which turned out to be the case. it’s tricky to feel 100% comfortable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry to hear this is happening. What were the reasons you chose to take a break? Were you living together? She may be turning to her ex for support . However she may or may not be getting romantically attached. If you are on "reset", she may feel free to date again .

 

Stay safe with your son. You did the right thing isolating yourselves a bit given his asthma. Try not to insinuate anything. But reflect the communication breakdown and whatever separated you in the first place

 

Yes we lived together for 4 years. About 6 weeks passed and we started hanging out again. Then the virus.

 

I suppose it was differences like this that separated us. Our disagreements tend to involve what I feel are simple “behavior requests” so to speak and generally I get defensiveness with eventual understanding but then the behavior is repeated. Topics like the one I mention here - common courtesy type stuff - reliability and dependability. I just feel uneasy about them hanging so much. Every now and again fine but feel it’s ramped up because they share a child and figure if either parent were to get the virus, the daughter likely would too and then the other parent.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes we lived together for 4 years. About 6 weeks passed and we started hanging out again. Then the virus.

 

I suppose it was differences like this that separated us. Our disagreements tend to involve what I feel are simple “behavior requests” so to speak and generally I get defensiveness with eventual understanding but then the behavior is repeated. Topics like the one I mention here - common courtesy type stuff - reliability and dependability. I just feel uneasy about them hanging so much. Every now and again fine but feel it’s ramped up because they share a child and figure if either parent were to get the virus, the daughter likely would too and then the other parent.

 

some people out of necessity are deciding to quarantine/social distance against everyone but one other person -- if both are home from work, etc, custody does not allow them to prevent the other parent from seeing their child even though the child should be in one place. The best thing you can do is not be insecure -- don't call to check up on her. Call because you genuinely have something interesting to share.

 

If you ask someone a "behavior request" you may be trying to change who they are. Someone with a kid might not be able to be as reliable as you want and if you keep making "behavior requests" maybe you are asking for something unreasonable and you are the person who needs to flex. Consider that.

 

Yes, she may decide to reunite her family -- or she may just be expressing they are having a better relationship and all it means is that its the type that is better for the child -- not that they are getting romantic. It will be what it will be but you have to decide if your "behavior requests" might be a bit much as well. My guy knows i am chronically late - that to not be chronically late i need to not be overscheduled so that i have time to decompress between things. So he found that instead of complaining about my lateness in getting ready, he does not expect me to do 50 things with him that day would require me to change clothes again before the important event. or expect me to cook a full course meal before - so that i can "switch gears' better. So i have not changed -- he now understands and now i am usually ready early or on time because he doesn't expect me to be him

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry to hear this is happening. What were the reasons you chose to take a break? Were you living together? She may be turning to her ex for support . However she may or may not be getting romantically attached. If you are on "reset", she may feel free to date again .

 

Stay safe with your son. You did the right thing isolating yourselves a bit given his asthma. Try not to insinuate anything. But reflect the communication breakdown and whatever separated you in the first place

 

some people out of necessity are deciding to quarantine/social distance against everyone but one other person -- if both are home from work, etc, custody does not allow them to prevent the other parent from seeing their child even though the child should be in one place. The best thing you can do is not be insecure -- don't call to check up on her. Call because you genuinely have something interesting to share.

 

If you ask someone a "behavior request" you may be trying to change who they are. Someone with a kid might not be able to be as reliable as you want and if you keep making "behavior requests" maybe you are asking for something unreasonable and you are the person who needs to flex. Consider that.

 

Yes, she may decide to reunite her family -- or she may just be expressing they are having a better relationship and all it means is that its the type that is better for the child -- not that they are getting romantic. It will be what it will be but you have to decide if your "behavior requests" might be a bit much as well. My guy knows i am chronically late - that to not be chronically late i need to not be overscheduled so that i have time to decompress between things. So he found that instead of complaining about my lateness in getting ready, he does not expect me to do 50 things with him that day would require me to change clothes again before the important event. or expect me to cook a full course meal before - so that i can "switch gears' better. So i have not changed -- he now understands and now i am usually ready early or on time because he doesn't expect me to be him

 

Thanks for this.

 

To be clear, perhaps behavior request was a poor choice of words. Not trying to change her per se, but integrity should mean something right? Do what you say you will? That’s really all I’m talking about with some of our ongoing obstacles. I’ve definitely learned to accept many things that don’t align with how I am as a person. So I get your point of course. Thing is, the traits she loves most about me and what I provide to the relationship are the same ones she struggles to give back. I’ve largely been understanding if this, but I suppose it really has been a source of confrontation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry to hear this is happening. What were the reasons you chose to take a break? Were you living together? She may be turning to her ex for support . However she may or may not be getting romantically attached. If you are on "reset", she may feel free to date again .

 

Stay safe with your son. You did the right thing isolating yourselves a bit given his asthma. Try not to insinuate anything. But reflect the communication breakdown and whatever separated you in the first place

 

Thanks for this.

 

To be clear, perhaps behavior request was a poor choice of words. Not trying to change her per se, but integrity should mean something right? Do what you say you will? That’s really all I’m talking about with some of our ongoing obstacles. I’ve definitely learned to accept many things that don’t align with how I am as a person. So I get your point of course. Thing is, the traits she loves most about me and what I provide to the relationship are the same ones she struggles to give back. I’ve largely been understanding if this, but I suppose it really has been a source of confrontation.

 

To that end, I suppose this particular and current situation is about my struggle to not have SOME kind of boundary about her and ex relationship. Good for the child for sure! But once child goes to bed and the two of them are having a drink and shooting the breeze for a couple hours on the regular, that feels different.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would not be comfortable with the current arrangement either, OP.

 

Whose idea was it to live separately? It's generally the kiss of death to take such a step backwards in a relationship, so I'm curious how you two arrived at that decision.

 

If she is truly trying to mend things with you, having her ex around so much is counterproductive. She can't be naive enough to believe any man would be comfortable with her actions here. Slotting him in when you can't be around right now is inconsiderate. She makes noise about trust to distract from the real issue, which is that she isn't implementing boundaries to protect the integrity of your relationship. But to be clear - are you two still actually in a relationship? How long was this break/living-apart meant to last?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As you post, I just can't help but get the impression that this current dilemma is more a symptom of a larger dilemma between you two: a deepening rift, resentments on both sides, with the inherent feelings of insecurity that come from being in a relationship that is sputtering out rather than humming along.

 

What she is clearly demonstrating right now is that she does not have the interest of energy to accommodate your feelings—that she is letting it sputter. The lack of call when promised, for starters. Followed by the knee-jerk instinct to be defensive and dismissive about a situation that just about every human being on the planet would struggle with.

 

Guess what I'm trying to say is: Does it really matter, right now, if she and her ex are being totally above-board or vibing a bit? If you had access to secret drone footage that revealed there is nothing to worry about, in terms of how they're behaving during these strange times, would you really feel any better?

 

I'd maybe start there, in your shoes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry to hear this is happening. What were the reasons you chose to take a break? Were you living together? She may be turning to her ex for support . However she may or may not be getting romantically attached. If you are on "reset", she may feel free to date again .

 

Stay safe with your son. You did the right thing isolating yourselves a bit given his asthma. Try not to insinuate anything. But reflect the communication breakdown and whatever separated you in the first place

 

As you post, I just can't help but get the impression that this current dilemma is more a symptom of a larger dilemma between you two: a deepening rift, resentments on both sides, with the inherent feelings of insecurity that come from being in a relationship that is sputtering out rather than humming along.

 

What she is clearly demonstrating right now is that she does not have the interest of energy to accommodate your feelings—that she is letting it sputter. The lack of call when promised, for starters. Followed by the knee-jerk instinct to be defensive and dismissive about a situation that just about every human being on the planet would struggle with.

 

Guess what I'm trying to say is: Does it really matter, right now, if she and her ex are being totally above-board or vibing a bit? If you had access to secret drone footage that revealed there is nothing to worry about, in terms of how they're behaving during these strange times, would you really feel any better?

 

I'd maybe start there, in your shoes.

 

Thanks for this. I’ll ponder a lot of what you said. As for the drone, I’m honestly trusting that it’s platonic. At least right now. But the fact she willingly dismisses my concerns/boundaries is the core issue for me. And the possibility that two adults who have already shared a deeper intimacy and bonded by their child, hanging out outside of the parental relationship, alone. Catching a buzz. She doesn’t seem to understand why I feel the way I do, which is frustrating since it’s as if I’m unreasonable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But the fact she willingly dismisses my concerns is the core issue for me...She doesn’t seem to understand why I feel the way I do, which is frustrating since it’s as if I’m unreasonable.

 

If you and I had a beer 6 weeks ago or 6 months ago—or, ugh, two years ago—is there a chance that you would have uttered these two sentences? I ask because I really think focusing on the things you're focusing on—that potential energy after the kid is a sleep and the wine is poured—might be a coping mechanism to avoid asking the very big question here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you and I had a beer 6 weeks ago or 6 months ago—or, ugh, two years ago—is there a chance that you would have uttered these two sentences? I ask because I really think focusing on the things you're focusing on—that potential energy after the kid is a sleep and the wine is poured—might be a coping mechanism to avoid asking the very big question here.

 

Not sure I fully understand what you mean. Perhaps that’s my issue.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do not understand why you did;t seek counseling instead of taking a break. Why aren't you dealing with things head on?

 

We did. She didn’t like our counselor. I did. She said she had a different person and didnt follow through scheduling after my repeated asking. She has a REALLY hard time hearing things about herself. I guess I gave up when I saw she was avoiding it. I honestly felt it was doing us some good.

 

Also, her doc recommended CBT for her. She went about 3 times and it was too much for her. That was the beginning of the end, really. Her reactions tend to be defensive and quite angry.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think she's checking out. Sorry.

 

I think she's using her ex as shoulder to cry on. I think she's likely discussing the problems in your relationship to him but not to be with him but as a male girlfriend.

 

As Bluecastle said, remove the ex and your relationship together sounds dead in the water regardless. I'm sorry but I would prepare for the worst. She sounds like she has no fight left in her for you.

 

Duw to what's going in the world a bad situation is even worse than usual as life is on pause but when things start dying down I think you will find your relationship is over.

 

Very sorry but I can't see anything positive left.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We did. She didn’t like our counselor. I did. She said she had a different person and didnt follow through scheduling after my repeated asking. She has a REALLY hard time hearing things about herself. I guess I gave up when I saw she was avoiding it. I honestly felt it was doing us some good.

 

Also, her doc recommended CBT for her. She went about 3 times and it was too much for her. That was the beginning of the end, really. Her reactions tend to be defensive and quite angry.

 

It is good that you tried.

 

If she does not want to address the issues then there is no future for you. I am sorry.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If there are clearly defined and mutually agreed upon boundaries for the “reset” then this is either in bounds and you’ve gotta make the “attempt for more security” (if you want to keep it together,) or it’s a foul.

 

If there isn’t really a game plan for the separation, or if it was actually a breakup first and then you guys changed your minds...then your relationship would appear to me to be on the ropes. Not saying it isn’t valiant to try to be okay with this, but I couldn’t be. If I had the same history as you guys it would probably hurt really bad to a guy like me if my person of the last several years was “hanging out” one on one in a crisis time with her ex. Both pandemic crisis and relationship crisis are things that could drive someone who isn’t willing to do inside work like CBT to seek comfort in the proverbial arms of another and I would have to step back and end things to be okay with myself in this situation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do not understand why you didn't seek counseling instead of taking a break. Why aren't you dealing with things head on?

 

What I meant here is: Go back to the time before coronavirus, before the troubling stuff with her ex, even before the reset/break. Did you feel, then, that a core issue for you was that she dismissed your feelings? Did you feel, then, that she didn't understand your feelings?

 

I can't get into her head, so I don't know what she's frustrated with, feeling, all that. But what I'm getting at that this doesn't sound at all like an isolated moment so much an extension of some long-simmering issues—which, as happens, are surfacing during a stressful time.

 

I get the urge to be understanding, patient, all that—during hard times, during all times. But if your only reward is being Mr. Patient & Understanding to someone you don't feel is patient of understanding with you—well, not cool. Not fun. Draining instead of filling.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry this is all going on. It sounds like a breakup. Who moved out? Moving out is a very definitive step away from the relationship. What is confusing you is that the move out and arguments about changing her behavior was the end, but you seem to think you are still together.

Yes we lived together for 4 years. I suppose it was differences like this that separated us. I feel are simple “behavior requests” so to speak and generally I get defensiveness with eventual understanding but then the behavior is repeated.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Her ex and her relationship with her ex is not the problem here. In fact when you are trying to focus on that, you are really just ignoring the giant elephant in the room - the fact that this relationship has never really worked well. According to your own words, for all 4 years the two of you have always had this friction - not understanding each other, feeling resentful, slighted, etc.

 

In fact your relationship has slid so far backwards that you no longer live together. This has nothing to do with the virus or quarantine or her ex. All that friction, all that asking to be understood but it somehow never works or feels satisfying? It's called incompatibility. It's that thing when two basically good people are in some fundamental ways too different to get along smoothly. The right person understands you intuitively, the wrong person doesn't get you even when you beat them with a stick and give them a detailed road map.

 

The question is, after 4 years of trying to pound a square peg into a round hole, why can't you acknowledge it's not working and let this go already? When you aren't married and you have drag your SO to therapy to try to force your relationship to work....that's your flashing neon sign that you need to part ways. You may both be lovely and loving people, but you are not good together and that's that. In the future, do not waste 4 years on trying to make something work and maybe address your attachment issues. This living in total denial about basic relationship realities is not healthy for you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone for the thoughtful and insightful comments.

 

You’re right - the bigger issue is how we resolve (or don’t resolve) our conflicts.

 

I guess the thing is that we’re compatible in many ways. Like, Our relationship really is great 99% of the time. But it’s the 1% where it flat out gets ugly for - in my view - no good reason. And honestly the friction seems to come every 4 months or so - and is typically over something I would say is benign. For example, things will have been going great, And just when that feeling hits me that we’re “leveling up”, I get blindsided with an argument about something so small. Recently, I asked her for a favor (start the dishwasher) before she went out with friends for the day. Man did that blow up in my face. Like, hardcore she put the walls up and never apologized. I won’t go into her eventual explanation - but safe to say she’ll have very strong reactions to really small things. It’s everything in between these blow ups that keeps me going. She knows this is a problem - not just for us - but for her. To be honest her ex made mention of this to me recently. Sounds like it was a core issue for them many years ago.

 

When she started CBT I thought perhaps that would be a huge help. I really care more about her and her ability to cope with basic life stuff. I want to be patient while she works through this stuff. I adore her daughter and her family as well.

 

We stopped living together because I told her we needed to take a step back and re-evaluate things. When she refused to continue her self work - as well as address some things about our conflict styles - I could not continue as things were. To me, it felt like she had given up. Fast forward two months and she says she knows she messed up and knows she needs to self improve. Etc etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone for the thoughtful and insightful comments.

 

You’re right - the bigger issue is how we resolve (or don’t resolve) our conflicts.

 

I guess the thing is that we’re compatible in many ways. Like, Our relationship really is great 99% of the time. But it’s the 1% where it flat out gets ugly for - in my view - no good reason. And honestly the friction seems to come every 4 months or so - and is typically over something I would say is benign. For example, things will have been going great, And just when that feeling hits me that we’re “leveling up”, I get blindsided with an argument about something so small. Recently, I asked her for a favor (start the dishwasher) before she went out with friends for the day. Man did that blow up in my face. Like, hardcore she put the walls up and never apologized. I won’t go into her eventual explanation - but safe to say she’ll have very strong reactions to really small things. It’s everything in between these blow ups that keeps me going. She knows this is a problem - not just for us - but for her. To be honest her ex made mention of this to me recently. Sounds like it was a core issue for them many years ago.

 

When she started CBT I thought perhaps that would be a huge help. I really care more about her and her ability to cope with basic life stuff. I want to be patient while she works through this stuff. I adore her daughter and her family as well.

 

We stopped living together because I told her we needed to take a step back and re-evaluate things. When she refused to continue her self work - as well as address some things about our conflict styles - I could not continue as things were. To me, it felt like she had given up. Fast forward two months and she says she knows she messed up and knows she needs to self improve. Etc etc.

 

Read this back to yourself. You are very much in denial about the extent of the issues and if those issues already cost her her marriage and she did nothing and now this relationship and she still isn't willing to do anything about it - then she is not going to change.

 

No matter how you spin it, you need for her to change for the relationship to work - When she started CBT I thought perhaps that would be a huge help. These are your own words.

 

Perhaps rather than waiting on her to change, look up codependence and work on your own issues with that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Op, I think the only thing you can do is back way off. You know what I'm saying?

 

1. She didn't call when she was supposed to

 

2. you guys are already on shaking ground

 

3. from the beginning, you moved forward by giving more to compensate, for what you already weren't receiving (whether it was accepting behavior that did not feel right to you, committing to counseling when she would not, to now this weird living situation)

 

If you just let go, when this quarentine situation ends, I think you'll see things more clearly. its just going to take time.

 

If the corona virus didn't happen maybe you would have continued to "hang out" and maybe it would have just fizzled out anyway. So thers no sense in making yourself crazy over something you can't control.

 

She could find spending time with ex proves they don't belong together.

 

You just don't know. But don't let this cloud your judgment, the problem is not the ex. You guys were on the ropes for some time now. The fact that you lived together and now don't is the real story.

 

You've been accepting things that are not part of your value system for her. And she's been following her own value system. You cant blame a person for following their nature. Its up to you to accept or reject.

 

I'm sorry. This is a tough time for everybody and you've got this added emotional situation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sadly you are saying "we" and "our". But when you "took a step back" and stopped living together, it was over. It doesn't matter what issues you think she has or will fix or "refuses to fix", what matters is walking away means the end not the beginning.

We stopped living together because I told her we needed to take a step back and re-evaluate things. When she refused to continue her self work - as well as address some things about our conflict styles

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

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

×
×
  • Create New...