good idea or bad idea to be friends with X's new girlfriend - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 10-22-2012, 10:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Any Mama's have/had a lot of contact with X's new grilfriend/partner/wife? Is it a good idea or a bad idea? Has it even become a bit if a friendship? I'm afraid I'm a bit naive and gullible and am VERY easily taken over by enthusiasm when I meet new people, only to realise that maybe they are more clever than me and have reeled me in, to their advantage. Am afraid this may happen with X's new girlfriend, who in a strange turn of events seems to be quite nice. But I want to know if this is just some kind of 'strategy' I need to look out for.

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#2 of 17 Old 10-23-2012, 07:32 AM
 
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I would hesitate to think of an exes gf/wife as a friend. For a start my ex is a vendictive UAV so I would suspect the same of any woman he was involved with. Even if she was a really truely nice person, I could see him using anything I talked to her about against me. If you and your ex are now good friends then it might be different, but honestly, why friend people he is involved in, go make your own friends?n You don't have to ignore his gf, but you don't have to become friends with her either, so don't.

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#3 of 17 Old 10-24-2012, 02:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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a bit off topic, but what's a UAV? smile.gif

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#4 of 17 Old 10-24-2012, 06:52 AM
 
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Users agreement violator...means he is an ass!

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#5 of 17 Old 10-24-2012, 06:56 AM
 
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it means Users Agreement Violation - meaning it would violate the Mothering users agreement about no profanity to write the word we want to call the person ;-)


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#6 of 17 Old 10-24-2012, 10:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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ah...ok, cute acronym!

So far I am 'on hold' with the getting to know X's GF. As Hillymum said, I also think that anyone who associates with him must be similar to him, therefore someone to stay away from. But I hope she and I can be cordial and create a relaxed rapport for the kids' sake, since they will have to hang out with her whether they like it or not. It would be nice for all of us to have to avoid any more stress.

I never in a million years thought I would ever be okay with X having a new partner...and yet, here I am starting to be okay with it.

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#7 of 17 Old 10-26-2012, 07:54 AM
 
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I assume, if you'e on Mothering, that you have kids and that the kids will have a relationship with your X's GF (at least, for as long as he does).  The better you and she get along, then, the better for the kids.  Even though I get along very well with my ex, there are so many things it's easier/more productive to discuss with his wife.

 

If your X's patterns suggest this girl will eventually disappear from his life, be careful about getting too attached.  It will be bad enough if your kids feel like they've lost a family member, if their dad breaks up with her.

 

But, I have to tell you, as soon as I met my X's wife, I thought "Wow!  She is "the one" for him.  He's going to marry this one."  I even told him I thought he should, before he told me he was thinking about it.  She compliments all the areas where his personality and social skills are weak.  To be super sappy, she "completes" him.  My ex isn't a bad dad, at all, but having her around makes my kids' parenting time with Dad better and more balanced.  She has a terrific family and they've all embraced my kids every bit as much as my ex's and his wife's kids, together.  There's no down-side, for my sons, about having that big an extra support network in their lives.

 

Although we flirted with being regular girlfriends (for example, she threw my baby shower, for my husband's and my youngest), we have stopped short of a lunch-date type of relationship.  There IS a boundary.  Although she has cried on my shoulder once or twice, about an argument with my ex, we both realize it's not ideal if we do that kind of thing together too much, like regular girlfriends.  When the problem with our husband is past, we don't want the other parent/step-parent unit to hold onto it, you know?  So we're not friends on the same level as other girlfriends.  But we absolutely like each other.  We're allies.  We collaborate, to do what the kids need.  We coordinate birthday and holiday celebrations, around the kids - and attend each other's.  We talk.  Why not?  It just makes raising the kids easier, if everyone involved in doing it can communicate.


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#8 of 17 Old 10-28-2012, 04:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, so I like what Vocalminority shared. I would like to have a good rapport with the GF, for the kids' sake, especially if she's here for the long haul. It would be terrible if she didn't like the kids because of resentment between me and her.

BUT there is a bit of a 'situation', and I need some sound advice.

I started the thread on a day when I had spoken with the new girlfriend over the phone for the first time since she appeared in X's life two months ago. What happened was my X showed up at my house and told me and the kids that he had fallen in love with a woman two days prior, and she was moving in with him that very same day. So there was no chance of easing into it, getting to know the GF gradually, no chance of him dating GF for a couple of months before introducing her to the kids....

So I had a terrible grudge towards X and GF, I thought they had acted much too impulsively without taking into account the kids who had been given no time to process.

So all I could do was ask X and GF to let him see the kids on Saturdays for a couple of months without the GF being inlucded, and then ease into it.

So here we are, 2 months down the line, and I think they can start having Saturday dinners all together...BUT

After our two phone conversations heated discussions, where I explained how I thought it was really irresponsible of her to move into X's house without even considering what effect it could have on the kids, and expressed my opinion that if she truly respected these kids she would have reanted an apartment nearby for a month or two, and then moved in. Plus many other issues...She said we should meet, and I said the phone conversation was enough for me, there was no need to meet. But I didn't say that very nicely.

So the next day, somehow I was thinking over wehat she had said, and started to appreciate it, and thought I would drop by their house just before doing the school run.

Well, she didn't appreciate it at all, had X answer the door and tell me she doesn't want to speak to me.

Now the kids have had another Saturday visit, she didn't eat with them, and my younger daughter said she only said one 'Hi' in a very grumpy manner.

I treid calling to apologize for my harsh tone over the phone, but X said she won't speak to me, and of course he and I ended up arguing...again.

Such a mess.

Why is GF acting like this?

I have a feeling she had got used to their life for 2 months without kids or ex-wife, we kept a VERY low profile the whole time, and suddenly here we are, true to life.....I think myabe she had underestimated how much w e were part of X's life?

OR was I really too bitchy?eyesroll.gif  I didn't want to ambush her with my unannouced visit, it was a spur of the moment, good-will thing.... oops?

I don't undertsand her reaction. It's been a week now.

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#9 of 17 Old 10-28-2012, 06:27 AM
 
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My two cents:  stay out of it.  Let them live their life how they want. 


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#10 of 17 Old 10-29-2012, 04:00 AM
 
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Anon Abroad, I totally understand the feeling of frustration and helplessness, when your ex does things you think aren't in the kids' best interest - like bringing someone in as a new family member without warning.  Surely, we have all voiced opinions at times when it would have been better to keep our mouths shut.

 

One of the hard things for me to accept, having kids with an ex, is that there simply is nothing you can do about poor decisions he makes in his personal life.  If he asks your opinion, by all means give it.  But if he doesn't...  Think about it.  When you moved in with him, weren't you guys excited about it and overwhelmed by your feelings for each other?  Would you have postponed it for several months, if he had an ex who objected?  Of course not.  No matter how wise she might have been, you would have dismissed her as a bitter ex who didn't care about his happiness, didn't understand how much you guys loved each other, and why should you let her tell you what to do?  

 

When he's clearly not receptive to your thoughts, pushing them on him accomplishes nothing.  Setting rules about his personal life that you're just not in a position to make (like telling him who can or can't have dinner with him and the kids, on Saturday) only creates resentment toward you and increases the chances that the kids will see him lie to you or go behind your back, to do what he wants.  When you have a new BF, handle the transition the way you think is right.  You simply can't dictate that, for your ex.  Well, you can try, but you can't make him do what you want.

 

And whether he sticks with this woman or marries another, it's not appropriate to dump things on her that are really meant for your ex.  HE is your kids' other parent.  HE has a responsibility to look out for their needs.  If moving in his new GF was a mistake, it was HIS mistake.  Resent him.  Complain about him to your mom and your girlfriends.  Don't treat the new GF - who's only just getting to know your kids - as though she has responsibilities toward them she doesn't yet have.  

 

Once you have a good rapport with her, you might (for example) coordinate when the kids should be where, on Thanksgiving, so everyone gets to see them and there's no conflict.  I find women are better about doing that kind of thing.  

 

But don't take it out on her that your ex may be putting his loins ahead of his offspring.  That's on him.

 

As far as her not liking your kids, because she's off to a bad start with you, I wouldn't worry about that.  I don't think people usually work that way.  If she truly doesn't like your kids, it will be because she's not the kind of person who was going to like your kids.  If you read my old posts, you will get a sense for my feelings about my DH's ex.  But my love for their son is completely separate, as he is a separate person.

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#11 of 17 Old 10-29-2012, 09:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, maybe I'm starting to get it...I'll shut my mouth from now on!!! shy.gif

 

You see, since they had made decisions as a couple that had repercussions on people around them I figured I needed to clear the air with both of them, not just X. But okay, if the best thing is to deal just with X then so be it!  I mean he must have depicted a life for her that didn't involve his kids...in the meantime I was left to deal with the fallout, and I guess that's what ticked me off so bad (i.e. X not calling kids and turning phone off for three weeks, leading them to believe he may have been moving with her to a different city). So okay, we're moving past that....

 

 

Some very true observations:

Quote:
But don't take it out on her that your ex may be putting his loins ahead of his offspring.  That's on him.
 
HE is your kids' other parent.  HE has a responsibility to look out for their needs.  If moving in his new GF was a mistake, it was HIS mistake.  Resent him.

yeahthat.gif

 

 

Quote:
When you moved in with him, weren't you guys excited about it and overwhelmed by your feelings for each other?  Would you have postponed it for several months, if he had an ex who objected?  Of course not.

True, of course, BUT I was 18 years old at the time, there weren't any X's to deal with! Now I'm 38, so is GF, so it's hard to compare. Nevertheless, I appreciate the point and also realised that at the time. I just didn't appreciate the parenting principles being thrown out the window, but then again...did he ever have them? Nah.....

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#12 of 17 Old 10-29-2012, 06:28 PM
 
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Just my two cents as a stepmom-dh's ex and I are friendly, but not friends (though we were not always even friendly) When we see each other, we chat about the kids (both dsd and our other kids), make small talk, etc.  I email her about schedule changes, events, etc. frequently because I am better about keeping up with that stuff and as far as I know, she is fine with that.  She will occasionally text me stuff for dsd as well.   I respect her as dsd's mom and she has said that she is grateful that I am a good stepmom to her daughter.  But it would be hard to be friends when there is conflict between her and dp fairly frequently, even if I do not get involved in that most of the time. 

 

When she has an issue with dp, she takes it up with him, whether it is regarding custody, medical stuff, $, or she is just pissed off at him for something, that all goes to him.  I do not get involved if I can help it, and I learned that lesson the hard way.  Obviously he and I talk about it and I know what is going on, but I try not to get involved in dealing with her about it. 

 

All that to say, I would keep the parenting stuff between you and your ex and just try to be friendly in a strictly-surface way with your ex's new gf unless you truly feel comfortable going further than that. 


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#13 of 17 Old 10-29-2012, 06:29 PM
 
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Please understand, I'd feel ticked off in your shoes, too.  I've more-or-less been in your shoes (not with my ex's wife, but the sudden, secret, live-in GF before her), and I WAS ticked off.  It's just that even though you're right, you're not in control and your ex and his GF aren't seeking your agreement or approval.  So you only put yourself in a worse position, by acting like you think they care what you think, or that you are in control.

 

I'm sorry it's hard.  You're not alone, out there.


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#14 of 17 Old 10-29-2012, 09:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you mamas, it's so helpful to process things with your advice/experience, it really really is, so  grouphug.gif. It's helping me to be healthier.
 

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#15 of 17 Old 11-12-2012, 11:40 AM
 
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this was so helpful to read. i'm dealing with something similar with ex and his gf, and it has been more about things she's done that dd tells me about that make me uncomfortable, but even then...its ex that allows it to happen, and ex is the problem. he's doing to her exactly what he did to me when we met (too much to type out). right now, he's refusing to parent with me because he feels like by not being social with his gf, i'm not accepting him. i suppose we'll figure it out eventually. this thread offered some fresh perspective, so thank you, ladies :) and to the op - i hope things have gotten better.


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#16 of 17 Old 11-12-2012, 08:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Rosadesal, things are still exactly the same, 3-4 weeks since I spoke with GF over the phone. She still doesn't want to speak or meet me, and though initially I thought this was a problem I'm very okay with it now. Actually, the more we keep out of eachother's business for awhile, the better. I probably feel okay about it because she has also since decided to not push herself onto the kids, and stays away from them when they have time with their dad (once a week, but XH has skipped the last two weeks).

When they actually start interacting, as your kids do with the new GF, then I'm sure I'll be wanting to get along with her better so that she'll be nice to my kids.

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#17 of 17 Old 11-15-2012, 05:28 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anon_abroad View Post

Hi Rosadesal, things are still exactly the same, 3-4 weeks since I spoke with GF over the phone. She still doesn't want to speak or meet me, and though initially I thought this was a problem I'm very okay with it now. Actually, the more we keep out of eachother's business for awhile, the better. I probably feel okay about it because she has also since decided to not push herself onto the kids, and stays away from them when they have time with their dad (once a week, but XH has skipped the last two weeks).

When they actually start interacting, as your kids do with the new GF, then I'm sure I'll be wanting to get along with her better so that she'll be nice to my kids.

 

my ex's gf is really pushing herself on to DD which is difficult because it's causing some problems in DD's life and ex refuses to acknowledge that it's an issue. he's never had any regard for me as her mom, though...i'm more of an inconvenience that he's forced to deal with. when he's not dating, he's much better at communicating with me about parenting things, but since he's been with gf, she's been the priority and when i try and address anything about DD, especially because a lot of the issues as of late stem from how pushy gf has been with her role in DD's life (they've only been dating a few months, she moved in literally days after they were seeing eachother), we get nowhere. and then he refuses to deal with me because i don't want to come in and say hi to his gf. i really don't want to be in his house. it's a big sad mess. it's helpful for me to read about positive interactions and how families have worked through this, especially after the first several months have passed....sometimes i think time is our best resource. when time passes and things improve, it will get better. but, i'm also not imagining any major improvements bc ex won't address the fact that his gf is causing some major problems (probably because he's encouraging it) and i'm not sure what to do, if there's anything i can do.

 

i'm glad you're feeling okay with things. that's encouraging. 


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