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Partners Ex Wife
Hi I'm new to this forum and would love to hear some views and opinions....
I am in a relationship with a man with 2 teenage children. His breakup with his ex wife was very bitter (she cheated on him). Due to court battles, the children are with their father and their mother sees her children every second weekend although, their father allows the kids to see there mother at their own discretion during the week for a short period of time. He doesn't not want to prevent them from seeing their mother.
The problem with the ex wife is, she comes un-announced at times (generally when she finishes work whilst we're having dinner), she constantly brings the kids food (a lot of junk food). As an example, the other night on her way home from work she went to a well known food chain and bought her son a hamburger and came over just as were about to have dinner and gave it to him. Naturally the kid wanted to have the burger and virtually begged his father to have it as he was starving. I was soooo furious about the fact that she's disrupted the household and dinner by coming over and bringing him food which was totally inappropriate and disrespectful. She's making more of a habit to come over on her way home from work to say hello to the kids and 9/10 she always gives them food (chips, chocolate, cheesecake you name it). When she has problems with her partner, she will text my partner inappropriate things and reflects on the relationship they had together, again totally disrespectful towards me. He doesn't reply (or at least that's what he tells me) and sometime he does which angers me even more. This is really starting to have an affect on me and I don't know how I can go on. My partner has even said that he can't deal with living like this and he's sick of his ex-wife having such a negative impact on his life despite not being together. He's basically saying I have to accept that's the way his ex wife is and even if he tried to talk to her she will simply not listen he know's her well enough to know that's what she'll do. He's basically said that he will not live like this and is prepared to sacrifice our relationship. I have to learn to accept she is the way she is... This honestly breaks my heart to think we might break up!!! I need some advice... I'm terrified, tired and frustrated!
I can see why you are so frustrated - the ex is totally undermining you and you're in a tricky situation.
I don't think your partner has said you'll have to accept how the ex is - you say he says (apologies for the rerun) "My partner has even said that he can't deal with living like this and he's sick of his ex-wife having such a negative impact on his life despite not being together. ... even if he tried to talk to her she will simply not listen he know's her well enough to know that's what she'll do. "
He might be feeling like he's in a tricky situation too. If she won't listen to him then maybe he needs to step it up a notch and go back to court (I don't enjoy saying this) and put some limits on her behaviour.
It certainly won't be resolved quickly but it might be endurable if you can see something happen in the long run.
I was a part time dads (every second weekend plus holidays) for 14 years. The 12 days in between weekends is excruciating.
My pount is- I think her live strings during the day tug at her and she passes that good chain and can’t help herself- uncontrollable love really.
A ship without a rudder is better to be guided than sunk.
example- if you said to her “name, I think it’s lovely you dropping off the burgers but it upsets our dinner routine, would you mind that instead of burgers and chips, make it a sundae or cookies- that way they have to continue to eat their main meal and you provide the dessert”
The other thing you can do is for your hubby to set a Wednesday night as her night whereby she picks up the kids and takes them out to dinner. I used to do that, take them to fish and chips etc. Then you and partner can go out for dinner (I wouldn’t stay home)
Remember, you have a few short years before they’ll be adults and this situation won’t exist.
Hubby is the meat in the sandwich so the stress is getting to him. I’m not downplaying your role - all 3 is under pressure.
I hope I’ve helped
I totally agree, it would be hard for her to not see her children as much as she would like, but she made her bed and she now has to lie in it! Despite how I feel about her, I do feel for her from time to time.
After having a long discussion with my partner, the best way for me to deal with some of her actions is to think more positively. For example, when she drops in unexpectedly during dinner, "its nice she wants to see her kids on her way home from work', or if she decides to give them food, "its lovely she went out of her way to give them kids something they like and enjoy'... At times it will be difficult to deal with and I will get annoyed and upset and that might be triggered by my emotional state during that time which may have been caused by other things. I have to do my best to pull myself out of that mindset and not let it have a negative impact on my relationship with my partner. I don't want this woman to control us and I feel as if she does. We allow her to control us and that needs to stop.
Before Covid-19 she use to take the kids out on Tuesday night for dinner which gave my partner and I some time together. On a few occasions she would have a go at my partner for not being home when she dropped the kids off while we were still out. The kids are old enough to be on their own for a short period of time but she didn't like the fact the kids were home alone. She would basically sit in her car in the drive way until we came home. This would spoil our night as we would have to rush home.
There might be a few more years left until the kids are both adults but this woman will somehow always be in our lives. To what extent; who knows but she will not be going away!
I appreciate your honest comments and thank you so much!
Its clear you are mature and articulate in your approach to this issue.
Some ideas though- your partner needs to make a stand. If he believes the children can remain home alone for an hour or two until you finish your activity, then that’s his decision and I’d leave her to sit in the car until you’ve returned home.
He doesn’t need to answer to his ex, he does need to stop allowing her interrupting your lives.
Finally, there is nothing wrong with him suggesting to her a meeting at say a nearby cafe to discuss the issues. If you do go then your role can be limited to positive feedback eg “you are a very good mum and the kids are lucky to have you, we know bringing food along is a reflection of your love, it just interrupts our dinner routine”
I'm in total agreeance we should be able to enjoy some time out and let her sit in the car. The reason why we come home early is because she then calls my partner and then abuses him for being out when we should be home for when she drops off the kids. This woman is relentless; there is nothing my partner can do where she won't have a go at him. He is very selective on what he says and when to fight back, its a case of picking and choosing his arguments with her. If he confronts her every single time for every single thing she does, she will then take it out on the kids particularly the eldest (15 years old), the poor girl cops some much crap from her mother. The youngest on the other hand is somehow immune to her wrath. The eldest stands up for herself and fights back on what he believes in whereas the youngest is more timid and placid and retreats to his headphones and Ipad (that's another conversation within itself).
I like your idea of a meeting at a nearby cafe to discuss matters but that will not help. She will think we are all friends and that we should do it more often. The woman is thick as bricks, she will not listen. I have never met someone who is so disruptive, disrespectful and simply idiotic...