Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Ex-Boyfriend still around and helping take care of kids

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Ex-Boyfriend still around and helping take care of kids

    Hi, I am hoping to get some perspective on my situation. I've been dating someone for about 2 months now and, overall, it is going really well. We've both taken down our dating profiles and are exclusive. We are both looking for something that will be long-term and we both have young kids (mine are a little older though), so we're also looking for, eventually, a relationship that involves our lives when we have the kids (we also both split 50/50 custody with our ex's). So, what we are looking for is the same, which is great! The issue I have is that, since I am evaluating this relationship as something to be pretty serious, I worry about things that may not worry me if we were casual.

    One of these things is that she still has an ex-boyfriend who will occasionally help her out watching the kids. On one side, it is nice that he's willing to help though they are not still together. On the other, even by her own admission, he's tried to maintain a boyfriend-esque relationship. No physical intimacy, but trying to be part of her life in the same way. I find this makes me uncomfortable, especially since I've had bad experiences in the past with a girlfriend who had issues with boundaries with her ex. She didn't cheat, but like my current gf's boyfriend, I found out she liked to maintain some of the spirit of their relationship. I only found this out afterwards, as she tried to have the same sort of thing with me.

    Am I being unreasonable to be uncomfortable that her ex-boyfriend still occasionally comes by to help with the kids so she can get other stuff done?

  • #2
    Two months in and you're finding out that she still has a whole lot of unfinished business with her ex. Up to you but I'd be bailing on her right now. She's not a good partner to trust your heart to when she's still playing house with her ex.

    Important: Don't introduce your kids to her until you're sure. At the very least she needs to stop allowing her ex into her and her children's life like she is.
    "First off, welcome to the Relationship Forums, You'll come to understand that I don't pull any punches when giving my opinion/advice and I hope you're not so sensitive to what I see as the truth of the matter." Me!

    Comment


    • #3
      Is this ex boyfriend the father of the children?
      How long have they been split up?
      You can't control the waves, but you can learn to surf

      Comment


      • #4
        This ex-boyfriend is not the father of her kids. That is her ex-husband, who does have 50/50 custody.
        I am not 100% sure of the exact time frame, but I think they'd been split up at least 4-5 months. We've been together for 2 and I think they split a few months prior to that.

        Comment


        • #5
          If he's not the father, there's no reason for him to be around anymore.
          If he was the father, my response would have been different. In this case however I can only agree with Phases. She has unfinished business with the ex and can't let go of him yet.
          It smells fishy, and will lead to a broken heart. Don't let that broken heart be yours. Back out now you still can.
          You can't control the waves, but you can learn to surf

          Comment


          • #6
            Thank you for the advice. Yes, I wouldn't at all be bothered if it were here ex-husband. Though my ex-wife doesn't help me out at the house with the kids, we definitely pitch in when needed to help the other out with taking the kids for times not on the custody schedule. Her divorce was pretty nasty though and she doesn't rely on her ex-husband for any help, other than his regular custody days.

            I think you're right that this will just lead to heartbreak later. I thought I'd eventually be okay with my ex-gf being friends with her ex-husband while we were dating, but over 3 years of dating, I never was. That resulted in a number of hurt feelings (mine). I don't want to get into that same situation again.

            There's actually other stuff too. Our custody schedules are (basically) the same, but our work schedules are not. I work a standard 9-5, she works a creative job where her only weekend day off is Sunday and she always has the kids that day, so we never have a full day off together. We also kind of have a different approach to the day. I am really active, feeling bad if I didn't get anything accomplished in a day. She's content to spend days off sleeping in and relaxing around the house. I'm not making a judgement call, I just think we approach our time off differently.



            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by rdunsany View Post

              One of these things is that she still has an ex-boyfriend who will occasionally help her out watching the kids.
              Can you say whether she has any alternative means of babysitting or someone reliable she trusts? Does she have the money for daycare if it comes down to it? Not many people do and not everyone has family to help out or friends who are always available.

              Talk about this as a couple and try not to come at her with the suspicious view. Find out the patterns of him being there (the reasons behind it) and ask your partner whether she has financial issues or difficulties locating viable or affordable babysitting/daycare. If she's in a financial rut or in debt you should probably find out now rather than later. What do you mean she works a "creative job"? Where on earth are the children from Monday to Saturday? How old are they? It seems like her ex is a cheap (aka free) form of babysitting and she's just using him.

              Her kids may also be asking about him. How long did they date (her and her ex)? He may have become a friend to them and that's something you have to be prepared for. Ideally she should be explaining to her children that he's not coming over as much anymore and let him fade out naturally from their lives and look for alternative means of babysitting but it doesn't look to be the case because she's barely keeping her head above water with her work. This could be cleared up with a conversation so talk with her.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi Rose Mosse! Her kids (ages 3 and 6) are in daycare/school, Monday-Friday. In the instances her ex-boyfriend has helped out, the kids were home for school because it was either the weekend or it was after the school day had finished. Her family does live close and her mom will help out sometimes too. She also has close friends who the kids know and can help out. I definitely see what you're getting at. But she does have other options for child care.

                I am not terribly suspicious. I don't think she's cheating on me with this ex-boyfriend. It just makes me uncomfortbale, especially because I have had problems with this in the past where my (now ex)gf remained friends with an ex of hers and though she never cheated, they continued to share an intimacy that, I don't think, was appropriate. (I know this because she tried to have the same sort of relationship with me, post-breakup. Had I known, at the time, it would have gone from something that I didn't like to a dealbreaker)

                By "creative job", I mean she does not have a standard 9-5, M-F, work week. She works Fridays and Saturdays and then has a weekday or two off instead of the full weekend.

                She was with her ex-boyfriend for about a year. I am not sure at which point the kids met him. She is a little more flexible with that than I am. My (now ex)gf didn't meet the kids until after 6 months and I was clear she was my girlfriend. She is okay with the kids just meeting her boyfriend(s) and calling them "mom's friends" and having no PDA in front of the kids. For me, I prefer transparency and would rather someone not meet my kids until I am sure they are going to be around for the long haul. Point being, it is possible he met them pretty early into that year but was never considered someone other than mom's friend.

                Comment


                • #9
                  She seems a bit more relaxed about "friends" (dating around the kids) than you. She might also be wondering the same things you're wondering - whether this relationship will work out despite your shared long term goals. In your first opening post you mentioned that you'd both taken your dating /online profiles down and discussed what you're looking for long term which is good. I think there needs to be more talk together about everything in general: from your approach to days off to daycare options and how you want to juggle your commitments together. If you don't really feel you both are comfy with each other yet to talk about those things especially the ones surrounding her kids, I'd say bide your time and get to know her more. You might have to be patient about the ex in the background (for a short while longer) until you both find an appropriate time to talk about it. I think you should talk about it though. Don't let it sabotage what could be an otherwise great opportunity/great relationship. It's too early to tell how this will go and no one on the forum knows her or what she's thinking or what she's open to doing in order to have you in her life. Give her the benefit of the doubt and chat openly, candidly. For all you know she may be feeling awkward about the situation and may be thinking of having a talk with that ex about not coming around anymore. Continue treating her like a lady until she proves herself to be something else.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Rose, thank you for your thoughtful response. You are probably right, that we need to open up communication more about all of these things. Honestly, many of the decisions with us have come without real discussion. For being exclusive, I just told her, one day, that I wanted to see where things went with her, so I had taken down my profile and was not dating anyone else. Being very clear that I wasn't asking the same of her until she was ready. About a week later, during the course of conversation, she mentioned she had taken hers down too, for the same reason. And as for even being boyfriend and girlfriend, there was no talk. Just, one day, in mentioning something, she called me her boyfriend and I, in turn, later that day, called her my girlfriend. It wasn't a talk, it just was. Which, admittedly, is actually kind of nice. Everything has happened very organically.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      That sounds nice but it also sounds like she's taking your lead. Eventually you're both going to have to talk about things openly. She may have a totally different moral compass or idea about what's acceptable regarding exes. Even while giving her the benefit of the doubt, leave room for those differences. It'd be foolish to go on another month (now going onto the third month) without addressing the ex boyfriend, in my opinion. Either she or you have to be honest and upfront about that. It's a lot better setting things straight early and getting a better picture of what you're getting into. If you change your tune (from happy go lucky to upset later on from built up resentment or anxiety), she'll wonder about you too. It's always better to address things as early as possible where appropriate.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I thought I'd eventually be okay with my ex-gf being friends with her ex-husband while we were dating, but over 3 years of dating, I never was.
                        Then the question I'd like to ask is why are you in exactly the same kind of relationship with your current girlfriend? You are picking women who aren't free of their last relationship yet again? Why? Does once burnt, twice shy not come to mind?

                        Your girlfriend is causing her children to become even more attached to her ex by allowing him to be their babysitter. He doesn't even have to be there when she has a mother that can pick up the children and watch them until her daughter gets home. A lot of schools also have before and after school programs that are open until 6:00 pm for a nominal charge.

                        She's not even been out of a relationship with him for a full year and now you're in there with him and her. Up to you of course but it doesn't sound, to me, like a good place for you to be laying your heart.
                        "First off, welcome to the Relationship Forums, You'll come to understand that I don't pull any punches when giving my opinion/advice and I hope you're not so sensitive to what I see as the truth of the matter." Me!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Rose, you are right, this is definitely something I need to discuss with her. Getting involved in discussions like this, which I know might lead to conflict, tends to be hard for me. With my ex-gf, they only got brought up when things came to a head (like when she went on a dinner and movie "date" with her ex-husband when I couldn't go). Of course, the alternative is getting deeper into a relationship and letting something build until it turns into resentment.

                          Phases, when I met her, I wasn't aware she was still seeing her ex-boyfriend. I picked her because we have great chemistry and our first (and subsequent) dates were amazing. Even when I first found out about her ex-boyfriend coming around, we hadn't decided to go exclusive and it was still casual, so I didn't worry. Now that we are exclusive and she casually mentioned he had come by to help with the kids, I started thinking about it. And I'm here because I'm not ready to just say "okay, that's it" and move on. At the end of the day, we do still have great chemistry and I don't want to give up without putting some work and thought into if this could be something that would last.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by rdunsany View Post
                            Phases, when I met her, I wasn't aware she was still seeing her ex-boyfriend. I picked her because we have great chemistry and our first (and subsequent) dates were amazing. Even when I first found out about her ex-boyfriend coming around, we hadn't decided to go exclusive and it was still casual, so I didn't worry. Now that we are exclusive and she casually mentioned he had come by to help with the kids, I started thinking about it. And I'm here because I'm not ready to just say "okay, that's it" and move on. At the end of the day, we do still have great chemistry and I don't want to give up without putting some work and thought into if this could be something that would last.
                            Then you are ignoring a very red flag is all I can say.

                            Something to really think about: You are washing and repeating and even though you may have "great chemistry" you're putting yourself in the same situation you did with your ex. What will you do when that new relationship energy wanes and she still keeps her ex in her and her children's lives? Hopefully you've learned to be okay with that scene. The more time he spends with them, the harder it is going to be for you to be accepted as their mother's partner.. Certainly don't rush meeting them either as its not copacetic to their emotional well being to have their mothers lovers coming in and out of their lives.

                            Hopefully you'll not get shredded once again.





                            "First off, welcome to the Relationship Forums, You'll come to understand that I don't pull any punches when giving my opinion/advice and I hope you're not so sensitive to what I see as the truth of the matter." Me!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Phases, thank you for your words of warning. If I'm honest with myself, I am not sure this relationship will work out anyways. Even not considering the ex-boyfriend thing (which is, you are right, definitely something to consider), I think we approach our lives very differently. I'm the type to get up at 6am to get as much done in the day as I can and who feels bad if I don't do anything. Yesterday, after fretting that she'd have to watch one of her kids while she had to get a car inspection, her ex-husband took the kids, so she could get that done. Instead, she slept in till 10 and didn't end up doing anything all day, including the inspection. I couldn't believe it when I heard it, since she was worried about it and then, when the cause of the worry was taken away, she still didn't do it. That's just not how I can even imagine living my life.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X