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Need serious advice about my boyfriend; his kids; and his ex wife

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Old 05-27-2008, 08:21 PM   #1
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Need serious advice about my boyfriend; his kids; and his ex wife

Okay, long story--trying to make short.
I am single 29 year old female; never married, no kids. A year ago I fell in love with my best guy friend who has 3 children and a psycho ex wife. Not the ideal situation; but when it comes to matters of the heart--one can't control who they fall in love with. We got serious; moved in together and due to horrible issues with the ex wife trying to ruin our relationship by manipulating with the use of his and her children; we broke up; he moved out and I was heartbroken. 6 months went by and we have reunited the past month because even though we went our seperate ways and I thought I was done with him we have an intense connection and love I have NEVER experienced with anyone else even though I have had a couple of serious relationships and have dated several other people in my single time. My issue is this: My parents are still married. I am so fresh to this and he is the only man I have ever dated seriously with children and an ex wife. Is it possible that we can make this work?!?! He wants to build a life with me; although he has alot to prove to me after the previous break up; knows this and has done everything to prove to me how much he loves me and how much he is ready to make this really work. So my question; to you all out there that have dealt with the "mixed/seperated" familes and made it work: How do you make it work? How do you deal with a psycho ex wife? How do you deal with being in love and in a situation that is so not "ideal"? Can I make this work? Or am I fighting against the unevitable situation? Should I just keep dating until I find someone else that has no baggage like this? I dated again after we had broke up and again as much as I would connect and had feelings and fun with these other guys; they were not him, they were not my best friend. I question everyday why I had to fall in love with a man with all these issues and have tried to push myself away and do what seems "easier" but its not my heart. He is my heart. His kids are my heart. But trusting him when he talks to his ex and when he goes to pick them up causes me such anxiety that it is consuming and feels unhealthy. I know some would advise me to go with him when he meets her to get the kids; but we decided to keep me away from his children this time around to make sure that we are working out fine before we involve the children (it was heartbreaking for me and also for the kids when we broke up). We want to do it right this time and only involve the kids once we are official for the kids sake. Is this impossible to work? I want this more than anything and so does he but its takes incredible TRUST (which is low cause of issues last time); incredible sacrafice on my end because the kids come first and they should; but I do require alot of attention. And incredible patience and understanding on my part dealing with the ex wife; the games she plays and knowing that sometimes plans with me and him get ruined due to emergencies with the kids or the ex causing problems. Am I beating a dead horse here? There is a 60% divorce rate. Many divorced people have kids. Many of these people remarry and start a new family with the "already made family". I know this situation is not uncommon; but my experience in this type of stuff is so new. What to do?!?! How do you all who are in the situation deal with it and make it work? I need major advice and am not willing to give up on this cause he means the world to me and I can't imagine life without him. I was without him for 6 months and although life went on and the stress level was lower it was an absolute answered prayer that he is back in my life. I want to make this work I just don't know how?!?! HELP. Thanks

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Old 05-27-2008, 08:46 PM   #2
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Thumbs up Re: Need serious advice about my boyfriend; his kids; and his ex wife


If you truly love each other, then perhaps you and he can make it work. I married a man that had three grown children and we have a great marriage. I don't try to be a Mom just a good friend that they can count on. My prayers are with you.

Sincerely Nadine

Last edited by music47; 05-27-2008 at 08:47 PM.

Old 05-28-2008, 12:48 AM   #3
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Re: Need serious advice about my boyfriend; his kids; and his ex wife

Thanks music, for your input. I did some web surfing and found so many articles on people like me in this situation. I am not sure if I am cut out for the rocky road ahead; but at this point will take it oneday at a time and slowly and see what happens. It sounds like it can work from what you and others have said; but it does take alot of patience and effort which is already needed in a relationship that does not even have baggage. I guess if I get to the point that enough is enough I'll know it. Its just difficult cause like I said I am so new to all of this and I WANT to be cut out for it, but not sure if its in me. I suppose if I really want it then I can do it but I don't want to be constantly stressed out with it or finding myself unhappy. Relationships are hard enough these days without the added baggage. Time will tell. We'll see. Thanks again.

Old 05-28-2008, 01:43 AM   #4
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Re: Need serious advice about my boyfriend; his kids; and his ex wife

I find the most worrying part of your post the bit about "trusting" him when he sees his ex. Do you mean that he would cheat with her? If he is still enmeshed with her to that extent, then that is a real worry. Apart from that, yes, it can work. He is the crucial element in making this happen, he must always be the buffer between his ex and his new life. He must protect you from her games, at the same time protect the interests of the children. You must tread a fine line between loving the children and keeping them open to a good relationship with their mother, NEVER be negative or critical of her to them or where they may hear. Most of the issues you have will resolve in time as the children grow up and become independent of both their parents, so many problems you have will be gone after a few short years. Look at the long view, and don't sweat the little things with the kids - everyone has some glitches on the way through. Best of luck, Sera.

Old 05-28-2008, 05:51 AM   #5
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Re: Need serious advice about my boyfriend; his kids; and his ex wife

sorry, you have high stress, anxiety, sacrifice when you admit need attention, and low trust, and three children to help raise....I know right now it's exciting b/c its the love phase but think about what its going to be like in probably as little as 5 years if it continues down this path - the novelty will wear out and you'll probably be on medication to deal with all of it or divorces.

Old 05-28-2008, 07:01 AM   #6
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Re: Need serious advice about my boyfriend; his kids; and his ex wife

I, like Seraph, am most concerned with the "trust" issues you speak of. What is it that you don't trust? Has something actually happened to make you not trust him in the past or is this all do to what the exwife has said/done?

It is mostly up to your boyfriend here to make this situation work, unfortunately. He needs to be the one to step up and tell the exwife to back off (if she is getting in the middle) and make sure she is not using her children as pawns. It's tough for him, I know. I've been in those shoes.

I'm assuming the wife has primary physical custody of the children. I also have to ask, did his wife want this divorce? How long have they been divorced?

I'm sorry for all the questions, I'm just trying to get a clearer picture. But like Seraph also said, these problems will start to fade over time as the kids grow up. At least that is one good thing, right?

Old 05-28-2008, 11:50 PM   #7
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Re: Need serious advice about my boyfriend; his kids; and his ex wife

She wanted the divorce. She had moved on to several boyfriends while they were seperated. I met him at my job and we were friends for months. I had no intention to ever go beyond friendship with him and he felt the same way. During the time I was friends with him he was still suffering from the aftermath of the divorce and I know first hand how much he loved her and was saddened that his marriage failed. At some point we fell in love with one another; but because of knowing how he felt about her I have a hard time accepting that he cares for her since shes the mother of his children and thats it. I have my own insecurities. She has made comments, when we were together previously she would leave nasty messages on our voicemail one including that if he didn't call her immediately she will tell me everything I don't want to know. I know several people that say even when people get divorced they often still sleep together especially when kids are involved due to that bond. I am jealous shes the mother of his kids and I'm not. When we broke up rumors went around that he got back with her and had been sleeping with her towards the end of our relationship. He denies it to this day and there are several crediable people that back him up as well on that so honestly I don't know. The only people that know are him and her so yeah, that didn't help the trust issues. I have a hard time getting close, dealing with the pain of loosing someone so I have trust issues anyways...cause I'm terrified to give someone my all only for them to break my heart. It scares me. So there you guys have it...what do you think?

Old 05-29-2008, 12:26 AM   #8
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Re: Need serious advice about my boyfriend; his kids; and his ex wife

You will never be number one in this relationship...never. The kids will remain his number one priority and since he didn't want the divorce he will always 'love' her and will always do whatever she wants him to do. So it depends on how much you want to share with the ex because you are like number 3 on the list of priorities. Absolutely the only way you will be able to keep peace in your own relationship is to become friends with the ex... you will have to refrain from calling her names no matter what and you will have to embrace her as just part of the 'family'. This will be your life for the rest of your life...good luck.

Old 05-29-2008, 05:32 AM   #9
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Re: Need serious advice about my boyfriend; his kids; and his ex wife

I agree with AnnD in the fact that his kids will always come first. But come on, he is divorced and whether he wanted it or not in the beginning it is what it is. He's moved on and you shouldn't allow his ex to intimidate you like that. She is feeding off of your insecurities because she wants him pining away for her. With you in the picture he must be happy and she must HATE that.

I don't believe you are or will always be number 3 on his list. I do think you need to let him know all of your insecurities (if you haven't already) and talk them out like adults. I also really think you need to meet her. It doesn't have to be anything crazy, but when you and your boyfriend are ready you should go with him to pick up the kids.

The main thing is though that any time his ex gets nasty he needs to address it asap. Whenever my ex had something nasty to say about my current husband (then boyfriend) I handled it right away. I was not allowing him to be a jerk and my husband appreciated it. In the beginning he worried about us getting back together, but once he met him and saw how I interacted with him those fears and insecurities melted away.

Now, I do want to squash the rumor that divorced couples sleep together when kids are involved because that was soooooo NOT the case for me and my ex. I struggled to even look at him and keep civil in front of my daughter so believe me there was NO funny business going on.

The only thing you really can do at this point is talk to your boyfriend and work together on this. His children and his ex will always be there and there really is nothing you can do about it. Be friendly to his children and a good role model and kill the ex with kindness. Hopefully, one day, she will grow up and realize this was inevitable (her ex moving on after her wanting to get a divorce) or she will continue to be a nasty person. Either way, don't stoop to that level. Be someone you, your boyfriend, and his children (your potential stepchildren) can be proud of.

Old 05-29-2008, 08:13 AM   #10
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Re: Need serious advice about my boyfriend; his kids; and his ex wife

Wow guys, thanks for the advice. When we previously were together I did meet her. I had gone with him when he dropped off the kids, she stalked me at my local spot and I also tried to speak with her on the phone when she was calling and hanging up and calling and hanging up. She could never speak to me with respect or as an adult and I never stooped to her level. Never talked bad about her in front of her kids and never stooped to her level and returned her nasty phone calls. When someone leaves messages like "come on you little bi*tch and call me back"...uh duh..its not going to happen. After we broke up she had called my cell a couple times and I never answered, she never left a message. I refuse to interact with this woman until she respects me and I refuse to "give into" her little tactics of manipulation. Good news I just found out is that shes moving back to the home state with the kids where he and her are originally from. Hes not going. He says he likes his job and wants to build something here with me. He would like to be near his children but at the sametime understands that its not healthy for him to create a new life with me in the same town as her. Hes okay with seeing his children on holidays and having them with us in the summers. He will also fly there quite a few times a year to visit the kids or we'll fly them down here. This lets us breathe a little better and he feels good that his kids will be around several members of his family due to the lack of mothering skills due to several issues shes going through (drugs, abusive boyfriends, etc.) I understand I will always be second to those kids. Thats fine. They are awesome kids. So with that...I've decided to take things oneday at a time. He still has ALOT to prove to me as far as his readiness and commitment to our relationship this time around. I am not sure he will be able to stand being states away from his children so I have to wait and see how everyone involved handles this change. Honestly it would not surprise me if shes just taking them up there for the summer and then bringing them back but making a huge "moving scene" just to get reactions out of him again. Hes done with the games. Hes ready to move on with life. Hes tried to be civil with her and shes out of control. I think everyone needs this space right now in order for things to change positively especially for the kids. So it will be interesting to see how things turn out. And yes, even though he did "love" her I think she has done so much damage that hes finally had enough....and in the time we broke up he figured some things out, got his act together, and came back ready to make this really work. I'm going to be patient right now and hope for the best. Hes different this time around and see the change in him, his attitude, his everything. I appreciate all the advice and will keep you all updated. My hopes are that she really does move, the children get to be around extended family that can keep a healthy eye on them (they are excited to move back) and that he continues to call them daily, see them monthly or so, pay the child support, the ex finds a new love interest to harass, we build a relationship here and everyone moves forward. I have spoke with him several times about my insecurities and I also don't want to be the reason he doesn't move back to his home state. I refuse to be the reason he doesn't get to be near his children. We will see how it goes. Maybe we'll move together closer to his home state but far enough from her. I am going back to school in the fall and am going to focus on me right now, hopefully find a job (I got laid off 2 months ago) and take this relationship oneday at a time. I love him to death, and am willing to see how this all turns out but I refuse to loose my sanity with it like last time and if it gets to that ponit again, I'm out.

Old 09-21-2008, 03:58 AM   #11
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Re: Need serious advice about my boyfriend; his kids; and his ex wife

I too am married to a man that has children and a psycho ex-wife. But, the most important thing to remember is to keep boundaries. Your relationship is yours, not thiers. Yes, she is their mother, but you are his So. People say that raising kids is the hardest job....being a ste-parent is even harder. But, it can be done.

Old 07-25-2009, 11:49 PM   #12
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Re: Need serious advice about my boyfriend; his kids; and his ex wife

I was also in the same situation. The only difference is that now I am currently pregnant with my boyfriends child and I feel like I made a mistake. The same way she doesn't want you seeing her kids you are not going to want her to be around your child. Especially if she is a psycho like my boyfriends ex. I think you should leave now that you still have a chance. Remember her and her kids will ALWAYS come first. We know you are ready to deal with it but are you ready for your child (if it goes that far) to deal with being second fiddle. I am so ready to leave him and go on with my life because the ex has become even more and more unbearable. The problem is that my child is still going to have a father that is not going to be there for him 100%. Also because his ex is so needy I cannot see us making many plans for the future of the child together. Please take the whole situation into consideration and see if it is really worth it. Why do you think you will not be able to find someone as compatible with less baggage? I felt the same way too and now I do not care. It is really not worth the baggage.

Old 07-26-2009, 02:11 AM   #13
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Re: Need serious advice about my boyfriend; his kids; and his ex wife

Sorry but I think you should walk. I think you are putting way too much emphasis on your concept on romantic love and not being practical enough.
You are young and have no kids. You can have anyone in the world. Why a man with 3 kids and a chaotic personal life? Why all the chaos?
You are kidding yourself if you think it will improve, at best it will stay the same but it might also get worse.
Plus you said you think he may have slept with her while you two were together, but also that you two are in love, which I don't understand, but perhaps I read that wrong.
I just really think you're trying to talk yourself into settling.

Old 07-26-2009, 07:44 AM   #14
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Re: Need serious advice about my boyfriend; his kids; and his ex wife

Being in a relationship is hard enough but when there is an ex that knows how to pull the strings on the man is just plain out ridiculous. It is time he grows a pair and just puts it out simple to her in black and white. She wanted to move on and now he is also. She has no control, even w/ the kids, he can get the maximum visitation and there is nothing she can do, child support can only go so high, it involves the courts choice not hers, so with that in mind she has nothing. The sooner he realizes that the better he will be.

I see many ex's that use many games and yet for some reason I see men/women falling right into them. You will most likely never get the respect from her, but I would just let that go and if your relationship is as what you said, you two will be partners and that includes the children. The children were already involved prior and they know you, so why keep the distance now? He can not control her life and what she does anymore than she can his. People can not pick and chose who their ex will be with and of course a high percentage of them never approve of who they chose to be with and it has nothing to do w/ who the person really is. This woman reminds me of the type that "she don't want him, but she wants no one else to have him in case she gets bored and lonely for awhile."

I agree baggage can be very hard, but it can work out in the end. If you two decide to have a child together, that child will not be put 2ND as many seem to think, that is the child he will spend day in and day out with(well as long as your together),But, also remember at the same time it will never make you any more superior either, its not about children competition it is about the true value as a family and by what you say he had that value and his ex chose another road. If he loves you as he expressed then the love he shares with you will help heal the pain that she has caused.

I agree w/ the taking it one day at a time. When he vents about what his ex is doing just listen, don't give your input as to what he should do, just ask him if he is going to let her control him as she did in the marriage and now after the divorce, again "grow a pair".....If he doesn't react to her games then eventually she will give up. I see many step parents that the children have more respect for than the actual parent due to the fact in some cases there is no games to be played and the children like that instead of being pulled into the games that ex's play to one another by using the children.

Just be yourself and remember, it isn't about if your a better mother figure it is about what you will accept and won't and to be yourself and to not stoop to any of the games she wants to play on you. Yes, you are a part of these children's lives, but as of right now until you two are living together or get married you are just dads g/f. The fine line of playing the step parent should also be discussed so you know your boundaries ahead of time. You are doing the right thing with ignoring her. I believe that all parents should have the right to meet the new addition(step parent figure), but just remember that doesn't mean she has to accept you. You might want to save all those messages when the ex leaves them for you, only yours though, in might come in handy on her next game and the lawyers or judges might find them interesting. Always keep your guard up.

Just make sure you have both eyes wide open and make sure this is what you want, beings it is a package deal....

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