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me, my ex and a new man?

(150 Posts)
Limbicsystem Sun 09-Feb-20 20:19:17

Hi,
my sister pointed me to this forum so I hope it ok to write here.

here goes, I am a single mum to a 15mo girl, me and her dad (james)separated before she was born but we get on great, hes an amazing dad and is really supportive to me. we often do things together when hes around because he works away a lot amd seeing the baby is a priority wit him.

recently I started chatting to a guy I met ona night out. hes really nice, he has no problems with me gushing about the baby and is understanding that I cant drop everything and see him. im busy a lot with university and the baby so we haven't seen eachother much but we talk every day. ill call him jon

anyway. that's the background.

earlier this week *jon messaged me and said he would like to take me out on valentines night. I said that's really nice and would see if James would take the baby overnight if hes free. I texted James and he said he had made plans with thegirl hes seeing so I messaged jon right back and explained. Jon seemed ok but then he asked what i was doing in the day and I told him I was spending it with james.

fwiw this has been planned since before I knew jon and its not romantic at all, we just do things like this with the baby becaue its nice, he is bringing his older daughter and we are going to lunch and then soft play or swimming.

after that he finished the conversation pretty quickly and then didn't message me back the rest of the day. I called him out on it the next day because instead of the usual 10/15 messages he had only replied to one with K. totally unlike him.
after a bit of poking he admitted that he thinks its weird that im spending the day with my ex and that he doesn't think im interested in him. I told him I really am and he said im always busy and making excuses to see him (im studying really hard at the moment too!!!) and that hes nt going to pursue someone who doesn't feel the same. he also said he doesn't know anyone who sees their xes the way I do and that he didn't comment on it before but that hes developed feelings for me now and thinks I probably just wan to get back with james.

Im really upset about this but at the same time im actually really annoyed hes said this to me. weve only seen eachother a couple of times, haven't slept together and he knew I was busy from the beginning, im also not going to push my daughters dad away because of jealous men, that's what james ex has done, and did to me throughout our relationship she caused trouble bbecause she was jealous of me, and it really hurts him.

I asked a couple of my friends but none of them have kids yet so don't really think its weird but my sister and mum both say it IS weird and that I should be putting myself and this guy first if I like him.

im so lost. I don't know whether im being an awful person or im just weird?

BuddhaAtSea Sun 09-Feb-20 20:27:38

I would leave your daughter with her dad in the day to do the swimming etc, and you go for a nice lunch with the new guy.

Limbicsystem Sun 09-Feb-20 20:29:53

but then I miss out on my daughters day and that's even worse! id rather not date ever if it means I have to choose between things I do with her and others.

ButtonandPickle19 Sun 09-Feb-20 20:31:00

I think YABU to expect a man to date someone so involved with their ex. Yes, be civil and friendly, but spending Valentine’s Day with him and doing family days out? That’s a situation any decent man would avoid.

ButtonandPickle19 Sun 09-Feb-20 20:32:50

I’m imagining you have her the rest of the time? So you’re missing a day with her out of many with her. Unfortunately that’s the result of having a baby with an ex, you have to expect not to spend every day with her.

If he gets together with someone he will expect to spend time with the baby and his new partner without you.

user1493413286 Sun 09-Feb-20 20:34:45

I don’t think it’s unreasonable that he doesn’t like it; my DH has an older daughter and if that had been the scenario when we met then I wouldn’t have pursued it. It’s lovely for your daughters sake that you get on so well but you can’t expect someone to be ok with you spending a lot of time with your ex whether even if they’re your child’s father

Mistystar99 Sun 09-Feb-20 20:38:20

You are definitely doing the right thing putting your daughter and your friendship with her dad centre stage. You won't regret doing it. It will make your life so much easier in the future. One day you will meet a lovely guy who will understand and even love you more for it. That is the relationship you want. Don't waste your time on babyish men who you have only just met trying to change the plans which benefit your child. You are doing great. Wait for the right man. I don't think this one is it.

Limbicsystem Sun 09-Feb-20 20:39:43

im not asking him to date me lol. he chose to, he knows I see my ex from the beginning.

I don't spend that much time with him, maybe one or two times per month recently. the baby was breastfed until she was one so when he spent time with her he stayed over on the sofa but took over everything until she wanted boob. she was a bit of a nightmare to wean so him taking her back to his city woulnt have worked at all.

I guess im never dating again then. 23 year old spinster.

Mycatwontstopstaring Sun 09-Feb-20 20:43:04

I get that the situation is complicated. And you’re managing being a single mum, university, good relations with ex, and dating. Wow I am slightly in awe of you!

And you don’t owe James anything, obvs you are not an awful person. You honour prior commitments and put the baby first and that is admirable and not weird.

That said, I completely get James’ point of view. He likes a girl, he asks her to be his date for Valentines Day, she says no she has plans to see her ex instead. Wouldn’t feel great would it. If you couldn’t go out for him on Valentines evening, couldn’t he have come to yours? Or alternatively, your baby would be fine for a couple hours with her Dad while you had lunch with James.

So it’s not so much putting baby ‘first’ as not trying to find time for James on the day at all.

To be honest nice guys don’t grow on trees and it seems a shame to mess things up with James for the sake of not letting your child’s Dad take care of her alone for a couple hrs.

But it’s your call. I suspect that if you really really liked James, you’d already have found a way to see him on Valentines Day.

Limbicsystem Sun 09-Feb-20 20:43:27

@ButtonandPickle19
(only just worked out how to reply lol)

im also full time in my third year of uni so im at uni all day 3 days a week and then my mum has her on Thursdays so I get study time without her climbing over my laptop. then she goes to bed at 7pm.
I don't get to see her half as much as want toand feel really guilty. shes only one and I cant have any more children so I want to spend as much time as I can with her.

ButtonandPickle19 Sun 09-Feb-20 20:43:27

Don’t say that. I comment from a good place. My ex (DD father) and I split when she was a baby and we remain great friends. Both of us are remarried and stayed close, but a healthy distance. I think it’s the fact that it’s Valentine’s Day, possibly bad timing if you want to date

ButtonandPickle19 Sun 09-Feb-20 20:44:46

*dont say you’ll be a spinster I mean!!!

I was 18 and thought it was over, I had to study as well etc and it’s crazy busy but you can do it!!

Limbicsystem Sun 09-Feb-20 20:48:23

@user1493413286
Jon has known whats what from the beginning. ive been 100% honest with him and hes never had a problem, he actually said once (I founf the text earlier and thought about sending it to him)

"its really cool u see ur ex like that. most girls I know go a bit mental wen they split up. hes really lucky."

its just the valentines day thing. I don't really care that much about valentines day anyway, we are only doing it because it ould be special for the girls and james has always had a daddy daughter date with his other girl.

Aquarius1619 Sun 09-Feb-20 20:49:37

You’re doing amazing.
Keep your daughter and your relationship with your ex at the top of your priority list. Anyone who can’t accept your situation does not have the emotional intelligence required to understand that this is healthy and in the best interest of your daughter.
You’re a fantastic role model for doing it this way and should be proud of yourself. Stick to what works for you and your family.

Limbicsystem Sun 09-Feb-20 20:50:27

@ButtonandPickle19
im only half joking.
ive been on two other dates, Tinder is awful, and they were blatantly just looking for someone desperate to sleep with so they didn't end well. theres only so many times you can be told "you don't look like you have a baby", that's not a compliment, its RUDE!

ButtonandPickle19 Sun 09-Feb-20 20:53:03

I found older men with a child themselves were best. They really appreciated that I treated my ex well (many of them wished their ex’s did) and they really got that DD came first.
My DH has two DC of his own and my ex has even come to stay at our house and will come over for lunch with me and my DH. He loves how much effort I put into a friendship because his own ex is a nightmare.

Limbicsystem Sun 09-Feb-20 20:54:30

@Mycatwontstopstaring
thank you!

im tired ALL the time and im not doing as well as I wanted to be with uni so don't be too in awe. im just about getting by.

I think that's why thi is so rubbih. for the forst time in ages Ive had something other than the baby or uni to talk about and I spend enugh time feeling guilty that Im not devoting all my time to either the baby or the degree, now I feel guilty for a whole new reason.

CoffeeCoinneseur Sun 09-Feb-20 20:55:39

There's getting on well with your ex.

And then there's having him sleep over at yours regularly, and spending Valentines Day with him.

If a woman was posting about a man doing this, she's be getting told that the ex doesn't know she's an "ex".

James needs to start stepping up and taking his child more on his own.

Waveysnail Sun 09-Feb-20 20:58:43

Well spending day with your ex on valentines day is a bit weird tbh if your dating. I'd put guys on back burner for now. Get through final year of uni then think about dating. You dont seem to have time to date at the moment

Limbicsystem Sun 09-Feb-20 20:59:16

@ButtonandPickle19
my ex is 35 so older than me by 12 years but he felt like he was the same age as me. we got on so well and hes such a lovely man, my mum really wanted us to get married!

but it didn't really work out and a huge part of that was his ex, I never want to hurt my daughter or my ex just because I have self esteem issues. she makes life difficult for him for no reason and not only has it harmed our relationship but the guys shes dated have told him they have o idea how he coped with her, so its obviously making her miserable too.

ive always got on with exes though, even the ones who cheated, I haven't got the time to be negative about them.

Limbicsystem Sun 09-Feb-20 21:07:55

@CoffeeCoinneseur
Ok, im not having anyone slag James off.

He works away a lot, its his job and his passion and every second he has on leave he spends with either daughter. sometimes hes not even inhe country so he cant just jump on a 12 hour flight and pop too see her.

secondly, he lives in a different city because his ex refuses him to see his daughter if he moved. he moved in with me and she was awful. his little girl is very sensitive and it affects her really badly whn his ex stops contact.

thirdly, he slept over because Rosie spent the forst 7 months of her life permanently attached to me and always refused a bottle. he took extended pat leave and he was actually a life saver for me because I wouldn't have had a second away from her otherwise. he wouldbt have been able to see her at all otherwise. she would scream bloody murder until she was sick if I left her sight for more than 10 minutes and I suffered supply issues if she was away for too long too.
hes had her overnight every opportunity he gets since she was weaned and hasn't stayed over since before she was one, that I can think of.

hes done everything he can so no, he does not need to step up at all.

Limbicsystem Sun 09-Feb-20 21:10:28

and fourthly, im not going to let down a 6 year old who has been looking forward to this just because a 25 year old man decided to wait until the week before to make plans. I get on really well with his daughter and she adores the baby, its not fair upsetting her, shes made us cards and everything.

BarbedBloom Sun 09-Feb-20 21:15:00

Honestly, I would be okay about the family days, but if a person I was dating said they were spending valentine's day with their ex on a family day out I would run a mile. I would assume either they were still seeing each other or that there were lingering feelings.

Maybe he just isn't the right one for you, but sadly you may struggle to find someone who will be okay with this set up long term, even though it is for your daughter. Or in fact it may be a girlfriend of his who will insist a stop is put to it

Tyersal Sun 09-Feb-20 21:17:54

Sorry OP but the babys father needs to arrange himself to have regular contact with her, this would also help you plan your life so that you can have one. Spending that much time with your ex is weird, it world raise massive red flags for me if I was Jon. He sounds like a nice guy and isn't being unreasonable

Rainbowqueeen Sun 09-Feb-20 21:23:22

If you and James were still a couple he would spend time with your DD alone surely??
Jon obviously sees Valentine’s Day as a special day for couples and is upset you can’t squeeze in any time to see him.
That’s not unreasonable.

Think hard about whether you feel ready to date right now. It’s fine if you don’t, timing can be everything in relationships. But if you do want to date then you need to consider his feelings too. Not sure of your living situation but could you invite him round for coffee and dessert once DD is in bed
Or meet for a couple of hours during the day for lunch and over her nap time?

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