To want my ex to stop over-involving himself in mine and DS's community?(8 Posts)
I posted on here a few years ago (have namechanged for this) about an awful time I was going through with my now ex. He had been experiencing big highs and lows in mood, and after a long period of depression, he became pretty manic and unreasonable, and spent thousands of pounds of our money, slept with prostitutes, and walked out on DS and I without so much as an explanation to DS.
A few months later, he calmed down, and (probably madly but with the best intentions) we tried to work at staying together - I thought he might have been unwell. In the end, I couldn't (can't) forgive him, couldn't get past a wariness that his mood would change again; that he'd be unfaithful and difficult again. So we have been separated for some time now, and DS and I live happily in what was the family home, in a lively village.
My ex is now quite buoyant again - I know the signs: buying lots of stuff, flashy new clothes, lots of business ideas. He's very sociable when he's like this, too. As such, even though he hasn't lived with us for nearly two years, and had little involvement with the village when he did, he's now back here a lot. He exhibited at the recent village fete, he goes to the pub round the corner, he has coffee with one of the mums at school, he's now offered to run an enterprise scheme at DS's school, and has talked of setting up a committee for something-or-other.
I feel suffocated. I don't seem to be able to avoid him, and am dreading hearing, "Ooh, isn't DS's dad such a lovely bloke?" - and struggling to respond magnanimously. Yes, when he's like this, he is charming and generous - but to me, he is (or can be) something else, and I feel I could really do with some space from him. I don't want him repeatedly popping up in my day-to-day life.
I have tried talking with my ex about this - explaining that, if it weren't for DS, we'd likely have very little if anything to do with each other, in view of our recent history; that we need the space to be able to move on. He sort of gets what I'm saying, but says he grew up in this community (which he did - although he moved elsewhere as a teenager), has no intention of staying away, and talks almost as though it's his village.
I don't want to move elsewhere with DS, because both he and I are settled here - it's our home. But in staying, it seems I will keep bumping into/hearing about my ex (at least for now, while he's hyper-sociable) and will simply have to grin and bear this, which for the most part I do but it bloody grates sometimes.
AIBU to want him to just f*ck right off?! Ahem, I mean focus on rebuilding a life for himself where he lives now, and accept that having less involvement where DS and I live is a natural consequence of everything that has happened between us? Sigh.
YABU. You should be happy FOR YOUR SON's benefit that your ex-parter wishes to be involved in his life.
YABTFU with respect to using "less involvement" as a tool against your ex-partner because you are unable to come to terms with what happened in your relationship.
When he goes to the other end of the scale I doubt you will hear so much about him. Its great he still has input in ds life and by contributing to his school he probably feels he is doing the right thing.
I would advise that you stick to your own social circle and if anyone mentions your ex just smile and agree. He will go away eventually when his mood goes down.
YANBU. I had a similar experience with dd's father.
I can completely understand why you are feeling like this. Is your ex bi-polar?
Unfortuntely, short of moving away, I really don't think there is a great deal you can do.
Be polite but distant to him yourself, smile politely when he's mentioned in company, and just try and rise above it all.
Thanks, hayes. I am hoping this will happen too.
skihorse, maybe I haven't been clear. DS's dad is very involved in his life as it is. I actively encourage that. DS has regular overnights, weekends, days out, etc, with his dad - more than is typical in this kind of situation - and lots of time with my ex's parents (all of whom live in a neighbouring town). This side of things works great: we talk well, arrange babysitting between us.
What I resent is that since we separated, my ex is here, on my doorstep, and actively involved in this lovely but gossiping village more than he ever was when he bloody lived here! Rather, it feels sometimes as if he's using this as a tool against me, since he knows how much he hurt me and how much I'd value some distance from him.
Still, thanks for replying. My initial feeling is that you're being unduly harsh, but I'll think about what you're saying all the same. Perhaps IABU.
Missed a few posts there. Thanks to other posters too. Hmm. Maybe IABU - but reasonably (or understandably) so, if that makes any sense.
123andaway, you're right, there is nothing I can do about this. I find it very hard to rise above it sometimes and just feel bloody resentful, TBH, but for the most part, I seem to manage it.
Thanks itsmeolord - comforting to know I'm not alone in experiencing this. I suppose it's an opportunity to find more generosity of spirit than I ever knew I had.
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