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AIBU about DP's friendship with this woman?

(130 Posts)
Whatsmyproblem Fri 02-Nov-12 23:14:30

In the period between his relationship breaking up and meeting me my DP reconnected wi an ex girlfriend of his from sbout a decade ago. She's a single mum with a DD and he has a DD too (although she's a bit younger). When they dated a decade ago they were only together for 6 months or so and she dumped him.

DP says that nothing happened between them after they got back in touch. He just wanted a female friend to talk to about his break up. DP and I have been together two years now and during that time I guess he's met up with this woman maybe half a dozen times. And they always meet with their DDs because their DDs get on well despite the age difference.

So far so appropriate and non-dodgy. So WHY does it bug me so much?? Yes she's an ex of his, but they dated a very long time ago and she ditched him. I'm pretty certain neither is interested in the other in that way. I guess I just don't understand why they keep in touch. They don't seem especially close, only meeting for play dates a few times a year. Unless they chat a lot via email or on the phone during the day and I don't know about it??

And I'm always excluded from their play dates. Whenever he meets up with her it's like an unspoken thing that I'm not invited. Why doesn't he want me to meet her? Or is it simply that he doesn't have an awful lot of friends (whereas I do) and he likes having time with a friend to himself? To be fair he includes me in almost everything else in his life. Thats why it seems weirder to me that I've never met her.

I've been away for a few days at a wedding (he was invited but couldn't come because of half term child care/handover with ex complications) and in the five days I've been away he's arranged to see her twice. They're taking the kids to a big circus thing tomorrow night and then fireworks and to be honest I'm jealous!

Would you think this was dodgy? Am I justified in being a bit pissed off? Or WIBU to tell him I don't like the idea of him and his DD having cosy nights out with her and her DD the second I'm out of town?

In his defence, he hasn't seen her since July. And there have been plenty of other times when I've been out of town and he hasn't arranged to see her. And as far as I know, in the periods in between them catching up they don't really talk that much at all.

What do you think?

laptopcomputer Fri 02-Nov-12 23:19:00

It doesn't sound dodgy to me. Old friend, similar aged children, meet up every few months, what's the problem?

YerMaw1989 Fri 02-Nov-12 23:20:54

As to meet her and see what his reaction is?

missymoomoomee Fri 02-Nov-12 23:21:51

It wouldn't bother me, I have a friendship like this and it would royally piss me off if DH got upset by it. They have thier children with them so its not like anything is happening.

Nothing happened when they got back in touch despite both being single so why would it happen now that he isn't.

laptopcomputer Fri 02-Nov-12 23:24:23

I think if you ask to meet her now you are going to appear bothered by it, and then he would justifiedly be pissed off.

LisaD1 Fri 02-Nov-12 23:25:06

Doesn't sound dodgy to me, assume they are not going to be getting up to anything untoward infront of their children. If you want to meet her why don't you extend an invitation to dinner or something?

cornflowers Fri 02-Nov-12 23:26:16

I think the fact that he is quite open about the friendship, meetings etc suggests that it is harmless. My dh has lots of female friends, including a distant ex, I am happy with that. They're a good influence on him, too!

Whatsmyproblem Fri 02-Nov-12 23:26:21

Ah cool. I had a sneaking suspicion that I might be being a bit of a crazy lady about it all. And it turns out I am!

That's cool. Much better that you think I'm a jealous mare than you all thinking he's being a dick.

I will try and be a bit more of a grown up in future.

Shakey1500 Fri 02-Nov-12 23:34:32

I'd engineer a meeting somehow. I would say you'd probably glean a lot (if there's anything to glean) from how she ineracts with you.

I think you might be right in saying that he values the friendship as "his" friendship.

Bromptonaut Sat 03-Nov-12 00:12:51

I'm fifty three and my generation really struggled with platonic male/female friendships in our teens

DD/DS who are 20 and 18 respectively both have lots of 'other' gender' mates. In fact I'd say DS's closest friends are girls*. Seems fairly standard now.

Provided they're just seeing each other as old friends once in six months I'd struggle to see the harm.

Actually, I meet an ex colleague with whom I worked for twenty years on and off on for a drink every few months. She's a very attractive woman & I suspect in some ways she regrets missing out on the 'reliable' family man she sees me as but we're not each other's type that ain't going anywhere.

Mrs B is also relaxed and his similar friendships

*there's a frisson with one of them and I'd not be surprised if they were f-buddies (or more) at some time in future

comethasmybrokentelly Sat 03-Nov-12 00:26:03

He's her friend and vice versa. Let it go

CanonFodder Sat 03-Nov-12 01:24:30

Am I the only one who doesn't find the fact that the Op is made to feel like she can't join them weird? Sorry Op, just when everyone else has set your mind at rest to say this, but that would be a bit of a red flag to me.

missymoomoomee Sat 03-Nov-12 01:33:21

I have friends that are my friends, DH has friends that are his friends and we have mutual friends. DH wouldn't be interested in hanging out with people from my school days talking about things we got up to in our youth, I wouldn't have any interest in hanging out with his friends and talking about foootball and whatever else they talk about.

I think its healthy in a relationship to have seperate friends tbh. Its not like they are going out every week, they meet up every few months.

runningforme Sat 03-Nov-12 01:35:03

It does sound harmless, but truth be told, I would feel rather left out too. Especially considering they usually only meet a few time a year, now it's suddenly twice in 5 days..... Just ask to come along next time there's an opportunity. If it is that platonic, there should be absolutely no problem. I don't think a couple have to share all their friends, but I do think that there should be no problems or issues with partners occasionally being part of the meet ups.

ChippingInLovesAutumn Sat 03-Nov-12 01:38:10

I agree with Canon - I don't like the fact that you've never met her and he arranges things with her when you are out of town. It's just a bit <hmm>.

Missy - nothing wrong with having your own friends that you normally hang out with by yourself, but it's 'odd' to keep them entirely separate and not have them ever meet your other half.

Flimflammery Sat 03-Nov-12 01:40:54

If I was being cynical about human nature I would say that he's using her as a back-up wife - when you're away he needs female support and attention, as well as help looking after DD, so he calls her. And she enjoys the male attention and a part of her dreams that the two of them could get back together and make a happy family.

But I'm not cynical, so it's just a friendship.

missymoomoomee Sat 03-Nov-12 01:46:49

<rethinks this whole marriage malarky>

I think I must be a bit weird then. Its never really occoured to me to invite DH along with my rare meetings with friends, a few of who he has never met, he doesn't think to invite me either, its been like that for the past 12 or 13 years and it works for us.

I guess it would be different if one of us felt put out by it though. That is possibly the difference here. Why don't you ask DH if she wants to come over with her DD for a takeaway one night op?

Athendof Sat 03-Nov-12 01:48:58

Tell him that as she is such a good friend, you would like to meet her and invite her and DD fir dinner, lunch, whatever, but don't examine her behaviour as you make her unconfortable and therefore misread her behaviour.

I have a very good friend from school, he is only a friend, he seems me as one of the lads. There were occassions where my exh and I had dinner with them but she was so obviously seething with unjustified jealousy she managed to make us so uncomfortable we couldn't act naturally or be ourselves, i'm sure she took this as a further proof that something was going on... hmm

CanonFodder Sat 03-Nov-12 01:52:36

Missymoomoo, I agree it's fine OT have seperate friends, and both DH and I do have, but I would be uncomfortable if he had an ex girlfriend that he met up with twice a year and was eager for me NOT to meet.

In fact when DH and I were first together it was me who had a friend like that. I used to go alone to meet him and discourage DH from coming. If I'm honest it was because the 'ex, now just a friend' had feelings for me still and wanted to meet me alone as he 'couldn't relax with your DH here'. It turned out that translated into 'couldn't try it on when drunk one evening with your husband around'. Needless to say he is no longer a friend. Although if I am brutally honest I think I probably knew deep down there was still something there on his part and was flattered and so kept seeing him, until the drunken lunge incident.

Anyway, tired and long winded way of saying that if he is consciously keeping you apart, and bearing in mind this is an EX we are talking about, not a long term platonic female friend, then I would gently push for a meeting. You'll learn a lot from his reaction, too much resistance on his part and you know something is not right.

BessieMcBean Sat 03-Nov-12 02:38:00

My DD has loads of male friends going back to uni and even school but when she met mr wonderful (well, I spose he's alright really) she couldn't wait to introduce him to her mates (male and female).

Twice in 5 days isn't meeting up every few months.

I would dress in jeans and a hoodie with the hood up and spy on them to see if it is just friendship.

missymoomoomee Sat 03-Nov-12 03:07:51

TBH most of my male friends have been ex boyfriends at some point in my life. One of which I was with for over a year. I think its almost better in some ways that they have tried and failed to be together rather than having the wonder of what it would be like. They know its shit, they broke up.

If I ever came to the point in my relationship I felt I had to dress up and spy on DH then it would be over because the trust wouldn't be there.

I think he maybe just hasn't thought about it, unless op is honest that she feels a bit pushed out of that part of his life she won't know how he will respond.

DOn't spy on him or check up on him, be honest with him.

CanonFodder Sat 03-Nov-12 09:01:01

Agree you should not dress up and spy on him. Just ask him to be included next time, tell him you are curious about her and would love to meet her. His reaction will tell you all you have to know. If there is hesitancy, on his side or hers the I think that will tell you a lot. Missy moo, yep I have a lot of ex's who are friends, but if DH ever expressed an interest about meeting them then I'd make sure he got to the very next time we were together, because making sure he is secure in us is a priority for me. As it is, aside from this one guy, he's never been worried. The issue for the OP here seems to be her DP's resistance to them meeting, and I'm afraid that, for me, that sends a clear message that it MAY not all be above board, or that he is putting another persons feelings before OP's...either of which is not good.

Looksgoodingravy Sat 03-Nov-12 09:55:05

Due to recent events in my life I would be uncomfortable with the fact that a) she's an ex and b) he always wants to be by himself with her therefore excluding you!

I would him to have their next 'play date' at your house.

Yes we all have friends and life outside of our relationships but this is heading into dangerous territory imo.

Read Just 'Good Friends' by Shirley Glass to see if anything applies.

Whatsmyproblem Sat 03-Nov-12 10:03:32

Hmm interesting responses.

She's his only friend with a DD of similar age to his DD. So I think he's keen to encourage their friendship as I know he worries a bit that when his DD is with him, she only really hangs out with adults.

I did ask him once why he never invited me along to their met ups and I asked him whether he thought she was after him. He said that there was definitely no weirdness as they both figured out a long time ago that they weren't suited in that way. And he also said that he liked hanging out with her because it was rare time when he could see a friend on his own (ie not as part of a larger group of people including me and my friends). I have lots a friends and we all see each other quite often and DP is always included in the invites. So I know he's bothered that he doesn't have many friendships and feels like he should make more of an effort. So whoever said he feels like 'his' friendship was right.

All of which I totally get. But I think I'd feel it was less of an issue if he had a few friends like this and the play dates were spread among them. It feels more pronounced because it's always this same woman. And she does the job of so many things - a play mate for DD, a friendship for DP that he feels is his own, a chance for him and his DD to do something together without me always being there.

I think I'll suggest that it would be nice for us all to do something over Christmas with the kids. See if that makes him uncomfortable.

Mumsyblouse Sat 03-Nov-12 10:31:49

My husband was a SAHD for a while and so has female friends with children of a similar age. However, they are not private friends, and over the years I've either met them or got to know the whole family. I'm still happy if he meets up with them on his own/with the children in tow, indeed I get my work done or have a relaxing time. However, there's no secretiveness about it, I call them to to come to birthday parties or whatever, it's the slight secretiveness that I woudn't like at all. I expect my husband to say 'do you want to come along, I'm meeting X with the kids at the playpark' and not to care either way if I do.

Also- I would not like to be excluded from children/fireworks events, to me these are family events.

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