Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Irrationally afraid of meeting his ex wife

(29 Posts)
notadaisy Mon 15-Dec-14 10:58:36

I've been seeing my partner for 9 months. He has teenage children with his ex wife. I've met the children, and they are fab.

I haven't met the exW yet as the kids are old enough to transport themselves between houses, and a lot of the time i'm not at DP's house during any drop-offs or collections so the need for me to meet her hasn't arisen. I've heard lots about her, and seen photos. She sounds and looks amazing.
I will be meeting her during xmas as she'll be dropping kids off while I am also there.

I know that her and DP had a good and loving marriage (while it lasted obviously) and that she made him really happy. They are still on really good terms and very friendly, I am a lot younger than her so feel a bit inferior and intimidated, and insecure to be honest.

I am crapping myself about meeting her, even though I know it'll be for a matter of minutes. I have even thought of feigning a last minute shopping trip so I don't have to be there, but I know this is ridiculous and only putting it off to another day! I also know I am being silly and irrational and need someone to reassure me it's going to be ok?
Doesn't help I am quite shy by nature anyway.
It's not even like she's a dragon/jealous/bunny boiler, she seems really lovely.
Can someone give me a slap any reassurance?

PlantsAndFlowers Mon 15-Dec-14 11:06:05

My first thought was 'why on earth did they get divorced', you paint such a rosy picture of them.

Is it that you fear there are unresolved feelings between them?

LadyBlaBlah Mon 15-Dec-14 11:06:58

She's only a human.

You can only say "hi, pleased to meet you"

If she's as lovely as you've heard, there's nothing at all to worry about.

And hey, she might be nervous too - you know with you being much younger etc.

Doesn't sound like there is anything to worry about.

Count yourself lucky. Lots of people don't have this possibility of actual reasonableness and adultness.

CogitOIOIO Mon 15-Dec-14 11:14:15

If this is entirely your own jealousy & insecurity talking then I'm afraid it's entirely down to you to fix it Nobody can make you feel inferior unless you give them your express permission. I'm sure she's feeling a little apprehensive at meeting you.

notadaisy Mon 15-Dec-14 11:15:14

plants Yes it might be that, as that idea has niggled at me before. The divorce was ten years ago. There are no hugs or kisses or shared meals or constant communication or anything like that but they definitely are on good terms. It was him that ended the marriage, and he's had another LTR after that but she's had absolutely zero.
He has reassured me loads that he has no feelings in that way for her at all.

daisychainmail Mon 15-Dec-14 11:17:51

I would just think of it like meeting any other boyfriend's ex. Just take it as an opportunity to learn a bit more about him. She is a very important person in his life but not in yours, yet. It is always stressful meeting a partner's ex but it will be ok.

daisychainmail Mon 15-Dec-14 11:18:57

P.s. I think you'll be surprised that though they get on now I doubt they did at the time of divorce. She sounds firmly in the friend zone - I don't think you've got sexual feelings between them to worry about, but they may still be very emotionally attached. Why did they break up?

notadaisy Mon 15-Dec-14 11:27:39

They broke up because they were arguing all the time, she was apparently pushing him away and he ended up developing feelings for someone else, so he left his wife so he could give it a go with the other woman. ExW was obviously devastated but has forgiven and moved on, definitely no bitterness or anything. I know he massively regrets those actions (before anyone tells me to leave because he'll do the same to me - we have had that discussion a LOT) so I've always wondered if that means he regrets leaving his wife and wishes he could be back there or still holds a candle.

CogitOIOIO Mon 15-Dec-14 11:30:43

The divorce was 10 years ago...... If you're wondering if he has regrets or is holding a candle then you've got problems. Your DP sounds a lot older than you .... curiosity makes me wonder what the age-gap is. If you can't handle a relationship with someone who has a past, exes, children, 'baggage' generally, then it's a mistake to get involved with an older man.

TheBatteriesHaveRunOut Mon 15-Dec-14 11:36:22

If he's had a LTR between her and you, and she hasn't, presumably there's been ample time for them to decide to give it another go. Which they haven't. Only he knows if he still holds a candle but they had 2 children together, they'll always be a part of each other's lives.

And 10 years is a long time - this is a relationship that ended and a LOT of water has gone under the bridge. I expect in the first few years post-split things were a lot less friendly than they are now. Now they're old friends and tbh that they have a good relationship now is a credit to both of them. Especially the exwife, if I'm honest.

daisychainmail Mon 15-Dec-14 11:41:59

P.s. Just from experience, it's not going to get any easier as the relationship goes on. Issues like this are endemic to being with a man with a past I'm afraid. There will be plenty of tricky moments.

If I were you I would look at this really seriously. How old are you? Do you want kids? With him? Do you want to be with him long term? If not, I'd move on and find someone else. There isn't endless time and if you're not sure he's going to fit in with what you envisage for your future you might have to cut your losses.

springydaffs Mon 15-Dec-14 11:48:30

she was apparently pushing him away and he ended up developing feelings for someone else, so he left his wife so he could give it a go with the other woman.


PlantsAndFlowers Mon 15-Dec-14 11:51:24

Why the funny look springydaffs?

QueenandKingMum Mon 15-Dec-14 11:54:26

Just wanted to add, I'm one of those exw that is very good friends with their exH. It doesn't mean we have any romantic or sexual feelings, it means we are both don't see the point in continuing a bad relationship just because we are divorced. My ex and I have dinner with the kids 1-2x per year, talk regularly about the kids and I actually am friendly with ex mil. It's a mature way to deal with the unpleasantness of divorce and it's all about the kids. I care for him, and he cares about me, it's all grown up and mature. I'd appreciate they get along, I've seen train wrecks of divorce and they can't even speak. Good luck, just take it in your stride

loveareadingthanks Mon 15-Dec-14 13:46:35

They have children together. It's best all round that they get along amicably.

I had a good relationship with my ex husband and my then partner used to get jealous/worried by it. Why was I laughing on the phone with my ex husband, did I want to get back together with him, blah blah whine whine. It used to piss me off no end; it was so pathetic. Would it better for parents to be fighting or arguing or frosty with each other? No. We put our child's feelings above our own.

Contact naturally slacked off as child grew older and now we have the odd comment on Facebook from each other (commenting on wall posts) but that's it. We haven spoken or directly communicated for probably 7-8 years. We no longer need that contact.

You really need to get over this.

Annarose2014 Mon 15-Dec-14 13:57:01

She "pushed him away" so he had an affair.

OP, I hope he never thinks you're "pushing him away" hmm

BTW, what does that even mean?

CogitOIOIO Mon 15-Dec-14 14:07:27

It probably means he wasn't getting his leg over and went elsewhere. smile Still.... as it's all a long time ago it's fairly academic.

PlantsAndFlowers Mon 15-Dec-14 19:32:51

I would see 'pushing someone away' as meaning...

-refusing to engage with conversations about problems within the marriage.
-rejecting affection.
-being mean for no good reason.
-deliberately doing things that will annoy the other person.

Don't know why people are being so sceptical, are you saying you don't think people do this?

getthefeckouttahere Mon 15-Dec-14 19:38:35

Sorry to go against the flow here, but i say you get absolutely smashed that day.
There is no situation that a combination of terrible nerves and industrial quantities of alcohol won't improve! My first meeting with the inlaws using this technique has passed into family folklore!

Vivacia Mon 15-Dec-14 20:02:32

You know how sometimes someone comes on to a thread and says something completely different to what everyone else has said, and you think, "wow, that's so insightful"?

That hasn't just happened smile

Notadaisy Mon 15-Dec-14 20:42:46

I would absolutely love to have even just one sneaky drink on the day would really help calm my nerves but I will be driving shortly afterwards angry so no wine for me unfortunately!

Notadaisy Wed 17-Dec-14 14:01:12

Anyone got any more advice?
It's going to happen in a few days and I'm still so nervous.

emeline Wed 17-Dec-14 14:09:13

My advice is that you breathe slowly and quietly, speak no more than is welcoming and polite, and smile warmly.

Don't try to make an impression or try to instantly be her buddy. Just be warm and responsive and underplay it. Be there to witness the situation rather than anything else.

It's fine to say hi, happy christmas, nice to meet you, isn't it chilly, I'm looking forward to a mince pie or whatever, but you need do no more than that.

Just witness what goes on and be an unimposing friendly presence.

How long will you be in her company?

Notadaisy Wed 17-Dec-14 14:14:32

Emeline, thankyou, I like what you say about observing the situation rather than trying to be a 'part' of it.
It should just be a few minutes at most, while dc are swapped over and the usual small talk, we are then leaving to go out so it definitely won't be any length of time.

Pinklaydee1302 Wed 17-Dec-14 14:40:22

I've been split from my ex 3 years and we get on very well (I ended it) he does things for me whenever I need him to but he knows we just friends now and we respect each other in that way

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now