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am I being spiteful??

(58 Posts)
movingonup2015 Wed 20-May-15 09:52:43

Hello all, would like some impartial advice about my situation.

My OH is divorced and has a child with his ex. She lives literally right next door to his place of work so he is always bumping into her and she quite often pops into his place of work to drop off the childs clothes or pick up child etc.

It was a very bitter and nasty divorce - she messed him around the entire 2 years of the divorce and cost him thousands, he hated her and wanted nothing to do with her other than to discuss child arrangements etc.

Lately she has been contacting him more and more and for any little thing that needs doing she goes to him... she has often popped into his place of work and asked if he was going up the road and if so could he pick up X Y Z for her whilst he was out.. her electrics went out the other night so first person she rang was him and asked if he could come and sort it out for her.. luckily he was home (which is some miles way) rather than right next door so said he couldn't as he was at home (he always feels the need to tell her WHY he is at home rather than just saying no sorry I'm at home...)

I have to admit I'm really not liking this at all... IMO the only contact they should have is for discussing child care or anything to do with the child and nothing else. He says he is the type of person that would help ANYONE that needed him, regardless of who they were. He says he has absolutely no feelings whatsoever for her in a romantic way anymore and would never in a million years go back to her especially after the long and expensive divorce he went though and that he doesn't want to see anyone suffer regardless of who they are and what they did to him.

I also don't understand the reasoning behind if she rings him and says she's going to be late picking up their child because she's just out looking at paint because she thinks the living room needs redecorating and thinks that a particular colour would look much better and has also seen some lovely curtains that would go really well and then asks him what he thinks..

Really?! why cant she just say "im going to be about half hour late if that's ok"?? Why do they both feel the need to explain to each other where they are and why they are there?!

It came to a head when she rang him the other night to ask to go over to sort out her electric... I was absolutely fuming as she has plenty of friends,relatives, neighbours etc that live right next to her (one of which is a qualified electrician!!) that she could ask but always chooses to ring him first. So we ended up having a huge row and he said I'm obviously annoyed as it's her and if it was anyone else calling him for help I would have no problem with it - yes, that is very true he is a very kind person and would help anyone if they needed it and no I wouldn't have a problem if it were anyone else.

His reasoning is that if anything were to happen to his child as a result of him not helping her with something he would never forgive himself so always feels obliged to help her out.

I asked how he would feel if it were my ex constantly ringing me for help with things and he said it's different as I don't have a child with him and therefore don't need to have contact with my ex..

I don't really know what to do about this.. my instinct says I'm right and that I shouldn't have to put up with my OH constantly running after her and her needs but then again I don't have children so don't know how it would feel if the shoe were on the other foot and maybe I am just being spiteful because I don't want him to have contact with the ex.

Any thoughts would be appreciated!

Joysmum Wed 20-May-15 10:00:00

he doesn't want to see anyone suffer regardless of who they are and what they did to him

But you've done nothing to him and your happiness and relationship is suffering.

She, on the other hand, isn't 'suffering', she is just inconvenienced.

bellathebluebell Wed 20-May-15 10:00:02

Well, it sounds like that is the situation. What are you going to do about it?

Hard as it sounds, she is doing what (she thinks) is right for. You need to do what is right for you. If he jumps every time she shouts and doesn't see anything wrong with that you are going to have a very long and hard journey ahead of you.

I don't care what anyone else is doing. I don't put up with things that I don't like any more. It makes for a much happier life.

Gorgonzolacherry Wed 20-May-15 10:07:00

She's a nutter asking him to help out with stuff like that. I wouldn't DREAM of asking my ex h for such things. Nor discussing anything other than childcare arrangements I.e. What time to drop off and pick up.

Explain to him calmy that you feel it's inappropriate. If I were you, I think this is ultimatum time I.e. I will leave unless you lau down very strict boundaries with her NOW. I'm any case, If he doesn't do this, I think the relationship is unsustainable as you will lose all respect for him.


theendoftheendoftheend Wed 20-May-15 10:17:07

When the electric was out was OH's child there also? I get why he would want to help in that situation, although actually you say that he didn't? So I'm not sure what the issue is... if he had been just next door presumably he would have which seems reasonable.
He's right about the fact its a very different experience having an ex you have DC with to just having an ex in general. I think your being pretty unfair to him, this isn't about her, it's about his child. I hate my ex, wouldn't piss on him if he was on fire. DC have NO IDEA. As far as they know I'm more then happy to make him a cuppa, have a chat etc. I do it for their benefit, that's all.

pocketsaviour Wed 20-May-15 10:22:22

It was a very bitter and nasty divorce - she messed him around the entire 2 years of the divorce and cost him thousands, he hated her and wanted nothing to do with her other than to discuss child arrangements etc.

So she realised that nasty didn't work, and is now playing the helpless card instead to keep control of him.

I would best my last pound that her "requests" have become far more frequent since you came on the scene.

Are you living with him? How long have you been together?

movingonup2015 Wed 20-May-15 10:30:19

thanks all - well for the little things that she asks him to do that really don't benefit his child in any way he doesn't do - like "can you pick me up a bottle of wine if you are passing the shops" he always says "im not going near the shops" rather than saying no, get it yourself or something he will always have a reason why he cant get it rather than just telling her to naff off which IMO says hes not saying he wouldn't get it if he were passing a shop, he just isn't passing a shop...

Yes, if he were right next door he would have gone and sorted her electrics out because he said he didn't like the thought of his child being in the house scared when all the lights were off as he could have fallen down the stairs etc.

I do understand why he does some things for her, I really do and I'm ok with it, anything that will benefit his child I'm totally ok with but anything that doesn't (e.g can you get me a bottle of wine if you're passing the shop?!) then I'm not ok with it but to be fair he doesn't do those things he just makes an excuse as to why he cant do them rather than telling her no and stop asking me. it's as if he doesn't want to hurt her feelings or something which I personally find odd...

It's just the little things that are winding me up and its all building up for example, if he drops his child off and the ex and her family are just sitting down to tea she will ask if he would like to join them which he always says no to and then if he says no she will then insist she plates up a meal for him that he can take home with him and on several occasions she sends foods up with her child to take up to my OH's house which again I find really odd!? but he says whats the point in telling her to stop doing it, its not going to change how he feels about her so if she wants to send food up for the both of them then let her, free meal shouldn't be turned down etc but again I think there are boundaries that are being crossed here and I don't think he can see this from my point of view...

movingonup2015 Wed 20-May-15 10:32:40

pocketsavior - she doesn't know about us yet - the rest of her family do, his child knows I'm on the scene but as hes still struggling with the fact his parents aren't together anymore it seems cruel to let him know anything more at the moment.

Her mother is insisting on not telling her about us yet, for what reason I don't know but then I cant make her family tell her either. I suspect the requests will become more and more once she does know about us though...

movingonup2015 Wed 20-May-15 10:33:31

sorry forgot to add - not living together we both have our own houses and we have been together for a year.

Spell99 Wed 20-May-15 10:42:14

He might be nervous about keeping the ex sweet as he doesn't want child access withheld. I'm not surprised he is using excuses rather than tell her to get lost outright. I think id act he same as him in the given similar circumstances. Particularly if I thought she was vindictive enough to use the DC.

theendoftheendoftheend Wed 20-May-15 10:42:22

Your problems seem really to be with her behaviour rather then his, he is saying no he just isn't being blunt about it, I suspect he doesn't want to set her off especially if she's been difficult in the past (the fact her mum doesn't want her to know about you says a lot!)
It would be a shame though for her behaviour to get in the way of your relationship because realistically there isn't a whole lot your OH can do about how she behaves, and it does sound (to me!) like he's behaving very well and is doing the best he can.
You might want to prepare yourself for the shit to hit the fan when she finds out about you though... try and be a team with your OH, he can't control her behaviour, if you make him responsible it'll only drive a wedge between you.

Branleuse Wed 20-May-15 10:44:46

a year relationship?? dump imo. Theyre not over each other

Quitelikely Wed 20-May-15 10:50:53

Her actions aren't those of a woman who wants rid.

Was it her who instigated the split? What was the reason for the split?
Is there a court agreement in place for contact of the child?

movingonup2015 Wed 20-May-15 10:55:34

well herein lies the problem, if we argue to the point that she splits us up then she gets her own way in the end right? if I act like I'm totally ok with it then OH will think its perfectly acceptable to carry on pandering to her and then again she gets her own way there too... I'm just trying to find the fine line between letting him know its bothering me and demanding he has no contact with her other than to speak about the child and right now I'm struggling to find a happy medium..

I have a short fuse as it is which really doesn't help the situation and whereas he can shrug things off and just get on with it not caring if shes still madly in love with him or not (which I personally think she is!) knowing that it wont make him go back to her I feel like its important that he lets her requests for things are inappropriate but he wont he says hes not going to do all of the things she asks him so why get stressed about it?

The stuff definitely WILL hit the fan when she finds out about us there is no doubt in my mind about that I just need to work out how im going to deal with it and I can figure it out...I don't want to leave him though I am more than happy with the rest of the relationship just not the constant requests from the ex!

movingonup2015 Wed 20-May-15 11:02:34

quitelikely - she told him to move out just to provoke a reaction - she was living a completely different lifestyle to the one they apparently imagined together at the beginning,he just wanted a family life with his wife and child, she didn't, pretty much as soon as they were married she spent all of his money (she has never worked) on partying, socialising, clothes, shopping and he had enough but put up with it... but SHE initiated the split in order to try and shake him into wanting the partying lifestyle which seriously backfired because he did move out which she quickly started to regret and subsequently begged for him to come back, he wasn't happy with her for a while so he took the opportunity and ran. She tells friends and family almost on a daily basis she regrets every second of asking him to move out so is quite clearly still in love with him.

DragonWithAGirlTattoo Wed 20-May-15 11:10:08

tbh its easirt to say "i'm not near a shop" than a direct no, even if he is near one.

" bothering me and demanding he has no contact with her " yeah, let us know how that goes..... do you want him to start lying to you because he's not comfortable about talking to her, keep everything open, let him know you feel uncomfortable, but don't demand he doesnt talk to her.

Does he love you? in that case, then don't make his home life horrible - be the grown up - confused a bit here, - does Ex know about you and him? if not maybe its time you came out of the closet together and then she will realise that he's no longer on the market?

SylvaniansAtEase Wed 20-May-15 11:10:35

Together for a year?


It's the only way to sort this nonsense. The bottom line is - he is still involved with her - whether out of habit, residual dependency, fear that she will make contact difficult - doesn't matter, he basically dances to her tune first. You know it, he knows it - but it's almost impossible to pin him down on it, with all the ready excuses and justifications in place. So cut the bullshit. Tell him you're over, and if you're still free when he has the sense to see that she's still yanking his chain, just in a different way, then maybe he should call you.

It's the only way. Either he will put his hands up and have the sense to see he's not going to get to sit on the fence here, or he'll sigh and complain but essentially wave you goodbye. Either way is a winner for you. Staying as you are is the only loser position.

Quitelikely Wed 20-May-15 11:15:53

Oh dear this does not sound good.

I agree she is hankering after him. Maybe it is an ego boost to him since she was the one who initiated the split. Maybe he likes the fact she is now chasing him. Either way she needs to know you exist.

Tell him he is crossing a line and it needs to stop. Once she knows you're together then you will see what you are up against........

newstart15 Wed 20-May-15 11:16:18

I really don't see why she hasn't been told about you. It's not healthy and she will feel even more angry if she knew others in her family and her child knew about you.

How old is his child?

I think she assumes that they still have a connection as they are both single, whereas that isn't the case.

Does he have written agreements on child arrangements? I assume this was done as part of the divorce. You are wise to be very cautious as a difficult ex, his weak boundaries and unfinished business impacts your relationship.If you are single and carefree be careful what you are signing up to as it can impact the quality of your life.

I tend to agree with Bran. A "nasty" divorce usually indicates feelings. The opposite of love isn't hate, it's indifference. They don't sound very indifferent to each other.

TinklyLittleLaugh Wed 20-May-15 11:18:17

I don't really see what he's doing wrong; helping out to benefit his child, keeping on civil terms with the mother of his child. I don't see what she's doing wrong either; she wants him back so she's going for it.

The problem is, she doesn't know about you. If she did perhaps she would back off a bit.

DragonWithAGirlTattoo Wed 20-May-15 11:20:56

i agree Tinkly - she thinks he is still available

i cant believe you've been together a year and she doesnt know!?!?!!? How old are you guys?

I agree. She needs to stop being treated like a 5 year old. It's disrespectful to you, that you have to be some secret as well. This would be the first thing I'd insist on. OK, fair enough, keep it from the DC until you think he/she/they are ready, but for the love of God there is no good reason why she shouldn't know about you, unless he is trying to spare her feelings. And if he's trying to do that, I'd seriously question why.

ESPECIALLY after a YEAR. It's not like you've been casually dating for a mere few weeks.

FredaMayor Wed 20-May-15 11:26:47

OP, this is 'divorced husband' syndrome - it's Googlable.
Your OH will have to grow a pair if it is to change, and stop you from (justifiably) dumping him.

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