My boyfriends ex, DSS mum- AIBU

(35 Posts)
NewHere21 Tue 04-May-21 13:19:05

Hi everyone,

I’m new to mumsnet and started a thread based on a conversation I had with my boyfriends ex, last week. They share a 7 year old son together, however they’ve been separated 6 years. They were together off and on for 5 years before his DS was born, and a year after. 6 years in total, never married but lived together once DSS was born.

I’ve been with my boyfriend just over a year now, we are very happy and in a strong, honest relationship and we have moved in together. I met his DSS almost 6 months into our relationship, we have a great relationship, I pick him up from school, we have days together when both parents are working etc. I have made a real effort with his mum, and vice versa- we have a good relationship overall however I’ve noticed just after Christmas there was a lot of tension. They share time with DS 3/4 days a week and alternate, when she would pick DSS up she wouldn’t leave the car or come in for a chat, as previous she would come in for a tea and ask about DSS etc. It had been like this about 3/4 months when I’d said to my boyfriend to invite her over for dinner, she accepted and was really grateful for the invite. She’s since been over twice for dinner with us and the relationship was going back to pre-Christmas.

Last week I picked DSS from school and there was an incident with another child, nothing serious that needed immediate attention so I told my boyfriend and DSS mum when she collected him next day, she went on a rant about his dad (my boyfriend) which I found really awkward, she aimed a lot of it at me and said everything has changed etc.

Toward the end of the conversation she said ‘Recently it’s just made me realise, there is no chance of me and ______ ever getting back to how we were and we could never get back together’ and that ‘I’ve just got to deal with the fact I’m not a priority to him anymore’. I was utterly gobsmacked and didn’t really know what to say, I asked my boyfriend afterward why she would think they had a chance of getting back together and he was just as confused as me. They haven’t been in a relationship for 6 years, she has had 2 boyfriends in that time (1 she introduced to DS) and he had 1 girlfriend (wasn’t serious enough to introduce).

I’m now very confused and conflicted. Have I been too kind in offering her in for dinner/ catching up etc? I’m trying to do what’s best for DSS as ultimately we are all going to be in each other’s lives for a long time (we are in talks of ttc).

Any advice welcome- sorry for the long post!

OP’s posts: |
TheLastLotus Tue 04-May-21 13:23:32

I think you’re being nice (more than expectee( and she’s just being a prick

Aquamarine1029 Tue 04-May-21 13:27:01

I wouldn't even think about TTC until you can see how this will all play out over an extended period. Will the ex start preventing your partner from seeing his child? Will she decide it's her mission to make your life a living hell? I've seen enough nightmare senarios for step-parents to know that love isn't always enough to make it work.

CanofCant Tue 04-May-21 13:36:14

Aquamarine1029

I wouldn't even think about TTC until you can see how this will all play out over an extended period. Will the ex start preventing your partner from seeing his child? Will she decide it's her mission to make your life a living hell? I've seen enough nightmare senarios for step-parents to know that love isn't always enough to make it work.

I agree, I think it is way too soon to be ttc. You have only been together a year and there is all this extra drama happening. Also, I know you think you are being loving and accommodating by taking on child caring responsibilities but just be aware that you aren't saddled with doing your boyfriend's share of parenting.

Starstruck2021 Tue 04-May-21 13:43:54

Yes you are doing an awful lot considering you’ve only been with him a year. You are very involved and I think it’s too soon especially as there is obviously tension there between them. I wouldn’t be inviting her over any more either.

ItsNotLoveActually Tue 04-May-21 13:55:19

I find it extremely odd that she thought they'd ever get back together and if that was the case, why accept invites for lunch with you both. If she wants to keep her distance, let her be.

I get that you want to be involved with your potential DSS but how come you pick him up from school and spend whole days together? Do you work? How did your DP manage before he met you?

It looks like this is all going way too fast, with everything.

VanillaSpiceCandle Tue 04-May-21 14:07:53

I think this has happened far too quickly. You really shouldn’t be having to do all the basic childcare and picking him up from school. I have a horrible feeling he’s using you instead of paying a childminder or nursery. Take a massive step back and stop doing all of that and let them work it out between themselves.

NewHere21 Tue 04-May-21 14:08:40

Thank you all for taking time to respond 😊 I do feel as though I need to take a step back with the ex, I feel like I’m trying to include her and be welcoming but I will regret it in the long run and feel walked all over.

I’m in agreement over TTC, I feel like our relationship is strong and we are happy but I’m terms of his ex I want to see how this pans out before bringing another little person into the middle of it!

@ItsNotLoveActually I do work, and DSS goes to after school club so I will pick him up after work, his mum works further away and doesn’t get back in time but she will pick up 2 days a week, if she can leave work early- otherwise it’s left down to my partner and he works too so we’re left with 3, sometimes 4 days to pick up. (there is a lot of unfairness and we do over compensate a lot, but for the child)

We’ve only recently moved in together and I agree with a lot of the points you’re all making as things to consider, I really appreciate it! Thank you all 😊

OP’s posts: |
NewHere21 Tue 04-May-21 14:12:41

@VanillaSpiceCandle I think I will take a step and let them sort things together, she takes advantage a lot, for example leaving work late and giving an hours notice for someone else to collect, which usually leaves my boyfriend, his elderly mum or me (due to covid and his elderly mum picking up, I have offered to pick him up from after school club) but I do feel perhaps neither of them have thought this through and are taking advantage of my nature?

OP’s posts: |
CanofCant Tue 04-May-21 14:30:11

I think you're need to step back and refrain from making judgements about her.

'She takes advantage a lot'. I really don't think that is your call to make. You only know what he tells you. Why shouldn't he inconvenience himself by finishing early and picking up his child? I see it impacts on you as you then do pick ups but it is your boyfriend that is letting it impact on your life.

Aquamarine1029 Tue 04-May-21 14:30:42

I do feel perhaps neither of them have thought this through and are taking advantage of my nature

I do think your partner is taking total advantage of you, and you're allowing it. I'd be interested to see how your partner would react if you said you were no longer going to provide free childcare for his son. I'm betting the relationship wouldn't be as wonderful as you think it is.

ItsNotLoveActually Tue 04-May-21 14:34:06

You sound like a lovely person and willing to please. I get that you want to make his life easier but you'll be taken advantage of unfairly if you're not careful. Next time the childcare situation comes up, say you can't - 'sorry, somethings come up' and see how it pans out. If the ex is taking advantage of your DP, it's up to DP to sort her out and get arrangements on a firmer footing. They should have set days and when it's ex's day, it's her problem to sort. Harsh, but if she's doing all the taking and no giving then it will only escalate.

NewHere21 Tue 04-May-21 14:35:21

@CanofCant I mean in terms of picking the child up from school, as there as 5 days she will usually do 2 days and he 3, which they both rely on his mum or dad to pick up on days they can’t due to work etc, and during covid they couldn’t as the grandparents were high risk. Often she would say she can’t leave work early to pick up DS from club but we would see a couple hours later a picture on social media that she had finished work and gone for a couple drinks (no judgement at all, but when others have to finish work or change plans to accommodate it makes it difficult) I’m in no way slating her as a mother, I’m just explaining the way I see is her taking advantage to have a drink with mates confused

OP’s posts: |
Starstruck2021 Tue 04-May-21 14:45:17

Well stop being so available and see what happens.

NewHere21 Tue 04-May-21 14:47:18

I’ll take your advice and update the thread in a couple weeks to let you know how it’s gone, thank you all for your help smile I do feel as though it’s gone on a tangent away from the original question but it’s been insightful and made me think of how much I am doing, without even realising!

OP’s posts: |
messybun101 Tue 04-May-21 14:54:47

I had a great 11 month relationship with my DSD mum until I fell pregnant.
Funny. As she has a child with her current partner of 5 years. And my DP's relationship ended when she was pregnant with their daughter. She seemed over the moon he'd met the 'one' and we accommodated each other, co parented and became friends. Then baby news - BOOM!!
It's sad. I think it is a jealousy thing when the previous partner sees the 'new' gf get to a stage in the relationship that they didn't get to but hoped for.

user648482729 Tue 04-May-21 14:55:41

I think my DSDs mum went through this stage when me and DH moved in together; as much as he’d had girlfriends in the past I think she just had the realisation (even though they’d been apart for 5 years by then). It didn’t really follow logic but sometimes these things can hit. It was a bit rocky for a while and we carried on as normal; being friendly but not too much in her face. She got together with someone else and there’s been some odd mirroring of our decisions. There was some definite wobbles when we got married and had our own DC though and some jealousy so I’d be aware of that.
We’ve had other issues but the cause is separate to this.

user648482729 Tue 04-May-21 14:58:01

@messybun101 describes it well. I also think that before you have DC together they can think of themselves as more important as the “mother of their child” but then when another child is born to a current partner they feel like they’re not as important

messybun101 Tue 04-May-21 15:03:41

Cross post @user648482729 - but describing almost exactly the same.

I also remember being 7 and coming home from my dads with the news of a baby brother. My mum was sick.
Talking to her years later (about my situation with DSD mum) she said she couldn't stand my father. They never worked. Would never work and she had no regrets but the realisation that he'd actually moved on to the right life but had messed up with us was still enough to upset her.

NewHere21 Tue 04-May-21 15:10:31

@messybun101 and @user648482729 thank you both for your replies and I think they are both valuable opinions. I have seen the relationship change recently and she had mentioned that I’d moved in during our last conversation, perhaps that’s why?
As you described they feel more important as the ‘mother of their child’ as she said she has to accept she’s not a priority anymore- she will still call him if she has a problem, for example with the car (he is by no means a mechanic and I probably know more than him) or house, I’d she needs bread and said it’s for the DS so he will pop groceries to them. More recently she couldn’t use a gift card and called him to ask how. I do feel like sometimes it gets between us because as a woman myself when there’s something wrong with my car I call a mechanic or go to the garage or even use google etc. Sometimes I feel that she needs an excuse other than DS to speak with him and my boyfriend has explained he feels awkward about it but doesn’t know what to do because that’s how she’s always been. I guess I will just have to adjust smile

OP’s posts: |
NewHere21 Tue 04-May-21 15:16:01

“I also remember being 7 and coming home from my dads with the news of a baby brother. My mum was sick.
Talking to her years later (about my situation with DSD mum) she said she couldn't stand my father. They never worked. Would never work and she had no regrets but the realisation that he'd actually moved on to the right life but had messed up with us was still enough to upset her.”

I think that’s a really valid point and I am trying to see from her POV too, it must be extremely difficult for her to see him with someone else and living with that person, and essentially a ‘family unit’ with their son- that’s why I have tried to include her and invite her over etc. Even Christmas Eve for games night (we had him Eve, up to midday and she had him midday onward) I don’t want her to miss out in important things such as that, but I also don’t want to feel awkward that she still thought of her and my boyfriend getting back together (up until recently) and her intentions in coming over.

OP’s posts: |
Tangledtresses Tue 04-May-21 15:17:09

I'm the ex... and my ex had a girlfriend fine I didn't mind one bit...
until he started trying to flirt with me, get back together etc I was having none of it ! He used to moan about his gf say she wasn't important etc.... he was a lying twat and was trying to keep me hanging so I wouldn't get a boyfriend! I didn't and still don't want another partner.. they have finally moved in together and wow she does a lot for my son, i have pointed out that he's taking the piss of her nature and stop using her! He proudly tells me how much she cleans and cooks 😱😱 for him! I really hope this is not going to be your situation.

NewHere21 Tue 04-May-21 15:32:17

Oh gosh, @Tangledtresses that sounds horrendous for everyone involved and I’m so sorry, there only seems to be one person gaining from your situation, unfortunately!
I absolutely 100% trust my partner and I know he only has good intentions, but since she made this comment I have had those little niggles the ‘what ifs’ and I asked him outright ‘have you led her on in any way to think you would one day get back together?’ And he flat out says no way, I don’t go through his phone but I’ve seen messages (when sitting next to each other) and they are all related to DS.

OP’s posts: |
Tangledtresses Tue 04-May-21 15:37:12

Well I finished it with him, and didn't accept his later advances either.... but I would probably talk to the gf? He may have or she may have got the wrong end of the stick... but best to get this all out in the open for your sakes!

messybun101 Tue 04-May-21 15:46:52

I thought I was kind and accommodating for a nice home life for DSD but wow @NewHere21 you're going a lot further than I did, or would.

Let's be honest, we do it to help our DPs don't we? To show them were here for the long haul. So our step children like us.
BUT it isn't for us to do. You're going above and beyond, if is a lovely thing to do but very extreme op. She'll be making accusations you're trying to take over/be the new mum next.
Maybe you're juggling step-mum life better than she manages with single-mum life and she's a bit jealous of that
Or maybe it's what I thought earlier, and it's that you're in a great relationship with your partner and she's realised now it's the real thing with you and it's intimidating.

Either way though, I also think your partner shouldn't be agreeing to do these small things for her. She needs her own support system. When you do TTC, where's the space going to be for your baby? His time is filled with fixing her car and answering her questions etc.

I think rather than fixating on the why, you should also take a step back. Allow your DP to co parent with his ex himself but it should be limited to being about his son only. I.e she doesn't overstep and is more self sufficient or finds another mug to run about for her.

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