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I need some advice and perspective on my DPs attitude towards my ExH

(19 Posts)

I have to say, I think I disagree with most of the posts here.

I think one of the key bits of information that everyone is overlooking here is that the DP's job has now moved - he has to commute over 4 hours, and stay away from the family home 4 nights a week. That is big stuff!!

I have a long-ish commute (not as much as this) and have to spend 1 night a week away from home, my DP spends 3 nights a week away from home. It's a very difficult situation and can cause problems of it's owm, along with being frustrating and lonely.

I would not be surprised if this is making your DP very unhappy. Have you discussed with him your reasons for not wanting to move, and talked through the positives and negatives of both and the choices you have? It wouldn't surprise me if a lot of this feeling comes from the fact that he feels the choices you should be making together, are being over-ridden by the ExP's situation.

The fact that you term it being "forced to live in this city" because your ex relocated there says a lot. Why is that such a limiting factor.

I can understand you having worried about moving DC school - and would look at that seriously. But at the end of the day Children move schools all the time and it's not the end of the world. As long as you are not doing it regularly kids can adjust and it can even be good for them, especially if it results in a happier home.

You also say your ex can work from anywhere. Your DP obviously cannot. Have you broached the subject with your ExP - to see if he would be willing to come to some compromise to ensure a better family life for all of you?

Surely there are options around changing the contact pattern, mutually agreeing time and effort for travel, possibly relocating etc that could form a comrpomise that all 3 of you could be happy with?

The problem is that right now, your DP is only able to be a part of your family for part of the time because he has a long and exhausting commute and has to spend the week away from you and DC. If the economic climate were better I would also say one of the options you could explore would be a change of job for your DP, but am guessing that isn't really on the table right now.

Your DP is, understandably I think, seeing the issue with him being able to create a more harmonious and less difficult homelife as your ExP. And given your statements above I would say that this has how it has come across to me.

rachel33333 Wed 12-Dec-12 17:38:21

I disagree with the other posters. I don't think his animosity is motivated by guilt, I think he just can't see why your ex-husband is still a big part of your life when he imagined you would ride off into the sunset together and leave your respective partners behind.

He needs to accept that your DD is a part of the package so he will have to suck it up!

notsoevilstepmum Wed 12-Dec-12 16:16:21

the guilt must be eating your current partner alive i find your exh strategy for revenge genius lol

CalamityKate Thu 06-Dec-12 21:13:32

Yep ^

Selim Thu 06-Dec-12 21:11:52

If you are shagging your friend's wife for a year then you have to either make out that the friend is a twat who deserves your contempt or face up to the reality that you are a horrible slime ball. By getting on with your ex then you make it harder for him to believe the first version, ergo the second version must be true and he must be a slime ball. If he carries on with his fantasy that your ex is a twat and you are unreasonable in your tolerant/friendly behaviour towards him then it is easier to tip the scales away from him being a slime ball.

CalamityKate Thu 06-Dec-12 20:58:33

FGS the fact your daughter sees a lot of your ex is a GOOD thing.

The fact you've got an amicable relationship with your ex is a GOOD thing. Less stressful for everyone. A GOOD thing, especially for your daughter.

Would he really rather you hated each other?? That's very childish and selfish.

purpleroses Thu 06-Dec-12 20:49:19

Does your DP realise that moving away might in all seriousness mean that you leave DD behind? If he's imagining that the three of you could move away together and your ex therefore vanish from your lives, he's maybe not being realistic. Even if you both wanted that (and you quite reasonably don't) you couldn't necessarily do it. You say your DD tends to side with her dad. It would be her dad, school, friends, familar home all on one side, and just you and DP on the other. If you can help your DP to appreciate this, and he respects your role as a mother, then he should realise that staying where you are is really the only option. Maybe he needs some reassurance about where he fits into your life. It isn't easy being a step parent and feeling like a spare part some of the time.

CalamityKate Thu 06-Dec-12 19:58:29

I think your DP sounds like an immature prat and your ex sounds really nice.

Personally I'd have no sympathy for this sort of nonsense. I'd tell him to get over himself.

I suspect that he wants your ex to keep away just in case you realise youve traded down.

NomadsLand Thu 06-Dec-12 19:49:54

Thanks for all your comments and replies, I really appreciate them.

I am very lucky to have such a friendly relationship with my Ex and I'm hugely thankful for it. When the time came to tell DD that we were splitting up, we decided to take her away on a 5 day holiday together in London. We told her on the second night (not sparing any truth) and then spent the next few days just reassuring her that it wasn't her fault and that we'd always love her and support her as two separate parents. We saw all the sights and had our last true family holiday and it was a good way to end things, if that's possible.

DP is coming back from his commute tonight so I will sit down with him and discuss all this. No matter what, DD comes first and that's always been how I've done things (apart from leaving the marriage). And I have to say, the very idea of what has been suggested up-thread about her choosing to live with her Dad is entirely plausible if she thinks that her decision is between me and DP vs her Dad. I know she would choose her dad.

The only reason she is happy and adjusted (sings in the bath-type-of-happy) is because her parents are stable and support her 100% in everything. I reckon if me and Ex didn't get along, she would side with him every single time.

I have to face up to 'what we did' every single week when I see ExH and DP doesn't because his wife simply refuses to see him. (BTW, it's a very effective strategy - men can't cope with it). Perhaps he's still ashamed (I know I am) and doesn't like it being in his face. BTW, his grown up, married children refuse to meet me so it's not like everything is rosy on his side.

Anyway, just wanted to update. Thanks again for all your comments. And yes, I do realise that we were both utter twats and that we did had consequences for everyone. DP's consequence has to be to make DD's life stable and get over the fact that ExH will be part of a successful future for my DD. To be honest, if I had to choose, I would choose my ExH because it's only fair (but not get back with him, IYSWIM)

I think DP knows how serious this is judging by our "we need to talk" conversation this morning.

Would I do it again?

Yes, I would because everything else in our lives is bliss. It's just this!

Thanks for reading. x

DontmindifIdo Thu 06-Dec-12 12:37:34

Your DP doesn't like your exH - he had a low enough opinion of him to shag his wife for a year while still maintaining a friendship - he was cold had heartless to your exH and obviously had no respect for him as a person, and he really can't see why you don't feel the same way. The fact that you still see your exH as a decent bloke just drum it into your DP that he is the one that acted like a complete cunt (along with you to be fair), and that your exH is a reasonable person.

I don't think he's jealous, I think he's threatened that you aren't letting him see your exH as 'deserving' of his shitty treatment, and highlighting that actually, the person who isn't very nice is your current DP. It's particularly interesting that he's not bothered to have any sort of contact with his exW, he's tried to walk away from his mess, but annoyingly, your DD means you won't let him completely put it behind him. He can't just move on and lie to himself about what sort of person he is.

I would sit him down, tell him that your DD comes first in your priorities over him for the next few years, if he can't accept that you want what's best for her - including a close relationship with her father - then he's in the wrong relationship.

Incrediblemeee Thu 06-Dec-12 12:27:45

My dh is just the same. Exh and I were encouraged by judge to have a civilized relationship for the sake of our ds, then 3. We bit our tongues and got on with it and though it took a few years to straighten out all our concerns, I would say now that we have a good working relationship, his new wife and I also communicate regularly and when they bring him back after their weekend they come to the house and we chat a bit. I would even offer coffee but my dh almost foams at the mouth just me letting them in the door! The thing is, my ds, now 14, has thanked me on numerous occasions for getting on with his dad and sm. he is able to relax and like them all. My dh, I believe, is jealous because he cheated on his girlfriend with his first wife to be, and then cheated on her with a work colleague. He also makes "jokey" comments when coming home early about trying to catch me with a boyfriend!? And no, I don't give him grounds to go there either. My dh's ex, however, is a total sociopath, loves turning his dsc against him ( and unfortunately now me too, it seems, after we have been together 3 years), took him to the cleaners at the divorce. So there is probably jealousy there on that account too. By the way, we are getting marriage counseling soon and hope to take it from there.

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Thu 06-Dec-12 10:07:21

Classic 'hate your victim'.

Make your ex the bad guy and gloss over the fact he betrayed his friend.

NotaDisneyMum Thu 06-Dec-12 10:05:12

I envy you, OP!

I wish I could have the kind of co-parenting relationship with my ex that you do with yours. Unfortunately, there is a lot more tension, although it is getting better with time.

I think you've got it cracked for your DD's sake - the fact that your DP doesn't agree may explain why his relationship with his ex is non-existent, and his DC's are undoubtedly suffering as a result.

Can you see a long-term future with him if this continues?

HKnight Thu 06-Dec-12 05:29:48

I've found this thread very interesting, DH is having issues with his ex's new husband. Similar circumstances and I never thought it could be jealousy!

I would make these points, how old is your DD? If she is happy at school, has lots of friends and spends 50pct time with dad, might she opt to want to live with dad FT if you were to move?

What is her relationship like with your new DP? Does he have any of his jealous outbursts in front of your DD. Be very careful your DD may not want to move all over again, and she may always resent your DP for changing what is to her a perfect arrangement.

Your DP chose to move back to be with you, sounds like the reality has set in for him and doesn't like it.

If you move for sake of DP, be prepared for your DD to rebel. She may never forgive you.

timeforachangebaby Wed 05-Dec-12 23:06:35

your DP is jealous, he doesnt trust you and he sees your co-parenting as a thread, this is only going to get worse, I had a BF like this, he was a nightmare - and eventually I dumped all his stuff, along with his key in his house and never spoke to him again, thankfully he didnt have a key to mine, no-one wants to admit that have made a mistake, but I think you have, it would be dreafuly unfair to uproot DD - so unless you are prepared to leave her with dad and have her weekends, then you should stay evactly where you are.

NomadsLand Wed 05-Dec-12 23:01:25

Thanks for your replies. I think it upsets DP that I have a good relationship with my Ex whereas he has not contact at all with his (yes, I know it's his/our fault).

Things came to a head today when ExH told me we have earned about a squillion points on some shopping card we had when we were married. These points can only be redeemed abroad (where we used to live) and where I am going for Christmas this year with my DP and DD. I suggested to ExH that we split the windfall (equivalent of an iPad each) and I bring him one back after the holiday. It seems fair to me. I told DP and he got really cross accusing me of "bringing presents back" for my Ex. I explained that my ExH is actually going to be alone for Christmas while we take DD away and that just made things worse. I really shouldn't have said that - it was stupid of me but I'm so sick of "it's like you're still married" comments.

I was just being nice to ExH who deserves to get his share of the windfall seeing as he is the one who maintained the account and was the one to tell me we actually had it. I had no clue. The account expires in March so it was my only opportunity to redeem these vouchers. Bloody vouchers!

I have no desire to ever be with my ExH again. I just like him as a person. We started off as friends and that's how we've ended up.

purpleroses Wed 05-Dec-12 22:45:21

I think your DP is being unreasonable. It's not really about living there to suit your ex, it's about your DD's needs to be near her dad. You've already moved once and her dad has followed you so hardly fair that you ask him to up sticks again. And if you split your DD 50-50 and your ex opposed the move he could argue that your DD should live with him - if she's happy and settled at school and equally well cared for by either parent then there's no reason why this wouldn't be successful if he took you to court over it - then you'd be 4 hours away from her.

Bit of a long shot, but is there any chance your ex would actually be OK about moving too?

I would guess your DP feels excluded from your relationship with your ex - not that he doesn't trust you not to sleep with him (as if you weren't doing so when you were together, your're hardly likely to now) but just that you have a long shared history together, and get on well, and he probably feels like an outsider. Can you arrange handover times or locations so that your DP isn't around so much? Or keep the handovers brief but arrange a regular catch up with your ex, or phone him at a time that suits. Can you talk to him about what it is that actually bothers him? It can't be easy being away all week - could you skype him every evening so he feels more included in your life?

bradyismyfavouritewiseman Wed 05-Dec-12 22:28:18

I think your dp wants to forget the crap that your affair caused. By having your ex out of the way he can put out of his mind that he betrayed his wife and friend.
Sort of 'out of sight out of mind'.

However your dd comes first. He must live with the consequences of his actions. I would think it would be very cruel to remove you dd, new school, not longer having regular long contact with her dad etc. Because your dp is stropping.

Could it possibly be that he doesn't trust you? In a lot of relationships that start with a affair. This issue comes up, he knows you cheated on your dh so will you cheat on him. Maybe.

Also if your exh moved countries to be near his dd, he will move 4 hours. even if its not straight away. i bet he will follow.

NomadsLand Wed 05-Dec-12 22:21:48

DP and I have lived together in blissful harmony for two years with my DD who is 10.

The only problem in our relationship is my DP's attitude / anger re my ExH.

Tiny bit of history (please - no judgements). We were living abroad when DP and I each left our long-term marriages (his 26, mine 13) to be together after a year-long affair. It obviously caused a lot of hurt and it hardly matters that both marriages were in their death-throes. DP and ExH were actually friends which complicates matters. I was not friends with his ExW although we were acquainted. It was all very untidy.

I moved to back to England with my DD and my partner joined me some time later. My ExH decided that he didn't want to be without being around his DD so he moved to our city so that we could share access and joint custody. My ExH has always been a doting father so his move didn't really surprise me as he can work from anywhere.

So here we all are. I share one week on and one week off with my ExH and our daughter is very happy and well-adjusted. She moves from one house to the other easily and enjoys the changeover (for now).

I have a very amicable and friendly relationship with my ExH, mostly due to our joint interest in DD (also, our marriage was basically sex-less so, according to my DP "it's not like a lot has changed"). My DP has no relationship with his ExW and she refuses to see him.

The problem is that we are sort of forced to live in the city we are now in because my ExH moved here (from abroad) to be close to DD. My DP now has to commute 4 hours away and spend 4 nights away each week working so that we continue the status quo with joint custody. He feels that my ExH is "ruling our lives". DP also gets upset during the weekly changeover when I might spend a tiny bit of extra time having a coffee with ExH while I pick DD from his house up to discuss school stuff. I don't think it's a big deal but DP obviously does.

ExH and I often email each other with news or info about school, DDs social plans etc, and what our DD's arrangements are but it's totally boring stuff and nothing strange going on. We normally text to arrange handover times and I can appreciate that for my DP, it feels intrusive (he says "in my face") to have ExH drop DD outside our gate.

DP would like us to move to where his job is but it's a four hour drive from here. I would move but I don't want to ruin ExH's contact with DD. This is causing a lot of tension between DP and I and I don't know who is being unreasonable. I think DD's father has the right to have access to her and I think it would be unfair of me to take her away from him.

DP often makes comments such as "you may as well still be married to him" and it's driving me mad.

Advice? Comments?

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