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Gfs/partners/2nd spouses as 2nd best.

(18 Posts)
Magda72 Fri 24-Feb-17 08:47:05

Just need a rant.
Dps mum passed away suddenly on Wednesday - funeral is this weekend.
His mum lived in a different town to me & his siblings, kids & ex wife live there too. Dp stays some of the week with me & my kids & is planning on moving in fully during the summer after he rents out his house in his home town. Both dp & I are divorced two years but his family of origin are quite traditional & sort of ignore my existence. They are perfectly polite when I'm in their company but it's obvious to dp & I that they don't really approve of him moving on.
His ex wife is an absolute nightmare & her latest thing is that she has now decided that he & I must have been having an affair for years & that I broke up their marriage! Not true - we met on a dating site after both divorces came through!
Anyhow - this funeral will be in a rural parish & very traditional. I have not seen dp since his mum died as he's at 'home' & my presence wasn't deemed appropriate as the wake was for family only. This I get.
I have to travel today to the funeral & while I haven't bugged my dp with questions as he's enough on his plate, I have gathered that the ex will be there 'for the kids' (who are all pre teens and teens btw) & will take it upon herself to sit up with the family 'for the kids'.
I was ok with all this until I went to do the laundry last night & I realised that while I am the woman who washes his socks & jocks (he washes mine too - it's not about who does the laundry), society in the form of his family & rural community deems that I can't comfort him when he needs me most & nor can I sit with him in the church. Yet his ex who has caused him so much grief can do what she bloody wants just because they had kids together!! I am now really mad & trying to work it out of my system!
When my mum died a few years ago my ex offered to sit up the church with me & I said no. Instead he & his parents sat elsewhere in the church which I felt was far more appropriate & my youngest was minded by my relatives a few seats behind me & my older kids. I was single at the time.
I'm just so sick of gfs/partners/2nd spouses always being perceived as second class citizens & having to take a back seat at all important things, & 'for the sake of the kids' & 'what will people think' being trotted out again & again as an excuse for the wider world to not accept that things change, divorce happens, & people move on!!!!
I good friend of mine recently implied that I'd been married once & that any subsequent relationship would be a make do! My dp is the love of my life - the relationship I was always meant to have. This does not negate the relationship I had with my ex which happened to give me three beautiful kids, but we divorced for a reason!
My dp is along with my kids the most important person in my life & it drives me nuts that second & subsequent relationships are somehow seen as less important!
Rant over.

Bitofacow Fri 24-Feb-17 08:56:40

You are entirely correct!

However, your job at this funeral is to support your DP and maintain your dignity. If ex wants to make a fuss - she can - but you are better than that.
If she wants to make you look bad - she can - but you are better than that. Repeat as necessary.

Your DP has enough going on, he needs quiet support from you. Family issues can be sorted out later, today is his mums funeral.

If ex behaves badly that is between her and her conscience. You have dignity and you have the love of your DP, she has neither.

It is not going to be easy. Big girl pants. Deep breath.
You are right and they can do and think whatever they want, you are better than that.

gingina Fri 24-Feb-17 13:37:25

Yes you are right and it wouldn't be fair to bring it up now so as the pp said you must rise above it and grin and bear it for the funeral.
However when the dust has settled and you and DP are all set to move in together it must be said that you won't be second fiddle ever again whatever his family /ex wife / whoever thinks.
Pick your battles at the moment but this situation can't continue long term. Everyone needs to accept that you and he are an item and as such you attend things as a couple.

WannaBe Fri 24-Feb-17 13:47:15

The ex is her own person, I would ignore her. However, once this is all over you need to sit down with your DH and say that you are a couple and as such need to appear as a couple, at family occasions etc, because anything else just puts you on the outside. He should be the one insisting you are with him, not today but definitely in the future.

If the ex puts herself in family position just ignore her. But your DH definitely needs to stand up to his family and tell them this is how it is from now on.

When I got together with DP he had friends who basically said to him that they were happy to remain friends with him but "not with her." Meaning me. I wasn't the OW so they have no reason or justification for this stance. So DP cut them off, end of.

WannaBe Fri 24-Feb-17 13:48:33

And actually last year one of them got in touch and said that she would love to get to know me after all. My response? Too late.

CMamaof4 Fri 24-Feb-17 14:19:36

I totally agree with you there op. I have to say if they treat you like that they arent kind, decent people, So arent worth knowing. Sounds like you do need to have a chat with your partner about this at some stage though as the only way you will work with a family like that Is if he defends your corner.

swingofthings Fri 24-Feb-17 14:28:32

You are being unreasonable. You are not yet even sharing a home with your OH, let alone party of the family. His ex was and as such built a relationship with them. Your OH is now your partner, and he and she have nothing together, but you can't erase the past and the fact that she has a link with his family. It has nothing to do with the 2nd vs 1st. I expect once you move in together and they get to know you better and realise that you are committed to each other, they will start building that link with you.

The fact that you haven't seen him since the death has nothing to do with them. He clearly could have chosen to have you over or to come to you.

Magda72 Fri 24-Feb-17 14:51:22

Thanks for all the replies & the words of support & yes of course I would not dream of saying anything at the moment - hence the rant here! smile
Swingofthings - my dp is a decent man & would never use his mother's funeral as a vehicle to rile other family members - it's not the time or the place & that's the reason he didn't ask me to come earlier. I understand that. For the record his ex had no relationship with his family & never had - even before their split. His family have nothing against me personally - it's just that some of them are very set in their ways & would rather see him remain in the home place & stay a bachelor. I know this because it has been said to him. Again it's that thing of you married once so even though you're divorced you made your messy bed, lie in it.
I should add I'm in Ireland where we've had divorce for years but in some communities it's still not really taken seriously as you're still married in the eyes of the church! & dps older family members think along these lines.

swingofthings Sat 25-Feb-17 09:02:08

It will probably take time for them to accept you in the family, so you will have to be patient, but it can only go two ways, they start to judge you for the person you are, not what you represent (ie. the second one) as they get to know you, or they always see you as an outsider, in which case, you'll have to accept it for what it is and keep away from them.

Unfortunately, principles and values driven from religion are hard to break, especially with the older generation, so I expect they tolerate the ex on this basis. You alone are not going to be much of a weight to break this unless again, they can somehow realise what a wonderful person you are and how happy you make your OH, so that this will somehow take precedence over their principles, but that's all you can do, hope for this, you won't be able to enforce it.

MumOfTwoMasterOfNone Sat 25-Feb-17 10:58:10

OP I know how you feel! DP and I have been together 4 years, have two young children and despite him and ex having separated 5 years ago, when we see his family his ex still comes up as a regular topic of conversation. It's frustrating and I don't understand why they think I want to talk about her or her relationship with my DP.

I know it's petty, but they all claim they can't stand her, yet are all still friends on Facebook. Not one of them have added me. Our children don't get invitations to their children's parties, DPs other children do. They only turned up to our DSs 1st Birthday where we paid for everyone to have an expensive afternoon tea. A get together at our house the year after, they said they'd come and then just didn't turn up, without so much as a text.

It's sad, but I can do nothing else except accept that it's their choice. There are no other children on my side of the family but a lot on DPs but they aren't interested so that's that.

I'll also point out here that I got on well with DPs mother until she told me while we were out together that although she loves all of her grandchildren, she will always love DPs other children more and prioritise them over her others (she has 7). That pissed me off and since DP told her while he was being an arse with me, our relationship will never be the same as I ended up being quite angry on the phone to her about it. I can cope with being ignored but I just find it so sad that their entire family virtually ignores the existence of our children. DPs Dad didn't even send a card for the birth of our DD last year.

CMamaof4 Sat 25-Feb-17 12:47:26

Aww mum of two, What nasty, nasty people! My husbands family are also a waste of space and dont want anything to do with our children only his child from a previous relationship, and his ex gf they have never even met our children, and our children are invisible to them, they ignore their existence, I can also relate to the fb scenario and not being invited to things, I have no time for people like that and my husband wants nothing to do with them he hasnt spoken to them for years.

I think the older you get the more you realise that there are some really awful people in this world, and you either keep them in your life and let them make you feel miserable or you leave them to it and break free from it.

The term "family" doesnt mean "I can treat you like rubbish and expect you to be there" , It means "I love you and l always be here for you"
Some people get that part messed up and some people abuse the use of the word "family" .

Look at the bigger picture, they are truely the ones missing out on your children and being apart of your lives, and they are the ones who will be remembered as the miserable horrible people that they are.
Just love your children all the more and make sure you dont turn out like them x

MumOfTwoMasterOfNone Sat 25-Feb-17 12:58:54

You're right CMama. I have come to realise this, it does make me sad that they have such a small family unit, but ultimately they're very loved and that's all that matters. I'm glad your DH has realised this, DP is a bit of a mummy's boy and thinks I'm unreasonable for being upset about it and I've had to endure a lot of arguments. He makes excuses for not being invited e.g. It's the kids I'll why was cousin X (same age) invited then and there will be another crap reason. It's not just his mums words, it's her actions as well and the exclusion by other members of the family. He said his Dad will have forgotten. What? That he has a new grandchild?
I end up looking like an idiot because when it all gets a bit much I speak my mind but I think well there isn't anything to lose is there?

CMamaof4 Sat 25-Feb-17 19:04:39

Oh mumoftwo the way you're being treated is completely unacceptable, Does your dp think its ok for her to favour his previous other children? That would make me angry, Whilst my inlaws only bother with my stepson and not our kids we have together, My husband just always says he doesnt like them anyway and doesnt want them in our kids lives so it doesnt bother him. His family are very negative and miserable which my husband cannot stand.
Do u think your husbands in denial? Like he doesnt want to believe it? How long can he go on to make excuses for them? You deserve a medal op for putting up with it! I think if my husband hadnt have cut contact I would have had to leave, Some things just arent worth the stress.

Dont ever think that you end up looking like an idiot when u speak your mind, You really arent the problem here and you have every right to say how you feel!

burnoutbabe Sun 26-Feb-17 12:35:14

have you actually been told you can not sit with him in the church? Surely you can sit on one side, then him, kids and ex wife at other end.
why should he not have comfort from his partner at this time?

jojo2916 Mon 27-Feb-17 09:20:14

Obviously at the moment the most important thing is the funeral but it's shocking you won't be sat with his family you are his partner and should come above any ex's. I feel for you but I would rather be single than feel 2nd best I don't care how many ex's there are or how long they were together they are over and you are about to move in together. If it was me I would not want to carry on a relationship like this and would probably be giving him an ultimatum, (after funeral and things in his family are less stressful). There are plenty of 2nd , 3rd wives who are treated like queens, if he is treating you as 2nd class citizen he is choosing to do that, don't let him do that, if he doesn't treat you as the most special woman in his life, find someone who will. Believe me, being a 2nd wife/partner does not make you less important in general, many men treat them better as they have learned from mistakes. You are his current partner here and now and his family are treating you terribly to not even be sat with them and yet his ex is, it's not OK and I don't think any wife/partner deserves to be treated like that.

CMamaof4 Mon 27-Feb-17 20:52:52

Totally agree with jojo

MarkRuffaloCrumble Wed 01-Mar-17 23:06:43

I totally feel you OP!

I had a similar thing with a funeral recently, although DP insisted I am 'top table' his ex also thinks she is top table and automatically sat on the front row of seats with immediate family.

I nearly went to the funeral separately to avoid all the awkwardness, I would almost rather be sat at the back on my own than having to shunt along to make room for the ex as well, and then having the awkward moments of children clambering over me to get from one parent to the other. Felt like a proper spare part! It was only because we had talked about it and he realised why I might feel uncomfortable about it that I put my own feelings aside to support him as he needed me to.

I get that she was a big part of his family for years, as I was with my ex's family, but when a new partner is on the scene (regardless of whether circumstance allows for you to move in and marry - we won't for many years to avoid upheaval for our DCs - this is not a reflection on the seriousness of our relationship!) the ex should take a step back.

Magda72 Thu 09-Mar-17 16:08:18

Hi everyone, & thanks for all the responses.
As an update: I went along to the funeral and sat with dp's cousins & other relations. Dp wanted me to sit behind him with the kids but I said no as I didn't think it was appropriate.
Ex showed up and sat elsewhere.
I discovered once the whole thing was over that he had actually asked her to stay away completely (a request she ignored) as she had thrown an almighty tantrum when she discovered she was not to attend the private family wake (only dps siblings & his mother's sisters were at it), and called dp,his mother, his sisters, & me, every name under the sun!
I held my own & dp's extended family, aunts etc. were very nice to me.
Since then the ex & his kids have been haranguing dp about everything - it's so selfish as the man has just lost his mother - & she blatantly uses the kids to get to him. His head is completely melted.
I love this man soooo much but the toxicity of the situation really disturbs me - I honestly don't know how others cope - & I can't help fear what's going to happen once he moves in with me.

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