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Time to be friends?

(14 Posts)
reflection Wed 09-Mar-05 08:41:45

I have been coming to this site for a few months now and it has really helped. However things never stay the same. Everyone situation is different but I would like a few thoughts on this. I have been with dh for over four years and in that time ex have been really nasty and underhand but has also been very nice... When I talk to her she is extreemly friendly but also questioning at the same time ensuring that I know about all of the lovely things that are going on in her life. Then if it takes are fancy she will either b**tch about us to any one that will listen or do something that she had said that she wouldn't do or phone up to rant. I am so confused. For instance, my dh and I had a really hard time recently and she got to hear about it, called to tell me that she supports me and that she would always encourage me to continue my relationship with SD. Then the next day she called dh and asked him if it was ok that I see sd as if he didn't want me to then she would tell me that I couldn't...what is that all about? There is loads more stuff like that.

The delema that I have is what is the best place to place myself. I waver between answering her calls and trying to get to know her and being friendly as many of you have done. So that my sd is happy that everyone is getting on. To totally ignoring her calls and letting dh deal with it all. However when I do this she doesn't like it and I worry that she talks badly of me making me out to be unreasonable. I just feel that I do not trust her and that is my problem....what do you think? I hope that this all makes sense but I'm letting it all out.

Expectantmum Wed 09-Mar-05 08:56:45

Reflection, it makes perfect sense! Having been in your situation, I think its pretty much impossible to have a situation where you can be "friends" with your DH's ex, although some people are very lucky. My ex-DH had a DS through his ex and at the beginning she made it very difficult for me, although as time went on, we learnt to tolerate each other. The difficulty was that step son learnt that if he couldn't get what he wanted from one, he would "play one off" against the other, and thats where the arguments began. I received threatening letters through the CSA, although they could not be brought into the situation because of a pre-dated Court order for maintenance and although she denied it had anything to do with her, after I confronted her about it, the CSA dropped the whole thing. On many occasions both the ex-partner and step son came between me and my ex-DH and although not directly attributable, we separated and divorced. However, I reached a stage where I knew this woman would always have a say in my life and what I did and I found it very difficult to cope with. I think you should just try and tolerate her for the sake of your DH and SD but try to keep her at an arms length. Whatever happens in your relationship, it is no business of hers, and once she accepts that, she may back off. Not sure if this helps but I so fully sympathetise.

tarantula Wed 09-Mar-05 09:39:30

Hi reflection Ive a stepmum for the past 11 years and get on quite well with dps x but the friendship has had major ups and downs. ATM I see her rarely as I dont go with dp to drop dss back anymore as its cold and not fair to take dd out late on Sundays. We talk occasionally on the phone and are friendly to each other. She will also ring if she has probs with dss and needs to talk about it and Im more than happy to listen. Its all a balancing act. My advice would be to be civil but not overly friendly and leave dp to do as much of the comunicating as poss.
PS also make sure that your dp communicates things to you too Mine was crap at that (getting better tho) which is one of the reasons why x used to chat to me about things at least taht way shed know itd be done/remembered etc

Good luck its not easy but hang in there and hopefully things will work out

otto Wed 09-Mar-05 14:54:35

I would leave it to your dh to deal with her as it sounds as if she is trying to stir things up a bit.

squirrel3 Wed 09-Mar-05 15:01:01

To be friends with the ex or not? I have to different views on this subject. My DP has been married twice before so I have two exes and two sets of step children. the first ex is lovely we get on very well, she even asks my advice on problems with the teenage boy as I've been there, done it! I am unemployed at the moment and she is even trying to find work for me where she works. The second ex however is a nightmare! She has never met me or my children but feels that she has every right to slag me off and call my son "the weirdo" (because of the music he is into at the mo). She has bombarded my DP's mobile with nasty txt msges on my birthday. She takes every chance she can to insult me or have a dig (for example the xmas pressie of celulite treatment). Valentines day (also our aniversary) there was I all "kitted-up" waiting to give DP his 'em' aniversary treat when the ex rings sobing and threatening suicide becase her boyfriend didn't get her anything for valentines day! DP was on the phone talking to her until 3am!!!! I do understand he had to make sure she was ok for the kids sake but angry doesn't describe how I felt!

reflection Wed 09-Mar-05 15:40:48

I think that after much thought I now have to do what is right for me. Squirrel I also have two ex's from dh and the same situation applies as far as the first one is lovely and we get on very well and it is the second that causes my problems. This is a god send as for ages I thought I was getting it all wrong and that I was the bad one but when I found out that ex 1 suffered the same problems with ex 2 I came to realise that I was being manipulated as it is very hard to keep thinking straight when someone is dishonest.

I am not going to answer any more calls or reply to her texts as this is the only way that she will understand that she ought to be calling dh and not me...if I do talk to her I will of course be polite but that is all I can do. I can not spend any more time and energy trying to please a woman that changes the goal posts. Just got to hope that it does not effect SD.....its just the guilt.

crikey Wed 09-Mar-05 22:08:47

Hi reflection,
dh's ex can be like that sometimes too - not nasty to me directly but getting shitty with dh over little things. I used to happily communicate with her and arrange stuff but she and dh had a disagreement once and because of that she didnt bother to bring them round when I had arranged to look after them. This really pisse dme off as she didnt even ring and I dont see why me and the kide should bear the brunt of their fall out. So now I let dh do it all. If she rings I will speak to her but no more interesting chat. She hasnt since asked me if I will have the kids again .... maybe she knows what Ill say. I just cantbe bothered to be messed aroung - Ive got better things to do with my time.

reflection Fri 11-Mar-05 08:27:31

Ok, so far so good. Yesterday had one missed call at lunch. No message. No call to dh. So, it can't be that important. Feel a bit bad about being rude, not returning the call but not as bad as when I do talk to her so I think it has to be a good thing...

Surfermum Fri 11-Mar-05 11:12:43

Well done, reflection. I had to do this. We had given dh's x my mobile number as the contact number when the Court proceedings were going on. He didn't have a mobile then. I would get loads of abuse and threats of violence from his x, or she and her then partner would phone any time of night or day and just be unpleasant and generally obstructive about contact and anything to do with his daughter.

I decided that instead of letting her upset me, which she was making every effort to do, I would just minimise the amount of contact I had to have with her. If a call came and the number was withheld or I didn't recognise it I would ignore it. Friends would leave messages or text. If she did leave a message or dh was around I would let him deal with it. If we were having friends round, or were out to dinner or something like that we would switch the phone off.

Keep it up!

reflection Tue 15-Mar-05 16:41:49

You know what's really got to me, was a conversation that I had with a friend of mine at the weekend. I told her that I had made the decision to stop all contact with dh's ex. That I thought it was healthier for me. My friend asked me why. I told her that I felt manipulated and that the ex lies to me. My friend responded to me by saying that it probably wasn't the case at all, that it was my feelings towards her as dh's ex that makes me interpret things the wrong way.

Now I'm all over the place again. Is it me? Am I the one with the problem? The only thing is that SS mother had all the same problems with her in the past...(there are two ex's, one I get on with very well.)

P.S My friend is the sister in law of the ex's best friend...


I am going mad. I think I think too much.

Surely if the whole thing causes me this much anxiety then it is right for me to do what I need. I just hate upsetting people....and hate the thought that people think badly of me.

LooptheLoop Tue 15-Mar-05 22:06:30

Reflection - you have the right to look after yourself and draw up fair boundaries. Is she someone you'd be prepared to deal with normally? Personally I have found it too stressful to be friends with the ex as she's been very manipulative and very frienldy to your face but b*tchy behind your back. I leave the majority of the contact with her to my husband and this seems to work best. Of course I'm happy to be cordial when I meet her - but we're not friends and in our case it's artificial to think we ever will be. That way I use up less negative energy on her and have more to give the stepkids. We're not superhuman after all!

valleygirl Wed 16-Mar-05 11:44:39

Hi Reflection - who cares what the reason behind your feelings for the ex are? It bothers you, so you are doing somethign positive to be able to cope better. A couple of years ago when relations with the ex in my life were not so great, we finally had to get an answer machine and screened all calls because she was finding excuses to call about trivial things all the time. And it REALLY bothered me, and in retrospect it was because i was insecure about my position as a step mum, unjustifiably i might add. But these feelings are not rational are they? Stopping the everyday trivial communication with her really helped. My dp would not call her back until he got to work the next day, so i didn't have to be present when he communicated with her.
These days I do most of the arranging with her and I would say we are very friendly. I don't mind when she calls anymore, even if it's about trivial stuff!
I say well done you for putting an end to something that makes you feel bad. You don't have justify your feelings. Not to us anyway, cos we all know how it feels!!

reflection Wed 16-Mar-05 13:01:10

Thanks every one. It's great to get it into perspective. I feel like I have taken back control and that so long as the children are happy when they are in my home then that's all it has to be. I really like it when I think like this and you guys out there help me to think clearly, so thanks. If only I felt so confident everyday...but that would be dull! Have a good day all xx

LooptheLoop Wed 16-Mar-05 16:25:53

Congratulations - really pleased for you . I tried to do too much and ignored how I was feeling. It didn't work! It was a bit like an elastic band - stretch too far for too long and you only snap back in the opposite direction. In the end I realised that giving too much wasn't even in the best interests of my husband and skids, let along myself! Easy to see in hindsight but this is new territory for us.

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