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Feel like I’m going to ruin things
28

Cloudy50 · 05/08/2022 16:42

I’ve been with a wonderful man for 6 months, known him many years due to knowing his family. He broke up with his wife of over 20 years 18 months ago after she left him and the children for someone else. They have 3 children 2 are grown up and want nothing to do with their mother after she never had contact for over a year. The youngest has just been the subject of a court order at her request and she sees him a few hours a week of which he is reluctant. My partner is doing his best to encourage the relationship but it’s not going well due to her lack of enthusiasm and crying everytime she sees the child.

my problem is, I was single for many years before we got together, I was happily single. My child has left home. I’m finding the divorce he’s going through hard, as he is, the constant talk of his ex, not in a good light and only because he’s really stressed about it all so she is mentioned. All his adult life has been with her, every memory with her. I’ve mentioned my insecurities and he rightly said we are building OUR memories now, which we are. We live 35 miles apart but he’s hoping to move to my town once divorced and house sold, which is his home town and where his family are. Currently we spend quite a bit of time apart due to work but I’m lucky as my job enables me to have quite a lot of ‘chunks’ of time off. I obviously spend my time at his due to the children and school etc. he cleared a load of space in his wardrobe for me to put stuff, I certainly wasn’t rooting, but on the floor of the wardrobe there are a few family photos in frames which he’s never got rid of. He has lost interest in his house now and wants rid but everywhere I look I see her. Don’t get me wrong there are no personal possessions but she chose the kitchen, she chose the bathroom, every holiday he mentions was with her, every concert he went to was with her.

he’s told me the last 5 years of his marriage weren’t happy, she’d told him then she didn’t love him but they’d tried to work things through. I used to see them at family events they always appeared happy? To the point I once told him I’d love to have what they had! He also told me he’s always liked me, he never acted on it tho he was completely faithful. I feel I’m ruining something really good based on my insecurities. I’m finding it hard that she was such a big part of his life, stupid I know. She comes up a lot at the minute in conversation due to the divorce and child access. It really spoils our day as he’s then really stressed. That sounds really selfish but I’m finding it difficult and that’s how I feel. I encourage him to share his feelings and he never hides things.
Anyone have any advice?

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seaUrchinOne · 05/08/2022 17:02

I couldn't be dealing with any of that, when you've been single along time you're in a good headspace, the last thing you need to to take on someone else's stress to bring your energy down.
It's really down to you if you want to be his therapist. Doesn't sound like he's ready to move on.

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Watchkeys · 05/08/2022 17:08

Why do you feel like it's you who's going to ruin things? His wife is everywhere you look. He knows that bothers you, and does nothing to change what he talks about and what's around you at his house. He's doing nothing towards helping you feel better. She doesn't 'come up' in conversation, he brings her up. Why are you feeling that the discomfort is down to you? Do you think you should be happy about the presence of his ex all the time?

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Aquamarine1029 · 05/08/2022 17:12

I would run a thousand fucking miles from this disaster. Do you really want all of this drama and bullshit in your life? None of which you are in anyway responsible for? Hell NO.

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Cloudy50 · 05/08/2022 17:33

Thank you for your replies. Apart from her everything is perfect. We’ve known each other’s families for nearly 30 years he knows my son, I know his children, his parents think the world of me. There was a lot of bad feelings between the ex and his family before they even broke up, I want to support him through this but I’m finding it hard living in her shadow.

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Mamato3boysand2dogs · 05/08/2022 18:11

Christ. He would have to be pretty damn special for me to take all that on. Pure drama... and it'll be your reality for a while yet.

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HipsterCoffeeShop · 05/08/2022 18:14

Way too much drama.

No it isn't you, I'm a pretty chill person but I would find that really difficult.

Could you consider taking a break & asking him to get in touch when the divorce is resolved? Seems like you're doing a lot of heavy lifting in terms of emotional support despite this being a very short relationship so far. Don't set the pattern of you being the self sacrificing one so early.

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AussieMozzieMagnet · 05/08/2022 18:19

Sounds like you love him and I’m the same position I’d feel insecure too but this will pass. Think how you would feel if you never saw him again and that guide your decision. He will need to talk to you about the trauma he’s facing but when the divorce is finalised, he’ll finally find peace and you can then live your lives fully. My suggestion is do not act in haste.

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Annoyedwithmyself · 05/08/2022 18:31

If you really like each other, as PP says, could you suggest a break until his divorce is finalised? It's not you risking spoiling this, it's him. Not through any bad intent, I'm sure, but because no new partner wants to have to be the one helping him unpick a decades long marriage in real time and support him through the fallout. He's simply not in a great place for this yet and there's a big risk that the timing could undo a potentially lovely match. He needs to lean a lot less heavily on you regards the divorce stuff either way. I get you're close, would an open conversation help?

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Annoyedwithmyself · 05/08/2022 18:33

But yes, agreed that a hasty decision isn't necessary. Try and think of a solution. Don't undo all your contented years of happiness by feeling second best but similarly, you've known each other a long time and see a future. There should be a way through and a good man will understand.

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Inthesameboatatmo · 05/08/2022 18:46

Way too much drama for such a short space of time. You are already half at his house half not it's too soon for all this bullshit. Why the rushing of things . I get that you've known him ages but that's not the same as an intimate relationship so it's irrelevant in all this. Take some time for yourself and reflect on it all before you get forever embroiled in all the ex wife drama.

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Cloudy50 · 05/08/2022 19:03

Thank you all for responding. I do love him he is a kind man who I know would never knowingly hurt me. As I say I’ve known him and his family for decades. He knows my son and I’ve known his children since they were born. We were friends first which I feel is a good basis. I don’t want to split from him and I don’t necessarily want a break I maybe do need to talk to him but I don’t know how to start the conversation.

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Watchkeys · 05/08/2022 19:15

I know would never knowingly hurt me

So, if he knows this is bothering you, why does he keep talking about her?

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sunshinealwayscomesback · 05/08/2022 19:23

OP there is no way for him to move on fast from a 20 year marriage, no matter how much he'd like to. It isn't possible. Posters saying he just shouldn't mention it can't understand what it is like to work through the intense emotions and the trauma of getting your upset children into a good place. He really shouldn't have started a new relationship in the midst of all this but he will want comfort and support.

I would not at all want the role you're being forced into. But I don't think it is his FAULT, it's just you have both begun something before he is emotionally healthy. It takes longer than 18 months.

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Cloudy50 · 05/08/2022 19:48

Thank you. Again I want to reiterate he is a good man, trust me I’ve had bad ones! I knew he was going to go thru all this when I started the relationship but I didn’t realise how hard it would be. We have always been very open and I don’t want to discourage that. The ex isn’t mentioned in any way that makes me think he still has feelings for her, quite the contrary. She left the children AND my partner, very complex issues which are outing so won’t go into but she never had contact with the children for a year. She’s suddenly applied for a court order to see the youngest who doesn’t want to see her but because of their age he doesn’t have a say at this point. CAFCASS were involved it’s been awful for my partner so that’s why he often offloads to me. His parents are elderly and he doesn’t like to worry them.

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frozendaisy · 05/08/2022 19:55

Can you not take some comfort in that he was faithful in his marriage. People don't suddenly become unfaithful and he is just telling you stuff that is happening in his life and when memories come up they will include her.

He probably keeps the family photos because he thinks they are great ones of the kids.

Yes she chose the kitchen but she's not in it now is she.

Can you try and suggest that when you see each other you give him 30 minutes to get anything about her he wants to get off his chest first and then not talk about her for the rest of the time? Tell him you are looking forward not back.

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Watchkeys · 05/08/2022 19:58

The ex isn’t mentioned in any way that makes me think he still has feelings for her

It's not just about that though. If he knows you don't want to hear about her, why is he talking to you about her? It's not just about being open; he doesn't need to tell you everything. Does he tell you the colour of his pee each morning? No, because some things are personal, even between partners. He's choosing to do something that makes you feel uncomfortable. Why?

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Cloudy50 · 05/08/2022 20:06

Because I haven’t told him the extent that I feel uncomfortable. Of course he doesn’t tell me the colour of his pee 😂 but that doesn’t stress him out like this does. I get what you’re saying tho.

the youngest child is really struggling right now with contact with the mother and it’s breaking his heart to literally force him to go but that’s what the court order states.

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Cloudy50 · 05/08/2022 20:07

I know he would never be unfaithful but that isn’t my concern. My concern is how do I tackle the subject in a manner which makes him realise I’m still
there to support him but make him see my side of it too

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yougotthelook · 05/08/2022 20:20

Cloudy50 · 05/08/2022 20:07

I know he would never be unfaithful but that isn’t my concern. My concern is how do I tackle the subject in a manner which makes him realise I’m still
there to support him but make him see my side of it too

Got to be honest...I don't think he's got enough left over to see your side.
Not because he doesn't care for you, or want a future with you, but because he has a ton of shit to deal with right now and that's his reality at the moment.
You're only early days yet, I suggest you suck it up for now and carry on supporting him as he obviously needs the support and you are probably one of the few things he can be happy about right now!
You could suggest that you go for a meal/ drink and lightly say to him "ok no talk of the ex tonight - this night is about us!" so that he stops talking about her so much...but other than that I think you will have to go with it.
Things will get better and he sounds lovely, don't give up on him xxxx

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Cloudy50 · 05/08/2022 20:29

Thank you. We have previously had a few chats saying no talk of the ex! He honestly doesn’t just bring it up out of blue. We aren’t sat there and he will start talking about her. It’s just at the min with her getting this court order to see the youngest, the divorce, the house sale, it feels like she is mentioned enough for me to feel uncomfortable. I am quite insecure anyway, and he does go over and beyond trying to make me feel special, we have date nights, we like to cuddle up and watch films. I find it easier when he is at my house as obviously there’s no need for her to come up in conversation there. But at his house, the children are there, the emails and letters from solicitors are there etc etc etc.

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yougotthelook · 05/08/2022 20:38

Cloudy50 · 05/08/2022 20:29

Thank you. We have previously had a few chats saying no talk of the ex! He honestly doesn’t just bring it up out of blue. We aren’t sat there and he will start talking about her. It’s just at the min with her getting this court order to see the youngest, the divorce, the house sale, it feels like she is mentioned enough for me to feel uncomfortable. I am quite insecure anyway, and he does go over and beyond trying to make me feel special, we have date nights, we like to cuddle up and watch films. I find it easier when he is at my house as obviously there’s no need for her to come up in conversation there. But at his house, the children are there, the emails and letters from solicitors are there etc etc etc.

I get that and I've been there too, in the exact same situation.
But as time goes on things will resolve and you will look back on this time and think how tough it was, but that you got through it together.
Ignore people telling you to ditch him - good men are very hard to find but you sound like you have one x
And when it's all over with the ex he will be able to devote himself fully to you, and his kids of course xx

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ThinkingaboutLangClegosaurus · 05/08/2022 21:10

yougotthelook · 05/08/2022 20:38

I get that and I've been there too, in the exact same situation.
But as time goes on things will resolve and you will look back on this time and think how tough it was, but that you got through it together.
Ignore people telling you to ditch him - good men are very hard to find but you sound like you have one x
And when it's all over with the ex he will be able to devote himself fully to you, and his kids of course xx

I agree.

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AussieMozzieMagnet · 06/08/2022 06:01

Watchkeys · 05/08/2022 19:58

The ex isn’t mentioned in any way that makes me think he still has feelings for her

It's not just about that though. If he knows you don't want to hear about her, why is he talking to you about her? It's not just about being open; he doesn't need to tell you everything. Does he tell you the colour of his pee each morning? No, because some things are personal, even between partners. He's choosing to do something that makes you feel uncomfortable. Why?

Seriously? If the man you love cannot talk about his feelings, hurts, fears (yes, even if it involves an ex), why on earth bother? He's going through a very traumatic time and needs support. Why is that so hard to understand?

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Musttryharder2021 · 06/08/2022 06:42

It sounds like either one or both of you are settling for each other, now with all the divorces and 20 years later. If you were the one he wanted, why didn't you get together all that time ago? To me it sounds like he's using you, as his marriage broke down and you are available.

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Musti · 06/08/2022 06:51

I know you say it is outing but it is very unusual for a mother to leave her children and for all her children to not want to see her. If she’s been a good mother and suddenly left did she have a breakdown or something? And why have the kids turned against her?

there is no love lost between my ex and I but he is my kids father and it is important to them that he is in their lives. I could say things to my kids that would make them look at him differently but I don’t.

Just be wary that he may not be what he seems. There may be a reason why she abandoned them all and your boyfriend was married to her a long time. Despite being hurt, she is also the mother of his kids.

I also am not impressed with the fact that he always fancied you but didn’t do anything as he was married. Maybe he was a shit husband?

you’ve only been together for 6 months and he is making you feel insecure. And it is all about him, isn’t it?

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