16 Nov
How Do I Shake The Hex Of My Boyfriend’s Ex?

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

I have been happily dating my boyfriend for almost 2 years now. There is only one problem in our relationship: his ex-wife.

My boyfriend and his ex have a 2 ½ year old daughter together. So, I try to stay out of the way, and even respect his ex’s wishes enough to not live or sleep over when he has the little girl. Even though I adore her and I am around her 50% of the time that she is with her dad.

But nothing I have done so far is good enough for his ex, the Wicked Witch of the West. I’ve even tried staying out of her way yet she still brings me into it.

Frankly, I’d rather just acetone her car but that wouldn’t solve anything. So what in God’s great creation am I supposed to be doing? I’m not going to turn and run because the witch will just keep on torturing everyone else. Plus, I love my boyfriend and his little girl.

Signed,

I’ve Got The Solvent, Now Where’s The Ex’s Car?

———————————————————

Dear IGTSNWTEC,

That’s a very long name. I’m winded just writing the letters. Can I just call you Apple, or how about Zuma?

Actually…Leann Rimes, is that you? Writing in to The Mouthy Housewives about Eddie’s ex on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills?

No, no, wait, that’s not possible. Given LeAnn’s current muscle to skeleton ratio it would be impossible for her to even pick up a pen and write us a letter much less have the wherewithal to construct an actual sentence! But hey, now you know that should you decide to dabble in script writing you’ve got the perfect “reality” show to sell to Bravo!

I give you a lot of credit for trying to respect your boyfriend’s ex’s wishes and for putting in a lot of thought and care for his daughter. But it sounds like no matter what you do it may never be enough for the ex.

Some key factors that may be playing a part in her behavior, and to which you might want the answers, are:

1)       How did their relationship end? Was it her decision or his?

2)       Her daughter was only 6 months when you guys started dating, this isn’t quite Bridget Moynahan vs. Gisele Bundchen, but it’s close. Could this be hurting her? To see her daughter bond with another woman?

3)       Does she have someone else in her life? Similar to the relationship you and your boyfriend have? Could she be jealous?

Of course, none of these answers is an excuse for her to act the way that she does but it may at least help you to understand her a little bit better.

I would suggest the three (or four, if she also has a new partner in her life) of you sit down for a discussion. Try and find a way to communicate, not for yourselves but for the little girl.

But you must also remember to stick up for yourself. It’s been very honorable of you to allow the ex-wife to call the shots as to when you are around her daughter BUT (big but here) there is also a point where you should stand up for yourself, your relationship with your boyfriend, and your love of the little girl too. You have been around for two years now. His daughter knows you and knows that this isn’t just some fling. It’s time to stop letting the ex control everything. It’s possible she has realized that her freak-outs get her what she wants. Stand up to her and tell her what you and your boyfriend need now.

At the end of the day, if she is still acting like the Wicked Witch of the West, you just need to realize, as Chris Rock put it best: “that *itch is crazy!” Alas, whether it’s an ex-wife, a mother-in-law, a best friend, or even a pet, our loved ones always come with some kind of baggage that we have to deal with to the best of our abilities. And unfortunately, or so I’ve been told, you can’t run over all the folks in your partner’s life that annoy you. It’s a real bummer.

Good Luck,

Tonya, TMH

11 Responses to “How Do I Shake The Hex Of My Boyfriend’s Ex?”

11.16.11#1

Comment by chris.

I am guessing you are all young, early 20’s? There are a lot of men out there, most don’t have the title of “my baby’s daddy”. Drop this guy, he needs to be concentrating on fixing his relationship with his ex. He needs to figure out how to get along with her because they will be together forever. You should concentrate on working and having fun. Hopefully while you are doing these things the right guy will come along, one with a lot less baggage, one mature enough to have a grown up relationship. You will be much happier not to have so much drama in your life. JMHO.

11.16.11#2

Comment by Bean.

You’re in an interesting spot. Long-time girlfriend – but not new wife. Having done the “boyfriend with a kid” thing(and now being a mom), there is no way I would meet someone’s kids, much less get close to them, unless I thought I was marrying the guy.

A chat with boyfriend is in order BEFORE any chat with Mommy. If you both don’t see the possibility of marriage in the (nearish) future, you need to really assess if your relationship with this little girl is fair to HER. After all, you might not be there later, and she’s too young to understand why you’re gone. Perhaps Mommy just understands that.

11.16.11#3

Comment by Put Up & Shut Up.

As tempting as the acetone thing might be, it’s probably better to take another approach.

I would think long and hard about what specific behavior is bugging you. Does she trash talk you? Is she verbally abusive, or is she just unpleasant enough that no one wants to be around her? People are difficult because it works, and what she’s been doing is obviously working for her. She has no incentive to change.

I agree that a sit-down is in order. Establish some boundaries and let her know that you are in this for the long haul. Approach it from the perspective of the happiness of the little girl and try to frame everything in that context.

Your boyfriend needs to be a part of this, and he needs to set some expectations for behavior as well.

If you guys can’t come to some sort of agreement, then you’ll just have to agree to disagree. Eventually, she will figure out that what she’s doing isn’t working.

11.16.11#4

Comment by Plano Mom.

I’m not sure what specifically is going on. Is the ex dictating what and how things happen in the boyfriend’s house? If so, he’s still married to her, because he’s allowing her to dictate how his life is in HIS home. I’m not sure she has that right.

Turn this the other way around. If boyfriend were telling Ex who she could have around and when, what would that say about how much control he still wants in her life?

Just seems to me the boundaries need to be set by the boyfriend. This has nothing to do with Zuma’s relationship with the Ex and everything to do with boyfriend setting limits on Ex’s influence.

11.16.11#5

Comment by Ken.

Great advice. A conversation is certainly in order.

But before you completely discount the acetone approach to solve the issue, let’s not overlook the fact that solve is 5/7th or 71.4% of solvent. I am no math genius but I that sounds like strong odds. I’m just saying*

* It is a known fact that the statement, “I’m just saying,” absolves me from any responsibility to subsequent events.

dusty earth mother Reply:

I like this one. “Solve”, “solvent”? Nice.

11.16.11#6

Comment by N and Em's mom.

There is some great advice here.

11.17.11#7

Comment by Angela.

If they are no longer together, then she has a very limited say in what goes on in his life. Assuming you are not abusive or neglectful to the child, she needs to realize that the fact that she had a kid with him does not give her complete control over his life, especially since he seems to have kicked her to the curb (her controlling behavior seems like a good indicator of why he is no longer with her).

You are in a long term relationship with him and deserve to be a full part of his life. It is between you and your boyfriend to decide how much time you will spend with the child and when you will sleep over. He needs to man up and make this clear to the ex, for his own sake. He is setting a pattern that makes her think that she’s the one calling all of the shots.

As for the people saying that she should have a ring on her finger before she spends time with the child, I disagree. I would be hesitant to jump into marriage with a man without spending a considerable amount of time with his child(ren). That little girl is a huge part of his life and she’s not going anywhere. She’s not just dating him, he’s part of a package deal and it’s unfair to everyone involved to not give them a chance to meet, bond and decide if it works for everyone. I’m not saying that the child should call the shots, but she should be considered in the dynamics of the relationship since she will be a huge part of their relationship (it sounds like she already is). What if Apple decided she wasn’t ready to be a step-mom. It’s a big responsibility. Better that she figure this out before the marriage. I don’t think that you should bring your one night stands home for the kids to meet at breakfast, but a serious relationship that has potential to lead to marriage or a long term commitment (it doesn’t always have to be marriage, people) is a different story.

Best of luck.

Bean Reply:

I didn’t say she had to have a ring on her finger. I said she needed to figure out IF this relationship has the potential to be LT/marriage.

But at no point did she say she thinks she’s going to marry this guy. Or even live with him. Regardless, it’s too late for her not to have a relationship with the kid. She already does.

I work with kids whose divorced parents have boyfriends and girlfriends who come into their lives, create a relationship with the kid – and then disappear. (Not to mention the creeps who target single parents so they can harm the kids.) It hurts them. Think of it as a mini divorce. It’s bad for their sense of stability and safety.

Absolutely, kids need to get to know potential step-parents. But not until the adults are pretty sure they’re in it for the long haul.

11.18.11#8

Comment by dry carpet cleaning charlotte.

Wow what a situation! I also believe that seat and talk would be the better solution, but if she is really mean and dumb even this may not work!

12.08.11#9

Comment by Loving it.

Love the advice. The acetone hasn’t been pored yet! I’ve tried asking her to dinner to talk and got the “oh hell no” answer. I’ll keep doing what I do. If she has a problem with it, then she can lose sleep over it. Thanks again.
P.S. no I’m not in my early 20’s. Thanks for making me feel good.

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