Making peace with boyfriend's ex....


I am 25, involved with a 34 y/o father of three beautiful girls (8, and twin 4 y/o's). We have been together for almost 2 years, and for the last year, I have been involved in his daughters' lives. He has custody of his girls almost 40% of the time (Mondays and Tuesdays of every week and every other weekend). We have moved into a very comfortable feeling of family (at least, I feel this way). I do not spend the night when the children are staying with their Dad, and we have done our very best to go slow. (I met the girls in June of 09, and the word "girlfriend" was not used until December, when one daughter asked if I was Daddy's gf). We struggle constantly to keep life as simple and non-threatening for the girls as possible. No talk of marriage has been brought up in front of the girls, although that is most definitely where things are heading in the foreseeable future (1-2 years). I am madly in love with my boyfriend and am crazy about his daughters. They have been the highlight of my life, and I'm amazed at how my life has changed (for the better) since they've been a part of it. Before Mother's Day, the oldest girl asked Dad "What are we getting for Mother's Day?" He was shocked and so was I, as we had not put that thought into her head. We settled on celebrating a "Like a Mother's Day" on the Monday after (distinguishing the day apart from Mother's Day so as not to offend their Mom and also give me a special day all my own). The kids loved this idea. And for the most part, there have been few issues with the children or between my boyfriend and I in how we handle raising the girls, etc.

Except for one issue...

The ex.

She HATES me!

We recently were all together to celebrate the oldest's First Communion. While I made small talk with HER family and my boyfriend was cordial to HER new boyfriend... she refused to even look at me or say hello. Even when I wished her a Happy Mother's Day (the communion was the day before), she curtly replied "thanks" and walked away. It was obvious to the girls that there is tension between Mommy and me... and I hated that. I did my very best to be civil and keep the day about the child. But I felt defeated... because the mother couldn't keep her perspective and do what was best for her children.

Since that horrific day, she has called my boyfriend to express her concern that I am "overly affectionate towards the children" and that it is inappropriate for me to tell the girls that I love them. I was shocked at this! Her big complaint is that I love her children?!? I hug them? I say "I love you?" That's something to shame me with? Now my boyfriend and I are at odds about how to handle this. I say "this is her problem, her insecurity, her jealousy... not my problem. I'm not changing." And he is leaning in the direction of "if you don't do what she asked (be less huggy and cuddly with the kids), she'll never try to be civil when we're all together for events for the kids." I completely disagree. I...

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Nine years ago, and it is still true to this day: Manipulative, controlling bio-mom and weak, enabling boyfriend or husband means step-hell. I

And, you are very correct that, "this is her problem, her insecurity, her jealousy... not my problem. I'm not changing." Your BF may feel he has to be her lap dog for whatever reason, but you don't have to be.

Yeah, and that is BM's big complaint, ". . . that I love her children?!? I hug them? I say 'I love you?' That's something to shame me with?" Not every BM feels that way. I mean, hey!, wouldn't you'd think they'd at least appreciate having a free babysitter around (tongue-in-cheek)? But, this particular BM learned long ago how to keep her husband on a short leash, while they were still married, and she intends to keep it that way, even though they are no longer married.

And, unfortunately your BF is going along with it. I'd expect if you and him did marry, this continued on into your marriage as well. I know how that goes, because I pretty much experienced the same thing you did starting prior to 2010. However, now my husband and I have been married for almost 20 years. In that time, I'd say my husband now only has one ball in BM's purse vs. two. But, it still causes enough problems.

My relationship with the adult step-kids is now strained and I have somewhat disengaged, but not completely. Anyway, when my DH and I are together as the loving and married couple we are, he have fun and we are soulmates, and that is what matters most. And that is what married couples (whether step-parents are involved or not) are supposed to do in their old age--support each other, love each other, and enjoy the rest of their lives together.

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