My partner of several years is divorced, with a teenage son who lives with his mom. He sees his son as much as possible, and brings him to our house.
His ex-wife, who lives with her new partner, doesn’t like me.
When we pick up his son, I keep my distance. I feel it’s best for me and her son, as she cannot be civil.
Because my partner and his ex were married for so long, she still attends all his family gatherings, including Christmas.
She’ll turn her back or make inappropriate gestures/ comments towards us, which makes us both uncomfortable. We end up not attending these gatherings with his siblings.
They’re unhappy that we decline, but we don't want to ask that she be excluded.
How do we approach this situation so that we’re part of the family too?
Sidelined by Ex
Time for your partner to speak up. Her childishly rude behaviour is how she asserts her position as the boy’s mother and what she thinks is her primary place in the family.
He should tell her that you’re kind and helpful to their son, and respectful of her role as mother. Then he must be clear that her coldness to you at family gatherings when their son is present, is unfair to the boy and makes everyone uncomfortable.
Even if she’s unmoved, he also needs to speak up to his siblings. It’s unconscionable that they include her and accept her rudeness over their own brother and his chosen partner.
By this time, it’s you two who should be invited to the main events, especially Christmas, and their former sister-in-law invited separately with her partner and her son, for dinner, coffee, or other smaller gatherings.
If the relatives are unwilling, there are two approaches – go anyway, hold your head high, and laugh off her foolish gestures and comments. Or, say you can’t attend, and regret that they’ve pushed away their own family.
Me? I’d go and I’d socialize with whichever guests have the grace to ignore his ex’s nastiness, which everyone will recognize as such.
I’m almost 12, and almost in love with a guy because I think about him all the time, and I love everything about him.
Questions: 1) Do you think I’m too young to date? 2) I don't think anyone likes me. I've been called fat, ugly, lesbian, stupid, whore, pervert, psychopath, I'm not cool/will never fit in, etc. I don't believe it all, but it gets to me. 3) I want to know how to safely lose weight; I weigh 168 pounds.
Grateful for Help
Your questions show that you’re smart, thoughtful, and self-protective, by questioning your readiness to date, knowing that bully insults are just that, and wanting to be healthy, not stick-thin.
1) Yes, you’re too young for the intensity of dating with its ups and downs. Age 12 is a time of change towards teenage that’ll affect your emotions, and you need to build self-confidence and convictions about how to handle dating.
2) Walk away from insults. Tell your parents, and/or a school official, that you’re being bullied. Seek out one decent friend, and/or help a younger student who needs it.
3) Ask your mom to help you make a doctor or clinic appointment for a health check. And to help you learn which healthy foods and snacks encourage safely losing weight.
My boyfriend of one year and I are late-20s. He lives on his own but when he had flu, he stayed with his parents until better.
He likes us to sleep over at his parents’ house on special occasions like Christmas Eve.
His parents do things for him that I’d never expect from mine, though I have a good relationship with them and love them dearly.
But I have no desire to have a couples’ sleepover at their house. Are these red flags or am I just too independent?
You two are different, likely raised differently. These are not necessarily red flags but they’re alerts.
IF he needs his parents’ advice on couple-related decisions - e.g. where you might vacation and whether alone or with them – then you should discuss issues about his dependence.
For now, you have someone who likes sharing Christmas nostalgia with you, and being cared for when sick. Unless you’d asked to be his nursemaid, that’s not so worrisome.
Tip of the day:
Post-divorce relationships with family need to be discussed, when ex-spouses override new partners.