My fiancé of three years and I have been together for 11 years total. Throughout our relationship, his ex wife has been miserable and jealous.
Within two months of our dating, she told him that I was cheating (a lie).
She admits to regularly stalking my social media, telling us she has snap shots of my profiles. She lies, exaggerates and insults me to my fiancé, non-stop.
It’s a circle they create: She makes up some huge lie about me so he’ll fight with me (until I prove her a liar which he then refuses to acknowledge).
Then they fight because he didn't just believe her. Next, its the silent treatment from her for about two weeks, followed by a sob story to him about her health.
She’s been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder but claims she has all kinds of serious illnesses like cancer.
She needs his sympathy and attention. Then it’s back to the circle.
She harassed me so much that I filed a police report. The police told her to leave me alone but she’s since contacted me three times.
My fiancé tries to play neutral, ignores everything and thinks I should ignore everything.
But she’s repeatedly insulted me, and my children, my family, my religion, and my upbringing.
Still, he wouldn't set boundaries with her. She creates havoc in our relationship and five minutes later he sits next to her at a kid’s sports game. I feel it as a slap in the face.
Through time and counselling, he’s gotten a little better.
I want him to work with her on things pertaining to their kids - 100% - but only on kids’ stuff. Still, he listens to her complaints about me.
Now, we’re battling her manipulating her daughter to hate me. It led to the daughter stalking my social medias trying to find something to be mad at me for.
We confronted her about it and tried to explain some of the issues we have with her mother. But, her mother has that kid so brainwashed.
Her grandmother is now joining in on the bullying. The last two times we were at an event for their daughter, the grandmother walked out of her way to get in front of us.
She snottily acknowledges her former son-in-law, then looks at me, shakes her head and walks away.
But my fiancé still says Hello to her. Is that being the better person or someone who’s never backed me up??
Is it wrong that I want him to start not acknowledging the grandmother when she behaves like she has been, as well his ex-wife?
Yes, your fiancé needs to set boundaries or this “circle” of lies and sympathy-seeking will soon come between you two, achieving just what his ex wants.
The saddest effect is on his own kids, who are living with her lies and attention-seeking.
He needs to help his daughter have empathy for her mother’s bipolar condition while also recognizing when her mother is just stirring up trouble.
Counselling for father and daughter together would benefit them both.
Most important, he and you need to define those new boundaries with his ex, starting with “the circle:”
He must hang up whenever she says anything negative about you or your children, having explained first that he’ll do this.
You should attend kids’ events together, whenever possible. Or he sits alone, explaining to her and his children that it’s because he won’t accept her or her mother disrespecting you.
FEEDBACK Regarding the difficult sister-in-law coming between the letter-writer and her brother (June 10):
Reader – “The sister-in-law is demonstrating bullying and abuse.
“Our family experience has taught us that no one should walk on egg shells with difficult in-laws.
“Efforts at “keeping the peace” is giving the bully/abuser her way and she’s not going to change.
“The letter-writer must be the role model for her children about how to address bullying behaviour.
“They should stop attending events at the brother and SIL's home. The father will be stressed just going there.
“If the letter-writer feels she must attend, she can go herself.
“We started using restaurants for celebratory events – it’s easier to break away.
“Extended time for conversation can happen at a nearby park to allow the kids to run and play.
“Keeping the peace only builds resentment and that’s no foundation upon which the writer can maintain a good relationship with her brother.”
Tip of the day:
Harassment of an ex’es next partner calls for strong boundaries, period.