Post # 1
This is how I feel.
My boyfriend was married before me. Dream military wedding. Their extended families were there. I unfortunately have seen the pictures and know FAR too many details of their lives together. I saw how happy they were.
The closer we become and more serious we are, the more this eats me up inside. Should it not be the opposite?
I can’t help but feel second best in every single aspect of our lives. Everything from big things such as … they already tried for a child… twice (she lost them) got married, moved across the country, bought a house… to small stuff, like… already went boating together in the same lake he took me to, already used to have a Fondue Sunday night ritual, already camped in this same exact location.
When he does it with me, yes sure.. it’s different because it’s with me, but really I can’t help but feel like an extension of his first wife. I just feel like a filler.
Nothing that is a first for me is a first for him. We can experience no firsts together.
Instead … if I have a first it’s on my own and I end up feeling naive and silly. I know that he is just thinking about the first time for him and when it was with his ex.
This is driving me crazy and I am thinking of ending the relationship.
Right when he tells me he wants to spend the rest of his life with me.
Post # 3
Have you talked to him about how you feel? What about personal counseling to move past this on your own? Those are two vital first steps.
Post # 4
Well. First off, please sit down and tell him how you feel. He can’t make it better if you won’t let him know how to. Second, and this is important, you need to tell him that it’s time for you two to have firsts TOGETHER. If he’s taking you to the same camping spot, lake, and carrying on the rituals of his first wife with you, it’s time to cut that cord. You are not her, and you deserve to create your own memories with him. Personally, I’d get rid of Sunday Fondue night. Yeah, it’s fun, but maybe change it up. Sunday taco night, or pizza, or anything else. Also, when he proposes a trip to some place that his ex and he used to go, it’s perfectly okay for you to say you’d rather go somewhere new. You aren’t his ex wife. You’re your own person with your own relationship with him. He can only “pretend” as long as you let him. So first, talk to him. Second, create new memories. Third, stop comparing yourself or letting him compare you. Fourth, create a voice for yourself in this relationship and remember you are an amazing person and he’s his ex wife for a reason.
Post # 5
I feel the same way although FI and I do not visit the same spots. I have made a point of that. It is tough, though. They have a child together and I feel like I’ll never be able to be as important as the “mother of his child.”
Post # 6
@Oneeleven: How you feel is natural. However, you knew he was divorced and he has a past. Many men over the age of 30 will possibly have kids, previous homes, ex wives/ baby mommas, etc. It’s baggage but we all a little. He doesn’t have kids, that’s a major first you can share together. Also, consider suggesting things to do and make your own traditions. It seems his ex had no problem telling him what she liked and he assumes you will like the same things. He is your man now, mark your territory!!!! Set your expectations, I am sure he will gladly rise to meet them:0)
Post # 7
You can’t take it personal. It could be honest mistakes. I think of how long my FI and I have been together and then all the time before when we were friends. We have done so many things and have started our own traditions. If this was to end and we both found someone new, it would be pretty hard to not repeat the same things we have done. Why don’t you start thinking of things to do, places to go, traditions to start that deal with what you two love to do together? Make sure to let him know how you feel as well and it may be easier to come up with things together.
Post # 8
I would absolutely get rid of Sunday Fondue night. That’s the party of your story that really turned me off. Some stuff can’t be avoided… he can’t change the fact that he was married before or that they tried for children and lost them. BUT.. he shouldn’t be continuing the same rituals that he had with her. I agree with the others that you need to talk to him about how you are feeling. Give him a chance.. he may not know that he is upsetting you. BUT.. if he refuses to give up these things that he associates with his first wife, I would consider walking away. You don’t want to feel like a replacement for the rest of your life.
Post # 9
first, it sounds like you need to talk to a therapist to help get over your jealousy of his ex-wife (i don’t mean that in a harsh way at all). second, try to find things that are new for both of you. third, i EXTREMELY doubt that he’s thinking of his ex-wife when he’s with you, even if you’re doing something that he did with her too. there’s a reason she’s his ex and he’s with you! (if he was widowed, that’s all the more reason for you to talk to a therapist to help yourself accept that part of his life).
Post # 10
@Oneeleven: Please talk to him about how you feel especially your insecurities and the fact that you are considering leaving if things don’t change. I don’t understand why the two of you are following traditions that he and his ex wife used to partake in. I’m with lola2011, start your own traditions together.
Does your SO talk about his ex-wife a lot? Do they still communicate? I’m just trying to understand why you feel the need to compare yourself to another women, especially if your SO has no ties with this women besides the fact that she is his ex-wife. I just want to let you know there is no such thing as 2nd Best, you chose each other for a reason and that is what matters.
Post # 11
Wow…such great advice here already but I thought I would add my 2-cents as well. I agree with the others in finding your own “firsts”. If you both love camping, then by all means you should keep going … BUT … surely there is more than one place to go camping in your area. Even if that spot is the “best” place, you can find another place that is just as great simply because it is a place the two of you will be able to build your own memories at. As for the comparing yourself…yep, been there, done that! I am actually wife #3…he had 2 children with his first wife (they are now 14 and & 18) and 1 with his 2nd wife (he is now 3 1/2). That is one thing that bothers me…we will never have children together. I got married REALLY young and my kids are grown (26, 24, 23). I know that having a baby together is something we will never share and having him talk on the phone to the “babies momma’s” use to drive me insane! I knew it was about the kids but it still bothered me to no end. Then one day something very simple was said…it was actually more the tone she used. My bff asked me “why are you so bothered by that?! They are exes for a reason. He loves YOU! He lives with YOU! He tells everyone that he loves YOU!”. Strange I know but for some reason, hearing her say it the way she said it turned things around for me. I stopped worrying about all the things he use to do with them. I DO still ask “So why did you want to go here all of a sudden?” Sometimes I think it makes him remmeber that he use to go there with the ex because there has been a couple of times we have actually been in the parking lot of a restaurant or wherever and he will restart the car. His response is usually a smile and a little comment like “I don’t know but I just thought of a place YOU would like even better!” I don’t call him out on it…I just let it go and let him take me to a “new” place. I think one of the other bees hit it on the head when she said she doesn’t think he means to do it. I think sometimes men really are just completely oblivious and it’s up to us to remind them that we need our own special time/memories with them. I hope everything works out well for you! <<<hugs>>>
Post # 12
@lola2011: I vote for Sunday taco night, but that’s just me. Taco nights are WAY better
Post # 13
I agree wtih all the wonderful advice you have received here. There is no reason you have to keep doing the things he did with his ex-wife. You should not have Fondue Sunday, or go camping to the same spot, etc.
How about having a Taco Wednesday night???? Find a new campnig ground that neither of you have been to or find a new hobby you enjoy together besides camping.
Post # 14
When I first starting dating FI I had come out of a serious, first love, relationship. FI was a rebound and I told him that. I started suggesting things to do to FI that I had done with my ex. At first it was because the places and activities reminded me of my first love and I didn’t want to let go, but they started turning into things that I loved doing and had someone that I really enjoyed myself to do them with. We began making new memories to replace the old ones and now those places are something special for me and him, not for me and my ex anymore 🙂
Post # 15
I’m sure you have the same firsts with other people, too, right? You’ve dated before in the area you live in, so you’ve had all sorts of important life experiences on your own that he didn’t get to be a part of! I think the two of you should make it a priority to make NEW experiences outside of what you’ve done with others. Ditch the fondue night, for one – who wants the same date night ritual as an ex?! Visit NEW places neither of you has been. Take a class together. Learn how to do stuff to your house together. Build NEW memories for your NEW life together. Every relationship is unique – find positive ways to build yours up!
Post # 16
All great advice guys.
Some of it is proving to be harder than others.
We are in the house they chose together
have a dog they picked out
Bills still come in both there names
Was even in their bed until I asked to get a new one
Same dishes in cupboard
I am a girly girl? Well he is all gung ho on me getting to dress more “athletic”. He says he likes my “girly girl-ness” yet is really happy when I dress like a jock (his ex is a no makeup, always wore pants kind of person)
I do believe he loves me and I don’t think he wants her back.
What is really drawing this all to a head for me is that she had been storing some stuff in their basement. The day she came to pick it up he made me leave the house because she said she didn’t want to see me.
To make matters worse, it was freezing cold out and snowing. I don’t drive and ended up waiting for a bus that never came. lol
He apologises and I “forgive” him but to be honest, I am still FURIOUS he made me suffer for her.