- 3 years ago
- Wedding: August 2015
I recently got engaged to my boyfriend of just over year two years. I’m 21 and he’s 27. We live together, we both have good salaried jobs and very content.
When we first met I liked him a lot, but had been cheated on previously and wasn’t ready to commit, so after a few dates I asked to remain friends as I had my own issues to sort through. We became close friends and a few months later, I realised how much he meant to me, and how trustworthy he was and we made it official.
We’ve never had any problems in our time together – other than family dramas and silly domestic issues – but I’ve found it difficult to wrap my head around his previous relationship. When he was 21/22 he dated an older woman, who had a child the same as him. The son also went on to have a baby, meaning my man was technically in the role of ‘stepgrandad’ at the age of 22. Very odd for me to understand – mainly because my man isn’t the sort of person you can imagine dating an older woman, especially as he looks VERY young. They lived together and were in a relationship for three years. They split because they didn’t have a future/wanted other things. (She’s been married, had kids etc. whereas he of course hadn’t).
This was all always strange for me, especially as his parents who were the same age as the ex didn’t seem to have been bothered by the relationship. Again, I’d like to reiterate that I don’t think there’s anything wrong with dating older people, it just seems strange to me because he’s now with me and of course I feel like I know him really well and the relationship seems quite alien.
Anyway, I had bumped into the ex (Let’s call her Jane) a few times, when I worked in retail and so on, and we’d always been polite to each other. I was aware that she was friendly with my man’s mother still, which I found awkward but not an issue. I gradually forgot about it all and was pretty chilled about it.
We popped to his mum’s house for a catch up and as we’re sitting down to chat when she drops this on us:
‘Jane called. She’s been having some problems and has split up with her boyfriend. She needed somewhere to stay, and asked if she would be able to rent a room in our house. I said that would be fine.’
I was a bit flustered, but managed to keep a neutral face, and said I was sorry to hear that she was having a hard time. We left quite soon after this, and my man expressed his shock/annoyance that she had agreed for Jane to stay. I will explain that his mother is a lovely sweet woman, who probably said no without having any idea it would upset anyone, and just wanted to help her out. My mum, while we usually have a tempestuous relationship to say the least, would have been horrified to have even been asked this by Jane.
I resigned myself to the fact that she would be living at the in laws, although I was quite panicked and upset to begin with. I had a sinking feeling that she would stay there for ages, get invited to family meals, and so on. I couldn’t bear the idea of her still being in their house when we eventually decide to have children. Moving on around six months or so we were dealing with it/ forgetting about it – except when the in laws went on one of their many holidays, meaning we had to feed the dogs like we usually did, except that now the ex would be sat in the dining room, making awkward small talk. I’ll just note here that my man doesn’t really talk to her, if he bumps in to her he will say ‘hello, how are you’ and no more than that. They don’t text, email or anything like that, nor am I worried in anyway that she or he would try to rekindle anything.
We had dinner two weeks ago with the in laws, and while the two men were using the restrooms, my FMIL suddenly mentioned that she had ‘heard somewhere’ that myself and my man had not been official straight after the first few dates. I explained why that had been the case, wondering who she had heard it from, and why it was relevant after over two years together. Turns out Jane had told her, of course. Now I’ve tried to be understanding, tried to be chilled, but for some reason this finally made my blood boil. I don’t understand why this woman needs to talk to my FMIL about the relationship. She had her opportunity to be a part of the family, she had three years with my man, who is really wonderful, as are his family, so I understand why she might still want to be friendly, but is this not TOO involved?! Boundaries have been crossed, and I’m quite upset and feel awkward visiting now, as if seeing us might trigger her to talk about us again. I don’t want this woman discussing my upcoming nuptials and future with my FMIL.
Am I being a brat? I’ve tried so hard not to get upset, and while my man understands, he’s very chilled and tends to let me rant till I’ve gotten over things, but it doesn’t seem to have worked this time, as I’m still freaking. How would you guys be reacting? Help Bees!
(By the way this is my first post, be gentle with me!)