Meeting his ex-wife. Advice?

posted 11 months ago in Family
Post # 16
Member
12320 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

One can think someone may be “the” one within three months and you can even take the associated risks with that often misguided belief yourself, but IMO one owes more to a child, even someone else’s. 

Kids deserve better than a revolving door of a parent’s romantic partners or a whirlwind commitment. It’s not in their best interests or just about the couple, anymore. And not too late to dial it back. 

Post # 17
Hostess
9694 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2014 - Chicago, IL

Honestly if I were his ex and you were hanging around my kid I would want to meet you. 

Post # 18
Member
2093 posts
Buzzing bee

weddingmaven :  you’ve commented on this thread twice now voicing your displeasure that she’s met the kid already– but thats not the issue, they’ve already met. Whats done is done.

This is the type of rhetoric that people in blended families have to deal with constantly, which is people offering you their unsolicited advice about your timeline. What is too fast for one couple might not be too fast for another. The “revolving door” you threw out there in regards to supposedly the fathers love life is complete speculation. You don’t know that he’s introduced anyone to his kid since his divorce. You’re acting like someone has done a disservice to this kid, and I fail to see how based on the information thats been given.

For all you know (as was in my case with my stepkid, mind you), there was no grand meeting. I already knew my stepkid prior to me dating their father. 

Post # 19
Member
81 posts
Worker bee

As a mom, I would want to meet any girlfriends before they met my kids tbh. But what’s done is done. If you are hanging out so much that you accompany them on drop off then it should not be too early to meet. 

And I think it is great they can be together for their child’s birthday. My parents divorced when I was little and it meant a lot to me to celebrate birthdays together. I don’t know if that is the best time for the two of you to meet though. Seems like a lot of drama and could potentially take away from the child’s special day.

Post # 20
Member
2518 posts
Sugar bee

I’m concerned by this statement: “As with a lot of men, it’s pulling teeth to get him to talk about anything serious.”

I’m not exactly sure what you mean by this but it strikes me as a possible red flag about his emotional availability. My husband is the quiet type but he never shied away from serious conversations. 

I’m also concerned by this: “I’m also a little apprehensive because there’s animosity between them, mainly on his side. I know for a fact he is still a little hurt by having his family split up in the way it did. I feel like that’s something that won’t go away.”

Carrying animosity toward an ex after 6 years is worrisome. It’s understandable to be upset your marriage & family broke up, but a long time has passed and harboring anger and hostility about the breakup is only hurting your bf and impeding his ability to move on. 

If I were you I’d just stay aware of his language and behavior regarding his ex and his willingness to have difficult conversations. I’d also want to know more about why they broke up (if you don’t already) and take his telling of it with a grain of salt. 

All that to say, from your short post there are a few potential warning signs that I think you should keep monitoring. 3 months is still early. Move forward with cautious optimism, but maybe don’t rush into building a relationship with his son or meeting the ex yet. 

Hopefully things keep progressing well and he opens up as you get to know each other better. If that’s the case, there’s still not really a downside to holding off. 

Good luck, bee. 

Post # 21
Member
12320 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

fromatoz :  I have to side with almost any child therapist you would want to speak to on this.

As I mentioned, IMO it’s not too late at three months in to dial things back. The more time spent the more bonded the OP can become to the child and vice versa.

Knowing someone and their child in a different context previous to a romantic relationship is a different situation altogether. 

Post # 22
Member
2093 posts
Buzzing bee

weddingmaven :  Knowing someone and their child in a different context previous to a romantic relationship is a different situation altogether. 

My point exactly, you dont know the OP’s situation. Blended families are complex and it’s definitely not one size fits all

Post # 23
Member
2103 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

“Kids deserve better than a revolving door of a parent’s romantic partners or a whirlwind commitment. It’s not in their best interests or just about the couple, anymore. And not too late to dial it back.”

Your suggestion that there has been a revolving door of women in this child’s life is unfair and, according to the OP, incorrect. He’s never before introduced a romantic partner to his son, so I don’t think it’s unreasonable to assume that the boyfriend is not recklessly introducing his son to every woman he meets on the street. And I’m not sure I agree that any child therapist would advise this woman to “dial it back” and suddenly stop interacting with the child if the interactions have been positive. While I agree that 3 months is quick, it is not necessarily detrimental.

Post # 24
Member
938 posts
Busy bee

weddingmaven :  My now-Dh met my children (and I met his daughter) 3.5 months after we started dating. Darling Husband and I knew we were serious about each other and wanted a future together if things worked out. It was important to me, personally, that my children and my potential-partner got along with each other before there was a solid, serious commitment, as I’ve seen too many cases of children clashing with their parent’s new partner for significant reasons, and the children suffering because the parent was too emotionally attached to the partner to walk away at that point. If my kids didn’t like now-DH or now-DH didn’t like my kids, I wanted to know before I invested too much time or emotion. Darling Husband was the only guy I dated that my children ever met – there was no revolving door of men. 

Incidentally, I’m a psychologist who evaluates and treats children as young as 3. I’ve been in practice for close to 15 years.

 

Post # 25
Member
12320 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

psyche1978 :  I’m glad it worked out for you. Not sarcasm, I mean that. You are, however, the only therapist I have come across or know about who treats children and who would would not caution others to take it more slowly in this situation. In any case, I probably should not have made such a blanket statement, so you are right about that. 

Post # 26
Member
1295 posts
Bumble bee

browneyedgirl24 :  Because of this.  I’m glad that things worked out so well for you, psyche1978, but if this man is closed off about important discussions and still harboring animosity toward his ex wife for the family being broken up, he is not in the same position as you were, and I don’t think it’s appropriate to make any major steps like meeting a child until all of that is well cleared up and put to bed.  

weddingmaven has it right.  This man now knows that there is a good vibe between OP and his kid.  Now he can dial it back.  Poor kid and poor OP to be in this deep at 3 months.  That won’t lead to anything good if the relationship ends.   If OP’s SO doesn’t get his act together and become more available, it will. 

Post # 27
Member
1555 posts
Bumble bee

Has she specifically invited you? Don’t assume she wants you there. I wouldn’t go to meet the ex for the first time at a birthday party, I assume she will have relatives there too and it would just be too awkward. Better to meet her one on one for a coffee if she’s requesting a meet up.

Post # 28
Member
12320 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

fromatoz :  What I meant is that seeing someone in the context as a family friend is one thing. As a partner to the parent, something completely different. 

In any case it’s not the OP’s situation. 

Post # 29
Member
686 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

I’ve now been married for 9 month and have never met the Ex. Very happy about that. I don’t need more crazy in my life. By now I would decline any wishes from her to meet unless court ordered. And I don’t think that’s possible. 

Post # 30
Member
459 posts
Helper bee

julies1949 :   weddingmaven :  

I agree. I don’t understand single parents who rush into bringing their new partners around their kids. 

I feel that meeting children should only happen if the relationship is headed toward marriage. 

That could be a potentially dangerous situation. What if a single mom is dating a man she barely knows, bring him around her kids, and it turns out that he’s a pedophile? 

bouviebee :  

Your story is one reason why I will never date a man with a young child again. 

A breakup comes with losing the child as well and that adds another layer of pain. 

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