“Dear Therapist: I’m Dating a Divorced Man With Kids, and It’s Harder Than I Thought – His Ex Wife Calls Constantly” (She Needs To Dump This Guy)
This is one example of why I don’t want to date a divorced man (if I can avoid it), especially one who has kids from a previous relationship.
His ex-wife is constantly texting and calling him about problems with their kids, and I can’t help but feel annoyed.
JAN 28, 2019
I’ve been dating Adam for two and a half years. I’m 33 and childless, and he’s 48, divorced, and the father of three kids. We seem to keep having the same fights about his needy ex-wife and the negative impact she has on our relationship.
Despite my wish to appear mature and chill, I have a strong distaste for the ex-wife. She doesn’t work, and she collects disability from the government and spousal support and child support from Adam.
She attaches herself to every ailment for which she can find a symptom, and is on all kinds of medication.
The kids’ main residence is with her, and Adam has the kids a few days a week.
The ex constantly sends Adam texts about the kids, from mundane details to complaints about their behavior. Quite often she calls Adam hoping that he can “set them straight.”
I’m certain that she’s the cause of all that chaos, because the kids never go out of control with Adam, and I’ve only seen them be pleasant.
Every time Adam’s ringtone goes off, my stomach churns because I feel so violated and intruded on by her. Adam knows how I feel and tries to handle these situations without hurting my feelings, but it’s really difficult to care for the kids while keeping the ex out because she has completely tied herself to the kids.
Adam and I love each other deeply and cherish being in each other’s lives, but a shadow of the ex-wife seems to loom over and create tension between us.
I try hard not to feel like a victim in all of this because I understand that it’s my choice to be with him, but I can’t help feeling robbed of something that should be mine. I’m open to any suggestions and perspectives.
You can click here to read the therapist’s response to this lady.
I would more than likely not date a divorced dude who came with kids already, precisely to avoid that kind of situation to start with.
IMHO, the boyfriend (Adam) needs to draw tighter boundaries with the ex wife, tell her “no contacting me at all, unless it’s an absolute emergency.” Or tell her to only call or text between the hours of X and Y – no more contacting any old time you feel like it.
But really, this lady just needs to break up with this guy.
The therapist tells the letter writer to remember that her boyfriend needs to put the kids first, and she needs to accept that: WRONG. So wrong.
Here is specifically what the therapist says to the letter writer, and I disagree with it:
“If you can begin to really accept and ultimately embrace the reality that his kids come first without taking it personally….”
…And that’s this [you have to decide if you can live with this]:
If you and his kids were drowning in the ocean, I can assure you that Adam [her boyfriend] would rescue his kids before you.
You’re going to have to embrace the fact that your boyfriend is a father and was before he met you, and if you want to be with him, you’ll have to make peace with what it is you’re signing up for.
For a relationship to survive, the S.O. (girlfriend or wife) needs to come first, the kids come second.
The kids are not always going to be around. When they are teens, most teens want to hang out with their friends. Then they go off to college, and eventually get their own apartments.
And just plain old common sense here – if I were dating this guy, I would get damn sick and tired of constantly playing “second fiddle” to his ex-wife and/or his children.
I sure as holy hell would not accept the hypothetical that if his kid and me were drowning at the same time, he’d always choose to save his kid, if he could only save one of us. Eff that.
I already played “second fiddle” to my ex fiance’s mother (he was a mama’s boy), and I refuse to re-live that experience with anyone, I will not live it again with some dude’s kids, with his ex wife, or with his mother.
The letter writer needs to dump this guy, dump this guy, dump this guy!
(Link): Why You Shouldn’t Love Your Kids More Than Your Partner By B. Luscombe