Hi and welcome to DadsDivorce, the leader in divorce help for men, fathers rights and mens rights. We provide divorced dads with concrete, practical divorce resources to achieve the best results in the courtroom.
In another thread, a poster shares how his NJ keeps poisoning his relationship with his GF via the kids (and his GF gets fed up with it and eventually leaves him).
I find that interesting as it somewhat mirrors my situation. 1.5 years since our divorce, and NJ is still filled with venom. Dating GF for over a year, I've met GF's ex and we act cordially and her kids are good with it, but GF and NJ haven't met yet (few opportunities present themselves, and NJ is still volatile and hostile to me). S13 likes GF but clearly S13 has anxiety at the thought of them ever meeting.
In people's experience, what does it take for the NJ to stop poisoning a new relationship and act cordially for the kids' sake? (Assume that there was no cheating involved, and the new GF didn't enter the picture until post-divorce).
1. NJ gets laid / gets a new relationship of her own 2. NJ gets threatened with parental alienation (there is more to it than GF issue) 3. Time heals the wound and NJ softens up and even treats GF cordially 4. something else?
It isn't fair to S13 to have him filled with anxiety about it, and it isn't fair to GF nor I either.
It's getting old! GF did nothing to the NJ, and has done nothing but treat S13 very kindly. I can tell it's wearing on GF.
The purpose of dating is to decern if you are a match, warts and all. Most often it's not a match.
You are throwing a bunch of separate issues into one pile here. The other poster's example does not apply - his GF may have had a number of reasons for breaking up, but the GF used one that was clearly outside of that poster's control so as to make getting back together impossible. Modern women say one thing, while thinking another, and end up doing a third thing altogether. And I'm making a note here that the other poster was in a loooong-distance relationship, seeing the GF once a month on a very tight schedule. To her, he was just a friend with benefits, with no strings attached; he tried to make it into something else and she kicked him to the curb.
Recently divorced men get all hung up on that first girl that pays attention to them. They cling to it, far too often when the situation just isn't a match. Desperate is written all over these Dad's efforts, as they try to fit the situation into their fantasy of moving on after divorce. Recently divorced men are just one BJ away from forgetting everything they know about modern women - and the crazy associated with them - going head first into the cycle of bad relationships over and over again.
Older, wiser men know that GF's are a dime a dozen - if your head is on straight. That is why not dating for at least a year after the divorce is final is so important. That you think the NJ can even sabotage your relationship demonstrates you entered into it too soon, and too quickly. You didn't have your head on straight when you started this, and now you don't want to end it because you have so much invested.
As to your son, you discount puberty. He's looking at your girlfriends b00bies the same way you are, you know. The dynamic of an unrelated female in the house is very powerful - he's getting his first peek at girlie stuff, he's wondering what her lady bits are all about, and he's thinking about sex, sex, sex. This anxiety isn't because he's worried about his mom and the GF getting along - it's because he's wondering if all that MILF porn is true.
Ever heard of Tom Leykis? He's back now - you might give him a listen.
If you find something offensive in what I write, please accept my apology in advance. (Not that I'm going to change anything just because you don't like it, but it's not my goal to offend anyone.)
Bart - I get your point but you're making some assumptions.
First, GF is far from the first woman that has shown interest in me post divorce. She's more like the 17th (yes I was busy having fun immediately post-divorce). I said 'no' to a lot of attentive prospects before meeting GF (my 'crazy' detector is working fine - the marriage died years earlier due to crazy).
Second, S13 is a late bloomer, nothing kicking in yet. His anxiety really, truly is about his Mom and her fragile emotional well being (she is, let's say it all together, 'clinically and chronically depressed' and dependent on him for emotional stability; he is ultra sensitive to Mom's happiness or lack of it, and she's a master manipulator). Documented and obvious to one and all.
I may have entered into a serious relationship too soon, too quickly, but the fact remains that the NJ is, 1.5 years later, still playing the role of jilted, injured, venomous biatch and it's not good for anybody concerned. Replace the current GF with someone else, and the NJ would still act the same, because it is really about me and her own NJ issues, not the GF. When does it end?
I know it's possible for ex's to act civilly to new partners - I see it work for others. I assumed it is only really an issue when there is cheating involved, but that's not the case here.
You say it is all her and nothing to do with your GF, so how would you be able to predict when she is going to develop into something different? Nobody can know that. I really don't think it matters, don't wait for anything to happen with your ex for you to adapt and modify your life the way you want. GF and ex don't need to get along, they don't need to talk, they don't need to interact at all. Keep 'em separate.
Im remarried and I would just as soon they never talk to each other, they have a couple of times, but whats your point in this?
Im with others if your ex is nutty as you say, keep the two of them apart, and remember you cant control your ex, all you can control is your side of it, so stay out of her business, if you can learn to do this, then your life will get less and less stressful over time.
Bubba Seal wrote:Why would you want your ex and gf to get along?
RC211V wrote:You say it is all her and nothing to do with your GF, so how would you be able to predict when she is going to develop into something different? Nobody can know that. I really don't think it matters, don't wait for anything to happen with your ex for you to adapt and modify your life the way you want. GF and ex don't need to get along, they don't need to talk, they don't need to interact at all. Keep 'em separate.
Why would I want them to get along? For my son's sake. Events like birthday parties, graduations, school performances - times that it would be good for the adults who are important in his life to be there, and (I feel) it would be good for him to see his parents getting along as mature adults for his sake.
I've been to GF's kids events and it's been positive (though it was uncomfortable the first few times).
If I ask S13 if he's OK if GF comes to the party/event/etc. his response is that "Mom would be uncomfortable with it" (understatement?). I told him that's OK, but at some point in the future we will all need to move past that, and though it might be uncomfortable for his Mom at first she will adapt, we can't always be walking around on eggshells (and, unsaid, he can't be her sole emotional support). If it was just GF he would be fine with it - they do get along well.
I can't see telling my future fiance she can't go to his high school graduation because it will make NJ uncomfortable.
Maybe S13 will mature as well, and stop feeling like he has to be his mother's sole emotional support. As I've written elsewhere, he has Asperger's, which impacts his maturity especially around social/emotional issues, and mixed with NJ's clinical depression it makes for a complex and unhealthy interdependence situation. This broader issue is a topic I'll bring up with his therapy sessions (starting soon) - maybe that will solve the smaller issue as well as others.
Well, As you all know I'm the now-wife of a man with a psycho NJ.
I didn't even meet him until a year after the divorce was final. He had dated before, so he was in a good mental place. I wasn't the "hey she just smiled at me now I love her" chick.
NJ and my hubby had an ok relationship until I met. Then it's been hell ever since. Granted-only because he did whatever she wanted(like when they were married). Then one day he said-hey-this new girl treats me nice, i'm not letting that ***** treat me bad anymore.
It's been, oh, about 4 or 5 years now? Still venom. Still the same as the day she knew about me and turned more evil. SD then 11 would get so nervous about the whole thing-she would puke uncontrollably from emotional stress. This happened for months and months. I never interferred with mother's parenting. Except for extreme circumstances. (for example, ex would ask kid to scrounge our house for food for her, wierd stuff like that). I never told my then BF what he could/could not do for ex or child. But she still hated me. There are lots of possible reasons for it but it doesn't really matter. She went from man to man, it never helped.
And it's never changed.
I've always done what the child wanted when it came to interactions. She always wanted me to come to her sporting events(because even if i didn't go-NJ still didn't go most times). I practiced with her, helped her. She wanted me there so I was there-no matter what NJ said/did.
I won't lie and say it never interfered with my relationship with now-husband. But the thing is-there were no other issues besides that. The only real stresser in our life was NJ. So it never was bad enough that I left him. If there were other things there(like money/"play time"/different philosophies) it probably would have broke us up.
So it depends on the girl and the relationship. How NJ tries to interfere is the variable. You CAN NEVER control her. What you can control is the type of girl you're with. I handle stress like it's nothing. If I were a drama queen--yikes..
I think the best thing you can do is control what you can control, and teach your kid to do the same thing.
What you can control is your behavior (Rule #1: Don't fuel the nutty. That doesn't mean don't date, that just means don't take the bait when she throws a nutty.). You can arrange for your child to talk to a professional, who will help with the development of a healthy mindset and coping mechanisms to deal with Mom's behavior. Other than that, don't attempt to create or influence a situation that is unlikely to develop organically. If your ex is going to go through life full of venom and ire, don't let that keep you from living a good and full life, and help your child to do the same.
Volunteer stocker and cashier in the DD Gift Shop Ask me about our weekly specials!
Philosophically you're right, adults should be able to suck it up and "get along" enough to be cordial at soccer matches and graduations and other events likely to find both Xs present. But that convergence doesn't require you to sit together or have conversations or anything else...just don't be a disruption or make the kids feel uncomfortable.
I never talk to my X at events, and rarely talk to her bf (though he is nice enough and is good to my kids). Nothing can compel me to ask her how she's doing or how is her family, because I just don't care about her life. I'll smile in pictures or whatever but again, I won't be the one making anyone uncomfortable--I'll smile, have a nice time, enjoy the event, and not cause a stir. That's plenty.
If you are expecting to put on a show for the kid and try to cover up your X's revulsion of having to be around you, I think that's misguided. She's not ready for it and your S13 is making that clear. Don't force the issue. Bring your gf to graduation, take pics, and be cordial and nice. Hopefully your X will keep her distance and not act out. But if she does, it'll be her acting out, not you.