How to handle my fiance and his ex-wifes relationship - FamilyEducation
How to handle my fiance and his ex-wifes relationship
11/19/2008 at 22:59 PM

I am not sure where to start but to say that I don't know how to handle my fiances relationship with his ex-wife. Background, they were married for 15 years have two children and she has since moved to another state.  She calls him everytime she needs help, whether its parenting the children, needs advice, or whatever excuse she can think of.  I just don't know what to do. I feel as though he has two seperate relationships, I understand they have children together and need to be civil for the sake of the children but neither can let go of the other. I have told him to go back to her on several occassions but he told me that he would never do that, one because he doesn't love her and second because he has the best relationship in me. But I just can't do it anymore, it's really crowded with the three of us in a relationship and I need him to myself.  It's not selfish but its our relationship that we need to focus on. I believe that he has not made the transition from Husband to just Father and he has never redifined his relationship with his ex-wife to just need to get along for the childrens sake. He tells me he helps her because if he doesn't his children will suffer but I feel as though its just an excuse for him to continue his relationship with her.  And her to keep him doing things for her. The sad thing is that she is now engaged and still counts on my fiance to help her out. Poor guy (her new fiance) I don't believe he has a clue that she is in constant contact with my fiance (her ex-husband). I love him but not sure if I can do this for the rest of my life.  I have asked him to cut her off emotionally but he tells me that he is always going to be there for her. Because he needs his children to have her emotionally sound. So I guess i just answered my own question...I need to move on.

I admire your clear thinking. I also admire your taste in men, he seems kind and loving. I hope that you will find another unencumbered but otherwise very similar man.

Yes, I do think you need to move on if you can't be supportive. Your jealousy and selfishness will probably ruin your relationship anyway. It's clear that this man's first priority is his children's welfare and this is just how it should be if he is a good father. The children will eventually grow up, but just now they need his influence in their lives. Her fiance is just that, a fiance, not the children's father. I am sure that he is trying his best but he doesn't have the same ties as their dad.

My ex has a similar relationship with his ex-wife. He talked badly about her but still did things for her "for the kids sakes". This created a wedge between us as he would spend time doing things for her "for the kids" and then he could not find time to do things at our home or spend time with me. This is not jealousy or selfishness. She had the money to hire someone but chose to stay in her (and now my) ex's life in this way. The children needed his influence, yes, but that does not extend to his doing things that could easily be done by someone else, when they are divorced and he had suposedly moved on and made the choice to marry another woman. This is just her way of maintaining control of her ex. I wish I had realized this (and many other things) before getting married to him and now have another divorce to deal with. Get smart and get out if you cannot handle this dynamic.