New here .... need a little bit of advice.

speshulgirl123July 27, 2013

Hi all,

I'm new to these forums, however I have spent a great deal of time reading over your posts the last few days.

My FI and I (both in our early 40's) have been together for about 3.5 years. I have a 20 year old and he has an 8 year old. His child is a very, very sweet child. Well behaved, polite, etc.

My issue is for the last 3,5 years, I've had to deal with their nightly bedtime ritual. Come rain or shine, at 8:30pm all 3 of them (child, FI and ex-wife) get on the phone and say goodnight together. First it's a prayer, then it's a thing they made up where the child says goodnight to all his family members (by naming them one by one), then it's a song or two. If the son is with FI, they call the mom and if the son is with the mom, they call my FI. This happens every night like clockwork.

I don't know why it bothers me, but it does. It seemed fine when we first started dating because the child was only 5, but he's about to turn 9 and I'm not thrilled that they still do this "goodnight ritual" all together as a little family unit. Even if FI and I are out to dinner, she'l still call (and he'll answer) and they will do an abbreviated version. I can rarely escape this. Even when we are in a different time zone, it still happens at 8:30pm in the child's time zone.

I was venting to my sister about it and she kind of got me all fired up about it saying it's fine if they each want to say goodnight to their kid, but she finds it strange that they still do the bedtime routine "together.

I have other issues with my situation, but for now, this one is at the forefront.

What are you thoughts? At what point should they start separating their goodnights? Is it strange that they still do it all together as a "family"?

Thank you for listenting.

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Well, considering the other problems in this forum I think you should just read a book or go in another room.

I didn't quite understand the ritual. Is your FI on the phone telling her good night also. Maybe the child and his mother are just trying not to loose the bond a divorce often causes.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 12:54PM
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The ritual, I guess, is just so that the kid has both parents saying goodnight at the same time. Not sure. No, my FI doesn't talk much to his ex-wife. I just think it's strange that they still do this ..... 5 years after their divorce.

I am in another room when they are doing it, but it still bothers me.

I get the bond thing, but my FI is a very good dad and I don't think it's necessary for the 3 of them to have a goodnight "thing" every night to keep that bond with his kid.

I understand that this problem isn't on the same scale as many other issues here and I'm not trying to compare them, but it's still a problem for me and my life.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 2:37PM
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I think the truest comment you made was it's still a problem for me . . .

I sympathize with your struggle. We all have "triggers" that are a personal challenge.

But honestly, I would let this one rest. At some point this little boy will arrive at the embarrassed by anything parental age and will end it himself. Until then, trying to interfere with this family ritual is a losing proposition.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 3:33PM
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Although this ritual seems very strange, once this boy is a teenager you'll wish this was the only issue you had. Pick your battles.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 8:26PM
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You have a 'very sweet, well behaved, polite' SS. Why rock the boat over a silly goodnight call? Because instead of a 5-10 minute phone call, you put a stop to this and angry resentful crazy will land at your feet.

For 3 1/2 years you've been ok with this. Obviously BM, FI and son are very ok with this small goodnight call. So who would be the 'bad guy' if you start protesting and try to interfere with it?

It will end (or change) sometime fairly soon anyway. If BM were calling nonstop all day, that's a problem. If BM, FI, and SS were meeting once a week for a 'family dinner', that's a problem. A joint goodnight call , not so much.

You're thinking of it as a family unit move. They are not a 'family' anymore. Never will be. But they are two parents who share a child, and they always will. I'd look at it more as two parents showing their child that just because they are not a typical family unit anymore, that the child still has two parents who love him. No matter who the parents are with (moved on in relationships). No matter where the parents are (living across town, across the country, whatever), their love for the child is something that will never change.

If it gives the child a sense of security and a sense of having two involved parents who care for him no matter what else is going on in their adult life...why mess with it? It's a harmless five minute phone call. If you're feeling threatened by a simple five minute goodnight phone call, there's more wrong in you relationship with FI than a parent saying goodnight to their child.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 8:05AM
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Thank you to all for your opinions. After reading, I've come to realize that I'm making this a bigger deal than it really is.

I don't feel threatened by the call - it just strikes me as strange that they are still doing this 5 years after the divorce.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 12:36AM
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I don't know if i would be overly happy with this ritual either, but at the end of the day it is only good night, perhaps you could ask if u can say goodnight too, they sound like they are bringing up their little boy to be very polite and to respect adults, which is wonderful, you are a very lucky lady if this little boy treat you nicely and respect you, i only wish i could have such a relationship like that with my partners children but their BM has made that pretty much impossible.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 7:19AM
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You did not mention whether or not mom had a special someone in her life. I am guessing not. When she does let them be the one that bursts this bubble. You do not want your FI to be mad at you when it ends. If he did not want the phone call he would have ended it years ago.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 7:22AM
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While certainly not a hill to die on, I can understand why this bothers the OP so much. As she said they are doing it as a "little family unit". But they are not a family anymore, so why pretend that they're still a family? Are they including the OP in the list of family members the boy says good night to?

In addition, bedtime rituals are for little kids. At 9 years old this practice is babying him.

OP, you mentioned you have other issues with your situation. Is the bedtime ritual just the tip of the iceberg?

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 10:00AM
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I agree with others, let it rest. The child will end this at some point. Kudos to the parents for creating and maintaining this awesome memory for the child. They do deserve alot of credit for that!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 12:51PM
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Trust me in a few years he will want nothing to do with either of them, other than "can I have some money" or "can you take me somewhere" kids are 15 and 12, learning that the hard way... :-(

I really do applaud your FI (not that I know what an "FI" is exactly...fiance?) and his ex for continuing. I know this is probably not exactly something they look forward to doing, surely at least one of them (if not both) feels bitter about the divorce in some way, yet they are doing this routine because the child wants to continue probably helps him feel loved and grounded...good for them. I know my ex wife and I have always tried to do things together with the kids occasionally. It's good for them to know that that we can be together with them, reinforces that they had nothing to do with us getting divorced I would think.

Put in behind many bigger things in life to deal with....just read all the other train-wrecks going on in the other threads in this!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 3:09PM
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That's how I kind of feel .... at 9 years of age, should they still be doing this? And no, I am not included in the list of family members.

Every once in a blue moon (if I happen to be over his house), he will ask me to join in if the mom can't do it for some reason and if either of his parents can't do it for some reason. I am never included when the mom is on the phone or when either grandparent (my FI's parents) are doing it.

Yes, I do have a few other issues that I'm internally dealing with, but like a few other posters have said, by me bringing them up, they sound so insignificant compared to what others are going through here on the boards.

The child is a very sweet boy. The BM is a pain in my rear end, but she's not overly horrible directly to me. We have very little interaction. And my FI is a great dad, but I really don't like that he lets the BM call all the shots when it comes to drop off times, schedule, etc.

Thanks again for all the advice. Both FI and the child are headed out of town for just over a week and while I will miss them, I'm so glad I don't have to hear their nightly phone call for a week! Not that it matters, but FI and I do not live together, but we are together just about every day.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 3:22PM
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not be nosey, but is there a reason you don't live together, if you've been together for 31/2 yrs, i'm not saying that there is anything wrong with that, each to thier own, but is it by choice, or does he not want it?... if that is the case than i would be thinking about the relationship if i were you. have you told your FI how it makes you feel, he may think nothing of it cause you don't actually live together as a couple, and as for your other issues, not matter how small don't feel you can't vent on here, cause afterall that's what it's for, it;s great for gettin stuff of your chest, cause sometime while you can vent to friends and family, if they havn't been in the situation it's hard for them to fully understand what your really going through.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 8:16PM
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I agree that the nightly call is fairly small issue, and that the child will very soon reach the age where he won't want to participate in it. However, it seems like there is a bigger problem here. I wonder if the issue is control. A phone call at the same time everyday is very controlling, and it's also an intrusion on your private life. Also, you mention that it annoys you that the BM calls the shots with pick up times, schedule etc. Could it be that you feel like your time is overly controlled by the BM? Maybe, you're looking forward to your FI's absence this week because you can make some evening plans without anyone controlling what happens at 8:30 every night.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2013 at 6:18PM
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I think you should ask what will happen once you are married. If you are going to continue to be excluded, then I think it is a problem. This call is perpetuating the idea that they are a family and if you are not going to be allowed to be part of that family, then I think there is more going on than just a phone call. It is probably control, etc.

I think if you are going to be married, then you should actually be included now. I actually think that your boyfriend should step back and allow his son to talk to the mom by himself, and then have his own good night without the ex. Once you and he are married, he is suppose to leave his ex (and his parents, etc.) and you and he are a family, with his son and your child.

Good Luck

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 5:12PM
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