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When BM and DH Are Very Friendly

Posted by ulrike1 (My Page) on
Thu, Aug 26, 10 at 14:48

I was going to post in Love's post, but decided not to just barge in. Her experiences with BM calling and calling are similar to mine, and make me think the insightful ladies on this site might have some observations.

Luckily for my SDs and for DH, BM is not hostile to him. Over the years she has become somewhat cordial to me as well. Like Love, I occasionally am the recipient of trust and friendliness from BM, though often not (but BM is never violent or screaming or anything). I am embarassed to admit it but I will: there are times that I wish she was more overtly hostile to me, rather than on a subtle competitive level. If things were more obvious to my DH, who likes to think the best of people, I think it would be easier.

We have now been married longer than he was married to BM. And still her frequent chatty calls to my DH make me feel, I don't know how to express this, in my mind I put it as "not quite married." Our stepfamily counselor once suggested it is a way I maintain distance from DH, that I use his connection with BM to create a distance/safety zone between us. That might be true. Now that my SDs and my own two bios are all away at school, DH and I have much more time that's just the two of us. And yet I still feel the distance because BM might call at any time and engage him in a long, glowing discussion about the girls. I am wondering whether it would be a good idea to share this with him? Or, maybe better not to say anything.

Last night we found out that OSD has received a prestigious national award. She called to tell us. Half an hour later when I heard DH's ringtone from the next room, I knew it would be BM. And they talked for about 10 minutes, and I could tell BM was taking the conversation back to how wonderful SD was at this skill in grade school, etc. I know it's great they are friendly. But the effect on me was to take away from the sense of this wonderful honor that happened to our family member and to instead put me on the outside.

Do any of you just feel crappy when DH and BM are sharing their joy in their children, if they do? I am normally not a jealous person and earlier in our marriage I welcomed any friendliness BM would send DH's way. Ugh, I am glad this forum is annonymous, I am judging myself so harshly.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: When BM and DH Are Very Friendly

Hmmm. I don't know what a *normal* situation (as it sounds yours is) would be like! so I cannot compare.

I personally find it *slightly odd* that BM would still be calling to chat it up with DH about their kids, when these kids are in college. It would be one thing to have a conversation at a graduation ceremony or some other event which both parents were attending; then I could see BM saying to your DH, "Oh isn't it just wonderful, aren't you proud?!" I could see that. That seems reasonable to me.

But to call him up at home to talk about the accomplishment of a college student, well, honestly, that seems odd to me. Does she have a husband? Or a parent? A friend? It just seems to me that, you know, they divorced for a reason and that means there should be some level of distance.

I feel badly for you because it COULD have been a happy thing for you and DH, sitting around and talking about how great it is that your SD, whom you love, got this award. But instead, you're left in the kitchen alone, while DH has a long conversation with his EX WIFE instead.

I don't know...but yeah, I think it would bother me.

"We have now been married longer than he was married to BM. And still her frequent chatty calls to my DH make me feel, I don't know how to express this, in my mind I put it as "not quite married."

I can SO relate to this, but it's not ME that feels this way, it's BM who tries to push it onto me and, in the past, I've found myself defending my marriage.

BM and DH were never married. Their relationshp was off and on for six/seven years. They actually broke up for a year, then reconciled and WHAM, BM was pregnant a month later. They tried to make it work but ended up splitting for good when SS was just under one year old. (think he was 10 months or something.)

DH and I will have been together for seven years this coming February; we've been living together for four years, and married for two.

Yet BM used to always make comments, even friendly ones like "oh, he is my best friend." THAT would irritate me.

Then in anger she would say "how do my sloppy seconds taste" (she is so crude!) and stuff about how she knows him so much better than I ever could, she was with him forever, yada yada.

It is all very strange but I try not to let it bother me. THAT is definitely her issue. DH was laughing about it and pointed out he is a VERY different person now at 34 years old than he was when he was with BM, which was back when he was about 19 -26 years old. He shook his head because she really doesn't know him anymore.

I think your BM might have similar jealous feelings, like she doesn't want YOU to be closer to him than she is/was. But that's silly and crazy. You are MARRIED to him.

I would write it off as her issue.

But I can definitely see how the friendliness would bother you. It's one thing to get along and be friendly, but there is a line somewhere and it sounds like DH's/BM's is blurry.


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RE: When BM and DH Are Very Friendly

"her frequent chatty calls to my DH make me feel, I don't know how to express this, in my mind I put it as "not quite married." Our stepfamily counselor once suggested it is a way I maintain distance from DH, that I use his connection with BM to create a distance/safety zone between us."

I get so aggravated with this kind of overly-analytical ignore-the-facts nonsense.

I once had a newly-married friend, still in the throes of starry-eyed honeymoon romanticism, whose gynecologist told her that her frequent yeast infections were a way for her to avoid having sex with her husband.
funny thing...anti-biotics cured the problem.

I might ask that counsellor what he/she thinks would happen if my husband stopped taking her calls or at least kept them brief & businesslike.


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forgot to answer the question

yes, I used to feel rebuffed or left out or third-wheelish.

I eventually realized that he played us against each other-
he enjoyed having 2 women at odds over him.

took the shine right off that relationship!


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RE: When BM and DH Are Very Friendly

"I once had a newly-married friend, still in the throes of starry-eyed honeymoon romanticism, whose gynecologist told her that her frequent yeast infections were a way for her to avoid having sex with her husband.
funny thing...anti-biotics cured the problem."

And a new gynecologist solved the rest of the problem! :)

When I'm unsure if I'm over-reacting to something or if I'm getting an uneasy feeling for a reason, I ask myself if it's one particular person that affects me that way, or if it's more of an overall feeling. Do you feel the same way if your MIL, your DH's best buddy, or one of his ex-girlfriend's calls to chat or sends an email? If you're perfectly content to sit at his college reunion while he chats with an old girlfriend, and don't mind the occasional guy's night where a bunch of strange (to you) men all talk about high school football, then I'm inclined to think that it might be something specific to BM.

I think the other thing that would bother me is how you are still feel excluded. I guess what I'm thinking of is that I have and had when I got married, a lot of single male friends, including ex-boyfriends. DH was and is very accepting of them because they all make a specific point of chatting with him and basically trying to make it clear that they are acknowledging that he is my husband, and that they want to get along with him. Same with (most) of DH's female friends; they ask about me when they call DH, tell him to say hello to me, etc.

Now, obviously parents are supposed to be able to communicate when their kids are young, and there is no requirement that anybody be friendly to their ex's new spouse. But once the kids are no longer minors or living at home, the parents don't have to talk to each other. If they choose to be friendly, that's great, as you said - but to me, at that point, politeness dictates some basic civility towards the "new" spouses at that time. She'll always be the mother of his children and you understand that - but you are his wife. You are the most important (non-daughter) woman in his life.


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Thanks so much, Lovehadley

Love, I so appreciate your taking the time to respond. Oh my gosh, that thing about "sloppy seconds," I just about got sick, ha! Disgusting! It is funny to compare your BM and mine because on the surface they are different (our BM has a fairly "classy" image and her behavior is on the surface quite mannerly, and she is independently wealthy), but inside, sisters, ha. There are such parallels in their underlying motivations. Like your husband's ex, my husband's does seem to have a need to have everyone understand that she was first. I have posted here before about times that she has made comments to total strangers at SDs' events to be sure that is known.

Yes, she is remarried, and as far as we can tell, her relationship with her husband is a good one. They are very much alike and she and my DH most assuredly aren't. I must confess that I have fantasies about calling up her husband and inviting him for a drink so we can commiserate about her need to connect with my husband, ha! Who could better appreciate my annoyance than him!

If I've learned anything in thinking about stepfamily dynamics, though, it is that I should not misplace my resentment onto BM. She does what she wants to do. It's my DH's choice how to respond. And here's where it's complicated. I'm confident that if it weren't for my SDs, DH would avoid BM like the plague. She put him through hell for a while during the divorce--it was fairly ugly on the short term. He sees her as threatening to the well-being of the girls on a certain level her religious beliefs, babying them--nothing serious in my view). He has expressed embarassment that they were married. (He was young like your DH, and emotionally vulnerable and messed up at the time.)

So, she certainly isn't a threat to me. Actually, if it felt like she were a threat, I would probably not be able to stay married to him. And as I am writing this I am like, OK, it's really not a problem that they talk about the girls, isn't that nice, etc.....except, I feel that resentment like you have described. She hasn't done anything to me close to what your BM has done to you. And yet, she is not nice to me, and I don't like to spend time with her and I wish she wasn't in our lives. And when my DH is having a friendly conversation about their children--which is the one place they connect--I feel resentful and distant.

I try to tell myself "what if it was his mother or something"--I know a lot of women have conflict with their mothers-in-law and yet they know their husband should have a good relationship with her. But, it feels different. Right now after all these years I am feeling the need to have something change, but should it? And how would I raise the subject without compromising the comfort the girls feel about having two families.

Maybe I am just not cut out to be a second wife.


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Sylvia

Antibiotics cured yeast? That would be a first! Ha, sorry, my medical training jumping in. It would probably be an antifungal instead. But seriously, that would be pretty lame for a gynecologist to suggest that without knowing she was abused or whatever (since there is indeed a psychological component to the immune system).

In my case, I can't rule out the "using it for distance" thing, because that's part of my history and I'm aware of it. It was a big part of the breakup of my first marriage. I know I have a tendency to hide behind resentments.

Your relationship with the guy who wanted the two ladies fighting over him sounds icky and it's good you left him with only one!


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Good question, Mattie!

That is such a good question, and a great test to apply to the whole thing. No, I never feel resentment about DH's family or old male friends, nor two of the other old girlfriends he still knows. (One introduced us, I better not resent her, ha!) But, come to think of it, there is one old girlfriend whom I did indeed resent and oh my fur would rise when she was around. She would act inappropriately toward him and he "didn't want to be mean to her" or be impolite, but the very minute he realized how her actions (especially in front of ALL of our children, mine and his both) were insulting to me, he was quick to let that friendship go. That was a no-brainer for him.

With BM I just feel trapped. She is civil enough to me. And three times, ten times, that amount to DH. Blah, I'm just tired of it.

Sorry everyone for this venting today--it is such a little thing and you're so patient to read it.


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RE: When BM and DH Are Very Friendly

wellll...
I knew it was anti-something!

If your floppy-eared dog gets a yeast infections in its ears, or if your pet has ringworm, anti-fungal creams such as athlete's foot remedies (Tinactin, etc) will cure it.


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RE: When BM and DH Are Very Friendly

I understand. I have similar feelings that are just petty irritations... but rise up every once in a while. Like, BM acts like she knows DH's family better than me when it's plain not true... will tell SD that she knows people who she has never met, and then acts like they were bffs.

I know DH gets irritated when X calls and we chat for more than 10 min about DD and then move on to other things. I try to stay on his good side and be friendly, but it's irritating to DH. And neither X nor I want to be together (at least, I think he feels the same as I do).

The irony is that DH has known X's girlfriend forever... and when we get together to drop off DD/pick her up all four of us are together and usually DH and GF talk and X and I talk. It's kind of weird, but I don't resent her or anything.

If your "fur" is rising, it's probably for good reason.


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RE: When BM and DH Are Very Friendly

Here is my perspective as a grown child of divorce:

My parents divorced well over 25 years ago. After the divorce, I lived with mom about two hours from dad. I saw dad when I wanted, I called.. he sent a bus ticket & I went to see him. My mom would call dad when she was drunk... sad, lonely, whatever. Occasionally, the calls were about us kids or asking for money. That is my recollection of what happened when I was a teenager.

Today, my mom & dad get along fairly well. Mom has made it no secret that she'd go back to dad if he'd have her. Dad has made it clear he won't. Mom still calls dad on occasion and he is polite, friendly, etc. He regards her as the mother of his children, though he has admitted that he is at fault for having children with someone that wasn't such a great mother. He would rather NOT take her calls but he does it anyways because she is our mother... and he is always careful in what he says so he doesn't give her any signal that he's interested in any reconciliation. He is no longer married (his wife died) so he doesn't have a wife that might get upset by my mom's calls or his friendliness toward her. I think many divorced men feel as my dad does, that they would rather NOT talk to the woman but if they do, they want it to be amicable & friendly.

Dad has said that he sometimes has to keep mom in check... tells her when she needs to cool it or they will stop communicating. If he were to get into another relationship, I know he would not tolerate my mom making his girlfriend/wife feel uncomfortable, it's not her place to concern herself with what my dad does.


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RE: When BM and DH Are Very Friendly

Ima... I agree, but I'd say "I think many divorced people (men) feel as my dad does, that they would rather NOT talk to the woman but if they do, they want it to be amicable & friendly.

Cause that's exactly how I feel :)


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RE: When BM and DH Are Very Friendly

just want to add a perspective from a male, once widower and now married.
I am still very friendly with my late wife's family as I still call her mom, mother. I respect their friendship and love to me over the years and encourage my children to visit their grandma and mom's family as much as possible.

I think it is good that your H and his X still shared things about their children. As human being, we tend to be a bit jealous of our spouse talking to the Xs. But I think
you will just have to overlook those conversations. In raising children there are many moments of uncertainty, so it would be nice to share some thoughts with another person. Even now as my chidlren are in college, I still call for support from my former sisters in law, or female neighbors who knew my late wife and the children. Without the buffer of their mother, as a man I have not done well in being soft and understanding to their demands. So having someone who can understand the situation and provides a 2nd opinion is often very helpful. In a way, I don't want to burden my current wife and taint her thoughts about my children.

One thing that I learn over the years is that MEN tend not to give constant affirmation of love to their spouse and thus creating a slight doubt in their wife's mind. I was guilty of that and now am trying to affirm my wife every day. Perhaps in your case, your H needs to practice affirming you every day. A great book on this is the FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES by Gary Chapman. Worth every penny of the $12.00.


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RE: When BM and DH Are Very Friendly

I am one of those friendly exes. So here is my perspective.

ulrike, certainly your previous description of events when DH wanted to celebrate Thanksgiving with his ex leaving his wife at home or his ex crying that DH didn't come to her for Christmas were just unacceptable for me. It is just the craziest i ever heard. It is not friendly, but inappropriate.

But what you describe now is normal in my opinion. we don't live close by anymore so we almost never see each other but we do talk.

10 minutes conversation discussing SD is perfectly fine IMHO. 10 minutes is brief. We talked last week (and my ex calls me I don't call) discussing DD's plans-she just graduated from University. i cannot imagine anyone being jealous. All we talk about is DD or other family members, we don't have anything much to discuss anymore.

Honestly I would laugh if I would learned that his wife is jealous he talks to me about DD. I would think she is insecure, and it would be funny, we got divorced 18 years ago LOL we clearly moved on many times over. Plus who else is he supposed to discuss his kids with if not their mother??

On the other hand if we talked twice a week then it would be excessive. DD is an adult what is there to talk that much...

I think if you are going to tell DH how you feel he will start hiding his conversation with ex. he won't stop talking to her, but he will start lying as to not upset you. I don't think it is fair to expect him not to discuss his children with their mother. I understand you feel like a third wheel but he has children with her and it is what it is. one day they'll have grandkids and will talk about them.

To add to this my SO dislikes that i talk to ex, I know he does. I on the other hand I wished he talked to his exwife . they never talk (unless we are talking about her sending angry emails or making screaming phone calls)and are so hostile and hateful towards each other, it is disturbing. i wished they talked and were friendly, it would feel more peaceful to me.


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lovehadley

Lovehadley, I totally disagree with you that it is odd to discuss accomplishment of one's children with the other parent. I don't understand why you think it is odd. I think it is great to discuss accomplishment if your children with grandparents or a stepparent but I don't see how it is wrong to discuss with someone who fathered/mothered that child with you?

My SO and I just found out that he will be a grandfather and I wished he would pick up the phone and call his ex. But they are so hostile that it is not going to happen, and I find it to be very sad. If I and ex found out we are to be grandparents (which might never happen), the first people we would want to call would be each other.


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RE: When BM and DH Are Very Friendly

"Plus who else is he supposed to discuss his kids with if not their mother??"

It depends on the situation but given how long OP and her DH have been married, I would hope that DH could go to her, with pride and happiness and talk about his DD's accomplishments. OP clearly loves these young adults and I see no reason why her DH couldn't discuss them with her.

That said, I can see your point of view, too. I am coming from a completely different perspective in that A) I have not had ANY contact with my DD's bio-father in seven years, roughly. BUT I realize THAt is an unusual situation.

Then again, I've got my parents--divorced for twelve years--who LOATHE each other. Trust me, they don't talk about me or my brother on the phone.

So that is just my perspective. Ideally, YOUR situation is better, healthier, whatever.

BUT I wouldn't totally discount OP's feelings on the matter, either. YOU might not think there is anything wrong with you talking to your ex-DH often, and I'm not even saying there IS. But for whatever reason, the situation makes OP uncomfortable and I think her feelings ARE important in the matter.

I'm not saying she should holler and make a fuss and FORCE her DH to stop the conversations, not at all. But since it does bother her, I think it is an issue worth exploring, and maybe DH could at least consider her point of view; he could make an effort to not have the conversations in front of her, he could limit them to when he is at work, etc.


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Thank you again

Thank you again for all your responses, and I do think the lively and courteous debate about this issue is so wonderful, because the balancing of spouse and ex-spouse in stepfamilies is kind of a dirty little secret that remarried people don't talk about!

My own ex-H and I very seldom talk. If there are practical issues, we will talk about those, and we are cordial, ask about each other's mates, etc. He and I seem to share the opinion that our kids are young adults now, and can handle the kinds of things that BM thinks Mommy and Daddy should still be in charge of. My DH goes along with her. Sometimes the contrast is glaring. For example, my son and OSD are in college in the same area. When it came time to book their flights last summer, my DS got online, found the best deal, locked it in and told OSD; she had to get her mother on the phone and then DH had to be in on it; OSD went wandering off while Mommy and Daddy spent 15 minutes shopping flights and chatting.

And I can't remember if I have mentioned one other thing--my ex-H and I co-own a small business! But we seldom talk, we don't need to.

I really am of two minds about their connection. As I said before, it's not like he would ever want to get back with BM--he is embarassed by her for various reasons. She's like an annoying aunt that you have to be nice to, and that you appreciate because she cares about you and your kids. And I have no insecurity about my DH's devotion to me; he is very much the romantic.

It's just such a funny feeling; after DH has been on the phone with BM for 15 minutes and 99% of the conversation is not practical but parent-bonding and sharing information about the girls, I want nothing to do with him for a while. I feel single and free and distant. Writing about it now, I realize it is not entirely unpleasant.

Mmm, that sounded kind of dysfunctional....


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Parent of One

"Plus who else is he supposed to discuss his kids with if not their mother??"

It depends on the situation but given how long OP and her DH have been married, I would hope that DH could go to her, with pride and happiness and talk about his DD's accomplishments. OP clearly loves these young adults and I see no reason why her DH couldn't discuss them with her.

That said, I can see your point of view, too. I am coming from a completely different perspective in that A) I have not had ANY contact with my DD's bio-father in seven years, roughly. BUT I realize THAt is an unusual situation.

Then again, I've got my parents--divorced for twelve years--who LOATHE each other. Trust me, they don't talk about me or my brother on the phone.

So that is just my perspective. Ideally, YOUR situation is better, healthier, whatever.

BUT I wouldn't totally discount OP's feelings on the matter, either. YOU might not think there is anything wrong with you talking to your ex-DH often, and I'm not even saying there IS. But for whatever reason, the situation makes OP uncomfortable and I think her feelings ARE important in the matter.

I'm not saying she should holler and make a fuss and FORCE her DH to stop the conversations, not at all. But since it does bother her, I think it is an issue worth exploring, and maybe DH could at least consider her point of view; he could make an effort to not have the conversations in front of her, he could limit them to when he is at work, etc.


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Parent of One

You reminded me of how helpful everyone here was during the Thanksgiving crisis. Although, that event seems to have become something of a legend here, where my DH wanted to go to BM's for Thanksgiving and leave me home, ha! The real situation was that it was our year to have Thanksgiving and my kids were traveling out of the country, and when BM found out, she wanted to have it at her house, and invited DH and me. We ended up going out of town for a nice beach vacation instead. But that was a challenge because I didn't want to be the meanie who kept DH from spending the holiday with his daughters, but I sure didn't want to spend the day at BM's. I had to hold back until DH thought it through and realized the last thing HE wanted to do was spend the day with BM. Even to see his girls a little more. He feels very repressed with them when BM is there.

I might have mentioned this before also. I am the culprit who planted the seed to create the monster. When DH and I got together, he had a very strained relationship with BM and they were battling over elements of my SDs' upbringing. I encouraged him to remain civil with her, and I would talk to her a lot also. Back then I could see that the SDs were distressed by their parents' hostility, and I have adored those girls from the beginning and just wanted to make their world a better place. But sometimes I let myself wonder what it would be like if I hadn't.


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Psychoanalyzing DH

Love, your last thoughts brought to mind something I have always surmised about (and Sylvia, forgive me because I do indeed tend to analyze things). I wonder if my DH's eagerness to have these conversations with BM stems from residual guilt about abandoning his boyhood training? DH and BM's families were friends and members of a large and repressive religious community. They were somewhat pressured into marriage (long story and I wish I could tell it but it might make them too indentifiable, ha!). DH left BM and that faith community with great difficulty, and I wonder if having BM "like him" is important for a sense of security.

And maybe this is one of the reasons the overfriendliness feels bad to me? It is like he is regressing or something, fawning over a way of life that we have been so careful to build ours away from? And it feels kind of threatening to the life we've made for the girls--like, I need them to remain assured that DH disapproves of certain things and him voting with the phone undercuts that. Sharing children and only being the SM is hard sometimes.


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RE: When BM and DH Are Very Friendly

Ulrike, I think it's normal, all of it. I know DH gets weirded out when I talk to DD's dad for a while (sometimes it's up to 45min-1hr). I encourage him to have a better relationship with his ex, but don't know if that will ever happen.

But, it is true. When DD does something extra special I want her dad to know, even though I don't like the man, who better to understand? My DH loves her, but just doesn't get AS excited or proud...


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RE: When BM and DH Are Very Friendly

"When DD does something extra special I want her dad to know, even though I don't like the man, who better to understand? My DH loves her, but just doesn't get AS excited or proud..."

This is true, too, Silver and I can see that point.

I think MY situation is different b/c DH really IS DD's dad. I don't have anyone else with whom to share pride, etc. except for him.

But as far as SS goes, while I do love him, it isn't the *same way* I love my DD. BM would have more of a glowing motherly pride than I would.

That is a good way of putting it, Silver, thanks for that perspective.


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RE: When BM and DH Are Very Friendly

I think DH could and should discuss his kids with his current wife but he could and should discuss them with their mom too, BM is not hostile or non-existant deadbeat mother.


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agree

That makes sense, Parent. I agree.

But that's not what you intitially said: ""Plus who else is he supposed to discuss his kids with if not their mother??"


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more

I talk to my ex when SO is not around because we tend to have somewhat longer conversations plus we often laugh and joke and SO cannot relate. i am certainly not going to stop talking to ex because SO is insecure or jealous. I think if ulrike shares her feelings, DH could be more understanding and talk to his ex in her absence, but i doubt he will stop and I don't think he should. I actually think it is more respectful of DH not to hide from his wife.

i don't think DH talks to ex due to some deep underlining issues or because BM is this or that. i think it is good and healthy to have decent relationship with parent of your children and it is unhealthy to be hostile. Unfortunately many people relate to hostility better than friendliness. My SO was married for 27 years and they hate each other. I think it is a shame. he relates to that and has tough time understanding that some people do not hate their exes.

I also think it might be normal to have tough relationship right after divorce and then improve over the years. I and ex didn't get along right after divorce and worked on it and eventually were fine. i think it might be normal that DH didn't get along with his ex at first and gets along now.


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love

It is impossible to express oneself perfectly online. I didn't mean that their mother should be the only person to discuss accomplishments. But she certainly could and should be the one as well. When DD accomplishes something I honestly call my parents first because they are very involved, then I would tell SO and then I would talk to my ex. Or maybe in different order depends what is the issue or time of the day, there is time difference between me and ex now.

When i share with SO, he is very happy with whatever DD accomplishes but he often starts talking about his kids after that and it is annoying. But my ex stays on topic of DD because that's all we share, I don't know if i make sense here...I and ex are the only parents of DD and if I asked if he heard of DD doing this or that he won't start talking about something else, we share nothing else but DD, we have no other connection.

That's why if it is something important I guess no one else would relate the way we do (ex and I). does it make sense?? My ex has other kids but he won't start talking about them unless i ask.


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RE: When BM and DH Are Very Friendly

My mother and father did not have a particularly friendly relationship after they divorced (for that matter, I'm not sure it was particularly friendly before they divorced!) But they did manage to remain civil to each other, and would speak regarding us. After my younger brother graduated from college, the two of them did not speak for years - no real reason to and, as I said, they weren't particularly friendly. The first communication in years was when my father sent my mother a condolence card and a brief note upon hearing of her father (his former FIL)'s death. My SF was all upset and wanted to know why, since they were divorced, the X was sending a condolence card? (My mother replied something along the lines of "Probably because my father died.") My parents were married about 15 years so it wasn't like some one night stand or something!

So all I know is, wherever the line of demarcation should be for too much friendliness between parents and ex-spouses, that's probably nowhere near it. :)


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I get it

No, no, it makes total sense. I get what you're saying, I can completely understand.

If something happens with DD, I typically tell my mom first, and DH second.

I will say, too, dear me, DH would die if he knew this, because he truly considers DD his child; but sometimes, I find myself having a weensy bit of desire to have a *connection* with her bio-dad. Not for him, but sometimes I look at her gorgeous green eyes, or am bursting with pride over a test score or something, and I wish HE, the person who helped MAKE her, would feel the same way.


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RE: When BM and DH Are Very Friendly

Parent said: "I talk to my ex when SO is not around because we tend to have somewhat longer conversations plus we often laugh and joke and SO cannot relate."

And this is one of those things where the fact that you and your Ex share a child trumps the normal expectations of a monogamous relationship. What if you and Ex had no children? It would be different, wouldn't it? One of those challenges.

This was how I thought about it in the beginning: I needed to sever my emotional connection with my ex-H in order to allow my blended family to flourish. And I did. I kept the phone calls businesslike--we are all business now.

And Love, we all want our children's father to love them--you have every right to grieve that he is distant, as much as if he had passed away.

My DD has come to look so much like my Ex's mother. He and I have never discussed that--we don't do the "we're family" thing at all. It occurs to me that DH and BM would probably turn that into a half-hour discussion.

They do talk when I am home, but she prefers that it be private. She would rather call him at work. And often does. She doesn't know that he's given instructions to the reception staff to always put her through to voice mail, not to him.


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RE: When BM and DH Are Very Friendly

"the fact that you and your Ex share a child trumps the normal expectations of a monogamous relationship"

If I didn't have a child with my EX I wouldn't mention things we had done to anyone. "yes honey, that's when we took the trip, and we did XYZ and you were so cute because..." I can't kill the first X number of years of her life in memories simply because I'm not with her dad anymore. Those "family" memories are now "her" memories and I'm charged with passing them on to her.

I also wouldn't try to remember in detail exactly what we did and the memories would pretty much be a faded post-script rather than Technicolor.

X and I talk about how much she looks like/acts like.... ______ etc. as well. It can turn into a long conversation.

I think what would stick in my craw about all of this is that she wants it to be private. That's not her right. DH can be there while I talk to X but he usually isn't interested and walks out of the room.


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RE: When BM and DH Are Very Friendly

If ex and I wouldn't have a child, we wouldn't maintain connection and wouldn't keep in touch. But I never thought to sever that bond in order to pursue new
relationships, one is nothing to do with the other. In fact we maintained a good connection for the sake of DD. I believe it is good for her. She grew up not being bitter about family and marriage or scared of commitment. Her GF's parents are also divorced but barely tolerate each other and she says she never wants to have children because of what parents put her through. DD does not have this type of attitude.

If i ever call, I try to call on ex's cell when he is at work. he has young children and there is no need to call him at night or weekends. But he calls me anywhere, he is not sensitive LOL, if he calls from home his wife is usually right there and I can often hear her yelling: "say hi to...". But like i said we only talk on occasion now. DD is not a child anymore.

As about memories like silverswood said. My DD only knows us as her parents separatelly, she does not know us as a couple. She does not remember. We don't remember ourselves being a couple either. We got divorced 18 years ago when she was 4 and we were very young and very different people than we are now. She is 22 now. There is nothing there, whatever was is gone very long time ago. We don't even share memories, but we share DD, so that will never go away.


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RE: When BM and DH Are Very Friendly

My dd didn't know us as a couple either. She doesn't remember that I ever lived in "her dad's" house. I still share memories with her though that include her dad and I as a couple. I tell her stories about our wedding, about her as a baby, the first time I left her with her dad alone, what happened when she was born, what was said, what her dad did...

I think those are all important memories she can have for herself. Especially since once I give them to her and make them all happy, good memories they aren't mine anymore and they aren't bad anymore. It's almost theraputic.

We divorced just before she turned four.


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RE: When BM and DH Are Very Friendly

I will say, too, dear me, DH would die if he knew this, because he truly considers DD his child; but sometimes, I find myself having a weensy bit of desire to have a *connection* with her bio-dad. Not for him, but sometimes I look at her gorgeous green eyes, or am bursting with pride over a test score or something, and I wish HE, the person who helped MAKE her, would feel the same way.

Oh my you have brought tears to my eyes. Such a honest,beautiful and REAL thing to say. Just amazing - thank you Love.


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RE: When BM and DH Are Very Friendly

I miss this quote from lovehadley's post...now as I read i feel the same way as saxton, what a real thing, i so agree with saxton...I think I understand lovehadley how you feel.

My grandfather is not my biological grandfather, but he is the only grandpa we knew, it is a weird thing. My mother was born during WWII, my grandparents were married but were both in combat (grandma was a nurse)during the war and didn't see each other for like 3-4 years or so, my grandmother had an affair (which my grnafather forgave due to circumstances),she got pregnant and was discharged from the army, due to circumstances she never saw my mom's biodad after that.

when my grandafther returned from the war my mother was few months old and my grandpa accepted her as his of course. He is the only father my mom knows, and he was absolutelly the greatest man ever. But whenever my mom traveled to Italy, she couldn't help it but look around and think that maybe her siblings or even her biodad is somewhere walking around. he might be still alive, my grandparents just passed away not long ago...

I sometimes wonder what he looked like. My mother has exceptionally good looks, her biodad was obviously very good looking man. She looks Northern Italian and that's where her biodad was from. Weird thing...Blood is a wild thing, like it is not always that important but it does play its role..and effects our emotions


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blood

Wow, that is a beautiful story! What a wonderful man your grandfather must have been.

I am always touched by stories of people accepting and raising children as their own, despite circumstances or biology.

That is one of the things I love most about my husband--the way he has taken in and treated DD. He cherishes her and they have such a beautiful father/daughter bond. I am so grateful to him for that.

It is a great thing.

But "Weird thing...Blood is a wild thing, like it is not always that important but it does play its role..and effects our emotions" this is so true, too! It is not that different from an adoptee longing, even NEEDING, to search for birthparents. I can totally understand that inherent desire to find where one came from.

It cannot really be explained or denied.


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RE: When BM and DH Are Very Friendly

funny thing lovehadley we forget that grandpa was not our biograndfather and often talk about how this or that person has grandpa's feature. My grandparents had my aunt few years after my mom and my aunt's family sure look like grandpa, in fact my aunt is spitting image of grandpa, but we sometimes forget and talk about how my brother has brown eyes because of grandpa (my parents have green eyes)then we stop ourselves, wait a minute, can't be LOL

yes I agree it is probably the same as adoptees..Could be so tricky. I knew this guy who grew up in an orphanage and people in the neighbourhood was helping him to get on his feet when he became an adult ( I knew him since he was a child because neghbourhood people were helping him), i gave him my old furniture etc He graduated high school, turned 18 got accepted to community college, got his small place and was really doing great, all on his own. So he was so proud and decided to look for his biofamily.

it turned out BM was this drug addict in and out of jail and mentally crazy, she didn't care to get to know her son at all. Other family was the same way. he was very depressed over it and wished he never looked. But it pushed him to do well in life. i lost contact though, hope he is doing well. I do remember how he said i wish I never look for her.


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