Chosen Relationships-what am I crazy!?

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anotherroad

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Chosen Relationships-what am I crazy!?
« on: October 04, 2021, 12:55:10 PM »
In a five year relationship with a man who has not fully severed his relationship with his ex-wife. When we began dating his ex-wife sent me letters, showed up on a date (I told him, she has your password and knew you had tickets to this event- was true), came to my place of employment for services weekly and I later found out from my partner she spoke untruthfully about me in group therapy sessions... she needs for therapy- but does not utilize those services for well-being but to harm me and herself quite frankly),- basically stalked me. I blocked her from my phone and any possible FB connection. She continues to this day to undermine her and my partners relationship with his children. Acting hostile toward me and our relationship and stating her children will never accept me or have a relationship with their father  while he is with me. OK. I have an ex husband- but I do none of those things and wish him well. I don't expect my children to care for my wounds and even experience twinges of jealously when grandpa gets to dye Easter Eggs and I don't. But I shore myself and say this is good for my kids to have a relationship with their dad.
My partner shares real estate with his ex, which is nextdoor to her home, he maintains tools and property on the premises- (nextdoor with a shared backyard) and goes there frequently. He goes into her house- has a key, makes repairs to her home upon request, takes food he says she isn't going to eat- and brings it home. They share a credit card, a checking account, she pays his car insurance. He takes care of the cat- (which he is deathly allergic to) when she goes on trips- stating it's his son's cat (his son is 22- and lived in a foreign country for a year 2019-20). Because of me he no longer take her to the airport- that I am aware of. She texts messages him with regularity and shares her day- comments on the news- ups and down- whatever.
They have a daughter (30) and a son (22)- I met his daughter briefly and said hello- if looks could kill I would be dead. I have never met his son. If I send a birthday card or Christmas card to his mother- his mother tells his ex-wife everything I share in the card. I never met his mom either- she lives 1K miles away.
Their relationship makes me uncomfortable because she actively and viciously lies about me to her children, and harms her children by preventing them from have a meaningful relationship with their dad separate from hers. His children are 22 and 30... so they have minds of their own- and they hate me.
The issue here for me- She is not my problem- writing this I wonder, is she the scapegoat? My problem is he has not taken a stand to fully claim or embrace our relationship within his family. My issue is him not her. I can have empathy for her. I tell him he is harming her by maintaining this level of relationship, blurring the lines. The catalyst for this rant is I told him yesterday that I was going to answer her calls and texts that come into my home. I will be nice, I will inform her you are out doing this or that, I will let her know you will call her back- whatever. I will be pleasant, but I will cease to pretend I don't exist in my own home. Later, a text comes in- she wants to know if he needs dog food- because she is going to the dog food store. At first I am agitated- She f-ing shops for him? How long has this been going on? But I respond- "Two would be great- Thanx" She responds, "Too late- I only got one". I am grossed out by this.
This morning before going to work I ask if he is going to town, he says "no". I say "Can I make a joke?" (because he makes joke continually- bordering on gaslighting- so he asks if he can make a joke- to not hurt my feelings) "Could you ask _______ to pick up my hormones patches at the drugstore?" Not funny... and that because the receiver get to say whether a joke is funny or not. I don't know how much more of this I can take.

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notrightinthehead

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Re: Chosen Relationships-what am I crazy!?
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2021, 05:09:52 PM »
Can I make a joke? I have no experience with polyamorous relationships but it seems to me that you are in one.  Joke aside, all of that appears not right to me,  as if your partner was behaving like a husband to both of you. And when in conflict, you might even get the short end of the stick. Are you happy with this kind of set up? Is this how you want to live?  Is the relationship with him so satisfactory and good for you that you are willing to put up with that situation?
I can't hate my way into loving myself.

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Starboard Song

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Re: Chosen Relationships-what am I crazy!?
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2021, 05:42:53 PM »
It is not the case that we have relationships with most people, and owe an explanation for the few bad apples we reject. The real situation is that we have romantic relationships with almost nobody, when you think about it, and are therefore selecting only those that make us very happy, and help us to thrive.

Once we are in a committed relationship, if we find that things aren't going well, we are in a new mode: we owe it to ourselves and our partners to be honest about our needs and interests, and to listen kindly to their own. Usually, mutually respectful people who are well-suited can find a compromise spot, making adjustments so that each can thrive. But getting there takes very kind, direct, communication. That is both sharing and listening.

I think it is time to engage a good friend to do this with first, and decide what you need from this relationship. And then go to this man you love and have a great conversation, letting him know what isn't working for you, and learning from him what he needs, and what changes he is or isn't comfortable with, or might need himself.

I hope you find a mutually positive place, and make changes in the coming weeks to get there for both of you. If you do that, you'll both be happier and your relationship will be so much stronger. In the unlikely case that you cannot do so, I hope you have the courage to face that hard truth as well.
Radical Acceptance, by Brach   |   Self-Compassion, by Neff    |   Mindfulness, by Williams   |   The Book of Joy, by the Dalai Lama and Tutu
Healing From Family Rifts, by Sichel   |  Stop Walking on Egshells, by Mason    |    Emotional Blackmail, by Susan Forward

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anotherroad

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Re: Chosen Relationships-what am I crazy!?
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2021, 05:16:11 PM »
Ha-Ha NotRightInTheHead- good point. I did google Polyamory... in regard to intimacy, yes. You don't have a 25 year relationship with someone and not have an intimate relationship- even if it is on the rocks. But for it to be polyamorous all parties would have to agree, and I do not agree to be polyamorous with someone who is abusive toward me. All I have wanted is for steps to be taken to include me- which means my partner has to be intentional and invite interaction. He of course can not control anyone's response- she/they can decline invitations- but at least they are extended. She/They can be rude- but that would be on them and they would be accountable in the moment and ongoing if that is the case. The secrecy is the problem for me. He knows what my boundaries are, he knows how I would like to engage. He states he is trying to prevent conflict- but he does not- the conflict exists. He tells me he didn't tell me about this or that because he didn't want me to feel bad or I would give him a hard time. Well, what can I say...change occurs at the speed at which you want to experiences the consequences.  Blaming someone else for why things happen as they do slows down the speed at which the next events in life occur- he gets to stay in his reality, other people pay and he doesn't seem to care. From my perspective he blames her, for poisoning his children and being awful. All I know is he continues to support her in many ways- the mother of his children.  I am ready to be ruthlessly clear with choices about my life.
Thank you StarboardSong, your response is very thoughtful. I appreciate your comment about selecting only those that help us thrive as romantic partners. There are many people in my life that help me thrive. Some that I haven't seen socially in years- because they are men- and my partner is uncomfortable with me socializing with them. I don't seek romance with them, only their companionship now and then- because they know me. And they are kind to my partner and understand his discomfort- and we are not in primary relationship. So our relationship is only occasionally running into them once in a blue moon and exchanging news. I will be having conversation about this- it's not a case of- if you can have my female relationship I can have male relationship. It about quality of life, friendship and supportive relationship.
Thank you both for your perspectives

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1footouttadefog

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Re: Chosen Relationships-what am I crazy!?
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2021, 07:39:37 PM »
I also though polyamourous relationship when reading this.

Whether she and he are physically engaging matters not. There are many sexless marriages that linger for decades.

He obviously has a need to be on the sideline in his relationship with her.

Perhaps he is a narcissist and still views her as his belonging and does not disconnect because he does not want to she her move in to another relationship.

It is interesting that he is still involved with her to this extent and finds your friendships to be a problem.

You and he are obviously in a very assymetric relationship.