Boyfriend's Ex-wife Visits and Brings Him Gifts - How Do I Stop It?
Debbra McCaffrey Bronstad Says...
You mention that this “situation is intolerable.” I hear in your statements that you are aware that something needs to change and I agree with you. How much are you willing to put up with? Your question really has to do with permission to set boundaries in your relationship, and for yourself, about what you are willing to allow in your life. Yes, you have a choice whether to stay in a relationship that you say will be destroyed by these issues.
You are right to be concerned about your boyfriend’s behavior with his ex-wife. First of all, the two have a child together. That means that she will be somehow involved in his life for another 14 years, minimally. Can you live with that? The second concern is his lack of respect for your feelings about her visits and gifts. He may not be ready to admit that he enjoys her attention. Emotional bonds of their previous relationship are not necessarily broken by a divorce decree. Often times it is easier to relate to a former spouse when no longer living with her and the stresses of daily living.
I recommend that you decide what you can tolerate and what you can’t. Share your concerns with you boyfriend. He will need to be responsible for establishing a relationship with his ex-wife that does not dishonor you. A couples counselor can help you discuss these issues in a respectful way with each other to help you both hear one another’s needs.
In the meantime, what resources do you need to develop such as savings or social support so that you have other options for housing, should you choose to move on? The current arrangement may make sense for financial reasons, but you need to make sure it makes sense for your heart too.
Page last updated May 16, 2013