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#2906540 10/22/20 10:36 PM
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Here is my last thread in the DB Newcomer forum: https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2830864&page=1

Shifting to this one now as I have been divorced since March of 2019 and not looking back.

However I do still deal with a lot of issues and anxiety as a result. I have been seeing someone for about a year and a half now and it's a long story but we are growing together. I'd like to continue some journaling and advice-asking through this process of continuing to heal but also continuing to grow forward.

Currently what drove me to come here is my SO has asked me if I want to attend a baby shower for one of his friends. It's a female friend, who (before me) (several years before) he did have sexual relations with but who he has claimed he has remained friends with even after that all stopped. When I asked why they never took it further he admits she didn't seem to be the right person for a relationship.

I can validate that, as in the early stages of our relationship (but long enough to be established and we were public about it) this person was still interacting with my SO in inappropriate ways (not physically/in person as he has only seen her for lunch one time very, very early in our relationship, but it's things like sharing dirty/off-color jokes on social media).

He has told me she is just that kind of girl (part of the reason they get along well, because he takes almost nothing seriously) and I was equally very clear that I can understand if up to now it was intended to be "innocent" fun with a friend, but that at this point he now is in a serious relationship and I find it to be disrespectful and inappropriate. He addressed it with her, he claims she understood, and I have noticed it doesn't seem to really happen anymore.

So that brings us to this point where I'm now being asked to attend her baby shower. I have very intense feelings about this and trying figure out how to handle them AND how to address with my SO.

On one hand, I have no doubt in my mind that my SO is not involved with her in any kind of appropriate way at this point in time. I mean for goodness sakes, she's pregnant now and while I know people are crazy and do anything, I truly don't think this is one of those cases. But I also just don't feel like I know this person at all after all the time I've been with my SO (they only casually check in with each other here and there), and why she remains as someone he cares so much about as a friend when I haven't even met her (I can see his argument being that now I have the chance to meet her). Also, case in point on her character/life choices, she's not even in a serious relationship - in fact last I heard some time ago she was seeing a guy who was abusive to her - so it was definitely interesting and validating to my perspective of her, and just generally feeling like I want nothing to do with this trainwreck of a person in my or my SO's life.

Yet I don't feel like I have any tangible reason to protest their friendship or the invitation to meet her. I recognize I may feel like there has been a crime personally against me when their hasn't been, and in reality I just don't like this person and resent that my SO feels the need to keep someone like her around that I feel brings no value to his life as it stands today.

I can't figure out if it's valid for me to expect that he cut someone out of his life just because he's had sex with them in the past and their character doesn't align with my values. My SO has told me he would never let her cause an issue with our relationship and I feel my only choice is to respect that despite my feelings.

I also just don't know how the h3LL am I supposed to behave in front of this person that I have a serious negative opinion about. I know it makes no sense to project on her if I don't feel she is actively disrespecting me, and that even IF that were the case, the onus is on my SO to defend that in this case, since they own the relationship with each other and nothing will happen in my relationship that me or my SO don't allow to... right??


My dream solution would be for my SO to agree with me that she is trashy and not worth being in his life anymore. I don't understand what his attachment to her is, but do understand that my SO is very defensive about not being told who he can and can't be friends with. This is a point I understand, to an extent. Again it's absolutely true that he's not actively doing anything wrong, but I do still believe my feelings are valid and others may agree with me, but I haven't found a way to get him to understand why negative feelings can be valid even though they are not accusatory toward him.

Am I supposed to just be a good sport for my SO, be all normal and nice and just coast through it? How much responsibility does my SO have to make me feel comfortable meeting this person? For the record, he asked me if I wanted to come and was clear that he would be going whether or not I wanted to. I told him I would but that I'd like to talk about it to somehow acknowledge and address my discomfort about her, and he is willing to do that later today after work, but I'm not sure if this falls into one of those stupid subjective categories, like when some people don't care if their SO's are still friends with exes while others do?

My initial plan is to explain to my SO that he has not really done very much to expose me to the nature of his current relationship with this person, e.g. he never tells me "oh my friend called today just to see how things were" or "so and so texted me today" etc. so all I have to go on is the negative interactions I know about. Every once in a while if I ask about her he will say oh we exchange a few messages here and there, and he tells me she asks how WE are doing, etc. but that's really it. They never hang out, I never hear them talk on the phone, etc. and he never really volunteers any information about her. He doesn't see the validity in "having" to share when a friend calls him - which again, I see logic behind, but also feel there are certain situations where you protect your relationship at all costs and don't gamble with something seeming shady.

I feel like I need to ask him to tell me in more detail what their relationship is based on and his opinion on how he thinks I should feel based on what I know or don't know about them. I have a feeling he will downplay some of this because he is the type of person who doesn't care - i.e. if I told him to put the shoe on the other foot I guarantee he would say "I know you're not doing anything wrong so it wouldn't be an issue." He literally doesn't ever ask me about if I've talked to X or Y friend, doesn't pay attention to what gets posted on my social media, so all of these things just seem extra to him on my part when I would argue he's uniquely lax! Again, unless there is hard evidence of wrongdoing, I really struggle putting things into perspective or validating where I stand in situations like this with him.

My dream is to be that woman who could show up to this thing, with my man completely smitten with me while we are there so I am 1,000% validated in the moment, not being overly friendly or cutesy with this friend but putting that level of separation and "redefinition" between them, and then going on my merry way with this other girl knowing she can't touch me.

And again as I type that out it seems clear that my SO has the majority of the control in this situation and can drive how it unfolds, AND in parallel I know that my own confidence and anger or whatever it is should also have nothing to do with this other girl or even him, for that matter (I do believe belonging is a key element of the human condition and we are not totally wrong to want and expect validation from people to a certain extent, but I admit I care way too much about what other people think of me).

One last point... we do go to counseling together, because I asked for him to agree to that early on in our relationship to simply help us work through issues and grow together, since that was a big problem in my marriage. It has helped and I'm sure we will talk through this situation soon at counseling as well, so that's good news, but right now I'm having a mild physical reaction to even thinking about this event and the conversation with my SO...

Anyway this is clearly just a rambling mess at this point, so whatever you can manage to decode from this, I appreciate the insights.


H:39 W:30
M:4 T:9

05/2018: H says "ILYBNILWY", BD
07/2018: Discovered A, confronted
09/2018: PA + other details emerge; H moved out
12/2018: I filed
03/2019: Divorce finalized
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Am I supposed to just be a good sport for my SO, be all normal and nice and just coast through it?

Yes! Please be that girl!

Look - there's one of two things here. Either everything is as he says it is - just a friendship - in which case you should go and be nice (I don't know how you can dislike her if you haven't even met her) and be the lucky girl who has the guy on YOUR arm.

If it's really an inappropriate friendship then this party should give you an opportunity to find that out, and wouldn't you rather know sooner than later?

I'll tell you my experience - divorced after a long marriage and ex's MLC. Currently dating a guy (long story - 3 months after we met he was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, living with me 2 years later, not terminal yet but will become so). Not sure if we would be together if he were not so sick, although there are lots of good things about the relationship. But one of the bad things - and a hard one for me - is he is SUPER JEALOUS. I have never had a jealous boyfriend before and I find it really annoying. I'm in my 60's and was dating for 10 years before I met my ex-husband and for almost ten years before I met current boyfriend, so yes, I have ex-boyfriends and lovers. And almost all of them - except my ex husband - are friends of mine now. Not in any inappropriate way, just friends. Most of them I don't really see often (or at all) IRL but we do interact on FB a bit or email. Nobody's carrying any torches, nothing inappropriate, but if I liked them enough to sleep with them, odds are I still like them enough to share a political meme or a new song or sometimes even an off-color joke..

Last year my mother died. At her funeral the priest who presided was an old high school friend - part of a larger friend group from high school that still gets together once a year. He and I dated (chastely) for about one semester in high school. After high school he went into the Catholic priesthood. We aren't FB friends or anything, I just see him maybe once every few years at a friends get-together. Boyfriend was mad that he gave me a hug after the service was over (the priest knew my mom )!

Then at the reception/wake afterwards in a restaurant, my old college boyfriend from freshman year, who had attended the funeral, sat next to us for part of the time. He and I have remained friends for 45 years but probably have only seen each other in person maybe once every ten years. We are friends on FB but seldom message each other, occasionally comment on each other's posts. He lived with my family one summer and was close to my mom. Boyfriend was mad that he sat with us.

Boyfriend is a little batsh!t crazy and thinks that these guys are looking at him thinking "haha, I had her first!". It's weird and disrespectful and at our age kinda nuts.

Now, it just happened that the other day I was digitizing some old home videos and one was a 2 nd birthday party for my oldest. My husband (now ex) is there, and midway through the old college boyfriend shows up, present in hand. I watched my ex's reaction - friendly, appropriate, nothing weird there. He didn't have a problem with this guy being my friend even though at that time it was MUCH more recent (only 12 years since we had been together rather than 45!). That's how it should be - my husband knew that we were only friends and he wasn't threatened by it.

It sounds like your boyfriend has nothing to feel guilty about and you need to get over these jealous feelings for the sake of your relationship. And if I'm wrong, and she's really someone who is a threat to your relationship or that your BF is carrying a torch for, you'll find out if you go to the party. Just don't embarrass him like my boyfriend embarrassed me at my mom's funeral. And don't drag old business from your marriage and your ex-husband's infidelity into your new relationship. Ok?

(Now, there IS the fact that it's a baby shower and that's just about the worst kind of party anyone can be invited to, and I'm sorry if you have to go and play those stupid games wink but just go and give her a chance. You might find out you feel a lot better about things when you meet her.)

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100% agree with KML. I would absolutely go and be THAT girl. Whatís your alternative? Stay home and conjure up all kinds of scenarios in your mind that probably arenít happening? Or go...act all suspicious and standoffish and come off as a jerk? How attractive is that? You want your SO to look over at you and be proud that he is with you. I think it is great that he wants you there. It would be a bad sign if he didnít want you there.

Bottom line...you canít control who your SO is friends with and you shouldnít want to. How would you feel if he started telling you which of your friends you could associate with and which ones you couldnít? That would be a ďhell noĒ for me. Youíve been with him a year and a half... that says something. He wants to be with YOU. He has chosen YOU. Donít be that insecure person who thinks there is safety in eliminating anyone who could be a threat to them. Thatís personís biggest threat to their relationship is them...not anyone else. I think you should go with an open mind and heart and see what happens. You never know...you might really like her. If you dislike her that much without having even met her or seeing them interact, thatís not about her, thatís about you and your insecurities. Donít be ruled by your fears. Go and have a good time.


Me 53
H 48
B/G Twins 13
SD 21
Legal SA - January 2019
Divorce filed - June 2019
Divorce final - November 2019

Together 14 years
Married 12 years
BD1 - May 2014
BD2 - September 14, 2018

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Thanks both. I completely agree with you and that's why I said that is my "dream" - because I know that's the right thing. Feelings just suck.

I think I'm just looking for a balance in the form of validation that my boyfriend has a role to play in how I feel about his other relationships, through his behavior of being open and transparent (or not). I don't think it's just that I'm an insecure jealous blah blah. And I have definitely never told him who he can and can't hang out with. I always tell him I will never dictate what he does, but I will always tell him how I feel and expect that he has some level of respect and care for that.

To answer the question of how I would feel if he was asking the same things of me, I think I could completely understand if I had a male friend who had previously said inappropriate things to me, who I never talked to my SO about. I would have no problem being completely open with my SO about it for the exact reason that I would want to prove it's nothing to worry about and I have nothing to hide. I could recognize that yeah, he wants me to show him I am respecting our relationship and there have been some things with this other friend of mine that were not respectful and it's reasonable for me to put in a little bit of work to build that trust up in this particular scenario.

Yes he's chosen me. Yes he hasn't done anything majorly wrong. But he does have a tendency to be cagey and defensive, doesn't really foster an openness about these kind of things, and as his partner I feel it is reasonable for me to want to understand, even MORE so if he doesn't have anything to hide. Why would I not feel a little weird about him acting like it's such a huge deal to even talk to me about someone who is such a good friend? (I can actually tell you because he's told me - it's because he just doesn't want to deal with the "BS"... see next paragraph).

For even more context, he was previously in a VERY controlling relationship where the girl was truly madly jealous at everything and directly accusing him of affairs with everyone. He legitimately couldn't hang out with friends without her showing up and all kinds of crazy things. It was terrible and she even stalked him/us for a period of time when we first started dating, calling him from all different kinds of numbers, sending e-mails, making fake profiles, etc.

So, I often feel like any time I expect information on anything, which is actually within complete reason, he immediately goes into defensive mode and feels what is actually happening or what I'm actually asking is exaggerated or something it's not, and just completely shuts down, gets angry, and cannot whatsoever see why my point of view may be legitimate, let alone take a minute to just talk through it with me so we can get on the same page.

I don't come at him angry, I don't come at him in accusatory ways.. I have tried many things on my part to anticipate and mitigate his reaction, while also being true and respectful to myself and the fact that it's okay for me to have a perspective or to ask reasonable questions.

This is a big thing we acknowledged at the beginning of the relationship and which he has gotten better at, but with things like this he still is very reactive.

Anyway, it did get brought up last night and it did cause a fight for the reasons above (he got immediately very annoyed, threw a fit, said we were done talking, and went upstairs so he could be alone). When he came to bed a few hours later he asked if I wanted to still talk and I said no. Then this morning he asked again and we quickly resolved this whole conversation about the baby shower. I said what I had to say, he acknowledged it, and we agreed to go.

But we then had to have a whole separate conversation about his reaction to me wanting to simply talk, and how it makes me feel like I am one of those overly jealous terrible girlfriends when I'm not. He agrees with that but says to him it's simply "annoying" and he can't get past his ego. Last night he also said that it "wasn't even worth it" to talk about, and I told him that upsets me when he says those things because we are supposed to be a team, we love each other, we otherwise get along just fine, and for him to make it such a big deal to have to put in a little bit of effort to solve a conflict - to the point where it seems he would rather just walk away from it and disregard all the good stuff - just seems weird and confusing to me.

So where we're at is he has agreed to try harder to not get so upset right out of the gate. There are some times we have done this before with success, but long term he says he thinks that's just the type of person he is. He also mentioned this morning that he doesn't think the counseling we are going to is worth it or working, but we have only been to two sessions and one was an initial virtual session. But he didn't have any other suggestions for what to try and I at least think he may need some anger management or other tools to help us work through our differences, and I told him no matter what WE are the ones who have to do the work. Nobody is going to wave a magic wand or give us an answer to solve our problems. We both have to be willing to work on it, and once again, it is ultimately up to him if he feels like our relationship is worth that.

He says it is, but for reference, he said his form of trying at this point is things like still coming home at the end of the day! When we started our conversation yesterday it was on the phone while he was in the car coming home from work (he always calls me when he gets off) and that's when he already got angry. He told me (this morning) that he didn't even feel like coming home to have to have the conversation, which blows my mind! When I am honest with myself, I can see how what I am asking him to talk about is "annoying", but to that level?!

It seems he is wildly avoidant of certain things and this is what makes me think he is bringing along some past trauma because I'm telling you, I am NOT a nagging, critical, accusatory girlfriend. As I mentioned, I am overly sensitive to rocking the boat and I will speak up when I feel I need but I am not that person that expects to order him around or cater to me all the time. I have asked him if he thinks I'm really that bad and he admits it's not like that. So, I believe he is just used to thinking and feeling that way from before and somehow we need to find a way to address these things in a more healthy way, starting with the fact that having a disagreement in itself is okay! It's how we handle it from then on that will really make or break us.


H:39 W:30
M:4 T:9

05/2018: H says "ILYBNILWY", BD
07/2018: Discovered A, confronted
09/2018: PA + other details emerge; H moved out
12/2018: I filed
03/2019: Divorce finalized
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 213
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Just to directly clarify my thinking on a few other things:

Originally Posted by kml
(I don't know how you can dislike her if you haven't even met her)

This is a values issue for me. I've seen what she posts on her social media pages, enough to know that we do not hold the same values in our lives and would likely never be friends. She will post things like "My face when I found out he was with another; my face when I remember I was with 5 others" - and another one that was like "when I find out someone doesn't like me: Is this a wife?" Her behavior as an individual is her own business, but it seems like she knows the stuff she does is disrespectful. So again, completely agree that this is 100% on my SO as to whether he allows it, and he hasn't been, but I don't see how that makes her any more likeable that as a grown woman she doesn't understand those boundaries until the man she is friends with explains it to her. You would think if she cared about my SO as her friend, knowing that he loves me, she would have thought of that sooner?


Originally Posted by kml
Boyfriend is a little batsh!t crazy and thinks that these guys are looking at him thinking "haha, I had her first!". It's weird and disrespectful and at our age kinda nuts.

I agree. I admit these things could make me feel uncomfortable but I wouldn't think like that. It's also worth noting my SO is friends with several other exes, and similarly (and as I would expect) it's not like they hang out all the time and the messages they exchange are much more innocent and I have not had any problem with that.

Originally Posted by kml
It sounds like your boyfriend has nothing to feel guilty about...

Which is why I don't understand his apprehension to being transparent and talking to me about her.

Originally Posted by kml
And if I'm wrong, and she's really someone who is a threat to your relationship or that your BF is carrying a torch for, you'll find out if you go to the party.

Also completely agree.

Originally Posted by kml
Just don't embarrass him like my boyfriend embarrassed me at my mom's funeral.

I would definitely not do anything in public, if an issue were to arise. It would be between us to discuss.

Originally Posted by kml
And don't drag old business from your marriage and your ex-husband's infidelity into your new relationship. Ok?

I would be a liar to say that's not having an impact here, but I do also want to say that the beginning of my relationship with my current SO was rocky in this area too. He is not just friends with exes, but literally friends with almost all the female bartenders he would frequent, chicks he met back in his clubbing days, a chick he met and had a one-night stand with at a football game....and he has not truly had the type of serious relationship we have now since probably 10 years ago. I had to see past all that (and given my past experience, YEAH that was hard from day 1).

I recognized I needed to give our relationship time to mature and be "serious", etc. I recognized I am no longer in a marriage. But there were still a couple of hiccups where after we had both agreed we were exclusive, there were some flirtatious messages that were sent. We addressed that, he agreed it was wrong, and it hasn't happened since (to my knowledge, and again we are much further down the road now) but it's a combination of things having happened to me before and my SO's lack of setting very many boundaries on his end that have really pushed me to be clear on MY boundaries and expectations in our relationship, as well as me re-evaluating what is reasonable or not, etc.



Originally Posted by kml
(Now, there IS the fact that it's a baby shower and that's just about the worst kind of party anyone can be invited to, and I'm sorry if you have to go and play those stupid games wink but just go and give her a chance. You might find out you feel a lot better about things when you meet her.)

Haha, oh man, I forgot that games can be a part of it! It's being held at a restaurant so hopefully it's less of that.. but yes, I am planning to dress up, show out and try to make the best of it. It's just that my mind (and body) does have a mind of its own which I HATE, and I can talk myself up and tell myself the right thing all day long but it can be difficult for me to maintain that outward persona when my body is reacting physically with "fight or flight" and making me feel like I wanna die. That's a big part of what I haven't managed to figure out on my end. I know what's right, I know how I feel when I'm by myself and I know what's logical. But my feelings and mind will completely take me over and make me feel like crap when I'm in a certain situation frown


H:39 W:30
M:4 T:9

05/2018: H says "ILYBNILWY", BD
07/2018: Discovered A, confronted
09/2018: PA + other details emerge; H moved out
12/2018: I filed
03/2019: Divorce finalized
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Hi TJT and welcome to this little corner of the world. Both kml and Deja give such sage advice, it hard to follow them up because I don't know that I can add anything. I went back to your other post in newcomers and kind of caught up on stuff. Is this man that you are currently dating the one that you were dating near the end of those last posts? Doesn't really matter, other than I am just curious.

I get the distinct impression that you really have an issue in being alone. Nothing wrong with that, per se, but it can sometimes make for less than wise decisions when it comes to picking a partner. You say this guy has been in a very jealous and controlling relationship before, but you aren't like that and yet you keep talking about how you keep trying to get him to talk about this girl and it bothers you that he won't. I'm not sure if I missed something somewhere along the way, but I get that she is someone who he has had sexual contact with and is a casual friend. You clearly do not have any use for her yourself, saying that your dream solution is that your SO will agree with you that she is trashy and isn't worth being in her life. That is a bit harsh, isn't it? I mean, I understand you are not like her and you do not like her, but you don't know her and only know what she portrays on social media. And, if you aren't friends with her and don't know her, why are you so concerned with what is on her social media? I'm so very sorry if all of that sounds harsh, as I'm not trying to be, but I'm really just trying to understand where you are coming from. I think kml and Deja were right in advising you to show up, look your best, be you and let him show you off. You are his choice, not this other woman. And, if you really aren't trying to be jealous and controlling and he's told you that it is nothing, just friends, then why are you acting so jealous? Again, I'm sorry if that is harsh, but that is kind of the picture that I get from what I'm reading. You say you don't want to be those things, then don't be those things. You obviously know your man and I don't, but maybe he's just not a talker. He chose you for a reason and has told you, according to your own story, that this person is a casual friend that he says very rarely and that he didn't have anything more than a physical fling with her because she wasn't relationship material.

Just go and be polite, friendly, and watch the interactions. Hopefully, that will put your mind at ease. You say that you want to broach the subject with him by letting him know that you don't know much about his current state of relationship with this person since he never says "hey, friend called today" or anything like that. I'm not trying to say your feelings are not valid or are unjustified and if you feel strongly about all of this, then you should absolutely talk to him about it. Think about it from the reverse side of things, too, so that maybe you can get a sense of where he is coming from. Do you have a very casual male friendship with someone that you talk to every once in a great while and if so, do you mention it every time you interact? Maybe you do and maybe you don't...I don't know. My overall point here is that if he's told you they just have a casual friendship, it might not even register with him that he should be telling you that every time she calls, so it may not be that he is deliberately trying to hide it, but rather, just doesn't think it is that important in the grand scheme of life.

You mentioned that you go to counseling together and if I understood what I read, you said you got him to agree to it early on to work through problems and grow together. Is this something that he wanted to do too or did he just agree to it because it was important to you? Is it possible that you may be projecting some of the old feelings from your marriage and subsequent divorce on him? You don't have to answer any of that if you don't want to. I mean, you don't have to spell it out here for me...I was just curious because that came to mind several times as I read through your post.

You sound like you are very self-aware and very open to taking all the necessary steps to work with someone and learn to communicate effectively for the betterment of your relationship and those are awesome qualities. Again, like kml and Deja said, go to the party with him and show everyone that he has an amazing lady on his arm that he can really be proud of. It is so hard, particularly when you are so fresh off your divorce to feel confident, but the best way to build your confidence up is to just walk out of that comfort zone and strut your stuff. Buy a new blouse, get your hair and nails done, pamper yourself a bit, then show up and knock everyone's socks off. As far as meeting/talking to his friend who you admittedly have a negative perception of, just be polite. Kindness and manners always prevail!


Me 52, H53
Bomb drop 9/29/2014
Divorce from XH final 12/17/2014
Marriage #2 12/31/2019
5 adult (step)daughters (3 from XH's first marriage, 2 from current H's previous relationships)
6 grandkids
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Originally Posted by Dawn70
Is this man that you are currently dating the one that you were dating near the end of those last posts? Doesn't really matter, other than I am just curious.

It is the guy I met after I dated a guy for two weeks. I'd have to go back and look for sure if I mentioned this one, but I think the answer to your question here is yes.

Originally Posted by Dawn70
You say this guy has been in a very jealous and controlling relationship before, but you aren't like that and yet you keep talking about how you keep trying to get him to talk about this girl and it bothers you that he won't.

Maybe I am not explaining correctly. I am verbalizing how I feel here on this forum, and the specific instances where I have mentioned / tried to have discussions with my SO about her. However when you say "I keep trying to get him to talk about this girl", that is not true. I do not constantly badger him about her. If a situation comes up (like as in the case of this baby shower) then of course I try to discuss with him. I think part of the issue is that when it FIRST was a discussion (again prompted by me seeing him tagged in inappropriate things by her), it was not really tied out since he gets so frustrated, so when interactions with her happen again, my unresolved feelings on it and a subsequent conversation happen again.

Originally Posted by Dawn70
I mean, I understand you are not like her and you do not like her, but you don't know her and only know what she portrays on social media. And, if you aren't friends with her and don't know her, why are you so concerned with what is on her social media?

I only became concerned about it when I started seeing her tag my SO in things. Naturally I checked out the rest of it to attempt to get to know this person (trying to give benefit of the doubt) but there was nothing redeeming.

Originally Posted by Dawn70
And, if you really aren't trying to be jealous and controlling and he's told you that it is nothing, just friends, then why are you acting so jealous? Again, I'm sorry if that is harsh, but that is kind of the picture that I get from what I'm reading.

I do have a pretty hard time digesting this. I feel like I'm being told that there is no valid reason for not liking someone or perhaps at times feeling a little insecure without being characterized as a controlling jealous completely deflated maniac....or that nobody has ever held a negative opinion of someone that they have not been personal friends with. I guess if that's the case, then sure, that's me. I gave the reasons that made me wonder about things or contribute to those feelings, as well as my own logic and things I've acknowledged that don't serve me. I feel like I'm being reasonable and wonder if this just goes back to the fact that obviously I'm vomiting my feelings here because it's the topic of the hour for me, but it's not like this is something I am constantly crazed about and looking for every opportunity to confront my SO about.


Originally Posted by Dawn70
My overall point here is that if he's told you they just have a casual friendship, it might not even register with him that he should be telling you that every time she calls, so it may not be that he is deliberately trying to hide it, but rather, just doesn't think it is that important in the grand scheme of life.

Yes, I do see that, it's just that we had talked about it after 2 things happened: 1) early in our relationship when he met her for lunch, he failed to tell me that they didn't just meet... he went and picked her up at her place, which I found out later... and then 2) he had previously deleted some of their convos. So we had an explicit conversation about transparency, not in the sense that I need to know every conversation they have, but that obviously it's important for me to not feel like he's actively hiding stuff. That's the context/benchmark for why I consider it a bigger deal if he's been continuing to talk with her and still not even mentioning it. However the reality is (confirmed by him yesterday) that they aren't actually talking that much anymore, and I am perfectly fine with how he has characterized the interactions they do have at this point.

Originally Posted by Dawn70

You mentioned that you go to counseling together and if I understood what I read, you said you got him to agree to it early on to work through problems and grow together. Is this something that he wanted to do too or did he just agree to it because it was important to you? Is it possible that you may be projecting some of the old feelings from your marriage and subsequent divorce on him? You don't have to answer any of that if you don't want to. I mean, you don't have to spell it out here for me...I was just curious because that came to mind several times as I read through your post.

I don't know if I can answer that, or really what it means if he only agreed to because it was important to me. When we discussed it, I wasn't overbearing and giving him an ultimatum like the only right answer was to do it. I explained I value communication and specifically conflict resolution because of the huge impact I saw that have on my previous relationship. I knew I wanted the person I'm with to at least be willing to work through things, with the help of counseling if needed, and even just for relationship maintenance knowing we won't always be able to sort through things alone. We also both agreed we don't want to have to rely on counseling every time we have an issue - not the intent at all. Timing wise, I asked if he'd be willing to do that at the moment we started thinking about moving in together, which was a big deal to me. I don't know if that is considered "carry over" from my divorce as again I feel it's a logical choice and not something I hold animosity toward my current SO over.

Originally Posted by Dawn70
You sound like you are very self-aware and very open to taking all the necessary steps to work with someone and learn to communicate effectively for the betterment of your relationship and those are awesome qualities. Again, like kml and Deja said, go to the party with him and show everyone that he has an amazing lady on his arm that he can really be proud of.

I am glad that is coming through at least. I am definitely aware and hyper critical of myself, and that's what can make me doubt my own actions sometimes since it's hard for me to know when I'm bending too much. That's also one thing I know I made a mistake doing in my marriage - I went along with things I didn't like just to not rock the boat. Maybe that's why my comments so far may be coming off too strong, because I'm trying to be better at establishing boundaries AND enforcing them. The latter part is absolutely where I struggle because I need to be okay with the fact that if I draw a boundary, and it really means that much to me, I have to be willing to accept that the other person may not be willing to make it work, and that hurts!

Originally Posted by Dawn70
It is so hard, particularly when you are so fresh off your divorce to feel confident, but the best way to build your confidence up is to just walk out of that comfort zone and strut your stuff.

The weird thing is I am a very strong woman, and my SO tells me this. Even before my SO, in between XH and him, I was at a point where I felt good about myself. I went on a few dates where I didn't like the guy, but the guy was really into me and I declined subsequent dates. I have an amazing career, I am well educated, I'm not a pushover, blah blah. I care for and respect the people I love. I KNOW I bring so much value to a relationship. But I do often feel quite powerless because I have never had someone be so committed to me that they will be willing to do anything to make it work (in a healthy, not crazy way of course). If someone else doesn't see it, what does it matter? I may feel that I'm more attractive and smarter and whatever else, but it's FEAR - not jealousy or insecurity - that drives me. I am afraid of being rejected, I am afraid of my efforts going wasted, I am afraid of all of that not being "seen" and appreciated and then losing someone I love. Yet I know that if someone wants to walk away for me or not respect me that I don't want that person in my life anyway, and it may have nothing to do with me! It's just hard not to feel that way, and I almost feel like the fact that I do know I have value makes that even harder. Like, why would someone not want to make it work with me if I have so much going for me and I'm a good person and committed to making it work with them?

Originally Posted by Dawn70
As far as meeting/talking to his friend who you admittedly have a negative perception of, just be polite. Kindness and manners always prevail!

This is the plan. Will let you guys know how it goes for sure.


H:39 W:30
M:4 T:9

05/2018: H says "ILYBNILWY", BD
07/2018: Discovered A, confronted
09/2018: PA + other details emerge; H moved out
12/2018: I filed
03/2019: Divorce finalized
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Thanks for your thoughtful responses and I again apologize if anything sounded harsh as that totally was not my intention. I did want to specifically apologize if what I said about not acting jealous sounded like I was invalidating your feelings. Your feelings absolutely matter and if you donít like this person you donít like her and that is yours to deal with. I clearly misinterpreted some of what you were saying because I got the impression that you had brought it up several times and he just didnít want to talk about it. Of course, the additional share of how you found out later that he picked her up for lunch and she was actually tagging him in inappropriate things, not just sharing them on her social media, and the fact that he was actually deleting conversations paint the whole thing in a different light in my mind. Not saying you have to put all your business out there but those additional details make far more clear why you have such a negative opinion of this woman in my mind. But again, I do sincerely apologize for my words because I didnít want to invalidate how you were feeling or discredit your dislike of her and that is how it came out. Iím sorry for that.


Me 52, H53
Bomb drop 9/29/2014
Divorce from XH final 12/17/2014
Marriage #2 12/31/2019
5 adult (step)daughters (3 from XH's first marriage, 2 from current H's previous relationships)
6 grandkids
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No worries Dawn, I appreciate being challenged on my feelings generally speaking, and understand that the details help to paint a more complete picture as well that maybe were more clear in my head than in my writing upon first pass.

I think feelings are a delicate balance and I try to check mine regularly because I know my anxiety can lie to me. Sometimes we create them without any basis in reality, but at other times I believe they are warranted.

Either way, I still think the advice to go to this event, stay positive, and see what happens is the right thing. It's just what other advice I can get to stay in that positive mindset, and how much should realistically be expected of me (like, I'm totally not gonna be all "omg give me a hug!") and generally speaking I'm one of those RBF people because I'm an introvert and making small talk is hard enough with people I don't know, let alone in a situation like this!

It will be hard, but if my SO truly walks the talk about our conversation this morning about also understanding my feelings, I am hopeful it will go ok. He is not a super romantic so I know he's not going to go above and beyond to make me feel extra "ok" for this darn thing to make up for the past, but the reason I've stuck with him is because typically he will do the tiniest things to adjust that I recognize are not in his usual nature and that show me he is trying. His baseline measurement may be a little different than others, but at least he shifts some later even if he doesn't validate me up front.


H:39 W:30
M:4 T:9

05/2018: H says "ILYBNILWY", BD
07/2018: Discovered A, confronted
09/2018: PA + other details emerge; H moved out
12/2018: I filed
03/2019: Divorce finalized
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Quote
I at least think he may need some anger management


Quote
He is not a super romantic


Quote
the reason I've stuck with him is because typically he will do the tiniest things to adjust that I recognize are not in his usual nature and that show me he is trying.


Does it? Or is he doing the ďtiniest thingĒ = bare minimum to get you to stop asking him for whatever it is you need?

Thereís a HUGE difference between DBing to save a marriage, and DBing a dating relationship. Sounds to me like there are bigger issues here than just an inappropriate ex girlfriend.

This early in a relationship things should be really GOOD. Your partner should be appreciating you for your great qualities. (And they are great qualities). But you might be trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. This is a guy who has CHOSEN crazy in the past. Repeatedly, apparently. Some guys are attracted to the excitement of the drama-filled crazies (just like some women seek out the ďbad boysĒ) and theyíre not suited to a real, mature relationship with an adult human being.


I think this goes a lot deeper than just meeting the ex- girlfriend. Sounds to me like youíre working WAY to hard to make this relationship work, when he may not be the droid you are looking for. Sounds like maybe your fear of loss is leading you to try to make this relationship work when heís just not that great a fit for you? And this ex-GF business is just highlighting the difference in your values?

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