My boyfriend and I have a great relationship, but there is one problem. His ex. They have a baby together, and their daughter is six years old. His daughter lives with him because his ex is crazy and has a drug problem. But that’s not my issue. My issue is the way his ex treats me. I’m very loving with his daughter and we have a lot of fun together, but his ex is constantly berating me and is (I think) jealous of the fact that his daughter prefers me over him. We have been together for three years and I believe the relationship is heading towards marriage. So what should I do? I can’t marry the guy if his ex is a destructive force in my life, but I also love him and his daughter and don’t want to break it off. But I can’t go on like this, either. She is in my face at least once a week about the situation and it has got to stop. She lost custody two years ago because of her drug problem and she won’t seek help. What do I do? My boyfriend has washed his hands of her, but he also doesn’t “get involved” when she attacks me. Any suggestions?
Dear Ruining Everything,
Sounds as though your boyfriend is trying to remain neutral, and he has decided to let the two of you work things out. Not good. You would have no interaction with this woman if he wasn’t in your life and that needs to be made very clear to him. The fact that you are loving to his child and the fact that you are willing to stand by him even with all the drama that his ex has brought into your life is very admirable, and maybe he needs to be reminded of that.
Explain to him that while you don’t expect him to fight your battles for you, he does need to step in and perhaps speak with his ex to try and remedy this situation. If he balks at the thought of standing up for you, and if he is intimidated by his ex, then that creates a problem for you in the long run. This woman is going to be in his life. Period. She is the mother of his child and she isn’t going anywhere. You have options. You can choose to either disengage her completely, meaning that you don’t want to be around her at all. This could prevent more confrontations from occurring. There is really no reason for her to be “in your face” every week, anyway.
Another option is that you openly confront her about how you don’t like how she treats you. She may be shocked at your honesty and back down, like bullies often do. However, this could be a dangerous option. She may be volatile or perhaps get physical, so if you decide to confront her, maybe having a mediator there, like a licensed social worker or therapist would be a good to have.
Finally, you can show your boyfriend how serious you are about this toxic situation by taking a break from the relationship. Even if it is only a week, it may jolt him into realizing that he doesn’t want to lose you from his life or his daughter’s life and may make him reconsider talking to his ex.
I know none of these options are easy, but you have to take care of yourself at the end of the day. If no one else will stand up for you, you must stand up for yourself.
Good luck and thanks for the question!