S.P. asks from Seattle, WA on March 31, 2009
Husband Is Friends W/ Ex-girlfriend
Hi Mamas – I really need your advice because this situation is making me crazy. My husband’s high school sweetheart moved into the area recently. She got in touch with him after 10 plus years. She’s “special” to the family - there’s pictures of her in family albums and my mother-in-law was very excited when she moved to the area. She’s apparently happily married with a boatload of kids, so I’m not worried that she’s after my husband.
However, I’m irritated that she’s having so much communication with my husband and in-laws. They email each other and instant message each other. My husband isn’t totally open about his interactions with her because he knows it irritates me. We had an argument when I saw an email he sent her before she moved to the area. It wasn’t really inappropriate, but referred to when they were dating which made me mad. He deletes messages from her so I won't see them and get upset.
I can’t ask my husband to cut off communication with her – they're friends and he doesn't have many. She’s in touch with my inlaws anyway, so she’s always in the background. I’ve never met her and have no desire to. She’s never asked to meet me, which I find odd, as she seems so interested in every other aspect of my husband’s life.
I want to snap out of this and be mature (not feel like a 13 year old!), but am not being very successful. Help!
M.B. answers from Seattle on March 31, 2009
I agree with Judy. This resurfaced interloper needs to accept all aspects of your husband's current life or none of it. You don't have to meet her, but your hubby should tell her about you and that you and your kids are the focus of his life now.
If this happened to me I'd be suspicious as h*ll as to the motives of those involved. Definitely say something to the in-laws about how uncomfortable the whole thing makes you feel.
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P.M. answers from Portland on March 31, 2009
Your reaction to your husband's friendship with his ex may or may not be reasonable, depending on how much you trust him.
If I were the ex-girlfriend, and I was informed that the wife became angry or upset when my name was raised, I would not wish to meet her. Why would I deliberately bring anxiety into her life, or have to experience her suspicion or dislike of me? I'll bet this woman may well be curious about you, and perhaps would welcome your friendship if it were available, but is too tactful to push the issue. It sounds like you have made your attitude toward her pretty clear.
For balance, you might want to consider a similar situation with a few details rearranged: I have a couple of ex-boyfriends whom I would be delighted to see again if they moved anywhere near me, because we were very close and I do still think of them as friends. I am quite sure my trusting husb would have no objection, and would in fact be curious about meeting them. And I feel the same about him with his ex-girlfriends. He chose me as his life partner, and his dedication has been clear and constant for 28 years.
Assuming you can and do trust your husband, could it be the ex-girlfriend's "specialness" to your in-laws that's really eating you? If it were me, I'd be really cautious about interfering with other people's friendships, especially your in-laws'. You could give everyone the idea that you are insecure, controlling, or worse.
Try to picture the positive effects of celebrating and supporting your husband's friendships. If you can pull this off with maturity and grace, you could really shine in his eyes. You could also win the admiration of your in-laws, and grow in your "specialness" to them.
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J.C. answers from Seattle on March 31, 2009
S., you sound VERY reasonable --- I think it is time to tell your in-laws and your husband--
"""" I am uncomfortable with how much delight is being had by you--- over someone who pretends I don't exist. If '''Diane'' wants to include ''' John'''( I'm making up names here - in case you couldn't tell) AND HIS WIFE AND CHILDREN in the life of herself and her family--- great - but I'm not comfortable with what's going on - really not comfortable at all'''''
Your husband is not a single guy any more- he is married with children- and to re-create a friendship that seems to exclude you and his children is ------------ time for a counselor- sorry- that doesn't sound right to me at all.
You 4 --- wife, husband, and two little boys --- are a set - she needs to be freinds with all of you or none of you.
That's the way it looks to Old Mom
J. ( aka- Old Mom)
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M.G. answers from Seattle on March 31, 2009
I agree with previous posters she needs to be friends with you and your husband. Your in-laws are their own people and unfortunately you can't do anything about their friendship with her. However the ex needs to be told by your husband that everything has to be out in the open and everyone is friends. I'm not saying you and the ex need to be best friends but if and when she wants to see your husband you should also be there. My husband had a thing very similar going on with his ex awhile back and once she found out she had to hang out with me too if she wanted to see him she didn't text/email him as much and to make things even better my husband realized how much it bothered me(finally)and actually has quit all contact with her. Tell your husband all of your feelings, he should respect how and why you feel the way you do and take you as his #1 consideration in this matter. You deserve not only to be heard but to be respected for the wife you are. Best of luck!
2 moms found this helpful
K.O. answers from Portland on March 31, 2009
It sounds like they are the ones acting like children. You are not being at all unreasonable with your discomfort.