This topic contains 34 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Hannanas 1 week, 5 days ago.
March 6, 2019 at 5:04 pm #834844
There’s a whole bit in men are from Mars women are from venus about this exact problem. Women want to vent, men want to fix and strategies to deal with it. In the interim it might help you to grab that book OP. It’s been years since I’ve read it but this is not an uncommon problem. My husband does the same thing and my counsellor suggested I take one of two tracks: learn to see it as him wanting to help and see me happy or outright tell him to stop. I’ve sort of hit on a middle of the road approach, be thankful he gives a damn but also gently suggest what I need in that exact moment. He’s receptive enough to respond accordingly, it just depends how your bloke listens to you.March 6, 2019 at 5:19 pm #834847
My husband is a problem solver. When I need an ear to vent to, I tell him that before I even start venting. “I just need to say this, I don’t want advice or for you to help me fix this.”
Everyone loves to give advice. It’s our nature. If you are super angry when you’re venting, he could be reacting to that and trying to calm you down. Some people cannot handle being around emotional turmoil.
He hasn’t figured out you don’t want his help, but you also say you haven’t told him what you do want him to do, either. He’s not a mind reader. You need to communicate to him what you want, even if it seems obvious.
Maybe he’s not a good person to vent to. Maybe you should save your venting for your family or close friends, or yell in your car when you’re alone.
I do really think you should work out your custody situation. It doesn’t really sound like your ex even wants much, so I’m not sure why you’re afraid of that. Don’t force them to have a relationship. It’s his responsibility to be a father, not yours to force.March 6, 2019 at 5:20 pm #834849
It’s fine to vent a little, but bf has a valid point: LW’s approach is dysfunctional. I have no idea why she has avoided talking to a lawyer, trying to get formal custody, but it’s abundantly clear that her approach is working. Being angry doesn’t help. It doesn’t solve her problem, it just lets her feel self-righteous, which leads to even more anger. Why is it wrong for bf to try to problem solve, when she has no solution, is worried about custody, and just being angry? One of them had better come up with a solution or this is not going to end well. This is a very serious matter; the future of her child is at stake — he may very well be spirited out of the country at some point. I fail to see how bf simply listening and validating her anger helps her problem at all.March 6, 2019 at 5:21 pm #834850
That should have read “her approach isn’t working” in the 4th line.March 6, 2019 at 5:24 pm #834851
There is a certain amount of peace that comes with just accepting things for how they are. Your ex sucks and he’s a shit dad. That’s really too bad for your son, but it’s not for you to fix your ex. He clearly isn’t that interested or invested in being a good father. It’s time to move on. You unfortunately have even more responsibility as a parent now, and you’re going to need to consider how you’re expressing these feelings. Being angry in front of children can be really scary. A counselor could help you work on healthier ways to get these feelings out.March 6, 2019 at 5:35 pm #834853
I will add myself to the “do not ever let your child go out of the country with him” list. Kidnapping (with a parent) cases are rare, but they do happen. My parents had a contentious divorce and I know my mother was afraid my dad would pull something like that. The funny thing is, when I was 11 he stopped making an effort to see me or my brother and I didn’t see him for over a decade afterwards.
TLDR: it’s really not your job to make him be a better parent. Just focus on being a really good one, be organized and document everything he does that shows he is irresponsible as a parent. I’d say not living on his own is a big sign he can’t get his shit together.March 7, 2019 at 5:13 am #834885
He already does a lot for you, why don’t you give him at least a temporary break from complaining and conplain to someone else. I also have a bf and a semi unreliable ex (baby daddy). I have never taken the approach that my bf is my go to hear about those problems. I have 2 bffs who I tell that stuff to and laugh about it and they give me advice. I don’t hide things from my bf but since he doesn’t have kids I don’t want to be MORE of a burden with more baggage by using his energy for my complaining when it’s actually not necessary. I don’t want talking about my ex to be a big chunk of our relationship. I don’t want to keep illustrating that I made a bad choice, that would put it in my bfs head that I have bad judgement.
Anyways that’s how I deal with it, hope it helpsMarch 8, 2019 at 10:40 am #836089
I think your boyfriend is trying to be sweet and see the silver lining. It’s exhausting to be negative or hear negative thoughts about the same thing all the time.
I also think we should compile all LW reactions to BGM because they’re truly something else…March 8, 2019 at 12:47 pm #836104
You complain that your boyfriend does the same thing, where he vents to you too, but it sound like you’re venting about different things.
Your boyfriend vents about his kids’ mom’s actions (or lack of), like refusing to return to work or missing the kids’ football practice. You mention venting about your boyfriend’s character, such as that he’s lazy and ignorant. It’s understandable and justifiable to vent about the ways in which your co-parent is letting you and their children down, but it’s unproductive to rant about personality traits over which you have no control. Your boyfriend is right that it’s unhealthy to put your ex down, or speculate about how your ex feels about you.
The advice others have given is good. Let your boyfriend know what you want from him before you start venting, and try to keep your complaints to the ways in which he’s letting you down as a co-parent rather than expounding on his character flaws.March 8, 2019 at 11:08 pm #836182
Hanannas: that would be fun to read. 😉 They do so often flip out, no?March 9, 2019 at 5:08 am #836194
Yeah, you often seem to be hitting a sore spot with them. Keep going 🙂