It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing now. Today we hear from “Concerned Mom” whose ex-boyfriend, whom she dated for five years while recovering from a domestically abusive relationship, still wanted to be in her kids’ lives. She explains that she cheated on him and was not able to effectively move on from their relationship. She said: “I was also diagnosed with MS and had a lot of fear and overwhelming emotions going on — so instead of visiting the kids, he just kept in touch with them through texts. Now, a year and half later, he feels we’ve all adjusted and he wants to start seeing them again. I feel that since he’s now dating a new woman and building a future with her, it doesn’t make sense to have him visit my kids.” After the jump, find out whether or not she allowed her ex to see her kids or not.
Finally, I took my son’s phone and texted him that he was being passive aggressive and hurtful and wrong by communicating to my kids vs. me and keeping me from knowing what he’s doing. He wrote saying he doesn’t want any drama or anything else either and can he be in the kids’ lives, yes or no. I told him he wasn’t in a high school relationship with me and the last two years after our five-year relationship meant something to me and my kids. He didn’t care. He hasn’t written to me since. I’m about to pack up expensive jewelry that he gave me and mail it to him and close this forever. He called me selfish for being upset that he was in a relationship with another women vs. concentrating on my kids. I feel that was manipulative on his part. I might be heart-broken. I might have caused the end of that relationship, but his lies and excuses and all of it was too much for me to be okay. I wish I had just walked away two years ago.
I’m really confused (and I bet your ex is too). In your letter to me that you sent in July, you knew he was starting a new relationship with someone, so why are you acting like this 6-month relationship is news to you? In my advice to you, which you should re-read, I suggested you NOT see your ex and that you should close communication between him and your kids since you were feeling so emotionally unstable and having a hard time dealing with the idea of his dating someone new. I also suggested you get therapy. I still very much think that’s a good idea. What’s not a good idea though is sending back expensive jewelry to your ex. Talk about passive aggressive. If you can’t stand the idea of having it in your home, donate it or sell it. Sending gifts back to an ex you cheated on and then got angry at for moving on with a new girlfriend a year and a half after you broke up is not a good look.
If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at [email protected] with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.
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LisforLeslie September 24, 2019, 2:57 pm
You are not okay. You don’t sound like you’re holding it together at all.
I don’t doubt that this guy was abusive. But why would you let him back into your life? Into your kids ‘ lives? What did you think was going to happen if he did visit with them? What was your endgame? That he would suddenly be remorseful? I don’t think you’re being honest with yourself about your motivation and your expectations.
CurlyQue September 24, 2019, 4:56 pm
You definitely need to focus on yourself and your mental health. If you don’t want this man in your lives then don’t block him on your and your kids’ phone. I don’t agree that him having a girlfriend after you’ve been broken up for TWO years is emotional abuse or manipulative but that doesn’t mean you need to talk to him anymore or have him in your lives.
It’d be nice if you could handle it since he seems to only bring positive interactions with your children but if you can’t you can’t and them having a healthy mother is MUCH MORE IMPORTANT.
CurlyQue September 24, 2019, 4:56 pm
Ugh obviously then BLOCK him, not don’t block him
PDX816 September 24, 2019, 7:15 pm
LW you sound like a loon and from your update I agree with your ex. Your behavior is completely unacceptable, you are acting passive aggressive and you are using the kids as leverage which is gross. You both have a very toxic dynamic with one another and you need to cut contact for everyone’s sake.
Him moving on with his life is not vindictive, he doesn’t owe you anything at this point but you are acting like a jealous lover. Please get into counseling and possibly counseling for your children as well, there is no way they won’t be hurt by him leaving.
ron September 24, 2019, 7:29 pm
It doesn’t sound like this ex was abusive. It was his predecessor who was abusive to her. She cheated on him, but can’t stand that he moved on. I agree best for all that he not be in her or her kid’s. Also sounds like she really needs therapy. MS is tough. I appreciate why she was scared.
dinoceros September 24, 2019, 7:55 pm
It’s understandable to be stressed and scared about your situation. But I’m not sure what your ex did wrong. Your previous letter did not indicate at all that he was leading you on. You were broken up for a year and a half and he was seeing someone else. TBH, you not being over him at this point is your issue, not his. I do not think it was a good idea to bring him back in your life after your kids were starting to get used to things and you knew you weren’t over him.
purplestar September 24, 2019, 9:03 pm
Ahhhh, you were using your children as bait! Hoping that once he came to see them, he would realize he wanted to be with you. Right? You knew he was dating someone – mentioned it in your first letter – so going off the handle about it was just made up drama . You were pulling the children back from communicating with him…then decided to let him visit….mixed signals to your children.
You need therapy. A lot of it. You are manipulative and a kinda’ shitty Mom for using your children to try and get him back. Because that is what this was all about….not your children’s health and well being. Trust me, those kids will continue to talk with him…..they need someone to talk to about their unstable Mother.
Kate B. September 25, 2019, 1:03 am
Your ex didn’t do anything wrong. You broke up, he moved on. There’s nothing wrong with that. He doesn’t owe you anything. So he didn’t tell you he was in a relationship. He didn’t have to. It’s none of your business. He’s not your boyfriend anymore. I agree that you shouldn’t talk to him anymore. You can’t handle the fact that he has moved on. What will you do if he marries this woman and has kids of his own? Please listen to the advice to get therapy. You are not dealing with this in a healthy way. And as for the jewelry, sell it and use the money for something nice for you and your kids. Or maybe therapy.
Jesus take the wheel September 25, 2019, 6:45 am
I hate when women do this type of mess. Need to learn to separate your emotions from your kids. When a relationship ends the kids suffer they do not need to lose both parents. You did not make the kids on your own. Let a man be a part of his children’s lives! Especially if he is showing his best effort to do so. As long as he is not abusing them or emotionally hurting them, let him build his relationship. Children need their dad just as much as they need their mom. Get over your emotions, seek counseling and separate being a mother from being a woman. Your just thinking about yourself as a woman. A mother wants was best for her children no matter what she has to sacrifice.
anonymousse September 25, 2019, 9:01 am
These aren’t his kids.
ron September 25, 2019, 2:03 pm
Not his biological kids, but he was their father figure for multiple years.
saneinca September 25, 2019, 3:31 pm
Just for 3 years and broken up for 2 years.
The kids survived separation from their biological father. They will survive separation from mom’s ex-boyfriend too.
While it is wrong of the LW to dangle access to kids to re-engage with ex BF, it is also out of boundaries for the ex to keep in touch constantly with the kids without any relationship with their mom.
The LW and the ex should agree to limited contact with the kids provided LW still wants it to continue. Otherwise ex must cease contact immediately. It does not matter how he feels. he is out of picture now.
ron September 25, 2019, 9:53 pm
saneinca — you may very well be right, although I read it as they were together for 5 years and broke up 2 years ago. I found the wording confusing, but that’s my best guess.
Bittergaymark September 25, 2019, 9:52 am
Yeah, you are way out to lunch on this. Just so completely off base, LW. Seek help. You are… truly delusion. Your poor children.
Bittergaymark September 25, 2019, 10:19 am
PS — Sorry, but… You also really can’t BLAME somebody for moving on and dating someone new when Your own act of infidelity killed the relationship.
allathian September 26, 2019, 12:07 am
I had a hard time making sense of that rambling letter.
Sounds like you should take a timeout from relationships and allow yourself to heal. This is not healthy. Focus on your own mental health so you can be a good mom to your kids. Even if their father never abused them, they’ve probably witnessed him abusing you. Are the kids in any sort of contact with their dad? I can sort of understand that you would want a better father figure for them…
Your ex didn’t betray you by moving on with his life and starting a new relationship, not following a breakup caused by your infidelity and certainly not after two years. Judging by your reaction to his new relationship, you seem to want him back. Just quit using your kids as a way of getting him back into your life, they’re probably very confused right now.
Just because your kids are old enough to have phones doesn’t necessarily mean they’re old enough to have relationships with other adults independently from you, so I can certainly understand you’re annoyed he keeps in touch with your kids without telling you about it. But what about the kids? Is he telling them not to tell you about the texts? If so, your annoyance would be entirely understandable.