What to do about my girlfriends ex?
I’m living with my new girlfriend and her 8 year old daughter. They moved in with me 3 months ago. My girlfriend split with her daughter’s father 5 years ago, got back together for a while and then split again two years ago. Until I came along, they had a close relationship sharing custody of their daughter. He would come over to her place on Sunday evenings to have dinner and would also come over at other times if she was going out and needed a sitter.
All this changed when she moved in with me. He did not want to come around if I was there and would only come to the front door to collect or drop off his daughter for his arranged times with her. I was conscious of not making things difficult for my girlfriend and would make myself scarce when he was due to come. She would also make hints to me when he was due to make sure I wasn’t around.
Last night I had an important sporting event that was scheduled over 12 months ago. It was part of a series that I had trained and prepared for. Three weeks ago, my girlfriend received notice of her citizenship ceremony that was to be held on the same evening. She was able to invite two other people to come along and witness the occasion. She wanted her daughter to be there and said for me not to worry she would invite her ex to come with them. She said I was the first choice to come with her however because I couldn’t, he was the next choice. They had both emigrated here together originally before their daughter was born.
My event is usually over by 8pm. I would then normally socialize with the teams afterwards however on some occasions had left immediately to meet with my girlfriend if we were doing something.
She was due at her ceremony at 6:30, she was thinking it would be over at 7:30 and then the three of them would go out to dinner afterwards to celebrate and be home by 9:30 around the same time as me. At 7pm she text me to say, “the bad news is it finishes around 9pm. The good news is you don’t have to rush away as I will be a while with dinner after.”
I was already feeling bad for not being at the ceremony with her. I could have easily left my event at 8pm, and meet them at 9pm for dinner and celebration afterwards. She knew that if I had come to meet them, her ex would have left and would not stay to celebrate. She felt that he had sat through the boredom of the two and half hour ceremony and deserved to be there to celebrate.
I got home at 9:50pm and went to bed. I thought they would be out until at least 11pm. She got home at 10:30 and was upset I didn’t wait up for her.
I am sick of tip toeing around this guy to protect his feelings. I have done nothing but to make things easy for him and my girlfriend and have never tried to come between them in the interest of protecting his relationship with their daughter. I feel that if he had left because of me that’s his choice. I would have been friendly towards him and she knows that.
Should I feel bad about this whole situation? Was I wrong in not cancelling my event to be with her? Should I feel annoyed that she did not say, “we’re not having dinner until 9pm now. Come and join us”? I’m confused about whether I’m doing the right thing to continue protecting this guy or not. Please can someone give me some perspective?
If you're good enough to be with and good enough to live with, then you should be good enough to share everything with. You shouldn't need to make yourself scarce when her ex is due and it's his responsibility to maintain his relationship with his daughter regardless if his ex is with someone or not. It's his decision not to meet you and not want to come in while you're at home but going by your GF's actions, she is the one protecting him, not you.
If they both emigrated, then you also need to take your thoughts further and look at their background and culture and find out what's acceptable to them in these circumstances and if it differs from yours. Different cultures have different life values and different family standards.
She's basically put a condition on your relationship and it's your choice as the whether you wear it. By accepting her and her daughter into your life, you have also had to accept her ex and the way they maintain things because of their daughter. You may have made things easy for him at your GF's request but have a look at where you are now.
Ok thanks Manalone. That's put it into perspective for me...