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I have been dating a man for nearly 6 years. I am divorced also. He got divorced a few years before I met him; his wife left him. They have one daughter together and live within a mile of each other, and have many mutual friends and often have social engagements wherein both are present. Throughout the time I have been with my boyfriend he has tried to get me to "like" her, and has not recognized my stance; that she left him, and not only do I have no interest in establishing any type of relationship with her, but she does not belong in our relationship. He has said I am difficult and that I do not socialize well in these occasions and he has not recognized that I am uncomfortable with her presence. That I feel like I am dating not only him but also to a large extent her too. Fast forward to now. He just successfully beat cancer, and I told him I would like to throw him a dinner party for him with his close friends and family to celebrate his good news. He invites his ex. And not only her but also her boyfriend! Remember I am paying for this party and I am totally not on board with that. On Valentine's Day I ask him why, and he tells me he cannot extricate her from his life. He says I asked him who he wanted there and am I telling him who he can and cannot invite? In fact, he defends her by telling me she has invited me to her social functions many times (which is not true). What does this tell you? He is either obscenely obtuse about my feelings or is clueless. We have talked about this on more than one occasion and I suppose I am a very slow learner, or he has just become honest with me because I feel like it is not my position to get him to change. Thank you for your feedback.
Maybe I didn't explain my position. It isn't that I don't like her because she left him. I don't know her. I don't want to know her. The whole dynamic seems very incestuous and the boundaries are very blurred. He constantly injects her into our relationship. I cannot help how I feel (resentment, 2nd fiddle, etc) as a result of his lack of boundaries. She also has not even been civil with me...I force a hello for example. The larger concern is that he knows how I feel, yet he continues to put me out there and in a position wherein I am forced to be in a social setting with her present. And when I don't perform as he would like he gets upset with me, not recognizing the dynamic is one I would prefer not to explore. He acts differently when both of us are present (to be expected). The proposed party was supposed to be for close friends and family, of which she is neither. He has told me repeatedly that if he didn't have a child with her he would never speak to her again. So why then, is she invited to this party, since it has nothing to do with their child? That is what is confusing to me...saying one thing but doing another. It is very invalidating to me which I have also expressed.
Hi, the problem as you say is boundaries and I agree with you that he should not try to build a social circle involving you and his is stepping over the line. Me, I have been in his position as I have children with two exes but I never embellish their memories as once they have put me through misery then my relationship with them is strictly business and I would never think of trying to create a social situation with a current girlfriend and an ex, it is not appropriate and kind of creepy. For you it seems as though you are tolerant of him being involved with his ex as it concerns his child but I tend to agree with you not wanting to be friends with her so I guess you have to walk the fine line of being civil and being friendly. I do think he should pull the reigns back on his relationship with his ex out of respect for you. I doubt he would like it if the situation were reversed and you kept bringing you ex around......Anyway, good luck with this

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