I’m At A Loss

Last night was my boyfriend’s son’s birthday and because he works during the day and in a city about a 1/2 hour away from where we all live, we decided to do a late pub night dinner.  Ray and I discussed at length beforehand that we needed to ensure that this was a birthday get together that was not meant to include either his ex wife or his ex wife’s family.  It’s past time to cut those ties…for our relationship and for Ray’s relationship with his kids.  The night before, Ray did a good thing and he called his ex wife and confirmed with her that he would appreciate that she not come to the pub night dinner, this was a family thing for us.  She said fine.
20 minutes before we were set to leave to pick up Ray’s mom and go to the pub, she texted and said she’d changed her mind, she was coming anyway.  Obviously I was so upset about this….it pretty much means that I’m screwed from here to the end of time.  If she cannot respect being specifically asked not to show up to something and she shows up anyway, there’s nothing left that I can do.  Ray did what I asked him to do, he informed her of our feelings on the matter and asked her to make other arrangements.  She chose to disregard that and claim her ‘right’ to come to whatever she wants that involves her ‘children’.  (Kyle turned 31 yesterday).  I really have no idea what to do at this point.  I’m at a complete and frustrated loss.  Suggestions?
In food news, last night’s pub dinner (at 8:30 at night!) wasn’t completely off the rails for me.  Everyone had either delicious, greasy, juicy looking cheesy hamburgers and fries or clam & salmon chowder or deep fried prawns….and I didn’t.  I just couldn’t see not feeling like utter garbage the next morning if I’d eaten something like that as late at night as it was.  I didn’t even take the calories into consideration, it was really just a ‘how is that going to make me feel’ sort of decision.  So I had a chicken wrap….grilled chicken, lettuce, tomato and pesto mayo wrapped in a tortilla….and I had a garden salad with it that was disgusting and didn’t get eaten.  I probably could have stopped at half the wrap for as late at night as it was, but I had the whole thing….plus 2 glasses of red wine and half of Ray’s Granville Island Winter Ale (so good!).  Overall foodwise I feel pretty good about it, I don’t feel like garbage this morning so that’s good…..I did sleep through my alarm this morning though…I think the combo of wine/beer, a few days of heavy exercise and emotional upset last night all came together and I slept like the dead.
I’m meant to go spinning tonight at 7:15.  After tonight there’s no exercise until Saturday morning so there’s really no reason I can’t go and blast it and then have a couple of days rest.   Plus I would really like to go tanning……tanning is at the gym and spinning is at the gym, problem solved, right?!
Love List ~ November 9, 2011
This morning I am grateful for:
cozy sweater dresses
the numbing properties of wine
deep conditioned, soft and shiny hair

9 thoughts on “I’m At A Loss

  1. People can be so self absorbed and selfish. I am sorry that you had to deal with the emotional upset last night but truly impressed that you didn’t let it effect your food choices. I for one would have probably said screw it all and eaten like the Bovine that I am. I like your idea about thinking not about calories etc but about how it will make you physically feel. It is so true that all that grease hi carb stuff makes you feel icky later…trust me I know that from experience for sure!

    • I thought about it, ImaB….about eating whatever I wanted because I wanted (and deserved) some comfort. But….aside from the calories and the ‘how I’m going to feel’ debate that went on, I also realized that I really hate her and she’s not worth me feeling like crap or ultimately down the road, looking like crap. She managed to ruin our evening, blatantly disrespect us and our relationship and feelings, she’s not worth enough to also let her presence sabotage my healthy living.

  2. Living under the cloud of an ex is difficult. There is no rhyme or reason to their behaviour. Requests can be made for a show of respect but there is no guarantee it will be granted.

    When there is consistency of poor behaviour, what to do?
    1) Acknowledge that this is a problem that’s not going away; prepare for it, live gracefully through it, and do not let it weigh you down.
    2) Continue to ask for respect, be denied, and be under the control of anger and frustration the entire time.
    3) Make arrangements with the grown child, separate from any and all family, for an in-home or private setting.
    4) Do not attend these functions where the offending parties are included, give a calm and polite reason why, and accept the loss of relationship in doing so.

  3. I think she’s looking for a reaction out of you when she does this. She’s clearly thinking it out in advance as evidenced by waiting until 20 min before the function so you couldn’t change plans.
    I don’t have any advice, other than to stop telling her what you guys are doing. Kyle and Andrea are both grown adults and there’s no reason that they need to report in to her prior to getting together with you guys. It doesn’t make sense to keep secrets, but she does need to learn that these are not babies and she can’t just ‘assert her right’ whenever she feels like it.
    You might also need to take the alternate day approach. As in, don’t take him out on his ACTUAL birth date if you really don’t want her there. If she needs to see the kids on the actual day, then you guys make a tradition of going out on the day before or after. Otherwise she will always have ammo because she can say that you’re ‘keeping’ them from her on significant occassions. If you go out a week after his birthday, then she really has no reason to come.

    One other thing might be that if she’s going to resort to treating them like children so that she can assert her rights, her and Ray should sit down as if they ARE children and work out which things are ‘family’ (which MUST include you!) and which things are not ‘family’.

    I don’t envy your position at all!
    Love you!

  4. Congrats on making such a great food choice in such a difficult situation. I hope you really see what an amazingly hard choice you made. I’m impressed, I would have eaten my way through the evening for sure…

    As for the ex, I agree with the others that she does this for the reaction. So try not to let it bother you… (yes way way easier said than done). I just keep thinking, the opposite of hate is not love, but ambivalence. If she wants to show up at something, fine let her be there. Drive her away with kindness and lack of caring. As soon as she realizes that she can’t get to you and use that to take out her own frustrations the sooner I bet she’ll find a new place to put that negative energy.

    I’m the 30-something daughter of divorced parents that hate one another. They have finally learned to be in the same room, with their spouses, and just avoid one another… even in a small room. My Dad still gets wound up from time to time, but as the kid I am grateful that they stopped with the “deciding for me” who was going to be there and not be there. I know it’s hard, but it helps the kids out a lot. Or ask his kids what they want. Maybe that’s an option?

    That all being said, I totally get the annoyance, I hated it when my mans ex lived nextdoor but I waited it out, and she moved and stopped calling on her own…once I stopped reacting.

    Just my two cents!

    • OH! Maren, I love that, the opposite of love is not hate, it’s ambivilance! That’s great, GREAT!

      I think that although she is the one who left Ray, she never really made that break in her head….she didn’t want to be married to him or live with him but she wants all the good parts of it…the family get togethers, the vehicle borrowing, tool borrowing, help requesting. And now that there’s me and she obviously never got a say in him getting me, I think she’s trying to put the boots to me….thinking perhaps “You can have him, but you’ll never be rid of me, I was here FIRST!”. Or…alternatively, this is just my own paranoia speaking. I also like your take on the adult kid of divorced parents wanting the parents to be at the same functions. My question is how the new spouses of your parents deal with these get togethers. Do they chat amicably with other opposite family members? Or does everyone sit in uncomfortable silence? I’m really just curious.

      PCESS, yes, my free flowing paranoia believes that she preplanned the entire thing just to screw with us (see above). We are definitely, in future, adopting the ‘not on the actual day’ philosophy and I have admitted that milestone events, big birthdays, weddings etc are going to be joint whether I particularly like it or not.

      Part of my big huge problem with this is that the more that I bow down to something that makes me very uncomfortable, the more of a door mat I fear that I will become.

      • Part of my big huge problem with this is that the more that I bow down to something that makes me very uncomfortable, the more of a door mat I fear that I will become.

        This resonates with me. Part of my huge problem with a lot of things is that I don’t want to ‘give in’ because I don’t want the other person to ‘win’. But when you think about it, what are they winning? She’s not winning anything by being there… if you don’t react and you make peace with it (such that it sounds like you have a plan), then she’s not winning you are. You’re winning by not being irate about it, by not being defeated by it and by not making poor choices (food or behavior). The only person to win or lose anything in a situation that you’re in (unless it’s the lottery) is you. By behaving in a way that makes you feel bad, mad, sad or whatever, you’re losing. By behaving in a way that means you can live with the situation and the fall out, you’re winning. You’re never going to be in a ‘door mat’ type relationship with her. And as long as Ray understands that your behavior is for the betterment of both your lives, and not because you’re bowing down to her wants, that means that there is no door mat. He needs to suitably stand up for you and if that means that you go to these things, don’t cause a fit and then he is understanding, grateful and gracious about it (in speech, materials, time, whatever), then you’re not a doormat, you’re a person that’s made a consious decision to not make a good part of your life miserable!

      • I love this….and it is going to be the basis for a conversation between Ray and I tonight. I have been thinking a lot today….I can’t live big chunks of my life in combat with my spouse, giving myself high anxiety, predicting what someone else may do or say.

        Part of me doesn’t even really care if she’s there….I don’t. She’s not a drunken, foul mouthed hoochie, she’s generally not overtly rude to me (nor am I to her), we mostly just ignore each other or leave each other alone. I have been known to serve her coffee at our home or send her and her dog home with brownies. It’s not so much that I hate her (but I sort of do), it’s that I will be sociable with her on MY terms. And when she (or the family) forces herself into my life, it’s like swallowing glass…there’s no way to soothe that.

        If I’m being completely honest (and what’s the point, if I’m not), the other thing that annoys me and sets my teeth on edge about this whole thing is that when I play nice and don’t make a stinky, screaming, crying fit about things like last night, Ray just takes for granted that everything must be fine and I get no repayment for the emotional and mental toll that it takes on me to smile through it.

        I honestly think, not being a greedy, grabby girlfriend by any stretch, that if I knew that he was going to express his gratitude in any way for my better behaviour in a foul situation, I would be more likely to go along quietly. But he doesn’t and she gets to walk all over our lives and I’m the only one who suffers.

  5. Well then I think you’ve gotten to the root of the problem… You don’t make a stink and in the end you don’t get rewarded for doing something outside your comfort zone. So tell him that! Tell him that you two are going to have to make some sort of arrangment so that you don’t feel like you’re suffering… You’re essentially making his life a million times easier than it could be by keeping your mouth shut and venting on here. But that doesn’t work in the long run because you become bitter and twisted about it. I’m not saying that you should threaten him that if he doesn’t acknowledge you, you’ll throw a screaming fit every time her name is mentioned… but he SHOULD make some effort to understand and be grateful that you’re NOT making his life harder than it is. Who knows, he may be overwhelmingly grateful everytime you guys come home from one of these ‘events’ and think to himself, ‘man, I’ve got the best girlfriend. I know these things are hard on her but she has such grace that it’s like it doesn’t even matter, even tho I know it does’. The problem is that the conversation in your head is ‘Man, he doesn’t even see what a challenge this is. I want to punch her in the face fifty times a minute but I don’t… I wish he’d know this isn’t the easiest thing I do, but I do it for him because I love him’. You need to come to a solid place of understanding for both of you. Perhaps he doesn’t see it as a problem or challenge at all and from a point of not being hysterical and screaming and crying, you need to approach him on it as many times and as many ways as you have to in order for him to understand.

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