I have been with my fiancé for 2.5 years. We are supposed to get married next spring. He has a 6 year old son from his previous marriage. I love my fiancé and his son very much, but I frequently feel like an outsider looking in. I do not feel very included in family life. My fiancé is a wonderful man for the most part, but he is a people pleaser and often it seems as though he is more interested in pleasing his ex wife than he is in pleasing me. What I mean by this is that he believes that appeasing his ex wife's every whim is the best way to ensure his son's happiness. She is very domineering and feels that as a mother, she is akin to a god and that my fiancé, as a father is a second class citizen. His ex has a lot of control over our lives. He even lets her dictate how we should parent in our own home. This makes me very uncomfortable. He claims that he has no feelings for her, (of any kind) but his actions seem to indicate otherwise and I often feel he uses his son as an excuse for not setting boundaries or resolving his personal issues. I don’t think he loves her anymore, but she cheated on him and he has never really dealt with all of the emotions that came from that breakup. He is very afraid of her. I put a lot of effort into helping with his son, but my fiancé acts as though it is ok if I help out at home, but if my presence is going to upset his ex or make him uncomfortable, then I am supposed to bow out of the picture. This hurts a lot and has caused me to withdraw from him and his son quite a bit. He has shared custody of his son, so I often am not home much during the weeks that we have the little boy. It is easier to be gone than it is to sit home and be excluded. I find it very demoralizing. I have talked to my fiancé about needing him to set some boundaries and not let his ex run the show if we are to have a lasting relationship, but he has yet to make noticeable changes. We have sought couples counseling as well, but he quickly decided our issues were resolved. I love him and have put so much effort and energy into this relationship and I know he loves me, he just does not know how to maintain a healthy, appropriate relationship with his ex wife. We don’t fight about many other things, but these issues are destroying our relationship. At the same time, though I love my fiancé, I know I could have a much less stressful life with someone else and I have started to develop feelings for a coworker. I have not told my coworker and do not know if he reciprocates. It is irrelevant at this time because I would never act on anything until my current relationship had ended. I just don't know what to do anymore.
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