Fiance’s Ex Causing Multiple Problems

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I have been with my fiancé for 5 years, we got engaged 2 years ago. We planned a wedding and then everything fell apart. His sister told him I was cheating on him, she also spread the rumor through the family. I swore to him I didn’t and he didn’t know what to believe. I do not cheat on him. when that all started his ex who he has a daughter with started turning his daughter against me. His ex never liked me. They had their daughter after a very short time of being together, they tried to make it work for her but they didn’t get along.

Ever since he and I got together his ex tried turning his daughter against me but she was young and did not listen to her mom. Once we got engaged his ex started making up stories to his family that I was hitting his daughter and I was being mean to her. I was never ever mean to her. He didn’t believe his family or his ex, he knew how good I was to his daughter. One day his sister came to our house and confronted me about everything, I denied it all.

I then cried, got depressed, lost 30 pounds because no one including his daughter liked me anymore. It felt like everyone was against me and he didn’t seem to want to deal with the relationship. I decided to pack all my things and leave him. I didn’t think I could handle it anymore and I sure didn’t deserve it. His family is very dramatic and always fighting, they strive on this stuff.

After a few days of being apart we both missed each other so much, we never fought, this was our first one. We decided to work things out and I slowly moved back in. It has been a year now and his mother, sister, and daughter still want nothing to do with me. His father decided if his son is happy he is to and he accepted me right back into the family. He still sees his daughter but she refuses to come to our house, so they just go out to dinner once a week. She is 9 years old now. Every time he tries to talk to her about coming over she changes the subject. Once he got her to talk and she said she wont come over because I am mean. He asked her what I did to make her think that way and she didn’t respond.

The relationship between my fiancé and I has never been stronger. We began planning our wedding again. My issue is I hate that he still sees his daughter but I am not allowed to go or be around her. It also really bothers me that after everything his ex has caused he still holds a pretty civil relationship with her. He always asks me what he should do but I do not want to push him to do the wrong thing.

His daughter and I had a great relationship, I honestly think she and I were closer than her and her mother. We did everything together. When she was 4 years old she used to beg to live with us and she asked me if she could call me mom. I told her that she should call me by my name because she has a mom. Her mother is very neglectful to her, her mother has two other children now so she doesn’t get too much attention there. I have tried many different strategies to deal with this situation but sometimes!
I just lose it and uncontrollably cry and shake. Its tough. I miss her so much. What should I do?

A: I’m afraid there isn’t much you can do about the relationship with the daughter. She is only 9. She is caught in a bind. She can’t like you because that makes her mother upset with her. She is dependent on her mom so she has to at least pretend to agree with her mother. Meanwhile, her mother can’t stand you because at one point her daughter loved you best. That may have been deserved but it doesn’t matter. She is insecure and immature. Rather than look at what needed to be changed in her own relationship with her daughter, she came up with stories that she hoped would eject you from the family.

Your fiance really has to stay civil with his ex. She is the mother of his child. If he makes too big of an issue with her, she is likely to separate him from his child. That would be terrible for the little girl. The most loving and kind thing you can do for her (and for your guy) is help her maintain contact with her dad. Please don’t hate that he sees her. It’s a big statement that he is a quality guy that he makes the effort to maintain the relationship. When she is older, she is likely to see for herself what went on. It often happens. At that point, she will be able to make a separate adult relationship with you.

There is nothing you can do about the women in your fiance’s family either. My guess is that his ex has let his mother know that she won’t see her grandchild if she accepts you. If so, that complicates things further. The only person who might be able to change their minds is your fiance. I hope he has made it clear that you are his choice and that you don’t deserve the treatment you got from your ex. He might be able to help them see his daughter regardless of his ex’s threats. But maybe not. If he’s done what he could, please let it go. Focus on the fact that your fiance loves you and is choosing you in spite of his family’s feelings about it. That’s huge. Make a good life with your guy. Find something meaningful to do on the evenings he’s with his daughter. And focus on how lucky the two of you are to have found each other.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Photo

 

 

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 17 Dec 2013

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2013). Fiance’s Ex Causing Multiple Problems. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/12/17/fiances-ex-causing-multiple-problems/