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.



honestly it sounds to me like you have done everything that you can....but that he is simply not stepping up to his responsibility in this. That does not bode well for your future with him as it does not sound like it would improve unless he is willing to take charge.

My advice would be to wait before marrying him as it sounds to me like you would be "marrying" his ex and all her stuff too! He has to show that he is able to start a new life with you, and that has not yet happened.

I agree with Chemar in settling this before you get married. Don't feel pressured to get married and nothing wrong with postponing the marriage. If you can't find a common ground where you feel important in his life, you may have to make a hard decision. You don't want to get married and realize this is a lifelong thorn in your side. Best of luck.

Show / Hide

deffenetly have to agree with everyone else! Like mark said "not only will you be marrying him but his ex wife aswell" and now thats something you dont wana do , he has to step up to her and let her know your place. he cant let her manage or control what goes inside you relationship, and house hold. Just because she is the mother of his son dosent mean she has authority on what your fiance does.. deffenetly this is something that needs to be settled and taken care of before marriage.

The fact that you are having strong enough doubts about marrying your finance that you are writing asking strangers for their opinion, indicates that you know that going through with this marriage would be a mistake. Listen to your instincts. Do you really love a man who is a 'people pleaser', always putting his ex-wife before you and using his son as an excuse, and not assertive enough to stand up to her? Can you say that you respect him for this behavior? Or could it be that you are in love with the idea of being in love and getting married? You are finding ways to avoid being at home when his son is there, do you really want to get married and feel that you can't be comfortable in your own home?

Why is it you want to marry him? What needs of yours does being with him meet? Are you happier at home with him and his son or are you happier being somewhere else?

If you answer these questions truthfully, I think you will have your answer.

You can't separate any of the parent from child unless one willfully gives the sole custody of child to another. That means you'll stay an outsider. Move on from this relationship, you've got better options.

It sounds like you are not fully ready to be married. Remember that despite how much you love him, being married is a legally binding contract, and you will be a part of that child's life--and his Ex's forever. If you've gone to counseling, things are still the same, and now you're having feelings for a coworker, maybe it is best to at least delay the wedding until you are sure of your decision. Even if you truly want to be with you fiancé and not a coworker, looking elsewhere is often a sign something is missing in the relationship.