My mom, worried about my ex-fiancés feelings, and neglecting my new wife’s

Reply Sun 21 Oct, 2018 10:32 am
I’m having trouble with processing something. My ex and I ended our relationship about 18 months ago. It was toxic for several reasons, and my parents agree that we are better off apart. Since the break up, I met and ultimately married my current wife.

Here’s the hitch. My mom is afraid to have too much contact, especially on social media, with my wife, for fear of my ex’s reaction. My ex is the mother of my 5 year old, and my mom is afraid to “rock the boat” as she describes it, because she doesn’t want my ex to not communicate with her about my son, and she doesn’t want to lose time with my son (she and my dad sometimes have dinner with or otherwise visit with my ex when my son is with her).

When asked, my mom went so far as to say that she and my wife could be Facebook friends, but only if my ex wouldn’t be able to tell.

I’ve Googled everything I can think of, and can’t find anything on the topic.

I’m offended, and I’m sure my wife would be offended if I told her about the Facebook thing (although she already assumes that to be the case, just without confirmation).

What to do? Anyone have any insight? Scholarly links? Experience in the area?

I refuse to allow my wife to feel like a secret, and I’m about to start drawing lines in the sand. Am I off-base on this?
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Reply Sun 21 Oct, 2018 11:08 am
Your mom can do this:

1. Go to her Facebook page and at the very top right, click the twirly arrow at the far right (just to the right of the question mark).

2. In the dropdown menu, click settings.

3. In the menu at the far left click, privacy.

4. To the right of the paragraph starting with "Who can see my friends list" click Edit.

5. Choose, "only me."

None of her friends will be about to see any of her other friends and this would be applicable to everyone, not just your new wife. So she would not be singled out as being treated differently than anyone else.

I'm so glad you asked, because I just changed my setting to Only Me for friends. And that's a good thing.

As to the drama, leave it with mama.

You cannot control others, and really wouldn't want to.

Let it be.

Reply Sun 21 Oct, 2018 11:16 am
First of all, I think I agree with your mom. Your mom has a grandchild, an important relationship. Your mom needs to maintain a relationship with the mother of her grandchild. That isn't comfortable... but it is a fact. You and your new wife are going to need to deal with that.

You can not force your mom to have a relationship with your new wife. That is between your mom and your new wife.

My advice to you is to focus on the things that you can control.

- You can have a good relationship with your new wife.
- You can have a good relationship with your mom.
- You can be civil with the mother of your son and try to be decent and cooperative when it comes to your shared child.

- You can be a good father and maintain a relationship with your son.
- You can not make your mom like your new wife.

There is nothing wrong with you expressing to each person what you wish... you can tell your mom "I wish you would connect with my new wife". But that is all you can do. After that, accept that you have done what you can. Drop it; anything that is going to happen will happen between them and have nothing to do with you.

But you have to accept the things that you can't control. You can't make people like each other even if you want them to.

Reply Sun 21 Oct, 2018 11:17 am
Thanks for the input. My strong inclination is to push back and just remove my parents from my social media entirely, as well as taking a break from real world contact as well. The way I view it, it’s my wife and I both, or neither. I’m not trying to control them per se, I more trying to set the standard for how she and Inare to be treated. Am I wrong?
Reply Sun 21 Oct, 2018 11:20 am
Thanks for the feedback. One clarification. My mom actually really likes my new wife. We all get along well when we spend time together, and we frequently openly discuss my ex and how controlling/manipulative she is. Does that change your perspective at all? Is it wrong to be friendly and accepting in person, but keep them a secret on social media? What does that say to my wife?
Reply Sun 21 Oct, 2018 11:25 am
Are you asking me to judge your mom's behavior? I understand how you are feeling, if that helps.

I think my advice to you is the same. Tell your mom how you feel and what you wish for. It is completely appropriate for you to say "it makes me feel uncomfortable that you aren't connecting with my wife, I wish you would ...".

But after expressing your feelings, I think you should just drop it and accept things as they are. There are three other people involved here, they have to figure out their relationships without you.
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Reply Sun 21 Oct, 2018 11:26 am
I see. You must do what you must do. No right or wrong here. I would do it with as much joy and enthusiasm as possible (no drama). For example, she invites you over, but not your new wife. You respond joyously, "Thanks, but no thanks." And move on.

Your mom will either change her behavior, or not.

She is responsible for what she does. You for what you do.

You are NOT wrong, buddy. Not at all.

I once heard of a family member who might have tried to cause a wedge in a loving relationship. The couple's strategy was for both persons to always be on the phone together whenever that family member called. Worked wonders. Stick together. You deserve to be happy and have your wife included.
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