There is another woman in my life. This other woman is the Little Guy's mother. She is BJ's ex. Not ex-wife, mind you (thank goodness!), but someone that he was going to marry at one point in his life. I'm glad they never got married. That is a very selfish thing to say, but it's how I feel. I'm glad because I don't share a last name with her. I share enough without having to share my name, too. On this blog I will give her the name OW (other woman).
She and BJ met at a bar many moons ago. They began dating, they decided to have a baby and they got engaged. Pretty textbook stuff. I have heard stories about her and her behavior in the past and some of it makes me cringe. BJ was no saint either, and I'm so glad he has changed his ways. I would not be with him otherwise.
This other woman rubs me the wrong way on so many levels. I feel like if I write about her that I will just sound like a petty, jealous bitch. If that is how I sound then oh well. I need an outlet and this is my space to let it all out. I am going to start at the beginning (as best as I can remember) and just see what flows from the keyboard. I will try not to make this too long or too bitchy, for lack of a better word. It's hard being a step mother and having another woman (especially a woman from your husband's past) so prevalent in my life.
Before BJ and I started dating, back when we just hung out at the bar and talked, he told me a little bit about OW and why they split up. There seemed to be a myriad of reasons...she let herself go after the Little Guy was born and gained a bunch of weight and refused to do anything about it, they fought a lot, they lived with her parents in a basement apartment and her parents were too involved in their lives, she postponed their wedding so that her younger sister could get married first...just to name a few. I met OW about a week after BJ and I decided to be exclusive. It was very brief and I don't remember much about it except that I tried to avoid eye contact with her. I'm a pretty timid person, believe it or not. They had a tradition of trick-or-treating with friends each year and they did it again that year. BJ and I had only been exclusive for about a week at that point. Even that early on, I hated the thought of him hanging out with her. We were so new to each other but I knew that he was who I wanted and I was very afraid that he would go back to her. Especially since all of their friends wanted them back together. They had been split for almost 2 years when BJ and I met, but neither of them had been in a serious relationship since the break up. I was in a sort of limbo and I didn't like it at all.
When Christmas time rolled around they decided to do things the same way they had done them since the split...go shopping for the LG together and split the bill. The night they went out I was secretly in hysterics. And they had dinner together after shopping. I didn't know how to handle this. I knew he didn't want to be with her but it was dinner time and they were at the mall so they just ate together. This type of situation was very new to me so I just sort of let it all happen and muddled through as best I could. I didn't know him well enough yet to know how serious he was about me (the I love yous came later) and I didn't know whether my jealousy was warranted. He's only the 3rd man I've been with so I was pretty green to all this dating drama. It was so hard to accept that this woman was a part of his life whether or not he wanted her to be.
BJ got up early Christmas morning and went to her house so that he could be there when the LG woke up. The presents were opened and he hung out for a little while and then he came home to me. I made a nice dinner but in the back of my mind I knew that he'd rather be with his son on this day. And I knew that he wasn't over there because of me. It was a guilty feeling I will never forget. He didn't choose me over the LG...he chose not to be around her and her family when he wasn't part of that family anymore. He said it made it easier on him for him to be with me, otherwise he'd be sitting at home alone. I wanted BJ to be with the LG but I did not want him to be with her and relive their past because that can happen when you are in a situation with your ex. It was a tough spot to be in. I told BJ to feel free to be with his son but he assured me that he'd rather be with me than in that situation.
BJ had put his house on the market right before we started dating. He couldn't afford it anymore since he was laid off at his job and was just working odd jobs to stay afloat. I was wondering where he would live when his house sold, and apparently so was OW. On Thanksgiving (backtracking a little) he said that he would love to move in with me but that it would be my choice when the time came. He said he could always rent something until we figured out where our relationship was going. We made the decision that he would just live with me once the house sold because I didn't want him to sign a year lease somewhere and then be stuck if we wanted to live together...going back and forth between houses was tough and we only lived 5 minutes apart, I can't imagine if he had moved further away from me. One weekend before settlement, OW came to pick the LG up from BJ's house. She was asking questions about the sale...that was my cue to exit because I knew what was coming. As I left the room she asked, "so where are you going to live?" BJ answered that he was moving in with me. And she said "I knew it..." I didn't hear the rest of the conversation, I didn't want to. I didn't want her to question me about anything. It was a big enough deal having a man and his little boy move in with me that I didn't need to be a part of the awkward discussion with OW. See, I told you I'm timid. :-)
There were times very early on that she would call BJ because she was having problems with the LG and he'd have to get on the phone with him to get everyone calmed down and straightened out. She would call him just to chat sometimes and to complain about her family. She called him once and was sobbing. Apparently she and her sister got into an argument and her sister said something like "what if "BJ" and "TeeJay" have a baby of their own and he forgets all about "the LG"?" WTF? Who says that? So he had to calm her down. This other woman was beginning to annoy me with her phone calls but I couldn't do anything about it. BJ had to answer because she only called when she had the LG with her and what if something happened? She obviously still thought of BJ as a friend and so she kept turning to him. I didn't like it at all. BJ didn't like it either but we couldn't stop it from happening. It's not as bad now, but it still happens from time to time.
I wish there was an instruction manual for how to handle ex's when you are in a new relationship. It's not a puzzle that can be solved. It's just this ongoing issue that will always be there. I know things could be much worse...she could be psycho, vindictive, a drug addict or just a terror in general. She's none of those things...but she's in my life and I can't do anything about it. THAT is the key. I have no choice in the matter. It's so hard to look at her and go to her house (basement) knowing that BJ loved her and was going to marry her...knowing how much history (almost 7 years) they have as a couple, knowing they share a child that will bind them together for the rest of our lives. She's pleasant enough and we tolerate each other well, we even share laughs sometimes. It doesn't change the fact that she is the other woman in my life that will always make me feel second best.
I have a lot more to share on this topic but maybe someone will stumble across this and see that they are not alone if they are in a similar situation. And mainly I just want to get all these feelings out and off my chest. I think once I do, I'll be able to see that it's not as bad as I make it out to be. And I know I sound petty and jealous, but I can't help it. I am jealous of her. She gave my husband a child and she had my husband first...I wish I were the only woman he ever loved. I don't share well and I don't like sharing my family with her, but I know that without her and without their past, there would be no Little Guy and I'm so very grateful and thankful that he is in my life.
To be continued.