Dealing with other people in your SO's life


New member
This isn't really a poly issue- I had this issue with MC (regarding his parents and other family members, mostly) when we were mono, but gee, the more loving relationships I have, the more it's coming up!

I did a search and found threads on staying friends with an ex or supporting your SO through a breakup, but neither of those are really the issue in this case, hence the new thread.

Here's the situation: TGIB currently has several people in his life who are not supportive of him as a person or are otherwise not good for his mental health, but he's found a way to deal with them, at least for now. The problem is I don't know how to deal with them.

The worst is his ex-wife. She and TGIB have children together, so she's going to be a part of his life for a long time, but I get SO angry watching the way she treats him and the bullshit he has to put up with to stay somewhat civil for the sake of the kids.

Am I supposed to be neutral? Is that what I should be striving for? He tries SO hard to stay at least friendly with her so communication and time with the kids can be easier and more pleasant for everyone and I don't want to make things even harder for him by adding my own negativity. At the same time, when she has her psycho times (she's a pro a blaming everyone else when she doesn't get what she wants, and I honestly think she's bi-polar or something) and TGIB is angry, I don't know how to balance validating his feelings versus trying to help him get back to that place where he can be calm and not take her nastiness personally.

I know it would be completely inappropriate for me to say anything to her about her atrocious behavior and the effect it has on both him and their children. Even trying to talk to her mom-to-mom is OUT (she, like TGIB, is several states away so while she knows of my existence and my place in his life we've never met, which makes this even more complicated for me to deal with). And I want TGIB to be able to vent to me when she's causing problems (plus I just like knowing what's going on!) but then who do I vent to when I'm so angry at what she's doing that my vision blurs (no joke)?

So I guess the ultimate question is: how do you deal with your emotions regarding someone in your SO's life having a detrimental effect on them? He knows I have these feelings, we've certainly talked about it, but it doesn't do anyone any good to keep re-hashing them every time. Nothing in the situation is going to change anytime soon, and there's absolutely nothing I can do to make anything better. I don't think just bottling my emotions up and keeping my mouth shut is an option for me either, though.

If you followed any of that, advice or words of wisdom would be welcome!


Active member
If his ex is bi-polar, think of her with compassion.

Since she's the mother of his kids, think of her with compassion.

Overall, though, this sounds like it's his problem and he's learned how to handle it. There's really nothing that you can, or should, do.

Focus your energies elsewhere.


New member
Cyberspace is a pretty great place to vent. Also, you can call me anytime. :)

I thinking venting your spleen eslewhere might be best for you; so you can focus on supporting him in the way he's chosen to deal. I'm guessing if there's was any possibility of changing her, he wouldn't have needed to divorce. I absolutely detest the phrase 'it is what it is.' (it seems to be my new boss' favorite) But accepting what is certainly seems the way to peace. There are some things I don't yet feel right about being peaceful about. But other people's people? That one I kind of have to let go.

It might help to wonder what it is that makes you so very nutted up. I know, you love TGIB, and want everything good and wonderful for him in his life. [I'm reminded of another story, which I hate when people offer to me when I'm nutted up....but it is what it is ;) ]
The guy who helps the butterfly out of its chrysalis, because he sees it struggling, and then, a short while later, the butterfly dies. The butterfly gains its strength to live during its struggle. Without the struggle, it doesn't develop what it needs to fly.
So, what is it in you that needs so much to end his struggles?

y'know, or not.