Did I make the wrong decision?

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    Hello. Looking for outsider perspective and advice as I am dealing with some very difficult emotions after breaking up with my boyfriend.

    My boyfriend (30 M) and I (33 F) have been friends for 10 years. His mother is my best friend and I met him through her. We only dated 8 months prior to the breakup. He has a child with another woman who he has been separated from for almost two years. During our relationship together, I understood the responsibilities that came with being a parent who shared custody with the mother of his child. I knew they would have to meet up to take care of the child and try to be as best of a family that they could for their daughter… but then things started to get difficult. His BM has a history of being violent and he has overwhelming evidence of her abuse. They split because she was controlling and physically abusive. I have never had contact with her, but she still has insulted me and stalked me on social media. Despite these behaviors, my boyfriend would still travel 1 hour to her home to see his daughter weekly. However, he was staying there till midnight sometimes because he claimed that she was having trouble putting the baby to sleep… on one occasion, early on in our relationship, she refused to take out her trash and he traveled to her home to do it for her. ON another, she demanded he get her water and groceries in the middle of the night and he did. He even made her a bbq on the fourth of july and skipped out on plans with me. It was here that he revealed to me that he hadn’t told his BM about me and him and that she had found out through a third party who had seen us on a date. I confronted him on this and he and his mom both told me that he didn’t tell her because she’s very violent and unpredictable and they didn’t want to create any conflict. This is where I started to get uncomfortable as I could not understand why he would be so willing to accommodate someone who caused so much emotional and physical trauma in the past. My bf has also told me that she has tried having sex with him on one night and that she wouldn’t let him leave the apartment until he had to shove her out of the way. After speaking with him about it, he said he would make arrangements to take her and the child out to public places instead so as to make things more reasonable. However, that didn’t last long. He continued to go over and do her yard work and grocery shopping and everything else. I told him that he should pursue legal shared custody of his child so as to have his own proper time with her on his own terms as his BM will not allow for him to go out in public without her being there as well. It’s been 8 months and he hasn’t done so.

    During this time, my best friend (his mom) and her family continued to caution him about his BM and insisted that he do something legally as well… IN the 8 months we were together, he never did. During this time, his behavior changed. I rented a place on the island for a weekend and he said he was coming and ended up going to his friend’s house instead for a party. When I confronted him on it, he said that he didn’t officially say he was coming, because the party was in his previous plans. When he played a show at a venue, he said he was going to invite me as his guest to join him and see him play. The day before the show he tells me it sold out and he didn’t get me a ticket and the concert manager said no one was allowed past capacity. Then I find out later, the other bandmates GF’s went.

    I asked him to go and see the barbie movie and he refused to take me because he said it was “gay”. One night during a family party, he went upstairs and went to bed without even telling me. I had to text him where he was. He said he had a headache. I addressed all of these things and he apologized and said he wouldn’t do them again…..

    The final straw was two weeks ago. He casually told me that he and his BM AND his family AND her family all went on a trip to the zoo together after it had already happened. According to his mother, the experience was uncomfortable as his BM was treating everyone disrespectfully…. but then, he decides to host his daughter’s 2nd birthday party at his home with his BM and her family and his family again. He told me I was not invited (which I expected, as I understand there are boundaries I have to respect with his child). But then, his mother said there were no plans for a party. That she would never allow his BM to join their family in that way and that the only reason she was at the zoo with the BM was because she showed up unannounced. So in my head, this was completely his plan to have her over and I felt very angry about it.

    It was then that I decided to break up with him because I felt as though I was being put on the back burner and that something may be going on. I have never suspected him of cheating. He insists he has never done so, but I just couldn’t deal with the disrespect of having her so casually be reintroduced to the family after everything we had been through. When I confronted him about it, he said he was going through with the party at home because he wanted to give his family a chance to see his baby. I felt very disrespected. We left the conversation with me saying I think it would be better if we split so that he could have the space he needed to get things together legally so that this wouldn’t be a problem in the future.

    Its been three weeks since I’ve broken up with him and he blocked me on social media. Prior to him doing this, I had blocked him, but then unblocked him as I felt it was too extreme. I am feeling regret as I look back and think that all of these things that angered me are petty and could have possibly been worked through. Am I delusional in thinking that I made a big deal out of nothing? Or am I just experiencing typical grief that comes with a breakup? Am I just not realizing my self worth here? or was I being selfish?

    Im sorry for this being so long but this is the first time I’ve talked about it.

    Thank you all.



    Hi Gaby

    I’m sorry to hear about the breakup.

    It sounds like the largest issue was with the baby mother.

    The thing is that getting shared custody can be expensive and difficult. And he was aware that the BM is unstable. Things can get really nasty with unstable partners when custody is involved. Often men are on the losing side of these things because of sexism in the legal system.

    At this point he’s already got access to his child. He just needs to keep her vaguely happy.

    The downside is that this was making you unhappy because of the issues this woman caused.

    It’s no easy thing being involved with a partner with an unstable BM.

    It’s a shame that things ended up this way, but it sounds like you did the right thing. It’s a lot of stress and it’s honestly fair to say, this isn’t for me.

    The grief and the anger make sense. During that period, you had someone abusive in your life. A lot of unfair things happened that aren’t usually tolerated. It’s going to take time to process the experience.

    Unfortunately, your partner wasn’t ready for the journey of the legal battle yet to come. At some point I’m sure he’ll get around to it. It’s just not an easy decision or one that others can make for him. When it happens it will be difficult and he will need to be ready for that.

    Wishing you all the best! 🙏


    Dear Gaby:

    Did I make the wrong decision?“- no, I think that you made the right decision. Your now ex boyfriend’s situation is a mess, a big mess. I hope it gets better. It’s just that I don’t see a reason for you to continue to suffer from a mess that you didn’t create, and for which you carry no responsibility.

    Am I delusional in thinking that I made a big deal out of nothing?“- it (the mess) is definitely not nothing; you are not delusional.

    Or am I just experiencing typical grief that comes with a breakup?“- yes, I think so.

    Feel free to post again, to express yourself. I’d like to read more from you.



    How are you, Gaby?


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