Wedding Woes

Three's company is too much in my relationship for me.

Dear Prudence,

My fiancé and I are both gay but he was married very briefly, 25 years ago, to “Pam.” They had two girls, and they stayed a part of each other’s lives after the divorce. Pam was even the biological mother for the son he had with his next partner. They’ve shared every holiday, vacation, and family event, even after the kids grew up and left the house. My fiancé lost his partner several years before we met. Pam affectionately referred to the two of them as her “gay husbands.” Now, she has started referring to me the same way. I understand that it comes from a place of affection and that she is trying to be welcoming, but I hate it. My fiancé is going to be my husband. I want us to have our own separate lives. I hesitate to bring this up because of their history. How do I do this?

—Out of the Way

Re: Three's company is too much in my relationship for me.

  • Maybe it's her way of being inclusive and signaling that she's happy for LW and his fiance? 

    Even if it doesn't bother the fiance if it bugs LW that much he needs to have a talk with his fiance. But it sounds like it's more about them "having their separate lives" than her words, and that's a bigger problem I think. He shares children with this woman and assuming the kids are younger they co-parent; they are in each other's lives and LW has to find a way to come to terms with that. 
  • Maybe it's her way of being inclusive and signaling that she's happy for LW and his fiance? 

    Even if it doesn't bother the fiance if it bugs LW that much he needs to have a talk with his fiance. But it sounds like it's more about them "having their separate lives" than her words, and that's a bigger problem I think. He shares children with this woman and assuming the kids are younger they co-parent; they are in each other's lives and LW has to find a way to come to terms with that. 
    But this was 25 years ago. It’s not little kids who need a ton of hands on parenting. I think it’s completely appropriate to be looking for some boundaries with Pam and if your partner won’t do that, reevaluate the relationship. 
  • If Pam is the mother of the fiance's children then Pam is going to be involved in their lives somewhat.

    The LW needs to talk to his fiance to figure out where he stands and where he thinks Pam stands.   Pam sounds like she's trying to be inclusive.   

    This walks a fine line and I completely understand the desire to draw boundaries but you also should negotiate them with your significant other so you don't become the person who "broke up the group." 
    charlotte989875ei34OliveOilsMomknottie0a31e052a035644f
  • Maybe it's her way of being inclusive and signaling that she's happy for LW and his fiance? 

    Even if it doesn't bother the fiance if it bugs LW that much he needs to have a talk with his fiance. But it sounds like it's more about them "having their separate lives" than her words, and that's a bigger problem I think. He shares children with this woman and assuming the kids are younger they co-parent; they are in each other's lives and LW has to find a way to come to terms with that. 
    But this was 25 years ago. It’s not little kids who need a ton of hands on parenting. I think it’s completely appropriate to be looking for some boundaries with Pam and if your partner won’t do that, reevaluate the relationship. 
    True, but that doesn't mean they're not involved in one another's lives, or with the children's lives. Just because the kids are grown doesn't mean the parents, even divorced parents, shouldn't be in touch or involved with one another. And Pam is the bio mother of another child (age unknown?) so it's not like they don't have any reason to be in contact.  

    I definitely agree boundaries are important (like maybe not saying LW is her gay husband), but at the same time the fiance has had this relationship with Pam and LW seems uncomfortable with it, which IMO is a bigger problem than how she's referring to LW and the FI. 
    short+sassymrsconn23
  • I'm going to take out the "ex" part.  To me, it isn't relevant anymore.  It sounds like Pam is a very good, close friend of the LW's fiancé, in addition to her being the mother of the fiancé's children.

    So it should be treated like any other good friend who is (potentially) being too big of an intrusion in the relationship.  Work with the fiancé to set up acceptable boundaries.  But it is going to be a compromise.

    For the specific issue mentioned, I think the LW is making a bit of a mountain out of a molehill.  But, since it bothers him, he should say something to his fiancé, who can then ask Pam to stop with the "gay husbands" reference.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    mrsconn23kimmiinthemittencharlotte989875OliveOilsMom
  • I'm going to take out the "ex" part.  To me, it isn't relevant anymore.  It sounds like Pam is a very good, close friend of the LW's fiancé, in addition to her being the mother of the fiancé's children.

    So it should be treated like any other good friend who is (potentially) being too big of an intrusion in the relationship.  Work with the fiancé to set up acceptable boundaries.  But it is going to be a compromise.

    For the specific issue mentioned, I think the LW is making a bit of a mountain out of a molehill.  But, since it bothers him, he should say something to his fiancé, who can then ask Pam to stop with the "gay husbands" reference.

    Exactly.  Replace Pam with over-eager/bearing/enthusiastic parental in-laws.  What would the advice be?  Ask your partner to set and enforce boundaries and decide what YOUR deal-breakers are and stick to them.  If they won't stick up for you/your relationship, then you have your answer.  
    charlotte989875
Sign In or Register to comment.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards