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Very Odd And Need Help

I have been dating a single mother for about a year; things are fine and I recently met her kids. I also recently met her ex, who lives very close to her geographically. Prior to meeting him, I was prepared for the worst. His ex and her family have painted this person to be, frankly, a vicious abuser. I'm not exaggerating when I say this: they have spared no opportunity to vilify this person. I was fully prepared for a physical altercation upon our first meeting. So he pulls up to the house pick up his kids and he waves a big hello to me and, as nice as can be, asks "how are ya, buddy?". His kids get in the car and off he goes. Hmmmmm. Two days later he drops them off and I'm ready again for some issue and, again, a big wave and a "take it easy, bud". and that's it. So now I'm thinking. How bad is this guy? His daughters, both of whom are under twelve, adore him. He has never missed a visit. He has always watched them when his ex can't work. He pays substantial expenses and has never missed a payment. Yet, as soon, as we are alone, it's ex bashing time. He's controlling, He's manipulative. He's this and he's that. Meanwhile, in the year I have known her, he has never once called her. He will text and occasionally email, but never anything other than child-related issues. Her family is particularly vocal about this man; how he is cruel and abusive. So I decide to dig a little further. I happen to know two people who personally know him. I call them to inquire. I am stunned by the response. These people, nearly verbatim, say the same thing: he is the nicest man I have ever met in my life. Both of these people are professional women. Holy ##$@ now I am confused. Now I'm thinking, to myself, controlling ex spouses and significant others behave radically differently than this guy. This guy hasn't made a peep since I've been hanging around his family. Nothing. Nada.
I have not brought this up to her at this point in our relationship. My concern is that they are bashing this poor guy relentlessly (probably illegally, to be honest) and what would prevent them from doing it to me? Am i overreacting?
tincan25 tincan25 41-45 2 Responses Nov 28, 2012

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i think you are totally right they probably are bashing you too. this sounds like a person still in love with him and pissed and cant have him so she talks ****..... be careful

I don't think you're overreacting... but I do think you would benefit from gathering more evidence. Watch her closely... because if she's crazy (enough to vilify a perfectly nice man relentlessly for no reason), there will be cues of her "craziness" in other aspects of her life. Take everything into consideration... watch the way she treats others close to her, examine the way she treats you when she's angry, and then you can decide whether it's an isolated incidence of wrongful persecution (mob mentality with her family, perhaps?) or if it exhibits a pattern of childish immaturity that you're better off staying away from.

That's just what I would do, anyways. Having gone through a divorce myself, I know what it's like to be tempted to bash my ex, but as a relatively sane person I have enough self control to stick to the facts without embellishment when explaining why my marriage failed.