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Long time lurker, first time poster. My story is very familiar, standard fare, really. I do have a specific question, however.

Background:
Married my ex 8.5 years ago. She was 21, I was 29. We never had a good romantic or physical connection. Stupidly got married.

2 years into it, we come very close to divorcing but she gets pregnant instead. We had all along said we'd see how we were working out before we had kids. 2 days before I called it quits she tells me she's pregnant. From her perspective it's bad news, but not for me- I thought, stupidly, that a child would help us. My son's conception would be the last time we would have sex.

We stick it out, move across country so we could afford to have her be a SAHM, and live as roommates for 5 years. The undercurrent is always present but we never, ever fight. We get along great, as very good friends. I continually ignored the problems (lack of intimacy) between us, and to make it worse, was not a good dad to our son. Not horrible, but I didn't get up at night, didn't change him, things like that.

I am the first to admit I was not a good husband and father.

Unbeknownst to me, she decides she's had enough and pursues a PA with a single neighbor. To her credit, she immediately begins planning her exit and starts sleeping in the guest bedroom. When I begin to talk about starting a business (~30 days later), it's D-Day time as this will involve me delving into our savings. During the 30 days I of course realize something is wrong but idiot that I am I think if problems aren't confronted then they will go away.

So after much crying over the next couple of months I realize what I've done to her and agree to a quickie divorce. We do it extremely amicably, the decree says 50/50 custody and no child support, but in reality we manage a shared calendar on the fly and I have been giving her more than the state-mandated CS minimum, which allows her to stay in the marital home.

2 or 3 months after D-Day I found out that she was involved with the neighbor and am devastated. I do not say anything as what would be the point?

A few months later after slight prodding says that she is dating the neighbor.

5 months after that, she tells me that there's a possibility that posOM may come to our son's bday party. At this time I express my displeasure at this- because she had an affair with him. To her credit she does not deny it. Although I eventually relented and told her I didn't care if he went or not, posOM winds up not going.

So now, a year and half after they began their affair, they are still together. I have seen him only twice, once in the street outside their houses (they live across the street from each other), and once when my ex sliced her finger open and asked me to come get our son so posOM could take her to the ER. Both times we were cordial.

For the sake of brevity I have left out a lot of details, but here's a few that may matter:
  • ExW and I still get along fine. To this day there has been zero acrimony.
  • There's no financial issues.
  • OM gets along great with our son, our son likes him very much
  • He's not a loser
  • The problems in our marriage were really caused by me- I was never physically attracted to her and this of course translated into zero passion, and me neglecting her. I have never told her of this underlying issue.
  • We should never gotten married in the first place, and would have gotten divorced 5 years ago had our son not come along.
  • Our son is just fine, he has adapted wonderfully. Every few months he rhetorically asks why mommy and daddy don't live together but I deflect those questions. We never, ever bad-mouth each other.
  • She is a wonderful mom.
  • ExW and i go to all baseball and swimming practices and sit together.
So now my question: how should I deal with having to see with posOM when inevitably our paths cross? I would be happy never seeing him again (or her for that matter, were it not for our son), but it appears they are in it for the long haul. I would not be surprised if they came back from their NYE ski trip engaged. Should I be forced into socializing with him at baseball games, birthday parties, and Christmases? At this point I am leaning towards not going to any activity he would be there for, but that would make my son sad as he really loves me and wants to be with me.

I had an IC session today (still go about once a month), and this came up. I told the therapist that this would be much easier if one of the three of us was a jerk or douchenozzle, but all 3 players are amicable, responsible, thoughtful adults. Even the posOM- he does not want to cause undue hardship.

Coincidentally this also came up b/w me and the ExW at swim practice today. She took a call from him, after she hung up asks me if that bothered me, and I said it kinda did. We then talked about his role in our breakup, which she views as minimal, and which I view as something more than that, but not the root cause. She says we need to talk about how this is going to work- the 3 of us.

I am really at a loss as to how to handle this. If I decline to go to, for instance, my son's bday party where posOM will be there, then it's really only my son (who would miss me) and me that suffers, but I just don't think I can be in the same room as them. Maybe in time I can, but right now I can't.

OSo to sum it up, I have an extremely amicable divorce that ended with an exit affair, and the APs are still together. At some point I'll have to interact with him (or I guess I could refuse totally), but really don't want to.

Anyone have a similar experience or just some advice?
 

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It sounds like you are all doing very well for your son. You may not WANT to deal with him, but it looks like you will have to. You dont have to make him your buddy or anything, just be pleasant to each other, it makes things so much easier for your son in the long run. Be glad that he treats your son well. I think you are all to be commended.
 

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I don't think you were a long time lurker, if you were you would know OM's are 100% losers and cheating wife's are never a wonderful mom.
 

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So from my experience being a step parent:

Suck it up. IF they are together for the long haul, this person is going to be a very important person to your son. He will never replace you, but he will have a special relationship with your son.

The best thing for your son is for you to get along with him. Not be his buddy, but you will need to be able to be civil and have friendly interaction with him on occassion.

He may get to the point where he is involved with your son's school and sports. You will have to see him if that is the case.

You should be grateful that your son likes him and he is not a loser.

The past is the past. Hanging on to it is not going to help your future.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I am unfortunately thinking that the only to do is suck it up. It just sucks. It's not so bad that I would want to slap him when I see him, but I also just don't want to be around him. It's my penance for marrying a woman I didn't love and inflicting a child on her that she didn't want.
 

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Suck it up man, stay involved with your son and his parties and such. Be there, I didnt, and I've lost my daughter because of it.
 

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Check and see if it's just your ego thats hurting, or if your resentful of him for the wrong reasons.

It really sounds like you may be projecting some other baggage on this dude. C'mon, you really sorta abandoned your Kid's mom a longtime before this guy came into the picture. With or without him, your marraige was a sham. If I read that right 6.5+ years, no sex and you guys were pretty young. So... She spent most of her 20's and you most of your 30's in a sexless marriage !? What's really alarming... is it doesn't sound like you gave a sh*t?... and no offense, but naturally I'd question your abstinance during this time.

Be clear...I'm not defending him, don't get me wrong. I do understand how you feel, im just saying I think this is your baggage we are talking about...?

In the grand scheme of things, you got lucky. He doesn't sound like a bad guy or a "POS" om.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Check and see if it's just your ego thats hurting, or if your resentful of him for the wrong reasons.

It really sounds like you may be projecting some other baggage on this dude. C'mon, you really sorta abandoned your Kid's mom a longtime before this guy came into the picture. With or without him, your marraige was a sham. If I read that right 6.5+ years, no sex and you guys were pretty young. So... She spent most of her 20's and you most of your 30's in a sexless marriage !? What's really alarming... is it doesn't sound like you gave a sh*t?... and no offense, but naturally I'd question your abstinance during this time.

Be clear...I'm not defending him, don't get me wrong. I do understand how you feel, im just saying I think this is your baggage we are talking about...?

In the grand scheme of things, you got lucky. He doesn't sound like a bad guy or a "POS" om.
All this is true- I did abandon her (I never cheated on her and still haven't had sex since then- it's just not that important to me and never has been, which of course was the issue). I feel incredibly guilty and that's why I gave her what she wanted and would do much for her now, and do not really blame her for having an affair. If anyone ever had an excuse to cheat, it was her.

This is definitely about ego- the right thing to do is just suck it up, but it will be difficult.
 

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You are not married to POSOM.

You are not in a relationship with the POSOM.

You want NC with the OM then have NC.

I would not have anything to do with an OM.

There is no need for the OM to be there for your sons birthday. It is you sons special day. He is not the OM's son.

Your WW and the OM have to learn that there will be times the OM can not be there to share moments when you are there.
 

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OP- you may want to consider getting a DNA test- find out if the child is really yours. They are cheap and you can take one in your home without the mother, (not admissible in court this way, but it will answer any questions). Spend a few minutes on Google searching for paternity tests and you'll get some hits.

If she cheated after you moved, she may have before as well.

Good luck
WD
 

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Put your son first. He wants you at these events. If the OM begins to come, it may actually make things a bit clearer to your son - they will sit together, you sit elsewhere.

After an initial introduction, handshake, or since it seems you already know him, a nod to them both to acknowledge their presence at any of your son's events is really all that is required. Polite but cool. All of you can approach your son to congratulate him on a well-played game, etc. but there is no need to do things as a group.
 

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If you stop going to your son's events you will only hurt him. So it's your choice. What's more important? Your son or your ego?

You abandoned your wife in so many ways while living with her. What do you think was going to happen?
 

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You are not married to POSOM.

You are not in a relationship with the POSOM.

You want NC with the OM then have NC.

I would not have anything to do with an OM.

There is no need for the OM to be there for your sons birthday. It is you sons special day. He is not the OM's son.

Your WW and the OM have to learn that there will be times the OM can not be there to share moments when you are there.

Sounds to me like dude stepped and took care of an emotionally and intimately abandoned woman and a neglected son, in more ways than one. Nothing like a bunch of dudes getting on here getting mad cause they are beta males and have to control every aspect of their wives' lives in order to feel secure. Believe me, I know first hand. My wife left me to be with someone else after I abandoned her. Now she is getting handled by someone else. I was a bad husband and father. Yes ego is in the way.

OP you manned up nd a child needs every positive influence in their lives. Don't listen to these control freaks. Real men admit their short comings and either deal with it or walk away.
 

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You both have separate lives. You both are responsible for the emotional and physical well being of your child. As long as your child is not being harmed and is provided for, what's the problem?

Yeah, she cheated - that's why you got divorced.

According to you, the OM is decent enough. I would be less charitable since he cheated with a married woman, but you know what? It was her decision - the OM hadn't made any vows to you. What else do you need to know?

You can choose your friends, he doesn't have to be one. Be indifferent not hostile. Live and let live.
 

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You need to find out why sex is not important to you.

This is central to how you will lead your life in the future.

Regarding POSOM.. if you're not hosting the event, you don't really have a choice.

In general, I say you don't have to acknowledge the OM. It's fine for you to not speak to each other if you don't approve of him or how the affair went down. If it's just your bruised ego talking, then step up and show you are the bigger man.
 

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So now my question: how should I deal with having to see with posOM when inevitably our paths cross? I would be happy never seeing him again (or her for that matter, were it not for our son), but it appears they are in it for the long haul. I would not be surprised if they came back from their NYE ski trip engaged. Should I be forced into socializing with him at baseball games, birthday parties, and Christmases? At this point I am leaning towards not going to any activity he would be there for, but that would make my son sad as he really loves me and wants to be with me.
How do you WANT to deal with those occasions? It sounds to me like your over-riding concern is for your child, as it should be at this point.

Always realize that YOU are his father, not the neighbor. As his father, you carry a special place in anything your son does.

Make the effort to be the Dad kids need - on the scene and supportive. To entertain curtailing your activities with your son because of POSOM would be undercutting your relationship with your son. If you have to be in the same room, be cordial as you would be with someone you don't know very well.

Make sure your son knows the truth about his mother's boyfriend and the affect it had on your marriage. He has the right to know what happened to his family of origin.
 

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You need to find out why sex is not important to you.

This is central to how you will lead your life in the future.

.
I disagree. Sex isn't high on his list - that's okay. He is fine just as he is. The only thing I would caution would be to be clear with potential mates about the level of his sexual desire.
 
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