I have a question about a relationship I am entering. I am a 32-year-old lesbian (I came out when I was 18), and my mother, 50, has also been “out” as a lesbian for as long as I can remember.
The person I am entering a relationship with is my mother’s ex partner (also 50). I was 26 and out of the house when they got together. They broke up about a year ago after a six year relationship. She has always been a great confidante to me. We have continued to stay connected, talking all the time because she and my mom have a child together.
I plan to tell my mom when things are more settled between myself and my new girlfriend [mom’s ex]. I guess my question is: should there be any issue with this? I mean, it isn’t like she was ever a mother figure for me.
Of course this will be an issue! That you even have to ask tells me you are either in deep denial or extremely self-centered.
Sleeping with your mother’s ex is never a good idea, regardless of gender or circumstances. While you never considered your mother’s ex your “other mother” technicalities won’t change the fact that you are already family by association. (Hey, it was technically acceptable for Woody Allen to marry Mia Farrow’s adopted daughter…that doesn’t stop people from thinking of it as incest.)
If there were no children in this family, I would probably leave it at that and expect to watch your mother’s reaction on an upcoming episode of Jerry Springer. But there is a child involved, so I must say more for his sake. I’m appalled that your first concern is not your young sibling (who is now potentially your step-child-to-be). I also seriously question the judgment of your mom’s ex, whose first priority should be her child, not her new love interest. How could either of you think it’s acceptable to put this child in the middle of all of this betrayal and drama? Talk about forcing children to pick sides!
And back to your mother: It’s hard enough to work through a break-up to get to a point where ex-partners can co-parent effectively and be civil with each other. It’s cruel for you to expect your mother to put on her best co-parent game face while constantly being reminded of the fact that her daughter is sleeping with her ex-partner.
End this now — out of respect to your sibling, your mother, and most importantly, yourself. Hold out for a drama-free partnership that won’t humiliate your mother and destroy your relationship with her.