I used to let envy blind me badly in the past—even if a boyfriend managed to remain congenial with an ex, the whole bond made me feel rattled as hell.
Now that I'm with a person who's ex will be around in a close way forever and ever amen, I have to be OK with that. We can't let ourselves feel threatened for no viable reason.
Matters are so peachy that she even shared me on a Google Calendar she, her boyfriend, and my boyfriend share re: who has chief parenting duties when (it's half-and-half, really).
This kind of amazing camaraderie made me really look at past relationships I'd previously kept duct-taped in a box and tossed the way-back part of the closet.
When and if my boyfriend wants to explain my role in his life to his child, that's not really up to me.
Of course my apartment is much cleaner—because I only have to account for me. I recognize I have some control freak tendencies, relationships included.
A lot of life is outside our control and dating someone with a child is a very effective reminder that no matter what, we can't always call the shots. As such, I waited until my boyfriend thought it would be OK to introduce me to his kid.
Cleaning is one of my favorite forms of therapy, likely because if I'm in a highly cluttered space physically, that transfers mentally and makes me feel like a stressed-out trashcan.
Very early in this relationship, I suggested I help my boyfriend with an intense cleaning sesh of his kitchen.