If your partner has a child from a previous relationship that means there is a baby mama in the picture.
Baba mamas are notorious for causing issues in relationships; but does the baby mama always win when it comes to who gets priority?
The answer is no, not if you don’t let her win.
Your partner’s child should come first, that’s understandable.
Then it should be you as his current partner and not his baby mama.
But the lines are often blurred as there are emotions and feelings involved and baby mamas can be manipulative, jealous, and difficult to deal with!
Why Does the Baby Mama Always Win in Some Relationships?
If your partner’s baby mama is the one who wins (at least in your eyes) in your relationship, something is definitely wrong.
It’s always going to be a complicated dynamic balancing your relationship with your partner, and him seeing his child.
But you should never feel like his baby mama is winning.
The first thing would be to establish why you think she’s winning; is it because:
- He puts her before you when she asks him for something
- He’s still spending a lot of time at her house
- He always defends her, even when she’s in the wrong
- He drops your plans for her when she texts or calls
All of these are examples of your partner putting his ex first, probably due to her having some kind of control over him.
The common way baby mamas retain control over their exes is through using their child as leverage.
If she’s always saying she needs him to pop over for something to do with their child, needs money for the child, etc. she’s using him and I can see why you think she’s winning.
Your partner needs to learn how to stand up for himself!
How to Set Healthy Boundaries with A Baby Mama
The best way you can help your boyfriend stand up for himself and stop his baby mama from winning is to set healthy boundaries.
You should have a discussion with him about what is acceptable behavior from her and what isn’t.
For example, if she’s always texting or calling him when he’s with you, that’s not ok.
If she’s always asking for money, that needs to be discussed too.
It’s important to set these boundaries together so that you all know where you stand.
Some examples of boundaries you might want to discuss are:
- She can only contact him for specific reasons that are important enough
- He doesn’t have to respond to her immediately unless it’s something to do with their child that requires urgency
- He doesn’t have to give her money outside of whatever child maintenance payments they have set up
- She isn’t allowed to turn up at your place or drop their kid off unless it’s an emergency
You should also agree on what he will do if she doesn’t stick to these boundaries.
For example, if she starts texting him all the time again, he will tell her firmly that he won’t respond until she stops.
There is nothing unreasonable about setting these kinds of boundaries, don’t ever feel bad for doing so.
The Importance of Communicating with Your Partner
It’s so important that you communicate with your partner about all of this.
You need to be on the same page about setting boundaries and enforcing them.
It’s really only going to be possible if he’s onboard and willing to stop her from winning and taking advantage of him.
I know it can be difficult when his ex is always causing drama, but it’s so important that you guys are a team if you want to balance your relationship and do the best for his child.
If you’re not able to communicate with him about this stuff or he’s unwilling to work with you to set boundaries, then I’m afraid it’s not going to work out.
Keep in mind that she’s only able to win if he lets her.
He Has to Put Your First Because He Wants To, Not Because He’s Forced To
In a healthy and functional relationship, your partner should want to put you first.
He shouldn’t have to be forced into it by setting boundaries.
This doesn’t mean that he does not need a little help now and then, I think we all need to be reminded of what our priorities are from time to time!
If you’re in this triangle situation with your partner and his baby mama, then there are some added complications.
He may need some guidance, such as helping him set boundaries and explaining how you feel when you come second to his baby mama.
But ultimately he needs to start putting you before his baby mama because he sees for himself that it’s the right thing to do and he wants to.
If he’s not willing to do that, then I’m sorry to say but it doesn’t look promising for your relationship.
You’ll end up feeling like you’re always moaning and getting on his case, and he’ll end up resenting you.
If he’s not ready to prioritize you ahead of his baby mama (not his child), then it sounds like he’s not ready or emotionally mature enough to move on and manage his relationship dynamic.
Image credits – Photo by Bethany Beck on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.