Bear in mind that I am cynical and jaded and suspicious af, so take all of this with the requisite amount of salt.
I just.... CT this whole thing and all the other info you've shared.... I'm not saying he's a bad guy, but I am saying that this dewd is wearing a red flag onesie. What I am saying is that this is not a unicorn but rather a donkey with a plunger duct taped to it's head. Not at all the same types of red flags as your stbxwh, but that's the dangerous part for you here. Because he looks good in comparison to your wh (which face it, just about anyone would) does not mean that he is not displaying some seriously dysfunctional and concerning behaviors - which to me as an objective outsider he certainly is. After coming out of a relationship like your M that was so extreme and so dysfunctional, it is very easy to overlook red flags in someone else. Because you say "oh well they don't do [fill in the blank] like my ex, so they are [normal, loving, decent, etc]". Just because they don't do A, B, or C like your ex does not mean that they don't do D, E, and F that are also big issues.
I will say this guy does not give me the red flags from STBXH, he didn't seem great really even at first, I think I was in a bad place after my first divorce and I ignored all the insecurities, they looking through my phone early on, the strange things that got destroyed or vanished when we dated that he blamed on otaskher people. The constant arguing, name calling and blaming me for cheating.
This guys situation is a little strange I will say but I do believe he's very much a peace keeper and VERY non-confrontational for sure--he will not even voice any concerns with me. Very low key.
Take the 'laid back' thing. I get how being with someone laid back is a refreshing change of pace after being with someone v much not laid back. But there is an enormous difference in being laid-back and being non confrontational to the point of staying entangled with your ex to a pathological degree, allowing the affair partner to sleep in your house, your family still treating your cheating ex like a member of the family.... I'm sorry, but allowing your ex spouse to have cart blanche access to your home and your family and allowing her affair partner to have access to your home is not IMO healthy or normal behavior. Not that I want a 'confrontational' person, but I also don't want someone who never puts a foot down to set healthy boundaries for themselves - people who can't SET healthy boundaries for their own self also seem to have a lot of trouble RESPECTING healthy boundaries that others set for themselves IME. If the only reason he's putting distance there is because you have mentioned it, he ain't doing that for him he's doing that to appease YOU.
My guy said once married they were just room mates.
Hmm that's funny. My cheating exdouche said the same thing about me to his ap.
His XW will come to town and stay with him with the kids and clean out his cabinets--re-organize stuff
This is not okay. Maybe I am projecting (possible), but the fact that he's seemingly fine with this is a huge red flag to me. I am all for civility with your ex, especially if you have kids together, but his home and his day-to-day life are no longer any of her business. The fact that she feels entitled to still act like it is and that he allows that is just not okay.
She just now got her first full time job at almost 50---when I've met her, her husband has never made an appearance even at family events under the idea of not attending is because he's on dog watching duty.
I literally see NO inkling that they have anything romantically going, his XW is super dry and not fun in any way, very negative and seems just like a miserable person . My guy said once married they were just room mates.
Personally, I see her treating him like some charity case that she feels she ruined his life, took his kids, his house and since he hasn't remarried in the last 10 years she thinks she owes him something? Guilt possibly.
I'm guessing most ex's don't want to see someone they discarded with someone way above themselves as a total package.
Neither of you should know this much about her. Her knowing you should be only as far as she needs to for her children's sake (ie to make sure you're not a drug addict/abuser/crazy/etc). Beyond any potential impact on her kids, who he dates is literally NONE of her business. And were I in this situation I would very much not like knowing how much he was sharing about me and my life with her since he very clearly has no boundaries where she's concerned.
I totally understand wanting to be seen and feel loved and cared for and appreciated in the wake of all you've been through CT. That is a totally normal way to feel. But precisely because of all you've been through, I also think your red flag radar is calibrated only to the extremes you've been dealing with. Things that might not seem like red flags because they don't hit the high threshold you've become accustomed to doesn't mean they aren't. That's what I mean when I say that you are in a very emotionally vulnerable place right now. Please just pump the brakes on finding a new relationship for the moment - take time for yourself, do some therapy, get some practice in setting healthy boundaries for yourself. Put that work in NOW so down the road you can start something new with a new SO from a place of emotional strength and wholeness. Give yourself that gift because you absolutely deserve it.
[This message edited by EllieKMAS at 6:34 PM, Thursday, April 13th]