My girlfriend of two years and I are raising a very young blended family. But we have different parenting styles.
When we’re sometimes great, I’ve never been happier in a relationship.
But we have bad times, arguing about my issues with our sex life or her ex, causing me growing resentment towards her.
She and her ex had a common-law relationship over two periods totaling 15 years.
He was angry about their breakup, kept the house, and made her and their two small children leave.
They would’ve couch-surfed for a while, so we moved into my home pretty quickly.
Her ex said awful things to his children and sent inappropriate and subtly threatening texts to my girlfriend.
He also printed up photos of my late wife, drew X’s over her eyes, and placed these images in his children’s books.
He mentioned in texts that we might see him driving around our neighbourhood in the future. Our homes are 45 minutes apart.
Eventually, he seemingly calmed down. However, I neither like him nor trust him. He’s a deadbeat dad having only seen his children a handful of times since their split.
Everything about him upsets me and when he comes up in conversation, she and I argue about him and she attacks me, while defending him.
We argue because she texts him often, wants her contact with him to continue long after her children move out, and remain friends with him. She still cares for him, regardless of what he’s done.
Our sex life is satisfying, but I feel jealous about a previous one (which supposedly happened prior to her ex, and during a period where she left him).
Her past is more exciting than my own, with groups and lots more people. I sometimes feel inadequate besides jealous. All these feelings and resentment make me get suspicious. I wonder if she’s still seeing her ex or someone else.
It also makes me moody, which makes her worried and defensive, resulting in fights. We always make up, but each new fight adds more lingering doubt, hurt and resentment.
I want her to set some clear boundaries with her ex. I want to let go of my jealousies.
How can I accept things as they are? Can we be happy together?
Or am I right to be suspicious about her relationship with him?
Blended and Confused
Two very different back-stories: Your wife passed away, leaving sadness but also space for you to move on.
Her ex is still around, with a tumultuous history between them, making him jealous, and her possibly guilty enough to try to stay connected.
Your relationship’s at risk unless you two resolve what’s dividing you.
Getting couples’ counselling is likely the only way for you both to recognize what you’re each contributing to the growing anger and moodiness.
She can allow her ex access to, and information about their kids if he seeks it, unless he continues with his “threats.”
But she also must set boundaries on personal contact with him, and make you her priority.
Otherwise she’s blocking this relationship from becoming solid and secure.
However, you cannot set her boundaries.
You must confront your own jealousies and sexual insecurity.
There may be a background reason (related to other past issues in your life before her) and her behaviour has touched that nerve.
Since you can be great together, there’s hope.
A counselor can guide you both to better understand each other’s hurts and needs.
I’ve been seeing this guy for two-and-a-half years, all while he’s in a 20-year-plus relationship with someone else.
He tells me that he’s unhappy, but wants to be happy. He’s building a house and says that I’ll be the one with whom he moves there… and that I’m the one he loves.
I don't know why he hasn’t left the other person yet.
I’ve repeatedly tired to break it off with him but it’s so hard. I don’t know what to do.
Tired of Waiting
Walk away. Even if he comes after you, keep walking.
Before you can possibly believe that there’s a future for you with him, he’d have to show proof that he’s left the other relationship.
But that still won’t make him a good choice. He’s been stringing you along for over 30 months. He’s cheated on the other person that long, and maybe cheated with others before you.
You can’t trust him.
Tip of the day:
Emotional issues can’t be resolved without each partner recognizing their own part in them.