I was married to a wonderful woman. We have two adult children. I came out of the closet and we divorced (amicably) seven years ago. We've remained friends and confidantes.
Two years ago, I met and married a wonderful man. My children attended the wedding and accepted my new partner. But my ex-wife won't come to my home and won't allow my new spouse into her home.
Last Christmas, we had only my children and their partners at her house. Initially I wouldn't attend, but my children were unhappy with that. With my spouse's support, I went but felt very uncomfortable. My partner now regards my ex as unfriendly.
Meanwhile, my daughter, 29, got engaged. I want my present spouse at the celebration. I know that if my ex is going to participate, it'll present a problem.
Do we have separate engagement parties - one with my family and friends, and one with hers (several friends overlap), or do we have just one and have my spouse fit in where he can? That choice will be difficult.
The wedding is to be a small and intimate affair. I don't want to upset my ex on this occasion, but I think my spouse should attend with me.
I'm sure my daughter will want to please both parents. We'd never put our kids in the middle before this, until last Christmas.
Make a stand on behalf of your current marriage. Alert your daughter beforehand. She may not want to upset her mother either, but she should recognize that you have a responsibility to support your partner.
Either there are two separate parties (silly, but it's one solution) or your ex stops trying to control the family regarding your marriage. She's no "friend" if she can't accept that your coming out also means you're entitled to love someone of the same sex.
The wedding centers more on the bride. If she truly accepts your partner, then he should be present with you. She's not "between" her mom and dad on this... she has to have the courage to say what she believes.
And she and her mother should both know that if they won't have him there, you have good reason to consider staying away too.
I'm male, 38, my wife's 36, we have two daughters.
We started dating in our teens and married in our mid-20s. We've never had any major issues; we have similar goals, interests, and beliefs.
But one thing bothers me increasingly. I tend to be cold, emotionally selfish, and distant. She's probably doubted I love her - which possibly I've doubted myself.
I've just been busy battling my own demons, and living my own life, with her as a peripheral player. But recently I've realized that we're really together, forever.
I'd like to relate and bond to her in a more tender and emotional way. But we have years of acting in another way.
I don't believe this is a counselling issue as there's no emergency and no money for non-emergencies.
Say to her what you've told me. Ask her about her daily "battles" with demons or angels, share some of your own stories, make time to walk together and to lie in bed talking out your days and your thoughts.
There IS urgency here, and it's worth getting counselling if you can't move forward on this, on your own. The longer you stay emotionally distant, the less chance you have of staying together forever.
My wife and I find the idea of "open marriage" interesting.
We see nothing wrong or unnatural about forming an occasional intimate relationship with someone else.
We're being honest and don't think jealousy will be a problem. Still, we're considering a trial basis initially, and a contract agreeing to the conditions and limitations of intimacy with others. Your thoughts?
In the book Open Marriage, by George and Nena O'Neill (1972) only 20 pages referred to sex outside marriage. The "openness" they promoted was mostly about having more equal and independent relationships than commonly existed, then, among North American marriages.
Example: Don't expect your partner to fulfill all your needs; have flexibility in your roles as husband and wife; have respect for each other's privacy and personal space.
I believe that intimacy with others is so potentially corrosive to the marriage bonds of trust, respect, and love, that it shouldn't be risked for "trials."
Tip of the day:
Stand up for your partner, rather than conform to other's prejudices.