I started seeing a woman one year ago. She’d already decided to leave her husband when we met. We got involved and it’s been amazing.
But her oldest daughter, 16, will do anything to sabotage our relationship.
She throws tantrums, cries unrelentingly, and refuses to see, talk, or be near me.
This means that I have to leave her place.
Yet, I've developed a really good friendship with her younger daughter.
They all often have family dinners with the ex and kids all together.
She's made it clear that I’m not welcome at those gatherings.
I find this weird as she’s always complaining about how much of an "a......hole" he is.
We've spoken about it, but here I am needing advice.
Excluded Two Ways
What you have so far is a dating “arrangement” as dictated by this woman:
You get to stick around her place, only if her 16-year-old permits it. But not for “family” dinner.
She’s clear with you about her boundaries, though they’re inconsistent, i.e. she left a husband of whom she speaks ill, but wants regular family time with him that shuts you out.
She has to decide if she’s ready for a relationship.
If so, her daughters can have their time with their father, and he can occasionally join her and the kids for special dinners e.g. birthdays, Christmas, etc.
But if she wants you two to have a future together, your being repeatedly excluded just won’t work.
Some post-divorce families do successfully include new partners and exes at family events.
But it requires confidence - in the reasons for ending the marriage, and in the new relationship.
She’s not there yet.
And her daughter’s following her example.
The girl won’t change her sabotage strategy unless her mother helps her adjust to the new situation.
Maybe this is all too soon after the marriage broke up. Perhaps she’s allowing her daughter’s reactions, through guilt.
It’s up to you to decide how long you’re willing to accept third place.
I’ve been with my wife for 15 years (married for eight years). We have three children.
I would say we have a good sex life. I get what I want when I want it.
But I cannot stop thinking about having sexual relations with other women.
I fantasize about friends, work colleagues, and even people I’ve never met but have seen and been attracted to.
Is this typical male behaviour or am I dealing with larger issues?
Fantasy Sex Life
Getting what you when you want it, has to be one of the least intimate descriptions of sexual relations. THAT is your issue.
There’s no sense from that statement of passion, intimacy, or fun, for either you or your wife.
Do you two ever take time just arousing each other and talking about your desires in that moment?
Without any build-up of anticipation or variety in your sexual routine, the activity becomes same-old.
Perhaps you think your wife won’t be interested in anything new in bed.
But she may be fantasizing too, afraid to risk letting you know she’s frustrated with the current here-we-go-again.
Yes, it is pretty common that men fantasize about other women.
And it’s just as common for women to imagine themselves with other men.
But taking it to reality elsewhere obviously risks the marriage.
Try this instead: Let your wife know during the day that you’re thinking about having sex with her later.
Later, stroke her, shower together, massage her back. Encourage her to reciprocate. Bring your fantasies home.
Reader’s Commentary “I dated through various sites, starting a year after my divorce. After several revisions of my profile, this is what worked for me:
“Give a brief description of your background. If you have a sense of humour, use it. Include activities that you enjoy that could be shared by two people and be open to trying new activities, within reason.
“If the discussion gravitates to sex, move on, or change the subject. That guy’s not looking for what you are as a person. No sexy photos. Smile in the ones that you post.
“If you're looking for a relationship that might last, try to find someone within a reasonable travelling distance. It takes more than the occasional weekend to learn about each other.
“After some interesting dates and a few short-term relationships, I found a wonderful man with whom to share my life, five years ago.”
Tip of the day:
It’s not a “relationship” if you’re being kept in third place.