Divorced Man Treats Girlfriend Like Mistress
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Dear Christine,

My boyfriend has a son he sees whenever he wants, which I think is great. It’s the relationship he has with his ex-wife that bothers me.

She doesn’t date. She acts like they’re still a couple. He spends Mother’s Day, birthdays, and all holidays with her. He buys her gifts for all occasions and also buys things for her “from his son.” They’ve been talking about spending a week at Disneyland together with their son. I don’t like it.

He knows I’m writing this letter and asked me to be sure to tell you that there’s nothing sexual going on; he’s merely maintaining peace in his family.

I’m a confident, independent woman, and after two years of this, I don’t think I’m being unreasonable to expect more priority in his life. What are your thoughts? -- P.J. – BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS

Dear P.J.,

You have every right to be upset. Buying (or assisting his son in hand-making) a Mother’s Day gift is one thing, but gifts from both of them for every occasion is excessive.

It sounds like he still considers his ex as family. Sexual or not, he’s still in a committed relationship with her—a relationship that leaves you lower on his list of priorities.

Since he felt the need to add his two cents to your letter, you can ask him for me—what about maintaining peace in his relationship with you? Does he ever plan to spend holidays with you? He’s treating you more like a mistress than a girlfriend.

There’s maintaining peace and then there’s maintaining the illusion of a prior relationship. Moving on after a relationship ends is difficult—and even more so when children are involved. The time and devotion he shares with his ex-wife and his inability to separate his ties to his son from his ties to his ex prove he has not moved on.

Unless you’re prepared to continue being the other woman, I suggest you demand a restructuring of his priorities.

Have a question, a thought, or a story to share (anonymity guaranteed)? Email Christine at: single@keynotebooks.com

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