Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Your Turn: “My Girlfriend Doesn’t Want Me Near Her Ex’s Friends”

In a feature I call “Your Turn,” in which you, the readers, get to answer the question, I’m presenting the following letter without commentary from me:

I had an affair with a married woman, “Kelly,” whom I dated back in high school. She left her husband — who now has a new girlfriend — and we have been dating seriously for over two years. Kids are involved on all sides but everyone pretty much knows everything minus details.

I am writing because sometimes, but not often, when there is a function for the kids and Kelly knows their dad will be there she asks me to stay away. She is cordial with him if she sees him but nothing more. Well, another dinner is coming up for her godson and while the ex is not invited her godson’s family is, including his uncle who happens to still be very close to Kelly’s ex. Her godson’s mother, “Mary,” and I are very close also and the godson even calls me uncle. Mary is also getting married this year and asked me to be in the wedding and asked Kelly to be her Maid of Honor. In spite of this Kelly has asked me not to attend the dinner because of her godson’s uncle and what he might say or do to stir things up. (I have never met this man before, although I have met many other family members including another brother of Mary’s, all of whom have been very nice to me). Kelly is particularly worried about him saying things in front of her own kids. I told her that I am not here to make waves but I am also not here to hide, especially from a friend of the ex. I told her that I did not believe it was fair of her to ask me, especially since his own mother wants me there. Instead of getting in a big fight about it, I told her I would just stay away, but now I am accused of having an attitude about it all. So not only do I have to be uninvited because she is worried, it’s my fault for being bothered by it.

Should I just keep quiet and stay away and chalk it up to “this is what I get” because of the way we started our relationship, or is she wrong for asking me to stay away? I feel hindered about moving forward as I feel she is not sticking by me enough. — Staying away in LA

62 comments… add one
  • avatar

    oldie February 21, 2012, 3:05 pm

    Her request is weird. My best guess is these people know something about her, which she is desperate that you not find out. You almost certainly weren’t the first person with whom she cheated on her husband. Was there anything worse than this? Probably not, but might well be.

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    • Budj

      Budj February 21, 2012, 3:13 pm

      Zing! I think you are on to something here…

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    • avatar

      Yep February 21, 2012, 3:17 pm

      I don’t know, that’s quite assumption you’re making there. She might be hiding something or she might just be scared of confrontation or being called out publicly as a cheater.

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      • avatar

        oldie February 21, 2012, 4:07 pm

        If that were the case, she’d be avoiding these people too. But she isn’t. She’s going to wedding and instructing LW not to go.

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      • avatar

        CollegeCat February 21, 2012, 4:55 pm

        She is not telling him not to go to the wedding – he is in the wedding so that would be impossible. The letter is about a dinner party for her godson she does not want him to attend. I assume she thinks she has to attend because it is her godson but feels his presence is not completely neccessary especially if it will spark conflict. I don’t agree with this but that is what i got from the letter

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      • avatar

        oldie February 21, 2012, 9:40 pm

        Okay, I see you’re right on that as I re-read the letter. So, why can’t he go to this dinner, if he is going to be at wedding with these same folks? I guess it is possible, although the letter certainly doesn’t say this, that gf won’t want him to go to the wedding either.

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    • Leroy

      Leroy February 21, 2012, 3:35 pm

      +1 , sounds like she’s got something to hide, and she’s afraid that the godson’s uncle isn’t going to play along. Her trying to blame the LW for being upset that he’s being treated like a pariah is just classic.

      If other examples of this sort of behavior, that I’ve seen, are indicative – she’s probably been lying to the LW about the status of her relationship w/ her ex.

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    • Fabelle

      Fabelle February 21, 2012, 3:44 pm

      This is kind of a jump, but not an illogical one. I’ve been in/on the fringes of tricky situations very similiar to this one, & my guess is also that she’s probably hiding something.

      It may not even be anything truly terrible, but maybe she’s paranoid about the possibility of it–whatever it is– be alluded to at all.

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    • avatar

      CollegeCat February 21, 2012, 3:46 pm

      I think its going a little far to say she has almost certainly cheated more than once in her marriage or is hiding a huge secret. Considering she chose this man over her marriage and they have been together 2 yeas since it seems as if she just found the right person at the wrong time (though i certainly don’t condone the lying/cheating). Something is definitely up but the wife may just be trying to protect herself. This guy she is afraid of may be a real loudmouth who willl jump at the chance to call her out. She probably thinks bringing the bf will trigger a confrontation. This of course is a problem they should deal with head on as a couple rather than hiding from this guy idefinitely.

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      • avatar

        CollegeCat February 21, 2012, 3:50 pm

        also the people at the party (potentially loudmouth uncle excluded) have already met him on several occasions – no problem. I doubt they have been keeping some huge secret she is desparate to hide for the past 2+ years.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle February 21, 2012, 4:31 pm

        Right, that’s kind of what I was getting at when I said it might not be anything terrible.. it could just be that she’s paranoid about what sort of interaction the uncle will have with the LW. Maybe he’ll reveal some big secret, OR maybe he’ll just make a ton of dickish comments about things that she might not want her boyfriend hearing about– at least not from him.

        Of course, the better plan (rather than exluding him) would be to have him go along and face everyone like a unit. However, she could be (and most likely is) conflict-avoidant, which explains why she’d rather the LW just stay home.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest February 21, 2012, 3:56 pm

        agreed.

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  • avatar

    Yep February 21, 2012, 3:15 pm

    It sounds like she’s uncomfortable but about what exactly it isn’t clear. Being afraid that some man will stir things up is vary vague. What can he possibly stir up? Everything is out in the open. It’s been two years and she gets along with her ex. She needs to give you a better explanation or grow some lady balls, bring you to the wedding and enjoy your company. The way you started out isn’t ideal but you are committed to eachother and she should be proud to be by your side and if anyone tries to stir things up, they’ll look like the douches, not you.

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    • avatar

      GTR February 21, 2012, 9:17 pm

      She’s uncomfortable with being reminded that she cheated on her husband and broke up her family, and possibly with being pushed into conversations she’d rather not have and attitudes she’d rather not experience.

      Poor pumpkin. But hey, that’s what happens when you cheat on your husband and break up your family. IT’S NOT A GOOD THING! She’s trying to avoid the lingering pain of the betrayal and divorce by hiding the person who’ll remind everyone of it – you.

      I can totally understand and sympathise with where she’s coming from. She’s just trying to protect herself emotionally. But here’s the thing – you have rights here. You’ve been invited and the host wants you there. She thinks that her equanimity is more important than your enjoyment of the event. What YOU have to decide is whether or not you agree with her on that.

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  • avatar

    joy February 21, 2012, 3:17 pm

    Do you plan on marrying this woman some time in the future? If you do, then I would ask her specifically why she is wanting to keep you away from your ex’s friends. I personally think this is weird but I’ve never been in this situation. Whatever she is worried about her ex’s friends saying in front of her kids can be said even if you are not there. I doubt people who really care about her kids would intentionally say something in front of them. She’s using that as an excuse to keep you away. Talk to her and find out what is really going on!

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  • avatar

    ReginaRey February 21, 2012, 3:22 pm

    To me at least, it sounds like your girlfriend still feels ashamed about cheating on her husband with you, and doesn’t want to be reminded of the guilt she feels by putting you and people who might be particularly judge-y together in one room.

    At some point, though, she can’t do that anymore. I get that she may feel guilt and shame, and maybe she really regrets that your relationship didn’t start off on better circumstances, but ultimately, for you two to have a chance at a healthy relationship, she can’t act like she’s ashamed of YOU. And no matter how you slice it, while she probably doesn’t THINK that way, she’s ACTING as if she’s ashamed of her relationship with you.

    Your last line says it all, really: “I feel hindered about moving forward as I feel she is not sticking by me enough.” You’re not wrong for feeling that way, and you shouldn’t discredit it moving forward. Mistakes, affairs, transgressions — they all happen, unfortunately enough. But at some point, you can’t continue to pay for something that happened a long time ago. The “this is what I get” mindset can’t continue for the rest of your relationship, because that’s not a healthy way to live your life. If she can’t or won’t mentally move past this and begin including you in these facets of her (and YOUR life…I mean, the kid calls you “uncle”!)…I think you should reexamine whether this is the best, healthiest relationship for you.

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    • avatar

      Addie Pray February 21, 2012, 3:50 pm

      I don’t get it. YOU’RE 23 YEARS OLD. I have socks older than you. Ok, maybe I don’t — my oldest pair of socks are about 15 years old — an old pair of soccer socks that are white, with grass stains, and 3 green stripes that somehow are still in my drawers after all these years despite moving at least a dozen times since high school. But here’s my point: You’re too young to be so wise. Do you have some sort of program that spits out thoughtful, well-organized, therapisty things if you insert certain facts?

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      • landygirl

        landygirl February 21, 2012, 6:19 pm

        She’s a robot. Be careful because one day robots will take over the world.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest February 21, 2012, 3:58 pm

      SOAB, I agree with Addie. Where do you get this wisdom from?

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray February 21, 2012, 4:08 pm

        I have two theories. (1) Regina Rey is not a real person – and neither is her alter ego Rachel East. She’s a robot. A little experiement that some top-secret, for-profit, think tank funded by extreme terrorists came up with in their search to take over the world and eliminate jobs for humans, starting out with therapists. Evil, right? Or (2) She reads a lot or something. I don’t get it.

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      • avatar

        ReginaRey February 21, 2012, 4:18 pm

        The only way you’ll find out if I’m a human or a robot is if you COME VISIT ME! 🙂

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    • avatar

      ReginaRey February 21, 2012, 4:17 pm

      Haha! You guys flatter me, but I’ll take it.

      Listen, all I can say is that the “wise beyond your years” thing comes with some potential downsides — like having zero interest in drinking/partying or generally socializing with most people your age; or in dating anyone under the age of 28; or in making myself do anything that involves even a smidgen of inherent risk (because I can’t help but extrapolate all of the possible consequences of my actions). I mean, I put on sweatpants as soon as I get home and spend most evenings quietly reading or watching my favorite TV shows with a cup of hot tea. Sometimes I have to remind myself to act young! haha.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest February 21, 2012, 4:20 pm

        I was all ‘you’re right, that does suck missing out on partying etc.’ til you got to the party about sweats and tv. Mmm. I’m old.

        Also, I’m drunk at work. Shhh!

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      • avatar

        ReginaRey February 21, 2012, 4:25 pm

        The thing is, I’m happy missing out! I drink (to the point of drunkenness, that is) on special occasions – New Years, friends birthdays, or when all of my friends get together. I think “partying” is more fun when it’s a special occasion. Plus, I just feel like I could be using my time in better ways that I would enjoy more – like getting a dog (check!) and applying to grad school (almost there) and figuring out what I want to do with my life (check!). I’d rather miss out on the parties than be a 23-year-old with no clue what’s going to motivate me or fulfill me for the rest of my life. Now THAT I find scary.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray February 21, 2012, 4:28 pm

        But, what if it’s a Tuesday? That there is cause for celebration!

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      • dabbler

        dabbler February 21, 2012, 4:44 pm

        This reminded me of an old postal service song, something about how it’s not a party if it happens every night.
        As a reformed barfly myself, I can vouch for the fact that you’re not missing much. It can be a lot of fun, but it’s also very empty. And the beauty of it is, at least here in my hometown, I can still go out from time to time, and see the same places and people and it’s exactly the same as its always been. There’s something both beautiful and sad in that.
        Which reminds me of another song, mason jennings I think? Something about living your whole life in the same damn town, and having nothing to show for it but your name on a bar stool. Or something along those lines.

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      • avatar

        ReginaRey February 21, 2012, 4:26 pm

        Also – drunk at work? Do tell!

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest February 21, 2012, 4:39 pm

        Not actually drunk-drunk, more buzzed. My friend had jury duty so she picked me up for lunch, one thing led to another and I had 3 (3!) drinks before being dropped back off at work. Eh, its fat tuesday, right? At least that’s what she said to convince me to have the 3rd.

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      • Roxy_84

        Roxy84 February 21, 2012, 5:51 pm

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray February 21, 2012, 4:26 pm

        That’s funny because I only date guys UNDER the age of 28. You know what your problem is, Robot? Pants! It’s been decided in one of the forums over there —> that pants are terrible. I know you have a roommate but you need to free your ass. You’ll feel so much better. Do you have bowls of hard candy around your apartment too?

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      • avatar

        ReginaRey February 21, 2012, 4:27 pm

        I do have candy, and I have definitely forgone pants when my roommate is out of town. Where are we going with this?

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray February 21, 2012, 4:30 pm

        Well, pants will make you feel old and restricted and crotchety. So first things first: get rid of pants, even if they’re sweat pants. Your roommate won’t mind. And get rid of the hard candy because it reminds me of my Grandma Betty, RIP. Those are the first steps to the younger you.

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      • Lili

        Lili February 21, 2012, 4:44 pm

        Solution to the pants are evil, but still need to be decent for roommates dilemma: An Indian House Dress/Muumuu Maxi dress. I bought it in Vancouver (for $10!) a few months ago and LOVE it. I live in that thing.

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      • avatar

        CollegeCat February 21, 2012, 4:32 pm

        You sound just like me i’m turning 22 and graduating (bot in May) and I just feel like I have less and less in common with people my age! Its like watch SVU reruns or go to the bar? If its any less than 50 outside i almost always choose to stay in lol – it drives my friends crazy but I’m rarely in the mood to party anymore

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    • Lili

      Lili February 21, 2012, 4:23 pm

      So I had a weird DW/IRL cross over. I got forwarded an article from a friend and it was written by you. My friend doesn’t really know about DW, so I’m guessing it just came up in regards to her searching for something about her situation,but still. SO COOL! Great article btw:)

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      • avatar

        ReginaRey February 21, 2012, 4:25 pm

        That is so cool!! Which article was it? A Frisky piece?

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      • Lili

        Lili February 21, 2012, 4:29 pm

        It was about the leading cause of divorce being falling out of love! Very VERY apt for two friends of mine actually! I continued the chain and fwd it to two other people who are in the same situation-one married, one dating 🙂 I’m sure it will help them as well. Your writing style is so familiar/best friend email type, I love it!

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    • avatar

      PFG-SCR February 21, 2012, 4:35 pm

      I agree with you that she seems to have some guilt about their affair, but it sounds like this is more about wanting to avoid a confrontation about it in front of her kids, as she has told the LW about the boy’s uncle. I’m not saying that she shouldn’t allow the LW to attend, but her reasoning seems to be more about protecting her kids (and herself) from a potentially uncomfortable situation with the boy’s uncle.

      It doesn’t sound like this is a frequent issue, as the LW said this is a “sometimes, but not often” situation that occurs. However, Kelly’s attitude toward the LW about this is the bigger issue, in my opinion. It doesn’t sound like they’re communicating very well, and instead, he’s agreeing to something (just to keep the peace) that he’s clearly unhappy about, and she is either projecting her own guilt about this onto him and/or she’s being extremely inconsiderate of the situation she’s put him in.

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  • AKchic_

    AKchic_ February 21, 2012, 3:28 pm

    Something isn’t right here, and it’s not you dude. You’ve never met this guy she is “worried” will make waves. Has he ever said anything to her before? If not, then how the hell will she know that he will say something if he actually meets you? No, it’s time for her to stop hiding you. It’s been two years now, and enough is enough. Either she woman up and stop hiding you as her shame, or you need to re-evaluate whether or not you really want to be with a woman who DOES consider you her shameful semi-secret.

    If she continues this though, do consider that perhaps she may be having non-sexual affairs with other people at these functions that you aren’t attending. Flirting at the very least, that she knows you won’t approve of, because it makes her feel young/available again.

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  • avatar

    CollegeCat February 21, 2012, 3:36 pm

    I feel like she may be using her kids as an excuse. If she feels like this man may say something that could upset them, she should take it up with him or the host of the event (who probably doesn’t want drama at her kid’s party either). The two of you made a decision that probably hurt many people and made others angry/uncomfortable, however, it has been 2 years and you need to face these issues head on. Vague excuses from your girlfriend is unacceptable and you should not be hiding out from mutual family and friends for fear of something someone may or may not say. Also, your girlfriend should not be dismissing your completely justified hurt at being left out for reasons she hasn’t fully explained to you -it makes me feel like there could be more to the story, something she isn’t saying to you.

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  • avatar

    EricaSwagger February 21, 2012, 3:49 pm

    I definitely feel something fishy is going on. If people in her family that you know seem to like you and aren’t stirring up trouble, it’s really odd that she’d be so against you meeting more of them. Like, really odd.
    I’d call her out. Tell her she’s being sketchy and you need a better explanation, or you’re going to show up, because the boy’s mother likes you and wants you there. If you’re in a relationship, she can’t just demand things of you for no reason with no real explanation.
    She can’t just tell you what to do.

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  • avatar

    lets_be_honest February 21, 2012, 3:55 pm

    Coming from a family with some cheaters in it, including my father (and his now-wife), I don’t think this woman is hiding anything really. I see why you guys think that, but I think she’s just trying to keep the peace and avoid the awkwardness. The awkwardness apparently doesn’t go away with time either. My dad’s final affair was 15 years ago, and there is still an immense amount of awkwardness when we all have to be together (him, new wife and my mom).
    My opinion-this is what you got yourself into and you had to know it would be difficult when things like this come up. Is what it is. Talk to your wife about how it makes you feel, but I wouldn’t think it means anything.

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  • Jess

    Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com February 21, 2012, 4:03 pm

    Conspiracy theories aside, all I can think is how the ripple effects of divorce and infidelity are wide and far-reaching. Unfortunately, these events take a toll on everyone related to the couple(s).

    I don’t have children and have not experienced divorce or infidelity –so I feel out of my depth in this area. I am hoping others who’ve lived through these events will chime in with their wisdom.

    My only gut feeling is that the wounds take a long time to heal –and people handle it in different ways. I can see where your girlfriend would want to “keep the peace” by avoiding potential friction and conflict. She must have good reason to think this uncle who is still close to the ex is going to react badly to your presence. This doesn’t surprise me totally.

    You know how your friends can sometimes hate the person that dumped you long after YOU’VE forgiven them? Friends sometimes fight our battles too heartily because their distance from the conflict can make it appear black and white to them. Friends sometimes crave a clear distinction in break-ups —who was good vs evil (winner vs loser) whereas the reality is always much more grey.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest February 21, 2012, 4:19 pm

      I think this is great.

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  • avatar

    Flake February 21, 2012, 4:11 pm

    I really do not get how she can “un-invite” you from someone else’s dinner party, especially if the host family wants you there.. The fact that some uncle “might” stir up some trouble is not a good enough excuse. She is willing to insult and hurt you, the man she supposedly loves, over some hypothetical drama? I think it is about time she started acting like an adult, and took responsibility of her actions. I am sure that whatever has happened between you two that has resulted in your current committed relationship, has been discussed a thousand times before this particular dinner. And if you are invited, then your hosts and, I am assuming, their friends have accepted you as a couple.
    In my opinion, you have every right to be upset. And no, you do not deserve this because of whatever way you started your relationship. You seem to have moved on, but she didn’t.

    P. S. How would she feel if you told her not to come there? You have just about as much right to “un-invite” her as she does.

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  • dabbler

    dabbler February 21, 2012, 4:21 pm

    I think wanting to avoid the awkwardness is a valid point, but something is still fishy here. It’s been two years, and it’s no secret how they got together. The ex has moved on.
    But the thing that gets me, is she chose to be with the LW. She made her bed just as much as he did, but now she doesn’t want to deal with the consequences? Is he going to be expected to sit out on all the major events of the people in their shared life, and consequently his own life, where extended family will be envolved (future birthdays, graduations, weddings, etc.) so she won’t have to feel guilty about her choices?
    I would think that if they were truly in this together she would want him by her side, as her “partner in crime,” so to speak, against the awkwardness that sounds inevitable whether he’s there or not.

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  • avatar

    MiMi February 21, 2012, 4:24 pm

    Girlfriend doesn’t have a leg to stand on here. There are more people on the side of having you attend this (not so earth-shatteringly important) event than are against it so while it is very pleasant for her to dictate your movements and be the puppermaster, she isn’t the boss of you and you can’t spend your life dodging this guy and that guy to make her happy. Whatever her issue is, get to the bottom of it and deal with it so you can belly up to the dinner table along with everyone else

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  • Crochet.Ninja

    Michelle.Lea February 21, 2012, 4:29 pm

    from experience, this is a very awkward situation to be in. but no matter how awkward, she has to get over it and move forward if you two are going to have a life together. You also have to ask yourself, can you live with being treated like the dirty little secret for the rest of your lives?

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  • Fabelle

    Fabelle February 21, 2012, 4:52 pm

    Without going into too much detail, I’m just going to say I have quite a bit of first hand experience with these sorts of situations. And this doesn’t sound good.

    Relationships that start out this way already have a poor foundation by default, so you guys need to make a concerted effort to be a team now. Both of you are already NOT doing that– she’s refusing to include you, and you seem to be wallowing in an unfortunate line of thought (“is this what I get?”)

    You need to talk to her about the ways in which BOTH of you can change your attitudes. or else this relationship has the potential to degrade into bitter guilt and resentment.

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  • avatar

    Marta February 21, 2012, 4:57 pm

    She is still sleeping with her ex or perhaps with this man that she fears you will meet.

    Don’t you notice that she is pulling the cheaters trick on you? Why blame you unless it is to distract attention from herself? Her story doesn’t make sense. If she gets along with her ex, why would this man who is his friend cause trouble, unless perhaps he may cause trouble unknowingly.

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    • Crochet.Ninja

      Michelle.Lea February 21, 2012, 5:02 pm

      um, that’s a HUGE assumption. i’ve been in her place, and his actually. i stayed friends with my ex after i left him. however, i avoided having this ex and my current spend time together out of the awkwardness of the situation. i felt very guilty over leaving, and this was one of the reasons. I was in no way shape or form sleeping with my ex.

      but, me and my current were on the same level with the entire situation. he understood my concerns, and i understood his. even still, there has to come a time when she gets over her own guilt to put the energy where it should go, in the new relationship.

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      • avatar

        oldie February 21, 2012, 9:36 pm

        But this isn’t even a matter of ex and current spending time together. It is current spending time with a family whom he is already close to, but which happens to have an uncle who is close to the ex. So, in other words, common friends are off limits for him, because they have a family member who is tight with the ex. That’s a very different situation than yours.

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  • landygirl

    landygirl February 21, 2012, 6:23 pm

    jarofsod/k,,ktgk,l.xjk.k,,kk,k,k,,kk,,kgffddsasas;.zsdl.xdkxdjmxfdkm

    That was me banging my head on the keyboard.

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  • avatar

    painted_lady February 21, 2012, 6:41 pm

    This is weird, LW. It’s like you’re being held responsible for what *both* of you did. Or that she’s exploiting your guilt to pull a fast one on you – I can’t tell which.

    There seems to be some kind of disconnect – it’s like somehow you became the cheater in your relationship, or that her family is treating you as such. Either way, though, that’s obviously bullshit, since you were both involved. I would handle it the same way you ought to handle any infidelity: you work on gaining trust (as it’s sometimes lacking in a relationship that starts from a place of deception, and one or both parties often wonder if their partner might not repeat the offense), you re-negotiate terms (being a secret versus being out in the open, a secondary partner versus the primary partner), and then you must absolutely commit to MOVING THE EFF ON. If one partner cannot let past sins go, the relationship is never going to work because no one can spend the rest of their lives stoning for a sin they cannot change. It’s not fair, it’s not productive, and it’s completely unhealthy. What’s really messed up about it is, she is either refusing to move on from her own mistakes and dragging you with her or holding you solely responsible for both of your transgressions. You have to move on – there isn’t an expiration date for how long you have to deal with the fallout unless you insist on one. You aren’t going anywhere, these family members with far too much interest in your girlfriend’s private life aren’t either, so it’s not like everyone’s going to wake up one day with their memories wiped. Either she lets go of both of your guilt, or you need to let her go, because forcing you to tiptoe around and hide like you need anyone’s approval is not okay.

    I do wonder if she’s hiding something as well, either another infidelity or some sort of dirt her family has on her, but my advice still remains the same. Don’t tolerate being someone else’s dirty little secret, no matter what the reasoning.

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    • avatar

      painted_lady February 21, 2012, 6:43 pm

      *atoning for sins, not stoning for them. That’s something else entirely.

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  • katie

    katie February 21, 2012, 8:06 pm

    well… alright, lets give your girlfriend the benefit of the doubt. in that situation, she isn’t lying to you, she is honestly trying to keep the peace, which i can understand. she also knows her family, so she knows that this particular uncle is probably a jerk and will just spew whatever he wants to say at the two of you. in that situation, i can kind of understand why she wants you to stay home. she just wants to keep the peace, i get that. i dont actually think thats your problem, though.

    i think your problem is the peace keeping. when will it stop? who still needs it? who doesnt? ect… i think that you need to really get to the root of this problem with your girlfriend, which has nothing to do with a dinner- this is about how you blend a family that was torn apart by cheating. peace keeping definitely has its place in that process- but when will it end? at some point, it has to, as others have said. you cant be the dirty little secret forever. at some point you and your girlfriend, especially if you want to get married someday, have to stand together and say, yes, we started through cheating. but were here now, happy, and this is our life together. take it or leave it.

    if i were you, i would stop talking about the dinner, and have a heart to heart talk about the deeper issues at play here.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark February 22, 2012, 3:13 am

    You know what? When you mess around with people on the side and end up breaking up relationships, guess what? Surprise, surprise! Not everybody in that world is going to like you… That’s just the way it is.

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    Renee February 22, 2012, 7:54 am

    I’m the type to end up being a loud mouth uncle. Seen so many peers, who were good relationships, got married, had a baby or two, then got a divorce, because they were no longer happy. I hate these types of divorces, leaving the other spouse dumb-founded and in shock.

    So yeah, I would be giving the person the cold shoulder with or without their new partner though. It wouldn’t matter either way.

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    KarenWalker February 22, 2012, 1:32 pm

    From your letter, it sounds like she asks you to avoid only the functions where both the kids and friends of the ex will be there. I don’t think she’s trying to hide some secret from you, like others here are suggesting. It sounds like she’s afraid some inappropriate things will be said in earshot of the kids and that ultimately she’s trying to protect her kids/your kids from hearing some nasty things said about either one of you.

    I will agree that 2 years into your relationship and given the fact that the her ex’s family & friends have been nice to you, that her approach is overkill. I could understand this tactic initially, but according to you, time has shown that everyone involved is capable of being adults & behaving cordially. I think you need to have a frank discussion with her. Ask her why she doesn’t want you to attend events with the kids & the ex’s family/friends. If my theory is correct, give her specific examples of how her ex’s side have been nice & cordial and how there has been no confrontation. Maybe suggest a compromise: you will go to the dinner, but that you will be willing to leave if the child’s uncle seems to be confrontational or is behaving in a way that makes you think he might give you guys a problem.

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    Bossy Italian Wife February 22, 2012, 1:32 pm

    Something just doesn’t seem to fit here. There are times in a relationship where you just gotta put your foot down and this sounds like one of them. If I were you, I would say, “I am sick of this, it’s been two years, and if you don’t want me around, then we need to discuss THAT.” But having you not attend functions, not because of yourself, but because of the imagined actions of others is just silly and I dare to add, a bit cowardly on her part.

    Nope. I wouldn’t tolerate that a bit.

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  • avatar

    utopiaballroom February 22, 2012, 1:40 pm

    After reading through most of the comments, I wanted to offer another possibility that hasn’t really been mentioned yet.

    LW is painting the girlfriend as being very dodgy, but this line really stood out to me:
    “I told her that I am not here to make waves but I am also not here to hide, especially from a friend of the ex.”

    I have heard such talk before, mostly from people who seem to “make waves” wherever they go (beware the BUT! always beware!). Is it possible that letter writer has some animosity against the ex that makes the girlfriend worried he’ll cause a scene?

    Personally, I lean towards the girlfriend being sketchy, but the loud silences in the letter also kinda jumped out at me, so I thought they were worth mentioning.

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  • sumilove

    sumilove February 22, 2012, 4:33 pm

    To go along with the “something feels off” discussion above – and this is really far-fetched, I know – but could it be possible that she’s had some romantic or sexual relationship w/ the uncle? If he’s the godson’s uncle, then they’re all probably not too far off from each other in terms of age. Perhaps this is a problem specific b/w her and the uncle and doesn’t have to do with you at all, except for the fact that she doesn’t want you to know about this problem. The wedding will be less intimate than the dinner, so it would be less of an issue then.

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