Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Morning Quickies: “She’s Going to a Concert With Her Ex”

I’ve been dating my new girl for almost three months now; we’ve even have gone through the “I love you” stage. The problem is the ex-husband is invited into her home whenever he wants. They do have four daughters together — three are in college and one is 9 years old. When he’s around, he gets most of her attention, and the biggest problem is that, before we were a couple, they purchased concert tickets, and instead of working out a deal for the ticket, she chose to go with him. This has put a serious strain on our relationship. Should I be concerned? It might be too late anyway. — Strained

It sounds like they’re on very friendly terms, which is wonderful for their family! Unfortunately, you sound jealous of and threatened by their friendship — to the point that you think one of them should have sold his or her concert ticket to the other in order to avoid going together simply because your “girl” is now dating you? I mean, it would be one thing if the tickets were purchased after you two were an established couple, I guess, but to act all put out because they aren’t changing their plans now that you’re in the picture is childish. Regardless, you don’t like that the ex is around and you think your girlfriend, with whom you’ve already been through the “I love you stage,” gives all her attention to him, so you should probably move on and then maybe avoid single parents in the future or anyone who’s still in touch with an ex.

After five years of marriage I now know my husband and I are so different that we can never have a peaceful and respectful life together. I know I have to move on. But I also feel excruciating pain thinking I have to leave him and there is no other way. Is it shameful to miss the same person with whom you have such an unfair and disrespectful marriage?

My family encourages me to get out of this mess. And in broad daylight I know that’s best for me. But sometimes at night I just wake up thinking that once I sign those papers I will never again see my husband and the home and family I tried to build.

I wish I could just turn off my life like a bad tv program. — In Broad Daylight

Absolutely, it’s both ok and normal to miss someone you’ve loved even when you know the relationship was dysfunctional and not right for you. Endings are often very hard, even when we know they’re necessary. What you’re feeling now is grief, and there will be stages you have to go through to get to the other side. There’s no shortcut, although you may move through some stages more quickly than others. Talk through your feelings with loved ones you trust and even a therapist if you think you need the added support. You WILL get through this, and you will be stronger and better for it. On the other side is the promise of better stability and the opportunity to find a partner who is a better match.

Related: “His Ex-Wife is ALWAYS Around” and Lessons From Divorce.


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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy​(AT)​

9 comments… add one
  • brise September 6, 2018, 9:32 am

    LW1: perhaps you both have gone a bit too quickly. The question I have when I read your post is: why are you around when the ex-husband visits the children? Perhaps this ex-couple lacks some boundaries, but I am surprised that after only three months, you are there, at her place, with her family. It should still be the dating (outside) phase, not so much the phase “I am at her place, we are close to live together”.
    That might help if you meet at your place, so there is a clear boundary if it is difficult for you to meet her ex (which I can understand). Anyway, he will always be in the picture. Little by little, the roles will become clearer, and more boundaries will be set. But I wouldn’t focus on the concert tickets. Choose your battles. Their split seems quite recent. Let them part more and more and don’t invest too much for the moment. Be a date, not more for while.
    LW2: I think you are missing and renouncing now the ideal you had of him and your marriage, all what you invested in this union. It is very painful indeed. But the good thing is that you seem lucid and have perspective on what is best for you. You are going through the process with clarity.

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    juliecatharine September 6, 2018, 9:56 am

    LW1 you’re dating a woman old enough to have children in college yet your jealousy is more appropriate for a high school kid. After three months of dating you shouldn’t have even met her young child. After three months of dating it’s none of your business who enters her home or who she goes to a concert with.

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  • Bacon Mistress September 6, 2018, 10:41 am

    LW1- you are not out of line. Jealousy may not always look good on people but people have a right to their feelings and many times it is there for a reason. You are seeing this behavior and wondering what kind of future you will have with her; totally normal. You are seeing him go in and out of her home as he pleases. You are seeing that despite their romantic history they seem to want to have an intense friendship.
    This works for them but doesnt work for you. No big deal. You have only dated three months and are not that invested. Go on and find someone who makes you happier and has the boundaries you are looking for.

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  • ron September 6, 2018, 11:36 am

    Bacon Mistress —
    I won’t say this guy’s feelings are abnormal, but they are certainly way on the jealous side of normal. I will say they’re not constructive and are often a prelude to a very controlling approach to a relationship and maybe even a prelude to abuse. I’ll point out that he says that they’ve said ‘I Love you” to each other. If they’d agreed to be exclusive, I think he’d have said that, which means she could legit date other guys. I don’t think she’s dating her ex. They had tickets before she met LW. Likely they have tickets because this concert is very much a shared interest. Good relations between ex’s with a young child is a good thing.

    I agree with the posters who say too fast for you to have been in her house and met her 9-year-old. That isn’t fair to the kid. Really, the mom having you over and the ex at the house as much as he is and the concert is likely sending very confusing mixed signals to the kid. Mom needs to keep her dating life separate from her life as a parent, until she is surer of you.

    If she wrote in and said “what do you think of my bf who just wrote in?”, the advise would have to be: RUN! There are just too many red flags about you. The jealousy, the too quick meeting the kids, the desire to control how she behaves as a co-parent. You aren’t at all a good choice for her. MOA, for the sake of her, the child, and yourself. Wendy is correct: you ought not to date a divorced single mother with a young child. You aren’t able to handle it.

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  • JD September 6, 2018, 1:32 pm

    Please please appreciate a positive relationship between exes. Life is so much more difficult for everyone (the kids, the new man) without it. My husbands ex makes everything an argument and it brings nothing positive.

    I do also agree you shouldn’t have even met the kid yet let alone be around her home that much.

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  • Sapphire September 6, 2018, 3:45 pm

    Why are you so concerned about this? What’s up with people having problems of their significant other being on friendly terms with their ex ESPECIALLY if they have a child together?! You rather have them at their throats with their eyes shooting daggers? That would deeply affect the child and it’s like hell for him/her.

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  • dinoceros September 6, 2018, 5:44 pm

    LW1: When you’ve only been dating someone for 3 months, it’s unreasonable to think that they won’t have other plans they made before they met you. I think that your choice to say I Love You this early has warped your sense of what’s your business and what isn’t. Also, dating someone who has children with their ex is going to automatically mean they are a part of the equation. If you don’t like that, then you should find someone else.

    LW2: It’s pretty common in any breakup (marriage or not) to still be sad about it and miss the person. The mistake is when you assume that those feelings mean that it’s not the right decision. Whether you miss someone or not has nothing to do with whether it’s a healthy or good relationship. You miss people because you are used to being around them. Doesn’t mean that they are right for you.

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    Bittergaymark September 6, 2018, 7:14 pm

    You are far, far too insecure for this relationship.

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  • Kali September 7, 2018, 10:25 am

    LW2- I left after a 20-year marriage. It was difficult, heart-wrenching, and took a lot of soul-searching. I wasn’t supported by my family who thought he was a great guy. They didn’t see the lies, financial insecurity, lack of emotional support, and probable cheating – I’m very private and don’t share with my family for other reasons. But I left and I’m so glad I did. I won’t lie, the first 6-8 months were difficult and I mourned the loss of my hopes and dreams.

    Gradually, I rebuilt my life, and am much happier. I am no longer being gaslighted by a manipulative jerk and canuse all that energy being creative and enjoying my life. I’m even in a relationship with a great guy who loves me, supports me, has my back, and listens to me! This is what a relationship should be like! This is what you could have. This is what you deserve! Good luck and please send an update!

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