Dear Guys,

I’ve been dating this guy for about 16 months. Things were great in the beginning as they usually are, but fast forward to now and they’re not. It all started when I suggested he visit a guy friend who needed to “talk.” Well, he didn’t come home that night. So, me being the “Leo” sign that I am, I left the house and figured two can play at this game. I went to a graduation party, leaving before he arrived. This of course blew up into a HUGE fight and the outcome was that he wanted out. He was done. We had done this dance before and we would always “kiss and make up.” This time was different. He meant it.

He has a problem with the fact that I’ve kept ties to my ex and his family. I have two boys from my previous marriage, 17 and 15. I consider them all to be family and this eats at my current boyfriend, even though my ex has tried to be friendly with him and talk to him at gatherings.

My boyfriend was also married twice before with two kids from his first wife. He sees the kids only in the summer. Other than that he has no ties with his ex.

So back to my question. At first I agreed we were done. I’m 39 and he’s 38 and we’re too old for games. However, the more I thought about our relationship and what we have overcome, the more I wanted to stay and try again. So I convinced him to stay and give it another go. I of course would need to cut ties to me ex-family and revive our sex life, which has fallen off. However, I’m not sure he really wants to try. He says he does but his actions say otherwise. He used to text me 200 times a day,(Exaggeration)but now he sends me 5 a day, maybe. He stopped letting me know what he is doing to the point to where I don’t know where he is and sometimes whether or not he’s coming home. I told him that if we were to work on our relationship it has to be both our efforts and I don’t see much coming from him.

What’s going on? Do I let the relationship go, even though we agreed to try?


Dear Debbie,

Thanks for writing. That’s a lot to digest!

First of all we commend you for having your priorities straight. The fact that you and your ex-husband work hard at maintaining an amicable relationship says a lot about your character. Divorce is never ideal, but it certainly is much more healthy for the kids if the parents are on the same page and are working together.

Your relationship with your current boyfriend seems to be missing an important element that is vital for any relationship: TRUST! For some reason he doesn’t trust you to be with your ex and your previous family, and you to a certain extent don’t trust him to be out with the guys. You don’t mention a reason for him to be suspicious of you so we can only speculate here. Our best guess is your boyfriend has trust issues in general. And frankly it seems odd that he isn’t more understanding of your situation since he is also divorced with kids. Obviously, it must be hard for him to not see his kids for 10 months every year so we can see how he might feel jealous and resentful of your situation. This is not your fault, but something to be aware of.

However, all is not necessarily lost yet. But he needs to show that he really wants to make this work. Right now he’s not doing that. In fact he’s doing his best to push you away and have you make the final decision. If he doesn’t change his behavior very soon, it’s time for you to move on. And honestly, if we were you, we’d already be gone. It just doesn’t sound like the two of you are in the same place in your lives, even if it looks like that on paper.

The good news, and bad, is that your kids will be grown soon. And once they’re settled and on their own, you probably won’t have as much contact with your ex. This might make it easier to get in a less complicated relationship down the road, with a person who might respect you for your loyalty and devotion to your kids. They may even embrace your ex’s family.

So Debbie, please don’t compromise yourself, your values, and your kids to be with this man. If he truly wants to make it work he needs to step up to the plate big time. And then you both need to talk, talk, talk, and try to come to some true understanding of each other. Otherwise we know there are many good guys out there for you to meet. Good luck!


ps. Zach, her boyfriend left his side of the story in the comments section. Please read to get the entire picture before you make a comment.

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