I am what I thought was the best-possible relationship but now wonder what happened.

I have been with this man for 1 1/2 years. He has been separated from the mother of his two children (never married to her) now for 2 years, yet she continues to be very present in our relationship. They talk all the time, which he explains is to discuss things about the kids such as his visitation, misbehaving at school, poor attitudes, etc.

She calls him all the time; sometimes with nice messages, other times just outright crude and hateful. The past week has been hell. She is now calling me or she has the children call to tell me he does not love me, she calls me a bitch and so on. He doesn’t acknowledge any of this. I will say I know her well and she is capable of lying to get what she wants. She even sat outside of my house the other night until he came home and they talked.

He feels guilty because she had the children with her, which she uses every chance she gets. His visitation with them only happens when she says rather than as stated in the court order. He tells me she wants him to come back and also said he needed time to think yet he also says he does not want to go back to that life.

The last several years of their relationship was nasty – she threw him out every three months or so, then would let him come back but he slept on the couch. They didn’t even have sex!

He keeps telling me everything will be ok but he has to deal with her in his own way. All of this is causing me to feel very unsure of the relationship. What is there to think about? Am I in love with a man who no longer loves me? Where do I go from here?


Frankly, it seems that the answers are already in your head. The real question is this: do you really want to live this way? Do you think that love will survive this for much longer? Personally, I don't.

You have a right to not have your relationship influenced by an outside party - even if that party is the mother of his kids. However, he has to take responsibility for that right just as you do. Unless he's willing to do this, there isn't much you can do.

The first step is to sit down and decide for yourself what you really want and need here. Try to imagine what relationships between you and your boyfriend, your boyfriend and his ex, her and you and the kids, etc. are involved and how the best scenario would play out. When you get that image firmly in your mind, you're ready for the next step.

Now, have a talk with him. Explain how his relationship with this woman is destroying the one he has with you. Tell him that you aren't going to live like this any more (you're not, right? After all, what's going to be left once the other woman destroys this?) Tell him that he has responsibilities to you and your relationship just as he does to his kids and this woman.

Try to work with him to craft a plan where he can have enough contact to see his kids, but that he avoids her the best he can. Don't simply give him an ultimatum; work with him to develop this plan. That way he's directly involved with it and will take "ownership" of it. Likewise, I suggest you come up with a plan when variations occur as they ultimately will. For instance, he may have to go see her when he picks up the kids, or they may have "family gatherings" together, etc. I suggest that you should always be invited to these - and that you go even if it's uncomfortable.

If you and he aren't able to make all of this work, you may need to cut your losses and move on, but at least give this plan a try first.

Best regards...

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