The Case of the Unstable Ex

A woman seeks advice about how to handle her boyfriend's unstable ex-wife.


Unstable Ex

Dear ASK REAL GUYS: I simply want to know if this is normal. I am at work and can’t go with my boyfriend and his two children to get a Christmas tree. This is an event that he categorizes as a family event. His ex-wife goes with them, and I don’t understand it. She used to spend the night on the couch, and I know for certain she stayed put because I was there too. I finally got him to understand that this made me too uncomfortable.

He pays for her vehicle & car insurance, and she does not pay child support because she is an addict and doesn’t have a job. I love him dearly and I truly believe he loves me too. I seriously could not ask for a better man except for that his inability to deal with her drives me crazy. I’m not jealous and I do not believe that there are any feelings between them anymore. My concern is the mixed signals that his kids are getting, and his fear of conflict. Sometimes he will not do the right thing just because it is the hardest route to take, meaning it might upset the kids. I am very close to his children and it kills me to see them hurt by his ex.

If I am being selfish, fine! I will let it all go and concentrate on strengthening our relationship. However, it just gives me a sinking feeling that I am being taken advantage of.

Avery: You are in a really, really tough spot. To an outsider like me, it seems that your boyfriend needs to set some boundaries with his ex-wife, but the main problem is that she is the mother of his children and she has some type of drug or alcohol problem (you refer to her as unemployed addict).

If your relationship with his children is a solid as you say it is – and you have a great relationship with him – you should sit down with him and have a serious discussion about helping get his ex-wife on the road to recovery and employment.

If you put in your best effort to do this together, this may help set some badly needed boundaries and help your relationship with him to move forward.

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