ASK REAL GUYS
His Ex-Wife Is Butting In
Dear ASK REAL GUYS: I have been dating my boyfriend for a year now. He and his ex-wife had a dog together so he still sees the dog once in a while. The thing is, I only found out about this a few weeks ago. He claims that he never shared it with me because I am a jealous person – according to him. I think this is a ridiculous reason and my question is: Should I be concerned that he and his ex are “friends”? He tells me that they had a clean, friendly break up and that they still communicate because of the dog.
I got into a big argument with him a few days ago because his ex called on a Saturday to ask if he could go by her place to let the dog out. What’s more, it turns out that he has keys to her place! I don’t understand why she couldn’t have asked someone else to do it. This is not about me being jealous, it’s about respect.
I think it’s entirely inappropriate for him to have keys to her home, why would he need them? They are not together anymore, it’s been two years, why is this still going on? Now that he and I are dating, shouldn’t there be a certain level of respect for my feelings? I feel like he has been hiding this from me since the beginning of our relationship. Should I trust him alone with her? Can I trust him at all for that matter? Please tell me know what I should do!
Steven: Regarding the dog, many people have a certain attachment to animals the same way that they do with another human being. As far as the house is concerned, some ex-spouses have good relationships with each other and trust each other – regardless of the fact that their marriage didn’t work. So without knowing why they ended the marriage and without knowing his thoughts on animals (this dog in particular)it is difficult to comment on it. I do, however, feel that you should share how you feel and ask for what you want.
But consider this: You sound really mad. Based on what you wrote, if you were him would you feel inspired to be truthful in the future? I am not saying what he did was right, but I am saying that you might want to consider that the number one reason why people hide, lye and withhold is out of fear. So perhaps you have created an environment where he does not feel comfortable enough to tell you the truth. The more upset and defensive and mad you get, the less likely he is going to be truthful in the future. So perhaps a better conversation is to ask him, “What is it about me that has you feeling uncomfortable in telling me the truth?” What can we do in the future so that we can create an honest, loving relationship where we can feel safe enough to tell each other the truth?” Questions like these can make a world of difference in developing a loving, inspiring relationship – one that I am sure you deserve.