How many times have you been irked by your boyfriend texting, calling or hanging out his ex when you’re not around?
Well, one man has had enough. So he’s seeking help from his local advice columnist, Amy.
“Dear Amy,” his letter begins. “I am gay and have been dating a great guy for a year and a half. We have a hefty age difference–he is 45; I am 33.”
We’re not sure we’d call 12 years “a hefty age difference,” but everything is relative, right?
“It is an amazing relationship,” the man continues, “except for one thing. He was in a 24-year relationship that was ending when we met. His ex is 60 years old.”
So what’s the problem? Well, the man explains, “They stay in touch and reside in the same city.”
The man goes on to say that he and his boyfriend recently took their relationship to the next level by moving in together. But this pesky ex-boyfriend is becoming a real issue.
“The problem is that he consistently tells me of events he wants to attend out of state, which this ex will also be attending,” he says. “Recently, he mentioned he would be traveling to attend a gay pride event, and would be staying with a mutual friend. His ex would also be there.”
He continues, “I am always uncomfortable with this, and instantly go on the defensive. It ends up pushing me far away because I speculate about them. It affects our trust.”
He explains that they rarely ever get into arguments, “except when this recurring theme emerges every few months.”
“I can’t control how I feel, and he seems reluctant to stay away from these events, even though he knows how much it bothers me,” he says. “Is it wrong for me to ask him to not do these things, or to at least include me in the events, rather than feel as if I have been shoved into the back closet, while his ex still lingers around in his life?”
The letter is signed, simply, “Wondering.”
Thankfully, Amy has just the answer.
“Dear Wondering,” she responds. “When it comes to the relationship with exes, the burden is on the common partner (your guy) to create healthy boundaries and reassure the newer partner (you) that all is well.”
“One way to do this would be to include you in events where the ex will be present,” she says. “If you two are partners, you should include each other openly in social events, and introduce each other to your friends and family members.”
Amy explains that getting to know his boyfriend’s ex better will help him to accept their close friendship, which is very likely just that: a friendship.
“It’s a delicate balance,” she concludes. “You should not use your feelings to hurt or manipulate your partner, but he should be respectful of a very natural sensitivity on your part.”
What do you think? Does this guy’s boyfriend need to make a better effort at building a relationship between the two men in his life? What advice would you give? Sound off in the comments section below…
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