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Husband Still Spends Time With Ex-Wife

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Dear John, I'm 25. For a year, I've lived with "Zach," who is 41 and has children. Zach was still married but separated. He had been separated for six years when I moved in with him. I understand that he shares a bond with his ex-wife because of the children. Still, I become jealous when he spends time with her and the kids.

For example, tonight he is out to dinner with his ex-wife, his mother and his children for his daughter's birthday, leaving me at home. I feel really left out! I know he loves me. After all, he does other things that demonstrate that. Zach thinks I am being irrational and that I hate his kids since I don't want him to do things with them. He also says that, when it comes to having a family, he's "been there and done that." On the other hand, I want to plan a future and family of my own. Will this ever work out? —Having Doubts, in Utica, N.Y.

Dear Doubts, There is nothing wrong with him seeing his children in the presence of his ex-wife. What you really want — and have a right to ask for — is your inclusion in this area of Zach's life.

If this is your desire, tell him that you love him and that you respect and appreciate his relationship with his children. Add that you would like to strengthen your relationship with the children, as well, and you want to be included at times when they are around or when he goes to see them.

If Zach is considering a long-term commitment, he will welcome your suggestion and include you in future get-togethers. If he feels that his ex-wife is still hurt over the break-up, or that she resents the inclusion of other women in his life, or he hasn't yet considered what role you play in his life, he may resist.

Eventually, however, if he is to ever again be part of a committed relationship, he will have to include the woman he loves in other important areas of his life.

Your future actions are what will convince him that you are indeed this person. If in fact you don't want to be included in his family functions, or you don't feel he will ever consider having a child with you later, then you'd be smart to realize that he is not the right guy for you, and now might be the time to move on.

Dear John, I am a single, divorced mother of two wonderful sons. I feel an attraction to one of my sons' coaches. Although the season is over and he doesn't teach my son any classes, he flirts with me a lot and offers to run errands for me. He works with my son during school vacations and says he's in my neighborhood at times. I'm not sure if he's hinting and wanting me to make a move, or if it's silly of me to think so because of this attention. I'm 37, and he's 30. Is it OK for me to ask him out, or is there a line between teachers and parents? He is also moving to a new campus, and some friends say I should wait until he's over there. Any suggestions? —Tough Choices in Medford, Mass.

Dear Choices, I think he's definitely giving you some broad hints. Why not test this theory? The next time he offers to run an errand for you, let him do so, then thank him by asking him out for dinner. If he has a good time, believe me, the next date will be on him. In this manner, you'll extend the friendship slowly-and perhaps you'll both end-up on the same team.

2013 John Gray's Mars Venus Advice. Distributed by Creators Syndicate. John Gray is the author of "Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus." If you have a question, write John in care of this newspaper, or by email at: www.marsvenus.com. All questions are kept anonymous, and will be paraphrased.

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Comments

5 Comments | Post Comment
I see no reason you shouldn't date your son's coach, particularly if he moves to a different school. However, much as I had to be a doom monger, please pay careful attention to the coach's behavior toward your son. This would be an easy way to get closer to him if that is the coach's real objective. It's all too common an occurrence. Just keep your eyes open, and make sure you know whom he's really chasing after.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Carla
Sun Apr 14, 2013 7:34 AM
Carla, I had the exact same thought. LW2 doesn't say how old her son is or in what capacity they work together. Is the son in his upper teens and they have the same summer job since teachers often take a side summer job? Or is the son 7 and the man is spending extra time working with the child perfecting his basketball moves?

It may be perfectly innocent. Coach and LW2 may be the perfect match and they'll all live happily ever after with the son eventually going pro in this particular sport. How sad that we have to be so vigilant.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Siege
Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:21 AM
LW1: Wow. Why would you not take this guy at his word when he says he doesn't want more kids? If you do you need to find a more suitable partner, one who WANTS to have kids with you.

LW2: It is sad that we have to be so vigilant, as Siege says. Do it anyway. There's nothing to be lost by watching his interactions with your son carefully, and by taking this romance very slowly. It's good advice for any single parent.

Comment: #3
Posted by: hedgehog
Mon Apr 15, 2013 6:12 PM
LW1 - pay attention when Zach talks, esp when he says he doesn't want another family. If you want kids of your own, find someone else who wants more kids, too. If by "Will this ever work out", you mean, "Will Zach dump his first family & suddenly decide he wants more kids with me?" i.e. will Zach become the person I want him to be instead of who he actually is, the answer to that is no. he** no.
Comment: #4
Posted by: kai archie
Mon Apr 15, 2013 9:49 PM
LW1, you are delusional. Zach has not finalized the divorce after SIX years. Why? It should be perfectly obvious. She is the wife and mother of his kids. You are the other one, the one who does the other stuff. Perfect setup - FOR HIM. Get.out.now.
Comment: #5
Posted by: Danielle
Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:06 AM
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