Baby Boomer Love Triangle

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Q.

Dear Dr. Gilda,

I have been seeing this man for 5 years and his ex is still very important to him. He keeps me a secret from her and all his friends. He tells me how very much he loves me and that I am the only woman he wants in his life. But if there is any celebration with his grandkids, I can’t go because she will be there. They have no kids together, but they were together for 10 years, and have been divorced for 15.  He says that the last time she found out about his being with someone, it broke her heart, and he can’t bear to do that again. 

I was invited to his brother’s wedding in a few months, but he now tells me that his mother (who I have not met) will be going to the wedding. Since his mother and his ex know each other, he doesn’t want me to go.  But he said it would be ok for me to go if his ex doesn’t go.  He said that if I make him choose between her and me, I would lose.

I love him a lot but this is just starting to get to me. I don’t want to be a secret in anyone’s life. We are not kids. We are both over 50. What should I do? Please help me with your wisdom. 

Wanting More

A.

Dear Wanting More,

What healthy woman would want to be locked away in a closet after 5 years of being with someone? The reason this guy is able to get away with such disrespect for you is because you’ve bought into his plan!!  Usually, such men are scared little children who feel inadequate inside. Both Hitler and Napoleon were missing one testicle.  The world saw how they made up for their feelings of inadequacy!
It sounds like you’re this guy’s puppet. No matter how much he tells you he loves you, his actions prove otherwise.  Who is he trying to protect from disappointment?  Not you!! He even told you that you would lose out in a duel between yourself and his ex.  Tell this guy you no longer want to be part of a triangle, and scoot out of there. You say, “I don’t want to be a secret in anyone’s life.”  Yet, you’ve accepted, and thereby taught, this dude that you certainly ARE willing to be someone’s secret mistress.  From that, he’s gleaned that your words of protest are meaningless, and he continues his antics.

This guy is still married to his ex, even though the paperwork has been finalized.  They are obviously playing a game of exes that won’t let go—and you’ve been caught in the middle.  There’s no question that what you must do is leave.  Sure, you’ll be hurt and lonely for a while, but you won’t be more hurt and lonelier than you already are with a man who is emotionally absent.

Dr. Gilda

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