We’re engaged but she and her ex still lean on each other…

by Rod Smith

“I met a woman a year ago and we are engaged. She very good friends with her ex-husband because neither has other family. Although he is very good to his daughter, and because my fiancé and he are still close, I find it hard to feel appreciated. They are used to having each other to lean on and help each other. Why does that make me jealous? We love each other but the ex husband is used to helping her and making the decisions. Now that I am there, I feel he should only be involved when it something concerns his daughter. I feel like I have no say in the decision-making for my new family for everything is run by the ex husband so that he will not feel left out. She says they are friends and I do not fear any cheating.”

I’d suggest you place matters on hold until this woman defines herself to her ex and rids herself of her need to rescue him from loneliness. While your jealousy is your issue (something you perhaps might look into), playing second fiddle to an ex, while you are engaged, is cause for concern. I’d suggest you step out until he does, or until something shifts. While you cooperate and compromise yourself and your engagement, nothing will change.

2 Comments to “We’re engaged but she and her ex still lean on each other…”

  1. Rod, thanks for replying. I need to further explain. This woman is also depressed because she lost her Mother 4 years ago. Now, also her ex husband is dieing and probably not going to be here another year. I knew this before I met her in person the first time. We talked on the internet for awhile before meeting. I just have a problem now, because he is dying, that my fiance’ gets upset and depressed and tells me no matter what, she will be with him when he dies because all he has is his daugfhter and also her as a friend. They were married for 3 years (13 years ago). It is hard for me to take what I feel is being put aside as not being as important as her husband dying and it makes me feel as if I am not being treated correctly,hense, the jealousy over a man who is about to die. That is not healthy but I cannot get over how I am made to feel unimportant right now. I am confused.

  2. Hi Dave,

    I feel for you so much….and it’s amazing to find similar situations out there…my husband has been very much in your shoes. My ex boyfriend (from 9 years ago) was my best friend and the closest person to me. Right after I got married to a man that I had not been seeing for all that long, my ex began to die, and I was so upset and panicked and needed to try to help him and be with him….my husband was so hurt and traumatized and enraged and confused….and also jealous. I empathize with how hard this has been for you, to be jealous of someone who is dying. The world has so much empathy for her and him and maybe you feel you should be expected to support her….I wish I had great advice for you but all I can say is, the extent to which you can be honest about your feelings and stay soft and loving as well…have your limits but try not to be punishing or demanding…this is the thing that will deepen your bond with her. Any gesture of support my husband made created such a feeling of closeness and loyalty in me…and when he got angry, jealous, threatening and withdrawn I felt myself pulling away. This could be an opportunity (as HUGELY HARD as it is for you) for you and your fiance to bond in an unimaginable way (even though it doesn’t feel like this because she is focusing so much on another man). But the more you can be with her in this, remember that she is choosing YOU to be with, the more you may find that your bond is growing beyond what she had with him…
    I wish you the best of everything, much compassion for yourself and for her (it is a terrible situation to go through) and lots of love and support from your friends and family.
    best
    Eve

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