Dear Coleen: My life’s on hold as new man keeps me hidden from ex-wife
I’ve been seeing a guy I’m in love with since June. He’s separated from his wife and they have two children together.
My problem is, he doesn’t want his ex or his kids knowing we’re in a relationship because he says she’d make his life a nightmare and he wants to keep her sweet in order to carry on seeing his kids when he wants to.
I understand it’s a tricky situation for him, but I hate being this dirty secret and I want us to have a normal relationship.
I have met his children a couple of times, but he’s introduced me as “Daddy’s friend from work”. They’re lovely kids and I’d like to be able to build a relationship with them.
We’ve been together for six months now and I feel that’s long enough for him to know whether he’s serious about our relationship, and to tell people about us.
He says he is committed, but he’s just nervous. I don’t know what to think because it feels as if my life is on hold.
Should I take some time out to give us both a chance to think about what we really want?
Well, he’s going to have to face the music at some point – he can’t hide you for ever because he’s worried about upsetting her.
Having a break is a good idea – it might focus his mind and help him realise how important you are to him.
Also, I don’t see how your relationship can grow and develop while he’s keeping you at arm’s length and not letting you into his life properly.
Yes, his ex might react badly, but she might do that whether she finds out now or another six months down the road.
The fact is, they’re not together any more and there must be a good reason for that.
Put yourself and what you want first for a change and if he’s serious about you, he’ll step up and make your relationship “official”.
If your being together is out in the open, just take things slowly with his children and let those relationships develop naturally.
Be their friend and let them come to you.