ASK AMY

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Life - You can con­tact Amy via email: [email protected] amy­dick­in­son.com.

Dear Amy: I have been see­ing my boyfriend for nine months. We are mid­dle aged, and are talk­ing about build­ing a life to­gether.

When we met, he told me that he has re­mained good friends with all of his ex-girl­friends.

He dated his most re­cent ex for a year (they broke up a year be­fore we met), but they were close friends for a decade be­fore that.

She is prob­a­bly his clos­est friend. The prob­lem is that she re­fuses to meet me, or to in­clude me in any so­cial ac­tiv­i­ties they en­gage in. She has since ad­mit­ted to my boyfriend that she wants him back. He has made it clear to her that that wouldn’t hap­pen, but he doesn’t want to lose her friend­ship.

He keeps ask­ing me to be patient with the sit­u­a­tion, and that it will hopefully re­solve it­self, but from my per­spec­tive, the re­sent­ment (def­i­nitely on my side, and prob­a­bly on hers, too) is just grow­ing by the day.

He has been open and hon­est with me about ev­ery­thing re­gard­ing her, and I trust him, but the sit­u­a­tion feels un­bear­able to me at this stage. He re­fuses to let the friend­ship go. Is it time for me to make an ul­ti­ma­tum, or am I over­re­act­ing? Frus­trated Cur­rent GF Dear Frus­trated: I’m try­ing to imag­ine your boyfriend’s think­ing, where his pri­or­ity is to con­tinue a friend­ship with some­one who doesn’t re­spect him enough to let him live his life. She is con­trol­ling him, and he is ask­ing you to let her con­trol you, too.

In terms of ul­ti­ma­tums, he should be de­liv­er­ing one to her: “This is my life. If you want to con­tinue on in friend­ship, you'll have to ac­cept my part­ner. You de­cide.”

If he wanted to put you at the cen­ter of his life, your boyfriend would find it easy to do so. Un­til he fig­ures this out, you and his ex will be nudg­ing each other in and out of the circle. Do you want to wage emo­tional com­bat with another woman? I don’t think you do.

I have mixed feel­ings about ul­ti­ma­tums. I think you should de­cide what you want in a long-term re­la­tion­ship, and then pur­sue your own ideal.

If you want a fully in­te­grated love re­la­tion­ship where both part­ners freely share their lives, friends and fam­ily, you'll prob­a­bly have to seek it with a dif­fer­ent per­son. That’s not an ul­ti­ma­tum, but a choice.

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