Question: I have been apart from my ex-husband for nearly two years. We have both moved on and have been with other partners for about a year. I recently went to a social gathering held by a mutual friend. My ex was there with his new thing, and she wasn't happy about me being there. She was very confrontational and prevented us from having a conversation about our 2-year-old daughter.Meanwhile, his family members keep telling me how much they still like me and how unhappy he is with her. I didn't say anything about either situation out of respect for him, but I can't understand why he doesn't stand up to her and say something like he used to with me when we were married. I hate being in the middle of this drama. What can I do to get out?
Catherine: First of all, you refer to your former husband's companion as a "thing," which makes you sound jealous and immature. Second, social occasions are never a good place to discuss family issues. When attending an event with a partner, stick with the partner. When you do discuss family issues, talk about your daughter but avoid ultra-personal matters such as feelings, reactions and struggles.You seem overly concerned about how your ex handles his new woman. If you really have moved on, it should be none of your business how he treats his partner or how she treats him. Try not to attend the same parties as your ex. If you just have to go, stay away from him and his family. You can save yourself headache and heartache if you practice a few strict boundaries.
Lily: One word: boundaries! You cannot control your ex or his family. He is your ex for a reason. When he became your ex, his personal issues also became your ex-issues. Your relationship should be limited to issues regarding the child you have together... and that's it. Don't want to be in the middle? Then stop putting yourself there.
Danny: You're both at the same party of a mutual friend friends haven't moved on. His family is whispering in your ear they haven't moved on. You're fighting with his current girlfriend you haven't moved on. And your ex is in the middle of it all he hasn't moved on. Keep it up, and your current boyfriend will be the only one moving on. It is time for you to clean this whole mess up and do what is best for you, your daughter and your relationship. Repeat after me: "It's over, D-O-N-E done, finito, fin, finished, 'no mas' (no more)!" Accept these words, and you have your answer. Establish boundaries for all parties involved. Keep your business to yourself and ask everyone else to do the same. It really is time to move on. The choice is yours; it always has been.
We want your questions! Consejos is a bicultural advice column that focuses on relationships, identity and workplace issues. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or Consejos, The Dallas Morning News, P.O. Box 655237, Dallas, TX 75265. You can also visit dallasnews.com/consejos to access previous columns and to comment on the Consejos blog.
© The Dallas Morning News