May 10, 2010 in Features

Annie’s Mailbox: Togetherness with ex is too frequent

Kathy Mitchell/Marcy Sugar
 

Dear Annie: Can you please explain to my husband why it’s not a good idea to play nice guy to your ex-wife on Mother’s Day? He secretly invited his ex and her mother to my Mother’s Day brunch, knowing I would object.

I have nothing against these women, but I don’t want to share all special occasions with them. He justifies this by saying it’s for his son, even though it means I have no “special time” with my daughter and stepson. Everything includes the ex.

I’ve warned him several times that his refusal to let go of his ex-wife will force us into divorce court. Today, I am following through on my threat. Instead of being man enough to admit he made a mistake and apologize, he chose to make excuses, saying, “If you are going to fault me for being a nice guy, that’s your problem.” So now his incessant need to seek his ex-wife’s approval has put our marriage on the rocks.

Ever since I met him, he has gone out of his way to put my daughter and me in the middle of family outings with his ex-wife and her family members. We even spent our summer vacation with his ex-sister-in-law and her husband.

I feel like an intruder in my own marriage. Worse, he has been picking on my daughter, a normal teenager and a good kid who stays out of trouble. I think deep down he’s hoping to chase us off so he can go back to his ex-wife without looking like the bad guy. Well, he’s going to get his wish. – The Ex-Mrs. in New York

Dear New York: We understand why your husband might want to be nice to his son’s mother, but all this togetherness is a bit much. You could be right about his motives, and one way to find out is through counseling. Ask him to go with you to work on the problems in your marriage before it is too late. If he refuses, go without him, and make sure you are making the best choices for yourself and your daughter.

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