ex-wifeQuestion and Answer from Rori Raye – the question is from Jean, whose man is still tied to his ex-wife in a very complex situation:

“Dear Rori,
I have been living with my boyfriend for 4 yrs. He has an ex-wife, that during our first year together he talked about getting back with.

I moved out and she moved in. It didn’t work for them and we are back together. I now am hurt and scared of any kind of relationship that he has with her.

He tells me that he will always help her, cause she is the mother to his daughter and grandma to his grandkids. She is sick and on dialysis 3 x’s a week.

I love this man but have lost trust. I hate myself for living like this, but I love him and truly don’t want to lose him.

She causes trouble all the time, yet he won’t stop doing for her when she does.

I am now in a state of depression that I can’t seem to pull myself out of. I have no desire to go or do anything.

He says he is being true to himself. Well what about being true to me and our relationship?

I try to be nice to her when she’s around, but then I hate myself when I do.. I am having so much trouble forgiving and forgetting. He also has a tendency to say one thing, yet do the total opposite.

I feel he hides things from me, in order to not cause “drama”. One more thing, one of his children hates me and I have done nothing but do for her, over and over again. She wants them back together. I am 41 and he is 43.

Thank you,
Jean”

Rori’s Answer:

***Dear Jean,

Though there are many things in your letter I’d like to talk about, the first thing that jumps out at me is your frustration that he “hides things from me in order to not cause Drama.”

What I’m hearing is that you believe YOU are the cause of “Drama.”

And, most likely, you are.

You are also, and I totally understand this – ANGRY.

It’s your deep anger toward your situation, which you blame on him and the ex-wife, that is at the root of your depression.

In reality, however, you’re just turning all that rage on yourself.

So the question is – if this man is causing you so much pain, and he states that he has no intention of changing his behavior, WHY are you staying with him?

Loving him is not a good enough reason.

If you truly loved YOURSELF FIRST, before loving HIM, wanting HIM and trying to effect HIS behavior, you would know exactly what to do.

(Let’s stay away from talking about whether his behavior is “okay” or “wrong” or judging it in any way – because the truth is – IT DOESN’T MATTER. All that matters is how YOU feel about it.)

We are all different, and we all can tolerate, handle, and sometimes even genuinely don’t mind situations – an ex-wife – that would send another one of us screaming for the hills.

So if I’m making HIS behavior OFF LIMITS in helping you, what are your REAL options?

One, you could simply say – “This doesn’t work for me.”

He might argue, try to convince you that everything’s okay with his ex-wife, stand firm and tell you to take a hike if you don’t like it, and no matter what he says, if it’s not about NEGOTIATING the situation in a way that would feel BETTER to you, he’s not saying anything.

From where I sit –

He Will NEVER Abandon His Sick Ex-Wife

At least as long as she is sick, and it sounds to me like she has a life-long illness.

You can either accept it, and accept her in your life (many women would – I wouldn’t, at least not the way he’s doing it), or you can leave, or you have a Third Way.

The Third Way is the Rori Raye Way – a third option.

Let’s look at Option #1 – Leaving.

If you leave, and he begins to miss you, he may decide to do what he needs to do to get you back.

But, meanwhile, you’d already be dating other men and perhaps opening your heart to a new man who doesn’t have these problems.

And if he Doesn’t come toward you and offer to Negotiate the relationship, including the ex-wife, then you’re STILL dating other men and opening your heart to a man who wants you and doesn’t have these problems.

Option #2 is staying and accepting things as they are.

To stay and tolerate things as they are is what we do when we try to “understand” his side of things.

Compassion and understanding are very good, wonderful, healing qualities, as long as they don’t come at the expense of YOURSELF, your values, and what’s important to you.

I can understand his difficulty here.

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