QUESTION: I’m dating this older man who’s separated from his wife—they’ve been separated for about a year now, but they’re not legally divorced yet. He just told me he’s going to Maui with his ex-wife and their two young kids for the holidays; he says it’s an annual family tradition and they want to continue it for their kids’ sake. He also assured me that they would be staying in separate rooms. I’m trying not to get crazy jealous, but do you think I should be worried?
CHELSEA SAYS: I don’t blame you for being jealous, but unfortunately, I think this is one of those cases where there isn’t really much you can do, especially since it sounds like he was telling you, not asking you. And since you’re the new woman in his life, you don’t really have much ground to stand on in terms of asking him not to spend time with his ex-wife and kids.
If I was in your shoes, my biggest cause for worry would be the fact that your older man and his ex-wife are separated and not divorced. Do you know why they’re putting off a divorce? Do you know why their marriage ended in the first place? If you don’t know the details, that might be something you want to try and talk to him about, just for the sake of your own relationship. If he’s holding out for reconciliation with his wife and is just keeping you around to pass the time, then I imagine you’d want to know sooner rather than later.
Also, I hate to tell you this, but if he’s looking to get back into the sack with his ex-wife, he doesn’t need to be in Maui with her to do it. I think this really boils down to trust between you and your boyfriend. The fact of the matter is that he’s got an ex-wife and two kids—that’s never really going to go away. In order for your relationship to ever work, you have to be able to trust him, and trust the fact that he wants to be with you and won’t do anything to ruin that.
If the jealousy is too much for you, then maybe you should reconsider this relationship. Why put yourself through the grief? But if you do decide to power through and give your boyfriend a chance to prove himself, then try not to obsess over it while he’s away. Being a woman, I know that sounds virtually impossible. But keep yourself busy—hang out with friends and family; enjoy the holidays!
TRENT SAYS: I think this is one of the hurdles couples in general face when they date or marry someone with a family from a previous relationship. On an academic level, it’s great that he wants to go to Maui and keep things even-keeled and seemingly healthy for his kids.
On a practical level where emotions exist, it’s not the most conventional Christmas situation. And I don’t think anyone would think it’s odd that you’re jealous; in fact, it would seem odd if you weren’t a tiny bit jealous.
Jealousies aside, why are you worried about his trip? Has he given you any reason to be worried? Or were you worried/anxious/nervous about his ex when you first started to date your sugar daddy?
Fortunately, you’re a year into the relationship, so you should have a good feeling about where your relationship with him stands. Is he the kind of person who would throw away a great relationship with you to be intimate with a woman he went out of his way to distance himself from?
I’d say you should talk to him and tell him about your worries and that hopefully he’d put those fears to rest (and you should), but I’m guessing that even if he says all the right things, you won’t really be feeling rested and content until he comes back.
There’s no doubt it’s a tough situation to be in, but aside from you accompanying him on the trip, you’re going to have to just trust him and your relationship. And show him how much you love him when he returns home to you!