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Sex

Ask Danielle; My marriage is over but we can't tell our kids

A marriage is over but they can't tell the kids, and a green-eyed lover rears their jealous head. The Weekly's Danielle Colley answers your problems.

By Danielle Colley
Dear Danielle,
My boyfriend of a couple of years is friends mostly with women. I generally don’t mind him spending evenings that we’re not together socialising in bars or dinners with his female friends as I trust him implicitly.
The issue is his ex-girlfriend has come back to town and they have begun to hang out together. I’m trying to be evolved about it, because I hate jealousy but I’m finding myself feeling irate when they casually hang out together and have regular drinks.
He has never introduced me to her, and I wonder if he is hiding something, or should I just get over it? The childish part of me wants to demand he doesn’t spend time with her but I know that’s not the best way to handle this without looking like a psycho.
From, Green-Eyed.
Dear Green-Eyed,
Current partner’s exes can pose a bit of a problem. We often feel a sense of insecurity about them even though they are a thing of the past. For the most part, it’s because they are a mystery to us and we know at one time they were the significant person in our partner’s life.
It sounds to me like your man is going about this all the wrong way. You’re right when you say demanding he ends the friendship is not the way to go because you’ll look like a jealous brat and that is very unattractive in a person.
If you trust him implicitly yet you still feel funny about their friendship, perhaps it’s her you don’t trust. You need to demystify this woman in order to help you see that you are the one he wants, and they are just friends.
I suggest you speak to him honestly about your feelings of insecurity. What I would suggest and it may be super awkward at first, is you all go out together and you meet this woman.
If he is understanding and considerate of your feelings, and organises a night out, then you have nothing to worry about. If he ignores your feelings, or refuses the meeting then you have a few things to worry about.
Dear Danielle,
My marriage has been a sham for the past two years. We have barely been communicating except for thing children related and I have been sleeping with one of the kids in order to not share a bed.
My husband and I have decided to separate, but with three children under eight we have decided it would be better to continue living in the same house.
I cannot imagine either of us being separated from the children so I see no other alternative for us.
The children do not know we have decided to separate, and I don’t know if telling them is the right thing to do and they are so young.
What should I do?
From, Sharehouse Blues
Dear Sharehouse Blues,
This is a really complex problem because you’re trying to deal with your own sorrow and grief at the end of your marriage whilst shielding it from your kids.
Here’s the thing, kids are way more resilient than you could ever imagine and this living situation is going to kill your joy.
I’m sure there are some highly evolved individuals in the world that can co-habit with their ex-spouse and co-parent in a loving and harmonious environment, however it is incredibly hard for you to move on with your life and process your feelings with the person right there under your roof.
What about the possibility of meeting someone else in time and getting on with living your life and being the loving individual you were born to be?
By the sounds of things you don’t actually have a spare room for either of you to live in and fully set up your own space, so I feel that long term this will not be emotionally healthy for anyone in the house.
You may think that your kids don’t know, and maybe they don’t but you are also not really modelling the type of relationship that they should be looking for as they grown into adults and form pair bonds of their own.
Best of luck, because I know how scary separation is but I promise it will get better.
Danielle is not a qualified counsellor and all advice is opinion-based only, to be followed at the responsibility of the recipient.
Do you have a dilemma or conundrum you would like to ask Danielle?
Drop her a line at askdanielle@bauer-media.com.au and she will endeavour to help you sort your life out.
Danielle Colley
Danielle Colley is a writer, blogger and mum. She is a regular contributor to The Weekly and other online and print publications.
You can see more of Danielle on her blog, Keeping Up With The Holsbys, or her Facebook page facebook.com/keepingupwiththeholsbys.

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