Two years after my husband’s death, I met a guy and fell in love. He moved in with me and my kids. My home was not big enough for his two teenagers, so they all moved out. He said nothing was going to change, but he did not contact me.
Two weeks later, I gave him a surprise visit. He had another girlfriend. I broke down. I found out who she was, and we have had bitter phone and e-mail exchanges. She and her sister came to my home with two other ghetto women. Later, my ex-boyfriend placed a restraining order on me for texting her (the case was thrown out). I e-mailed him and said the restraining order was a slap in my face after all I had done for him and his family.
Months have passed. I still love this guy. My daughter says to hang in there. His kids think his new woman will leave or cheat. The woman he is with does not work, clean or cook, and she is in a custody battle for her kids. I have a home and a job. We only fought when his family was here because of my job stress. He is completely in debt (I helped him out financially), yet they are in a house, talking marriage. We were going to get married!
I need to move on, but I cannot risk doing this again to myself or my kids. After eight months, I still cry daily. I want to always be there for him. I know I may be wrong, but that’s love.
Your desire to be available to someone who is trying to escape from you is codependency, not love. If you loved him, you would not treat him as a possession to be stolen away from the woman who is now in his life. Remember, he chose to leave his relationship with you and to lie to you about why. He was involved with someone else and did not care enough about you to be honest. Your eight months of tears signify a genuine grief regarding your choice to lie to yourself about the quality of this relationship. You were betrayed by him, and yet you ignore that in favor of pursuing a competition that you initiated to win a man who wants to be where he is: with someone else.
Growing up, I spent school breaks at the home of my grandparents in South Central Los Angeles. I know the ’hood. Calling the woman who showed up on your doorstep “ghetto” seems silly. Hey, you can close the door or call the cops or, even better, back down and apologize for acting crazy. I say that because the true “ghetto” behavior was yours: tracking her and fighting by phone and e-mail. What’s up with that? If you accuse her of stealing your man, you’re saying he is not a mature adult capable of making his own decisions, and if that’s the case, why are you interested in him? Plus, if he can be enticed away, the relationship was already in trouble, and he is not trustworthy.
It’s also “ghetto” to solicit opinions, from your kids and his, on the potential demise of his new relationship. You are putting your own need for reassurance above their need for sanity at home. It’s likely that they have confided in their friends, gossiping about the drama you have created. Teenagers will gladly be your confidants, but the experience will propel them into worry about you and, eventually, repetition of your most negative choices.
One last thing: I thought you said you loved your ex-boyfriend. If so, you want him to be happy, right? Then trust that he is happy in his new relationship and that, if not, he will handle it. He doesn’t need you to mother him.