Expand the family

Joey Garcia

My fiancé will not let go of his ex-in-laws. He is always calling them on the phone. He refers to his ex-wife’s kids as his step-kids and calls his ex-mother-in-law “mom.” This really bothers me and we have talked about it several times. Still, he continues this practice knowing that it bothers me. I understand that he was a part of this family for a long time, but that it is over and he needs to be focusing on our relationship. What should I do?

Resolve your feelings about this situation before you slip into that white dress and say, “I do.”

The first step is to investigate why it is that you feel so threatened. Does your imagination pretend that if you don’t control your fiancé’s ability to interact with his in-laws, he may remarry his ex-wife? Telling yourself scary stories doesn’t protect you from difficult things happening in your life. Allowing your mind to obsess about your fears can inspire you to overreact and actually create the scenarios that you fear most.

Instead of giving in to your insecurity about your fiancé’s relationships, can you see this situation as an opportunity to deepen your love for him? His previous marriage did not last, but he has maintained healthy connections with the people who were his family. I suggest that you relax into the experience of having an extended family by getting to know and enjoy the other people your fiancé loves.

I met a man that I immediately felt attracted to on many levels (rare for me). He later contacted me and now we’ve dated about five times. Unfortunately, we’ve already slept together. Immediately afterward, he made it clear that he does not want an exclusive relationship. I did, and from our previous conversations it sounded like he did, too. We’ve hung out once more but it wasn’t that great because he just wanted sex and I wanted to talk and get to know him. Now he seems to be withdrawing from me. I want to discontinue the relationship but because it seemed so perfect in the beginning, I have a hard time letting go. Part of me imagines that he will change and be attentive like he was before. But I’ve felt like that before. Any ideas?

My Magic 8-Ball says: “Whoa!”

That means slow down. Listen to yourself. It’s clear that you projected a lot of hopes and dreams on to this new relationship. That’s not unusual. A lot of people do that and much of what we consider romance is based on it. But if you believe those dreams after reality reveals this man’s true intentions, you are lying to yourself. Believing in illusions teaches you one thing: You cannot trust yourself.

Here’s a basic set of rules for self-love: If you do not admit and accept reality, you cannot trust yourself. If you do not trust yourself, you cannot commit to the values that are important to you in a relationship. In a long-term relationship, friendship and love are established, so the couple can weather the various storms that arise over the course of a life together. But in a new dating relationship, such as yours, there is nothing to keep you together. So let go and be open to meeting a man who wants what you want and has the heart to tell you.

Meditation of the week
Are you still rattling through a relentlessly long “To Do” list? Mama Winter is calling you to come inside and hibernate. Ditch the Netflix and the diet soda. Take your cues from the cats. Curl up beneath your coziest comforter and dream the dreams that will change the world. Do it right and, come spring, you’ll have the energy to initiate a revolution.

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