Q: I’ve been married twice, and I have one child from each marriage, plus I have a child from a long-term relationship in which I did not marry. All three children are younger than 8 and I must stay in touch with each of their fathers in order to co-parent. My new partner, a woman, is jealous of my children’s fathers and makes it difficult to communicate with them. Each time one of them calls or I have to call them, she gets angry and makes my life miserable. With three kids, this is a daily occurrence. I’m not gay, I just fell for this woman, but now I’m wondering if I should leave or stay?

A: We rarely advise someone to stay or leave, simply because it is difficult to figure out the whole story from a letter from only one side. However, you have given us enough info about your behavior to make a suggestion: Ask your girlfriend to leave — at least temporarily — and take a good hard look at your life and your choices. Just because you’re attracted to someone is not enough reason to move them in and start a life together, especially if you have kids watching. It doesn’t matter if you are gay or straight, but that you’re changing partners faster than a speeding bullet. Your children are young but developing their outlook about how to relationships and how grown-ups behave in the world. So slow down, get counseling and examine what you’re doing until you are ready to enter a real relationship with someone who will help you raise your children and with whom you can demonstrate positive life skills.

About your partner’s anger and insecurity: she’s gay and you’ve said you aren’t and you must interact with three former heterosexual partners — something she probably finds intimidating. She, too, should be examining her choices because, bottom line, going in you both should have known there was a very slim chance a long-term monogamous relationship can succeed when one partner knows she’s gay while the other vows she is not.

 

Jann Blackstone-Ford and her husband’s ex-wife, Sharyl Jupe, authors of “Exetiquette for Parents,” are the founders of Bonus Families (www.bonusfamilies.com).

 


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