Dating a guy that still lives with his ex-wife can pose a series of unanswered questions and problems, no matter how much you love each other.

The Rundown

I have this friend that recently reconnected with a guy from her past. They were really never in a real relationship as each of them were taken at the time; but they were (at one point) friends with benefits that just ended up staying really good friends throughout the years.

Anyway, they recently rekindled their connection after 20yrs, & they’re now kind of dating, but he’s in the middle of what I would describe as a fairly easy divorce. That’s not the issue. The issue is that once the divorce is final (in about 6 months or so), he & his ex-wife still plan on living under the same roof in order to raise their young children.

This story is interesting because my friend & her new/old beau are actually in a long-distance relationship. All they do is talk on the phone; but, they are both honest with each other in terms of their current wants & needs. My friend seems happy, other than the fact that she thinks it’s total bs that the guy wants to keep up appearances with his ex-wife.

She Says She Trusts Him

My friend trusts him completely. She says she does not in any way shape or form feel that her new/old beau is "cheating" or involved with any other random women; nor does she feel that he’s still being intimate with his ex-wife. She says she knows that relationship has been over for a very long time. She also champions her belief that, at the end of the day, her new/old beau is a good man & a great father.

The Problem Is

The problem is that he’s incredibly naive as to how his living situation affects her emotionally. She presented him with a scenario of what would happen if she came to visit him. Would she only be allowed to see him when they were out & about? Would she ever be invited over? Could she randomly visit him at his home? If she came over when no one was there, would she have to then hide in a closet or run out the backdoor if someone suddenly came home? Would she have to pretend that they were "just friends?" What about intimacy…would it just be a series of never-ending hotel rendezvous?

He basically answered her by saying, “Ummm, I don’t know. I’ve never been in a situation where my ex-wife encountered my current girlfriend. I guess you’ll just have to find out when you get here.” Naturally, my friend was like, “WTF kinda answer is that?!”

I think what is most hurtful to her is how oblivious he is to his lack of understanding & insensitivity to how she might feel about this situation. He explains it away by saying, "Oh, my ex-wife don't actually live here...she just stays here..."  Yea okay dude, that makes it all better. Thanks for clearing that up for me.

It's Complicated Tho

This situation is quite complicated. It consists of divorce, there are young children involved, it’s a long-distance relationship with a man whose been a longtime friend, he’s a great guy & they really do love each other. It is for all these reasons that my friend hasn’t fully expressed her unmitigated objection to his living situation. Having never been married, she has no idea what the rules of divorce are; especially in a case where children are involved. All she knows is that she loves him & is willing to let it play out.

I however, do not think that I could be so understanding. My first reaction would have been to cuss him out and give a middle finger to him, his situation and that relationship. Life is too short & there are way too many men ready, waiting & on deck for me to be dealing with all that drama; not to mention the fact that they live much closer. But, my second reaction is: What would I actually be willing to do, tolerate and accept for love?

I dunno… I guess I’ll have to let you know when it happens.