Dear Dr. Smith
Dear Dr. Smith,
My biggest issue right now with my fiancée, is that, he has chosen to support an ex girlfriend financially. She has been out of a job for a while and her family really doesn't care about her much. We have prayed and talked about it because we are not comfortable with it but the situation won't change for now. It hasn't caused much strive between us but we have had lengthy discussions about it. He wants to make sure that I am fine, and he is always there for me.
It is not the best thing to be too involved in the life of an ex, especially since they were together for a really long time and were very intimate when together. She still has hopes of getting back with him but he says he can't go back there, he wasted too much time with her but he cares about her that's why he helps. How should I be dealing with all of this? How should he handle this? How should we handle this situation? We love each other and are always open and honest and always have respect but I think an alternative should be sought because this is not an ideal situation and it makes me uncomfortable.
I am afraid I have to hit the nail on the head and tell you that your relationship is heading in the wrong direction. The story is as sick as they come. Besides, you are in such deep denial that it’s not funny. What you call “lengthy discussion” in a post-modern term for “strife”. You are in the honeymoon phase of your friendship, hence the distortion. But soon the relationship with his ex will take a bite out of your relationship, but by then it might be too late. It is not that the serpent wasn’t beautiful; it is that it was subtle. Let’s look at some of the facts as you have presented them.
1. Chosen to support Ex. financially. He was never married to this person or have a child for her, therefore, he has no obligations at all to her. What is he holding on to? It is not his responsibility to see about the wellbeing of this person, he should have cut clean and move on. This lingering on in the guise of caring and helping is DANGEROUS. He needs to end it once and for all. By holding on, the possible shrewd message he is sending you is that he cares about her feelings more than yours or just as yours.
2. She is out of a job and her family does not care about her. While I empathize with this young woman and hope that she will find a job soon, the situation begs the question, “what will your fiancée do if he becomes your husband and she is still out of a job, or had a job but lost it? Do you think you will be able to prevent him from giving help at that time? If you can’t stop it now don’t fool yourself into thinking that you will stop it then. You may fight and argue, sorry, have “lengthy discussions” but you won’t stop him. And the more you have “lengthy discussions” over it, it’s the more you will be pushing him into her arms.
3. We have prayed and talked about it. Don’t waste your breath on prayer, there are some things we don’t just pray about we act upon. Until you are willing to act upon the dysfunctional behavior, don’t bother God. Remember, He cannot save a person against his will.
4. We are not comfortable with the situation. You mean YOU are NOT comfortable with the situation. He is very much comfortable with it. He is not under duress. It is his conscious decision.
5. He wants to make sure I am fine. This statement of yours is called “delusion” I don’t know who is fooling who, but if he wants to make sure you are fine, then he would just STOP it.
6. Were very intimate when they were together. Do you remember one of your Country’s proverbs? “Old fire stick easy to catch” He is playing with fire and you are ignoring the Red Flag. Remember, “she still have hopes”
7. He cares about her. You cannot care about and ex-girlfriend or boy-friend to the point that you feel compel to give financial support. It’s like you are still together with the person. You cannot have your cake and eat it. One day your friend will have to grow up and decide which of the apples he is going to love and support. But he can’t love one and support the other. NONSENSE.
Your story lacks rationality. It borders on psychosis. All your arguments about, “we love each other and are always open and honest and always have respect” pales in significance and does not add up with the facts. If you really love each other and are open and honest, why doesn’t your boyfriend be honest with you and break the relationship with his Ex. (financial, whatever, it does not matter)? How loving, open and honest can one be if one refuses to end such an inappropriate relationship? Could you really tell me who is fooling who?
Oh! I forgot he has a heart of goal and cannot afford to see her suffer; it’s part of his Christian duty. I understand that, but is she the only girl he knows that is out of a job and needs financial help? Is he doing the same for them? Oh! I forgot, he had a lasting intimate relationship with this one, so that’s why she is different. Ah! I see! But that’s the very reason why you should be AFRAID of the situation.
I know that love is a matter of the heart, but in this case you have to think with your head and not with your heart. I also know that I have been very strong in my response to you, but I had to, because you are playing with a very delicate situation and you need to end the playing before you are burnt. You have to get serious with your fiend and say to him, ‘chose ye this day whom ye will accept’. I pray that he will do the right thing, not just financially but emotionally. He needs to cut clean all the emotion that are in his sub-conscious thoughts. Keep strong, keep courageous, and you did the right thing by seeking professional help on this one. God bless.