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Haunted By Her Ex

Frank wrote:

My fiance and I met three years ago and we have been engaged for a year and a half. We are both in our late thirties. Her family introduced me to her and after a long distance courtship I relocated to be with her. She is a responsible and up standing person. She holds down a great job in the postal service and has done quite well for herself. I also am successful at running my own business even after relocating it.

Here's the problem. She has been involved with a guy who is a drug addict for 17 years prior to me meeting her. She broke it off with him 6 years ago and started dating other guys. He is still looming in the shadows of our life together and to some degree, I feel it is her inability to get tough with him.

I have read your articles about how ex lovers can still be friends and I do agree with you. I feel that this set of circumstances may require a different approach. This other fella still doesn't hold a job and has lived in a dozen or so different places in the last year. At times, he has called the house six times a day. I find this embarrassing when I'm entertaining people here. She tells him not to call the house and it stops for a while but again resumes. We keep his cat because he has no place to keep it himself. Then he calls wanting to take the cat and she caters to him only to have the cat return when he doesn't want it anymore. She continues to pay his car insurance and cell phone bills.

When we talk about this, she tells me how she feels bad for him and doesn't want to deny him his cat if he wants it. She also says that he is working on getting his own phone account. I have been patient and understanding about this issue until last week. The police showed up here. They questioned me as if I was the other guy. I had to show my ID to prove I wasn't him. His legal mailing address is still here where her and I live.

We are expecting our first child in a month and are in the mists of the wedding plans. I know that she loves me and is committed to me. It's not like she is in love with him but I don't feel comfortable with him in or around our life. Do you think I would be out of bounds to confront this dude? I don't want to step on her toes but this Guy, who has a terrible reputation and I feel is still taking and dealing drugs needs a little stronger message than the one she has been giving him.

Your advice would be appreciated.

Sincerely, Respectful but Concerned

Dear Frank

I'm really sorry, but he is not the problem. She is.

Think about it; we all have emotional baggage, and hopefully we shed a load when we get married - and if we can't shed it, we at least come to terms on how to manage it.

You cannot deal with this matter, because it is not yours to deal. She has to. I could give you detailed advice about what to do with the cat, the police, and the cell phone (I suspect you are way ahead of me on the phone ...). But you don't need my advice on that.

You need advice on how to have a wedding with two best men (one rather better than the other).

This is the rest of your life: if you don't get it sorted now, you never will. And you cannot get it sorted until your fiance deals with this. Once she makes up her mind, you can help. But she must choose now and forever, or the marriage will not survive - it cannot survive with a built-in time bomb.

Good Luck.

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