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Dear Debra
Dear Debra, Advice Columnist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1818
Experience:  I have been an Advice columnist for 14 years. My column is published weekly in local newpapers.
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Ive been dating the same guy for 4 yrs. in the beginning everything

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I've been dating the same guy for 4 yrs. in the beginning everything was great. Then he took my laptop about 1.5 yrs into our relationship, under the pretense of fixing it. He went through the entire thing and found dating sites contacts etc... All of which were prior to us meeting. He printed old emails out joined the dating sites to see if I was still on them. He saw a conversation I had with someone I dated long ago and had spoken to and accused me of "trolling around for dick" I have never been unfaithful to him. He managed to get every cell phone bill I had sent to his house and went through them text by text and call by call making me justify each one.
I had done nothing wrong other then not disclose all of my past history to him. I had to beg him to stay with me. He made me return the engagement ring he had gotten me 6 months earlier. He began judging all of my parenting skills. I have 4 young adult and teenage children. He would put me down in public. He continually tells me I'm not interested in saving this relationship.
We have both come to some terms with trust and honesty. I found something's he was doing like on chat with female friends that seemed a little more then friendly. I confronted him he denied it was anything more then platonic friendship. There was one girl in particular I didn't like and asked him if he would please not talk to her online. He didn't because she moved out of the area but last week she wrote him to say she was coming home after traveling the world for the last yr. she said she was gonna be a a certain bar on a certain date. He agreed to meet her ending the conversation with xxoo. I confronted him and he said well of course you're going with me. I said I wasn't. He then said I never want to do anything he suggests. For the past 3 weeks he's been telling me he's taking his daughter overnight to visit about of state college. I've been fine with that until 3 days before the trip he says dont worry were getting seperate rooms. I said what are u talking about? That's when he told me his ex wife was going and he was sure he mentioned it to me before. I admit I'm insecure about his ex he has a good relationship with her but she attends all his family functions with or without his daughter. He goes to her parents home for parties like her 50th b day party last week. I'm nit invited nor would I want to go. This weekend his brother in law passed away ( his sisters husband) his ex went to the wake. Then there was a family get together the next day. He said his daughter wanted to attend so his ex might bring her I was ok with that until I realized his ex came alone saying his daughter was on a date with her boyfriend. I don't think his daughter ever planned on attending yet his ex showed up on her own. They've been divorced since 2001.
Am I crazy and over thinking all this? Should I just let it go and avoid more arguements?
I do love him but am not happy. It seems like every time I start feeling a little closer to him something comes up to trigger me to pull back. He tells me I'm jealous if his ex that I'm overly sensitive.
I have a great job I've raised 4 kids practically alone yet he makes me feel stupid regarding our relationship. There was a time u didn't care and was ready to throw in the towel but I'm trying to not repeat past mistakes and give this a chance. Should I walk away or keep trying? We do not live together all my kids are still at home in school and or working and he could never live with me while all the kids were here. He doesn't have the patience he admits that readily.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dear Debra replied 1 year ago.

Deardebra :

I do not believe you should give up on this relationship.

Deardebra :

I also do not think in any way you should be worried about his ex. That relationship is over and it has been for awhile.

Deardebra :

She attends family functions and it is because they have a child together and I feel the family wanted to make sure they stayed in contact and wanted to make sure they saw his child.

Deardebra :

What is happening with why he went through your computer was he was insecure about losing you. He was so scared to lose you he assumed that you were going to leave him for someone else, which was in no way true.

Deardebra :

He should have never did that because you do have your right to privacy and he should just trust you. He should be confident that you love him and he is the only one you want to be with.

Deardebra :

I want to talk about him feeling like you are jealous of his ex. It is not about being jealous at all. This is someone that he is going to have in his life because they have a child together, he needs to understand that is hard.

Deardebra :

You have children as well and you raised them pretty much on your own. I am sure that if things were reversed and your ex was at family functions and you seen him all the time, he might get upset as well.

Deardebra :

He did go through all of your stuff online, so he is afraid of losing you.

Deardebra :

You mentioned he put you down in public that is something he should not be doing. If he has a problem he should talk too you in private.

Customer: I don't mind his ex bringing his daughter to any function although she is 18 and has her own car.
Deardebra :

So she can get there on her own, his ex does not need to come.

Customer: It just doesn't seem necessary for her to attend his family functions on her own
Customer: As for her goi g on the over night to visit a college with him a d his daughter I understand that but he's been talking about this for weeks saying he was taking his daughter never once me filming his ex f
Customer: Typo never once telling me his ex was coming until 3 days prior to them leaving
Deardebra :

I feel that he didn't want to tell you because it might upset you and you wouldn't feel comfortable with this.

Deardebra :

But he should have told you.

Customer: I agree and told him that he disagreed and said it slipped his mind
Deardebra :

I feel he just did not want to tell you.

Deardebra :

This could be a bigger problem for him then you know. I am sure he is very concerned that you will get upset over his ex going to functions and him having to do certain things with his daughter.

Deardebra :

He might be worried that you will not accept all this and leave.

Deardebra :

He both have been together for a long time and I feel that the relationship with his ex is long been over. He is with you and he loves you. I feel he has no interest in his ex.

Customer: Yes you're right but I do get that miss come first. Although he has no problem telling me my kids are adults and when I do someging
Deardebra :

Does he tell you how to parent your children?

Customer: Yes continuously
Deardebra :

How would he react if you gave your opinion about his parenting?

Customer: Telling me not to answer if they text me while I'm out with him
Customer: He would tend to Agree with me but not follow thru
Deardebra :

Ok, so he does not let certain things interfere with you and him. He agrees with you but doesn't follow through, but he does value your opinion.

Customer: I don't offer advice much because parenting is a difficult job and everyone has their own style as long as their not abusive i don't think it's my job to interfere unless he asks
Deardebra :

This is very true people do all have different opinion when it comes to parenting and a lot of that comes from how you were raised. If you are raised a certain way you tend to not know any different from how you were raised.

Deardebra :

Your children live with you and you are a parent 24 hours a day everyday.

Customer: I don't have a reliable ex for my kids to call if they need something he has his ex who is always available for their daughter if he isn't available. I'm it I have no close family for them to
Customer: call
Deardebra :

You both have total opposite situations.

Deardebra :

This is why he needs to be more understanding of your situation

Deardebra :

Him wanting and trying to parent your kids is him trying to be involved, but since you raised your children for so long that it is hard for someone else to parent your children. But he is trying to help in his own way, trying to be involved and accepted by your children

Customer: Yes I agree but be gets nasty a d short with me I have to take my phone to the bathroom to check on my kids
Deardebra :

I feel that he gets nasty because he get frustrated and upset because he doesn't know how to truly express his feelings or tell you what is really bothering him,

Deardebra :

He is someone that just reacts and doesn't think and say exactly how he really feels.

Customer: I think he likes my kids though a bit critical. He was a cop for 27 yrs now retired.guess it makes u a bit cynical.
Deardebra :

I feel he is trying to guide them in the right direction and he cares about them, but may come across as tough.

Customer: I work full time in an ER trauma center as a nurse manager so I don't have the sympathy when he and his ex are running his daughter around to physician after physician for various complaints that tend to lessen on sat Ns
Customer: And Sundays guess that's my critical attitude coming thru
Customer: Thanks for your input greatly appreciated
Customer: Donna
Deardebra :

That makes sense you would know being a nurse manager, you see a lot of things.

Deardebra :

It is hard when you know so much about something and you have no control over the situation.

Deardebra :

What I see in him is someone that cares deeply for you, I feel that he loves you so much that there are things that tuly bother him that he does not know how to express.

Customer: I listen about the next MRI for her headache or joint pain but never comment negatively although no one has ever found anything wrong with her
Customer: He can express hi
Deardebra :

So you are very supportive even though you know some things have been unnecessary.

Customer: Himself but it
Customer: is typically via a
Customer: leng
Customer: long drawn
Customer: out email
Customer: which I dislike and have told him that messages can be interpreted wrong if ur not talking face to face or at least via phone
Deardebra :

So he is more comfortable expressing himself through an e-mail because it sounds like he has trouble telling you face to face. But you are right e-mails can be misunderstood because you can not read someones' emotions.

Customer: Thank u again for your advice. Nice to have impartial input
Dear Debra, Advice Columnist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1818
Experience: I have been an Advice columnist for 14 years. My column is published weekly in local newpapers.
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