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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5220
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology helping with relationships
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Theres a wonderful man that I have been seeing for nearly

Customer Question

There's a wonderful man that I have been seeing for nearly a year. Of course we have had ups and downs and have even gone our separate ways a couple of times. He has a teenage daughter whom he has joint custody with his ex wife. He told me that neither of them knows we're dating because it's "not their business" and that his daughter doesn't need to know. This is his only child as well. He spends all holidays with his daughter, ex wife and her family because he wants his daughter to still have a family environment. Also he manages a close family member who is in show business and says it's imperative that no one knows they are related for business reasons and what we have is definitely not to be revealed. I recently told a mutual person to us that maybe I should do something like get him a nice gift & he got wind of the comment & is now upset and thought I told the person about us, but I didn't.

We have professed our love for one another and I don't want him to call another break between us (which usually last a month or so with no notice). I want him to trust me and to acknowledge me soon. I'm very unsure of what to do right now and don't know why he's keeping us from his ex. I do understand about the teenage daughter, but when will he think it's appropriate to tell her? She is 16 years old and nearly out of high school. Why is he still not wanting his ex to know? I am not in a huge hurry because I'm 50+ and he's 60+ and we enjoy having separate residences but I don't want to lose him either. Please advise.

Ms G.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 2 years ago.

Hi Ms. G! I'll be glad to be of help with this issue.

I can imagine how frustrating this situation must be for you. You are clearly a normal and loving person. And secrecy for normal people is a sign that something is not quite right. It makes us uncomfortable, as if either the person is ashamed of us or the person is hiding something or the person is maintaining a separate life.

And this is actually the key to my answer to you that you need to consider and think about. This last possibility is the one we're really discussing here: he's maintaining a separate life from the one you two have. He is still attached to his ex.

You may be right in your guess. I call it your guess because you haven't actually voiced it, so let me: it could be that he is maintaining the ties with his ex to keep her thinking he's still in relationship with her for the sake of his daughter. Your question of why he would not want to tell his ex is fair here. Most often it's because he still has some attachment to the ex and she to him.

You (and I) are hoping that indeed that attachment is only his daughter. Because when she does graduate, then that would theoretically remove that tie. So you are looking at a minimum of 2 years before any change. But this is just a minimum.

He may balk at disturbing his daughter's start of college, then her academic stability, then other things. There's no way of knowing. This is the risk you are taking here. That his attachment to the ex is only because of the daughter. So, I need you to assess if you are willing to take that risk, with a minimum of 2 years of staying the way it is.

Okay, I wish you the very best!

My goal is for you to feel like you've gotten Great Service from me and the site. If we need to continue the discussion for that to happen, then please feel free to reply and we'll continue working on this. If the answer has given you the help you need, please remember to give a rating of 5 (Great Service) or 4 (Informative and helpful), or even 3 (Got the job done) button. This will make sure that I am credited for the answer and you are not charged anything more than the deposit you already made by pressing any of these buttons. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue now or in the future, just put "For Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX

Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5220
Experience: Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology helping with relationships
Dr. Mark and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for the information and I will assess all of it. At my age I do not have a great deal of relationship options & we have a lot in common and this is why I'm comfortable in my current relationship. But he told me once that he hasn't had time for strangers to date, but to me that doesn't mean he doesn't have time for his ex & the only way he will let go is if she starts dating someone. I have dated a couple of people since I've been with him but nothing happened and no one will measure up to his kindness. But now I have some heavy decisions to make for myself & I thank you for giving me something to think about.


's. G.

Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 2 years ago.
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