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!
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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.