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Dear Debra
Dear Debra, Advice Columnist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1852
Experience:  I have been an Advice columnist for 14 years. My column is published weekly in local newpapers.
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I was dating this man for 14 months. We were serious. He told

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I was dating this man for 14 months. We were serious. He told me he was in love with me, and I was in love with him. He would do things like text me every morning and tell me he loved me. He helped out around my home when he had time. However, we had a few problems. I asked him to post some pictures of us on his face book. I tried to do it teasingly and said I think after this long you should have some pics of your girlfriend posted. He said he felt challenged by that and that I shouldn't ask him to prove he loves me on face book. I admit I felt immature, but it actually was important to me and I tried to explain this to him. He did not get it, and said he doesn't post hardly any pictures, which is true, and he shouldn't have to just to make me happy, and we don't need it. I let that go for awhile, and told him I wouldn't ask again. Also, he has a 22 year old daughter who was 21 when she graduated college. He told me he would like me to go to her graduation with him, but that it would be too hard for me cause it was a couple of hours away, and he was staying with his Mom the day before it. I felt I was not really asked to go. I found out later that his ex, his daughter's mother, was at the party, which was held at his mom's house. He lied to me about her being there. I found out by pictures his daughter put on face book. We had a fight over text about this. I tried to call him and ask him if I could come over to his place, but he said no he didn't want to talk. I broke up with him by text. Later he text that he was sorry and we got back together. I told him that I could handle being around the ex, but not being left out of the picture. He said that I would not be left out in the future. He also said that he is afraid that the ex will say something bad about me to his daughter and will make her feel like she is caught in the middle, and he did not want to ruin his daughter's important day. We got back together, but later he became really busy and seemed to have little time for me. I tried to be understanding about this cause it was family issues, but it seemed when he did have time finally that he wasn't that excited about seeing me. I tried to let it go, but he could tell it bothered me. He text one day said he didn't feel he could make me happy no matter how hard he tried, and broke it off. I waited a few days, and I text him back telling him that I was sorry that I was asking to much of him, and that I still loved him. However, I also said that I understood and agreed we were not going to work. He later ask me to dinner and we got back together. About a week later, He was planning a trip to see his daughter in gradschool, which is a six hour trip away. He did not ask me and I felt bad. I told him. He said well I did not think you would be able to come because of having your son with you. I told him it was important for him to ask me even if he thought I would say no. He said he would from now on, but still expressed the problems he did around graduation about the ex being there but that agreed I should be invited in the future. I said ya know, it wouldn't bother me if you even gave the ex a ride if I was invited. He made a face like the ride wouldn't happen & shook his head, but said that shouldn't matter because I should trust him. I told him it wasn't about trust. That I wanted to feel important to him, and that was the issue with the face book thing too. He said he would invite me in the future even if he thought I would say no. I told him a week later that my son would probably be going to his Dad's on the weekend that he was taking his trip. I never got an invitation. He called me when he arrived at his daughter's place, and I found out the ex had taken the trip with him. I think I was in shock. I tried to act like I wasn't upset. He text later that night ask me how my night was. I had been thinking about the fact that he gave the ex a ride because that's what his daughter ask him to do, and that they would be spending the weekend just the three of them celebrating her birthday. I sent him a text saying that I guess I know why I wasn't invited that there was no room for me with his ex there. I said I can't do this anymore. I said I guess you wanted a family vacation, and to pretend for your adult child that you are still a family unit and that I don't fit into that picture. I told him he was a good man and a good Dad, but that I did not want to be left at home in the future while he and his ex rode together to visit his new grandchild or something and that was the future which I saw. It has been a week, and he still has not responded to my last text. I feel guilty about doing it over a text even though he had done the same to me before this. I still care about him, but think it was the right decision. It bothers me that he didn't respond. How do I get closer? It bothers me to think he is mad at me. I have almost text him again to explain more. Why is he not responding at all? Was I wrong? way 2 fix

Deardebra : Thank you for your question.
Deardebra : it seems like he did not want to tell his ex that you would be coming. I think it would have been awkward so he decided not to invite you which was wrong.
Deardebra : he should have told you the real reason why instead of ignoring the issue.
Deardebra : you say home wondering why you didn't get invited and then you find out that he is with his ex.
Deardebra : that is very difficult. When you texted him I feel he does not know what to even say because he knows he was wrong and does not know how to fix it.
Deardebra : he knows he is wrong.
Deardebra : How is he ever going to make that right with you.
Deardebra : i want to talk about Facebook and pictures. Some times people do not post pictures because they want to keep the person to themselves. They are afraid someone will try to take them away. It could be cause they get jealous or they are afraid someone will interfere in the relationship, some people are very private as well.
Deardebra : It is almost like he wants to keep you to himself.
Deardebra : It sounds like the way he deals with things is by running away. He does not deal with the issues. He either breaks up or doesn't answer. So that means he doesn't like confrontation and does not like conflict.
Deardebra : He would rather walk away then resolve this issues. He needs to change that and communicate better.
Deardebra : this probl will not go away unless he answers you.
Deardebra : all he had to say was my ex is coming with me, but instead he just went never told you. He should have said I can not take you because I have to go with my ex. Now he has to explain why he did all this.
Deardebra : I want you to try texting him again. Tell him that this can be resolved but he needs to talk about it.
Deardebra : Everything you said too him was true so he has no idea how to respond because he knows he did the wrong thing. So he's thinking where do we go from here. I'm sure he thinks you will never forgive him. So he doesn't know what to do.
Deardebra : You need to tell him that thugs will never get resolved unless you both talk about it.
Deardebra : *You need to tell him things will never get resolved unless you both talk about it.
Deardebra : You need to say too him that you understand he has obligations that he has to do but tell him he needs to be honest about them he needs to tell you.
Deardebra : Trust and communication is what connects a relationship. It is olimportant to have both.

Thank you for your quick reply. One follow up question though. I think he may also be angry with me because of the comment that I made about them pretending to be a family unit for his adult child. He does still treat her like a child. She is his only child. He says the divorce was not her fault so she shouldn't have to suffer. That is why he had been spending Christmas morning at the ex's. He does not want me around at the occasions because it might make the daughter feel uncomfortable. I believe he wants to do whatever his daughter wants him to on these special occasions even if that is celebrating just him, the ex, and their daughter. I feel he thinks if he invites me that means he is putting me before his daughter, and he will never do that. I think she is old enough for this to stop. She is 22. They divorced 4 years ago. I think he wants to keep things the way they are for his daughter's sake. Am I wrong to ask him to change and include me even if that makes the daughter unhappy?

Deardebra :

You are not wrong you should be included. He can not hide the fact that he is in love and has moved on with you. His daughter has to get use to the thought that you are now a part of his life.

Deardebra :

He should not be pretending that everything is fine, his daughter is an adult and I am sure she knows what is going on.

Deardebra :

You should be included so that his daughter can get to know you, he can not make believe everything is picture perfect when he is divorced the daughter knows things did not work out with her parents. It's good they all get along. But the reality is he moved on and you can not hide that fact from the daughter. What is missing is his daughter seeing that he is happy with you and that he has a great life with you. She is missing out on part of his life with you.

Deardebra :

You can not be just left out of that part of his life it is not fair too you.

Deardebra :

I understand he might be upset over what you said about pretending to be a family. But you are right they are pretending and you know what the daughter does not have much of a say what if she wants to get to know you.

Deardebra :

She is adult and should be able to make these choices it was 4 years ago you can't keep sugar coating this divorce. The daughter and you are being left out because you both are not able to get to know each other.

Deardebra :

You have been with him for 14 months that is a long time and he needs to understand that he has a life he should be sharing with his daughter. You all could go out as a family together. It should not be just him, his ex and his daughter.

Deardebra :

You and him are a family now and you need to share in this past of his life.

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