Dear Ask Ashlee,
My boyfriend and I have been dating each other for almost 2 years now and we are getting pretty serious. Lately, we have discussed living together and moving forward in our relationship, but the thing that’s bothering me is his connection to his ex’s family. His parents died about six years back and his ex and her parents were really there for him, as they should have been in the moment. However, they haven’t been together in almost four years, and he seems to really be attached to her family. He has gone there for the holidays several times since we have been together and still speaks to her parents on a weekly basis. He constantly tells me I have nothing to worry about because he is over his ex, but her family means a lot to him and that I shouldn’t be bothered by that, but I am really bothered by that. I’m not saying they shouldn’t be on speaking terms at all, but I don’t understand why it has to be so much. He barely bonds with my family and it’s becoming ridiculous at this point. I’m hoping you can help.
The Current Girlfriend
Dear The Current Girlfriend,
So, here’s the thing, it usually is a red flag when you have a partner that is so attached to his ex’s family to the point where he is spending every holiday with them, especially if he is leaving you alone to do so. However, I think his loss of parents plays a major role in this situation and until you have experienced that loss, you will never understand what that kind of grief looks like, nor will you understand how a person has to move to cope with that grief. If he is leaving you at home during these moments, address that with him. You are his woman, and he does need to respect the time he is taking away from you to go be with them. Instead, he could invite them over and let them get to know you and see that you are taking good care of him and that you love him very much. Separate the fact that they are his ex’s parents and look at them more as if they are his “adoptive” parents. Do what you can to change your perspective over the situation. He is connected to them because of that loss and dealing with that takes time, you cannot rush it. In the meantime, instead of trying to control a situation that you have no control over, lay out what you are feeling when it comes to his lack of attention and time spent with your own family. If the two of you are planning on moving in together, and your relationship is moving in the direction of something that serious, then getting to know your family is important and that should be a priority to him as well. I hope this helps!
Love & Light,