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Ask Athena: I'm in Love With a Guy Who Still Lives With His 'Ex'


Published September 27, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.

Dear Athena,

I'm in love with a guy who has three children and who has had a live-in partner for five years. They broke up, but the family of the girl still doesn't know that they are not in a relationship anymore, and so they still live together. This girl is still trying to work on their relationship that he says is over. She cheated on him thrice already. Should I continue my relationship with this guy?

Yours truly,

Confused and In Love

Dear Confused,

The first words in your letter are, "I'm in love." But even being in love can't always make up for messy circumstances like the ones you describe. In fact, your emotions might be clouding your ability to think clearly and look out for yourself. The fact that your guy is a father shouldn't be a deterrent to a new relationship, but this whole scenario sounds fishy to me. It does to you, too, or you wouldn't be writing to me.

Even though you love him, I strongly recommend that you give him and this situation some space unless and until their arrangement changes. Ask yourself how much longer you could handle playing second fiddle to this so-called "ex" — and why you should even try. If he's into you in any sort of serious way, one of them has to move out. Their roommate situation must end if your relationship is to have any future.

By the way, are the kids hers? If so, be prepared to see her around a lot, even if she and your man separate for good. And speaking of kids, do you have any relationship with them? If not, have you considered how their existence would affect your life with this guy? Parenthood is a 24-7 commitment, and you need to understand and accept that reality in his life.

Children and their needs aside, you deserve a partner who can make you a priority, too. This guy is still living with a woman who's clinging to the relationship and lying to her family about it. I wouldn't call this making you a priority. See what I'm saying here?

You've got a lot to think about. Stay focused on what's right for you, now and in the long term. Good luck!