Her Ex is On-Again, Off-Again

Q: I have been dating my now again ex-boyfriend on and off for 3 years. During one of the break-ups he dated and had sex with someone new. During that time I responded to an email from a guy I dated previously. In that email I told him I would consider going out on a date if he gave me the house with the white picket fence and the dog. The guy responded yes! But then I realized my ex-boyfriend was more important and went back to him.

He (BF) gave me an iPad, and a couple months later, he checked all my emails. That made him extremely mad, and he showed me an axe and said that was his way of defending himself. The next day he asked me for a loan, and the following day, he called to ask who the other guy was and had a lot of questions. The next day we sat to talk and he had a legal pad and a pen to ask questions. I got up and said that was too much for me and walked away!

I have been having nightmares!! Am I crazy for thinking that was too much? He sent me very derogatory text messages and contacted the friend (I had not seen him in a long time) and disclosed personal info to him! Now, my ex-BF wants me to take his kids out to an amusement park. Also his little girl keeps wanting me around and he lets her call me. Please help me! — Maria, 46

Dr. Susan: I'm not sure how you keep track of all the complications in your life with this particular on-again, off-again boyfriend. If you haven't been able to make it work better than this in a three-year period, maybe you ought to just call it quits and stay away from one another. Walking away when he wanted to ask you questions about another relationship (with pen and paper at hand) seems pretty impulsive to me. It would have been better to air your grievances, both of you, and deal with them openly. Neither of you seems to have acted with great maturity.

As for interacting with his kids, that's up to you. If you enjoy their company and they like you, and you have time for an amusement park visit, I don't see that as problematic. If you don't want to, say you feel this isn't a good time. If you are okay with talking to his little girl, just to keep a bit of continuity in her life, then why not? But if it makes things harder for you, then tell him it's not in anyone's best interest.

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