My boyfriend and I have been together for three years now, but his sister is still good friends with his ex.
To start with, he was vocal about the fact he was uncomfortable with her inviting his ex over to their mum’s house. But because he’s the type of man to avoid the problem rather than deal with it, he hasn’t actually done anything about the way it’s making us feel.
I’m different in that if I have a problem I would rather be up front and discuss it so we can move on.
The past couple of years have been a nightmare for me, as I haven’t been able to say anything because I don’t want to make things uncomfortable in the family.
It has been slowly getting worse and his sister and his ex are spending more and more time together. When we see his sister at his mum’s she’s always talking about his ex and what they’ve been doing together.
Now his ex is pregnant and it’s looking like his sister is going to be godmother to the baby. My boyfriend and I really think this is a step too far.
I don’t know how to deal with it, but I’d like to get it sorted as we’re relocating soon and I don’t want to take all this bad feeling with us.
I should point out that no one in my boyfriend’s family seems to think any of this is wrong, apart from him, and they’ve never said anything to his sister, even though they know how we feel.
There is no one to mediate and none of his family talk about their problems the way I was brought up to do.
Am I overreacting or is my frustration justified? How can we move forward?
I totally understand how you feel, but I kind of get their point of view, too. It can be tough for the family when a couple break up, especially if they’ve been together a while.
I remember when my older sisters stopped seeing boyfriends that I’d got to know really well and not being able to believe I’d have to say goodbye to them forever. And I’ve felt the same when my sons have split up with girlfriends that I’ve really got along with.
However, the situation you’re in makes it very hard for you and your boyfriend to move on psychologically. His ex is still in your lives by hanging out with his family and she’s being talked about in front of you.
If your boyfriend and his family find it hard to discuss sensitive issues, then you’ll probably have to be the one to bring it up.
You can’t dictate who his family invite to the house, but you can make sure you’re not there when his ex is. You can also be honest that you don’t like the fact she still visits and that you would rather they didn’t bring her up in conversation while you’re there.
Say that the situation makes you feel uncomfortable and you worry they’ll never accept you fully while the ex is still around.
The bottom line is, you’re with their son now and therefore part of their lives too, so they should take on board what you have to say. His sister in particular ought to be more sensitive. But don’t let it split the two of you up or spoil your move.
More of our agony aunt Coleen Nolan’s advice on your sex, family, health and relationship problems