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Am I being fooled?

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Dear Life Coach,

I am a 30-year-old woman who is in love with a 35-year-old man whom I met about 3 years ago. On several occasions, he invited me to move in with him, but I declined based on my values about marriage first. I however visit him on a regular basis. When we met, he informed me that he had a 5-year-old daughter who was living with her grandmother and that he was through with his Ex who was studying overseas.{{more}} Recently I ran into my boyfriend with his Ex and their daughter downtown, but he pretended that he did not know me, so I did not say anything to him. Some time later I confronted him, but he assured me that he was through with her and that she was only visiting for a few weeks for vacation. Subsequently, one of his neighbors told me that his Ex has been sleeping over. The following day I told him that it was over, but he begged me not to end things because I was making a mistake as he was not involved with his Ex and so I said okay. A few days ago, I turned up at his house unexpectedly only to find his Ex’s personal belongings including pictures of them together. I confronted him again but he insisted that it meant nothing. According to him, he did not know his Ex was returning until she came to his house, for which he apologized and assured me that the only thing between them is a cordial relationship for the sake of their daughter. Should I leave this man or should I try to work things out with him? Thanks for your help in advance.

Confused Woman (CW)
Dear CW,
Finding the right partner can be tricky.
Your Situation:

A number of factors seem to be at work here: possible infidelity/deception; multiple bonds; developmental tasks; blinded by love; and character flaw, among others. I will address these briefly.


The fact that your boyfriend has not informed his Ex about you, and did not introduce you to her down town indicates that he is most likely being dishonest.

Multiple Bonds

Although your boyfriend’s Ex has been away they still share multiple bonds including reproductive/familial, friendship and possibly sexual.

Developmental Tasks

At age 30, you are in the Intimacy versus Isolation stage of your psychosocial development, so finding a life partner is an important task for you. However in choosing a partner, you must examine multiple variables that make for a good life partner including honesty and integrity.

Character Flaw

If your boyfriend has been dishonest with his Ex about you, and dishonest to you about her, what else might he be hiding or will hide in the future? A person’s character trait tends to be a permanent part of his/her personality and it does not change easily.

Blinded by Love/Forgiving

When we are in love we are unable to see the flaws in that loved-one and we often end up forgiving when we should be taking action. So look at the evidence when making your decision about love as you would with anything else.

What to Do:

Evaluate the Situation Carefully

Please consider and answer the following questions for yourself. Use a piece of paper and answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to each question.

Do you believe that your boyfriend is telling the truth that he is finished with his Ex?

Are you willing to be a part of a triangle – your boyfriend, his Ex, and you?

Are you willing to compete with the level of bonding between your boyfriend and his Ex?

Are you willing to be in conflict with your boyfriend’s Ex over being with him? Please be aware that even if he is finished with her, she may not be finished with him. She may also cause difficulties in your life if she finds out about you.

Is your boyfriend willing to tell his Ex about you?

Is your boyfriend willing to introduce you to his Ex as his new woman? If not, are you willing to continue to be ignored in public by him? Are you willing to remain unknown to his friends and family?

These are hard questions for which you must find the answers in order to determine whether or not you should remain in your present relationship.

If you have more ‘yes’ answers than ‘no’ answers then that may point you towards a decision to remain in the relationship and vice versa.


You may need to gently and calmly confront your boyfriend with these questions in order to get the answers that you need. However, it is possible that your boyfriend may decide to end things with you, so brace yourself and seek support from loved ones who can help you through a potentially difficult time.

Decision Making

Once you have the answers to the questions above you will be in a better position to move towards a decision about what you would like to do about your relationship. See more at:

Keep Your Options Open

Keep your options open by creating or extending your social network. There may be other eligible bachelors who are unattached that you could be interested in.

CW, I hope you will be able to make the right choice about the man in your life.

Life Coach


Need help with relationship and other problems? Ask DYNACII’s Life Coach. Email your questions to [email protected] To Chat with the Life Coach, visit: Dynamic Action Center International Inc. (DYNACII) a non-governmental organization committed to social and spiritual empowerment.