Cheating With His Ex?
Q: My husband and I have been married for 10 years now. He has a son who is 16 from his first marriage. He and his ex are always talking on the phone. I would think his son is old enough to talk without the mother being involved. Do you think he's having an affair with her? -- Lisa, 35
Dr. Susan: There's a comfort and familiarity in keeping up the old habits. As your husband's son was so small when he divorced the boy's mother, he got into the habit of talking over everything about the boy's welfare with her. Just because the boy is old enough to communicate about his own needs with his dad directly doesn't mean either parent is ready to let go. I don't think your husband is cheating on you, but I do think he is still somewhat emotionally entangled in his old relationship as co-parent. What you can do is let him know that you feel a bit left out when he spends so much time talking with his ex. But unless he is neglecting you or talking to her about things he should be discussing with you, I would try not to make a major issue of this. You can also gently encourage him to speak directly to the boy, for the boy's own sake.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.