Falling for a Jailbird?
Q: I was married to my ex-wife for 5 years, and we had been together for 13 years. When we divorced a couple years ago, we dated others for six months and then began dating each other again. About four months ago, she started to talk to a guy she had dated when she was 14 years old. He is in jail. She doesn't know that I know as much info as I do on the topic, but she is hiding a lot, such as asking his mom for a photo and his mom asking her to come meet at the jail when the mom goes and drops off clothes for him. She tells me that they are just friends, but she can't answer the phone in front of me when he calls, or she asks me to walk out of the room. I want to believe that they are friends, but the things she hides makes me think otherwise. -- Shawn, 29
Dr. Susan: Friends you can't share are somewhat worrisome to a relationship. If your ex-wife (who you're dating) is keeping stuff from you, you're right to wonder what's really going on. Suggest the two of you go visit this "friend" in jail together. See how she reacts. While some privacy when one is on the phone is legitimate, keeping too many secrets spells trouble. It's possible you and she are only dating one another because you never gave yourselves time to see what/who else was out there. Sounds like you were together forever! I'd suggest going slowly in this relationship while you sort out what is true and what is a lie.
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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.