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Boyfriend Cheated on Me with Ex-Wife and She’s Still in the Family

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I have been dating and living with my boyfriend for 18 months. He cheated with his ex from the start and for the first 6 months of our relationship. I caught him, he lied, then confessed – several times. He claimed he loved me and wanted me. (He told me that they were over when we got together, but he did NOT tell me that while they were indeed split up, he’d been desperately trying to get her back for 2 years and was still trying and couldn’t get over her.)  So, he claims he is finally over her now and sees her for the horrid person she is. He loves and wants me. I believe him (reluctantly and somewhat suspiciously). I am trying to trust him. Ex says she doesn’t want him but was just trying to break us up by seeing him. Unfortunately, Ex has a grandson (her daughter’s son – not his biological grandson). Ex was raising the boy (now 4 yrs) when they were together so he was also very close to the boy. She refuses to let him see the grandson claiming that HE is NOT family.

However, Ex moved in with my boyfriend’s sister and they are now best friends. Ex brings the boy over to boyfriend’s parents house to visit grandson’s “great grandparents” (they are not biological family either) because she says they are family (how can his parents be family, but he is not?). Boyfriend’s parents like Ex, love the grandson and want to see him. So, this brings her around to boyfriend’s parents house, a LOT for family occasions, holidays, random visits, etc. So, he cheated with this ex (they are still not fully divorced) but I can’t get her out of my life. His parents basically said that I should get over it because they aren’t going to tell her not to come over. They like me but too bad. Boyfriend tells me the same – that he is over her (now, finally) and since his parents won’t tell her not to come around, and he is NOT going to stop visiting them (and I would NEVER ask or expect that) that I just need to deal with it. Ex and his sister both absolutely hate me because I am “the other woman” (like it’s my fault and I knew). How do I deal with her and the situation? (age 47, from US)

Boyfriend Cheated on Me with Ex-Wife and She’s Still in the Family

Answered by on -

A.

Your best bet would be to run as fast as you can away from the situation and cut your losses before it gets any more complicated. I know that’s easier said than done, but starting a new relationship with so many barriers is going to be very difficult to overcome.

Was he cheating on her with you or cheating on you with her? Either way, it’s not good. Even if their relationship was in fact over by the time you started dating, he was obviously not “over her” and had not taken enough time before getting involved with someone else. And even though you are dating him and not his family, starting a relationship off on the wrong foot with family can take a long time for things to settle down. You should really think about whether all this is something you want to deal with and if you really feel like you can trust him. If you decide to move forward, I highly suggest that you attend a few couple’s therapy sessions together. Good luck with it all.

All the best,

Dr. Holly Counts

Boyfriend Cheated on Me with Ex-Wife and She’s Still in the Family

Holly Counts, Psy.D.

Dr. Holly Counts is a licensed Clinical Psychologist. She utilizes a mind, body and spirit approach to healing. Dr. Counts received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Wright State University and her Masters and Doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Counts has worked in a variety of settings and has specialized in trauma and abuse, relationship issues, health psychology, women’s issues, adolescence, GLBT, life transitions and grief counseling. She has specialty training in guided imagery, EMDR, EFT, hypnosis and using intuition to heal. Her current passion involves integrating holistic and alternative approaches to health and healing with psychology.

APA Reference
Counts, H. (2018). Boyfriend Cheated on Me with Ex-Wife and She’s Still in the Family. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 22, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2016/01/01/boyfriend-cheated-on-me-with-ex-wife-and-shes-still-in-the-family/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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