My wife, "Jan," is having problems related to my late wife, "Ellen."How can a dead woman continue to bother your wife?
Ellen and I were married 31 years. We built a business together and raised threeYou're always going to think about her. It is common for widows and widowers to wake up in the middle of the night and not remember that their (former) spouse is deceased.
sons. Obviously, I have a lifetime of memories associated with her. I admit that
I still grieve, but I have tried to move on.
I am forbidden to mention Ellen's name around Jan.This kind of thing really ticks me off, and I agree with what Dr. Laura says when she takes calls like the wife in this case might make. This man remarried. He picked a new wife. The other woman is dead. Why the insecurity? Now, if he keeps saying things like, "I liked Ellen's way better" or something like that, then he needs to learn to edit himself. But over three decades, a business, and three sons together – sorry, his late wife is a part of his past that can't be erased. He wouldn’t have been the same man that Jan married if there hadn't been Ellen. Jan needs to think about that.
Jan now says she has no "place" in this house, although we moved most of her furniture in and sold mine.Yeah, some women just can’t stand that man actually inhabited that space with another woman, especially if he did so happily. Furniture is one of the main targets.
When guys do something like this, it tends to be more along the lines of asking her more than she has volunteered about her past relationships, because of a feeling that knowing more about that past somehow gives him so more power over it. He also wants to make sure she's not holding back some perk that a past boyfriend got, or nor retreading territory. Guys like that should relax and enjoy that she is with him.
Abby, Jan won't let me have a photo of Ellen, even in a drawer. I had to buy hera second piano because she refused to play the one that Ellen had played on, nor will she consider a certain make of car to replace hers because Ellen drove one.Wow, either this guy ignored the red flags, or Jan bit her lip, thinking he'd "forget" about Ellen once remarried. That is something people need to make clear. "It's okay that things are this way now, because we're not married. But my expectation is that this will change should we marry. What do you think?"
She says she feels like "the other woman" in our marriage.Tell her she's free to go. I understand that in Texas, the penalty isn't so bad.
Dear Abby agrees that Jan is insecure and suggests marriage counseling.
It is all too common for a girlfriend to make it clear a guy should never mention anything that has any connection to a former girlfriend, lest she get upset or pouty. For example, he can't talk about a vacation he took to a place he'd never been before because he went there with his past girlfriend. This kind of walking on eggshells is awful. I know, because I've experienced it. But those were girlfriends, where the relationship would last 2-3 years. This guy is being asked to shut up about 31+ years of his life by someone who is supposed to be with him the rest of his life. No thanks.
Do you have a story about changes demanded by a new honey because of connections to an ex?
On the positive side, I have a picture of me and a past girlfriend (A) eating at a very nice restaurant... with a previous girlfriend (B), her husband, and his parents! And my wife and I have stayed overnight in the home of girlfriend B and her husband. On the downside, my wife has always been wary of any contact I have with girlfriend A. Contact has been reduced to virtually nothing over the last few years. That's to be expected, though, as she has gotten married and I'm married and busy with kids and all.