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So I have waited a while to post my current situation. I am hesitant, because I know what I should do, but I am hesitant to do it. I don’t know why I hesitate. She has given me no reason not to. I feel a fool and a chump, and I hate feeling this way and at the same time I feel like I cannot gain any traction. So here it goes.
I am a retired 54 year old retired guy. I was married back in the early ‘90s but that marriage only lasted four years. I’m not really a player, and although I have had many relationships over the years settling down was never really an option for me. That was until I met my current girlfriend (let’s call her Sarah) back in June 2019. We met at a backyard barbecue hosted by a mutual friend who worked with her. Sarah was 45 at the time, beautiful and vivacious. I had never met any woman quite like her and we hit it off. She really seemed to like me and for me it was lust at first sight. We went out on our first date the next week and dated exclusively from that point on.
Sarah was married for twenty years before divorcing her husband in 2018. She has two teenage boys and she shares joint custody with her husband. I live one town over from Sarah, and since we started dating she has driven from her town to mine (about 25 miles) to spend weekends with me. Sometimes, when her ex-husband and sons were out of town, I would travel over to her place and we would hit the town and have fun. Sarah is very outgoing and has a huge circle of friends, most of them married couples. It seemed like every weekend I went there she had some plans for us to go to different social activities with her circle of friends. That was fine with me because I’m a sociable guy and I like people. I was accepted by the group and became good friends with several of the husbands. As I said I am retired, so I would hang out with these guys and play golf occasionally.

I never put any pressure on Sarah when it came to our dating. I never made any demands, and that is what she says she loved about me. If a particular weekend came and she wasn’t in the mood for company, I didn’t go see her. When the Covid lockdown hit we continued our relationship by Skyping every night and then continuing on with seeing each other when the restrictions lifted. There were no problems really. As for commitment, she told me many times that she was not looking for a husband, but just wanted to enjoy the kind of easy going relationship we had. In March of last year was when she told me for the first time that she loved me, and even though she was not in any hurry to settle down again, I was definitely the man she would want to spend the rest of her life with. Up until recently sex was frequent and very good. We are definitely compatible in bed, so that’s not an issue.

Now comes the issue and my dilemma. I asked her many times over the past year and a half if she considered us an exclusive couple. I told her back in March 2020 that I needed to know if she was dating other men so that I could feel free to date other women if I wanted. She vehemently told me “No! I only want to date you.” And that is when she told me she loved me, and I reciprocated because I do. But then something happened last month that has put our good relationship into a tailspin. On May 10th, 2021, Sarah’s ex-mother in law died of a sudden heart attack. She and her ex-in-laws had remained very close after her divorce from their son, and the news hit her hard. The ex-MIL was like a mom to her and the loss devastated her. I drove to see her and held her for hours while she cried into my chest. I did what I could to help the family prepare for the old woman’s funeral. I sat with her ex-FIL who is a wheelchair bound Korean war vet with dementia, and kept him distracted while Sarah and her ex-husband went to the funeral home and made arrangements. Over the next week I drove to her house every evening to console her and the boys. I cooked her and the boys dinner and then drove back home each night.

I was invited to the funeral so I went. This was when I first realized that something was off. I sat in the back while Sarah sat next to her ex-husband and the boys with the family. I stayed to the side during most of the proceedings, talking to Sarah’s friends and chatting with people who had come to pay their respects, but Sarah barely spoke to me during the whole day. She never left her ex-husband’s side, and they even held hands at the burial. It was weird. I felt like an interloper. Then at the reception it was the same thing. I went up to Sarah a couple times and tried to give her a hug but it seemed like she didn’t want me to. I milled around with some people in the back yard. Then I went inside and helped with dishes. I could see Sarah and her ex sitting on the living room couch talking to people. They looked like a married couple. I know it sounds petty but I started to get really mad. I’m one of those guys who retreats into myself when I am angry, so I just kept my head down and we finished cleaning the kitchen. I told Sarah’s boys I was leaving and gave them hugs and then I went to Sarah and told her I was heading home. She looked irritated and asked me why I was leaving. She told me not to leave and said she wanted to spend some time with me and if I would just wait she would get with me. Well I waited another hour and she never did. She sat with her ex and talked long into the evening with some people I didn’t know. Finally, I just grabbed my keys and left. It was probably a juvenile move but I was hurt and disappointed.

I drove a half hour back home and did not receive a call from her until another half hour after that. “Where are you? Where did you go?” she demanded angrily. I told her it was very late and that I wanted to get back home before midnight because I had to get up early the next day to meet with a mortgage agent to start the process of refinancing my house (which was true). She asked me why I was mad and I denied it (I was). She knew I was lying, and asked me what my problem was and why I was acting like a child on a day when she was trying to concentrate on her family. I didn’t know what to say so I just apologized to her for not saying good night and we talked about a couple more things and then she hung up. Since that night things between us have been tense. I went to see her the next weekend and she was somewhat cold and distant, but weirdly the sex was off the charts good. Really hot. Afterwards she told me that she could only see me that night because she was going with her ex-husband to church the next day to see their oldest boy baptized. I asked if I could come and she made up some excuse as to why I shouldn’t and that pissed me off. So I just got up to go home. She kissed me goodnight and she told me she was sorry if she was being *****y but that her ex-MIL’s death was hitting her hard. I told her I wanted to be there for her but she keeps pushing me away. She denied that and told me she loves me and that I need to be patient with her.

Then this past weekend I asked her if she wanted to come over and she said no, that she had plans, but that she promised she would spend the 4th of July weekend with me. Well since this past Sunday I have not heard from her. This past Monday I joined this group and I’m now I’m here looking for advice. I think she is back with her ex-husband and won’t admit it. I want to confront her but have no real evidence other than her behavior to back up my suspicions. Am I being a big selfish baby? Should I just back off and let her do what she is going to do? I don’t want people thinking I am trying to control her. I have no desire to control her. In fact the whole thing about our relationship she loved is how chill I have tried to be around her. No expectations or demands. But the way she flat out ignored me at the funeral really hit me hard, or am I overacting about that whole thing?

Look I know she and her husband have a long history, but they divorced amicably and during the time I have been dating her the ex has not really been a factor up until his mom died. I know that I don’t have a claim on Sarah, but dang! we expressed our commitment to each other. I really love this woman and I saw a future with her. Maybe she doesn’t love me as much as she thought she did. Or maybe she has just been playing me for a fool this whole time? Using me as a stopgap until she could get back with her husband?
She texted me “good morning Huggy” for the first time in three days this morning. I don’t even know if I want to answer her. Part of me says end this stupid charade and move on, and the other part of me says to answer the text. As much as I understand she is grieving, I have that gut feeling she is two-timing me. No actual proof. Should I trust my gut? I have read many threads on this site and that seems to be the consensus. Should I break it off for good with her, or just pull way back and wait to see what she does? There are too many red flags for me to ignore. She seems overtly preoccupied with her ex-husband and that should be the writing on the wall. I think I want to play it cool and not chase her. I'm going to back off and see if she chases me or comes after me to know why I am not kissing her ass.
 

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If you've dated lots of women, you know what's going on. This is a classic case of a person trying to resolve feelings for two people. Slowly (just don't call) remove yourself from the situation and tell her you can see she's conflicted with something and you'll be there for her when she needs you. This avoids the debate of her confliction. No need to argue or debate this fact when you can see it.

No emotion. No anger. No regrets. If it gets more intense, just say you understand (whatever she tells you) and than when she's ready to be with you whether exclusively, part-time, full-time or FWB you'll take that up when YOU'RE ready. In the meantime, wish her the best and extend her the best before it gets ugly. These situations are never easy and the person who's torn between two people often doesn't have the wherewithal to be truthful, which to be honest I understand.

They're mixed up and can't decide but doesn't want to neither. I was in this situation twice. The first time, I had an inkling then got a handle on things. I friend zoned my FIANCE and started asking her how she's doing with the other guy. She had been hinting and brining his name up so I figured if she has the balls to tell me he's interested in her without telling him she was with me, then I'll have the balls to ask her how she's making out with him because she's no longer with me.

I had in effect dislodged myself from her emotional hold and postured myself at an arms length disinterested, but supportive friend. Tables turned big time. This made her extremely mad, as it conveyed her hold on me had broken and therefor her telling me about the other man had zero effect (which was true). Game over. For me it was equivalent to a virus that had broken, by antibiotics where I felt better and quite healthy after not being myself for weeks.

The second time this was pulled on me I just stopped calling and getting together. Nothing brilliantly done. Just the discipline of following my gut and not breaking no contact. Stayed no contact for weeks until she reached out. I was gone by then. Met my current wife six months later and the rest is history.

Keeping things simple by acting without having to tell her why and what you're doing keeps you in control and deciding how YOU want things to go. Amazing what more action and less words can do.
 

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Welcome Arthur,

this si definitely a tricky situation...i think that you might be right that she might have spent more time with the ex emotionally., physically or both....guilt is probably playing in that role with her on some level. She was suppose to be at your place this weekend, so i would play it cool right now and respond casually and see if she plans on coming or not. If she does come, i would then have the conversation face to face whether she has been physical with her ex? and where you two stand....if that comes to pass she is sleeping with him i would tell her then neither of you are exclusive and you are open to see others as well...i think this will really piss her off.

P.S. If she is back with ex...it will not last long because the reason they divorce in the first place is probably unresolved and will come back to haunt them again. But she needs to know you are not going to wait and just move on
 

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My opinion, the death of her MIL (her children's' grand mother) may have caused her to feel conflicted about her ex-H, but it could also just be plain old grief from losing a loved one. That loved one happens to be her ex's mom, so they have a shared grief.

If you want the relationship to continue you have to be careful. You need to make sure she understands you feel for her loss and can understand the grief she is feeling. Let her know that she seems to have been distancing which is probably due to the grief she is feel, but you don't want to lose her and you want to be there for her. However, you also need to let her know that you are concerned about what appears to be more than just a shared grief between her and her ex. It is understandable that this could happen given the circumstances, but you just want her to be honest about her feelings and where she stands on your relationship. Tell her you really want there for her and her to be with you on the holiday weekend.

This is a tough situation, no doubt.
 

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So, I guess if you really need to find out, you could always hire a PI to investigate if they are getting together while you are not around. BUT that does have a big risk if she finds out and she was NOT doing anything.
 

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So, I guess if you really need to find out, you could always hire a PI to investigate if they are getting together while you are not around. BUT that does have a big risk if she finds out and she was NOT doing anything.
Not a bad idea, but they are only dating. A PI would be a bit much for a dating relationship that is only a little over a year old being exclusive, IMO
 

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You e analyzed it correctly. She’s wanting to get back with her ex. Anytime a woman “makes plans” the next weekend without you and spends the whole day talking with her ex and holding hands while you are treated like some chump that’s there to chauffeur her—- she has her mind on another man and it’s obvious who it is. I personally would advise you to stop chasing her totally. Only respond if she does. Make her work her way back to YOU if she wants to. Don’t play the pick me dance. I think I’d move on if I were you.
 

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The four magic words a woman gives to show you her true thoughts: “I already have plans”
If they didn’t Involve the ex, she’s have told you all about her plans and you’d already know. You don’t know her plans because she hasn’t discussed them. Bad sign.
Again, chasing never ever works.
 

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I agree -- you are together and involved, and her answer about an ENTIRE weekend is "I already have plans" -- with NO further explanation? The normal would be "Oh, I have to do .....". If she didn't volunteer it, it's probably because she is doing something with the exH (and maybe also the kids -- getting "their" family back together).
 

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Spending time with her ex could bring up feelings of nostalgia for him. Being there for him in his time of need, can elicit the internal caretaker that lurks in most women. With their long history, it can be easy to fall back into a pattern that can lead to confusing feelings.

You have to walk delicately because she has already said she doesn’t want to be exclusive so you don’t want to push her away. This is a time to lay back and get busy with your life. I know it seems counterintuitive but if you act like you’re not phased, she will wonder if she’s losing you and will up her efforts with you. If not, then you know she’s gone. Either way, it’s best to dial back your availability. Give her chance to miss you.
 

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I'm divorced. I love my ex MIL. But no WAY would I behave like I was still a couple with my ex. Everything you described would make this a done relationship, for me.

Ask yourself.... if the ex were remarried, would he have acted the same way with your girlfriend? I'm betting it would be a resounding no. It's sad the MIL died, but that's no reason for exs to act like they are a couple.
 

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One thing that the op hasn’t mentioned is has the ex husband a girlfriend or has he been dating. Maybe he’s been hoping for reconciliation and he sees the death of his mother as the perfect opportunity.
Either way at her age she’s too old for teenage dating games. She’s either your girlfriend or she’s not and in your shoes I would ring her and ask.
Also quit with the texting and talk to each other. You will soon no exactly where you stand especially if she won’t take your call.
 

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One thing that the op hasn’t mentioned is has the ex husband a girlfriend or has he been dating. Maybe he’s been hoping for reconciliation and he sees the death of his mother as the perfect opportunity.
Either way at her age she’s too old for teenage dating games. She’s either your girlfriend or she’s not and in your shoes I would ring her and ask.
Also quit with the texting and talk to each other. You will soon no exactly where you stand especially if she won’t take your call.
Problem is, she’s saying one thing and doing Another. I don’t think he’d get the truth from her.
 

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One thing that the op hasn’t mentioned is has the ex husband a girlfriend or has he been dating. Maybe he’s been hoping for reconciliation and he sees the death of his mother as the perfect opportunity.
Either way at her age she’s too old for teenage dating games. She’s either your girlfriend or she’s not and in your shoes I would ring her and ask.
Also quit with the texting and talk to each other. You will soon no exactly where you stand especially if she won’t take your call.
the ex could have a girl and still cheat on her ,
 
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