By Alma Gill
My Ex-Girlfriend is Mom’s New Daughter
Help! My mother loves my ex-girlfriend. She treats her like a daughter. It makes sense when you consider the fact that my mom and sister hate each other and haven’t been on good terms since as long as I’ve been alive. Maybe my ex is her new daughter. My ex is new to the area, attending a Maryland school to obtain her master’s degree. She doesn’t have any friends or family here, and she lives way out there. I think my mom is looking out for her. Taking her to dinner and to Target when she needs it. She even invited her to a CPR class that my mother insisted (i.e. demanded) I attend. My ex and I didn’t end on bad terms, so it’s not like I don’t want to see her again. It’s still weird for me, though. What do I do? If anything?
L.M., Landover, MD
Heeyy, did my son Josh ask you to write in? Just kidding. I learned my lesson early on with his first breakup in the eighth grade. I really liked that little girl. She paper-mached a flower vase from an orange juice jar for me. I still have it. If your Mama’s anything like me, you can’t tell her anything, especially at your age and if you’re still living at home. But what you can do is ask for her opinion. This is how you do it: “Hey, Mama, tell me; how did you handle it when you ran into one of your exes? Was it uncomfortable? I’m finding it hard to be around (insert name here).”
With this approach, you’ve told her, without telling her, how you feel. You feel me? Gently express that it’s a constant reminder of a failed relationship when you are around your ex, and tell your mom that makes you feel sad. She’ll get it. Kiss your Mama on the forehead and tell her you think you need some time and space to recover. She’ll pull up, and she’ll think it was her idea to do it. Mission accomplished. BTW, your mama should only be allowed the become best-text-Facebook- Twitter friends with the woman you’d help break out of jail if needed. Now that’s true love so make sure you marry her. LOL. Before I let you go, the larger problem I see here is how to get your mom and sister on track. Email me the issues about that situation and let’s get started on mending their relationship.
Fit or Unfit Mother?
I’m a divorced mom with an 8-year-old son. I lost 60 lbs, and my confidence is better than ever. I recently started online dating, and I’m having a great time. I didn’t have a sitter, so I took my son with me on a date. My ex-husband is furious and said I’m an unfit mother. I think he’s jealous of how I look. I don’t think I was wrong. What do you think?
D.M., Baltimore, Md.
Hey Now DM,
Allow me to pause for the cause and applaud you on your weight-loss journey. Going through a divorce is depressing and devastating. I hope you take all the time you need to heal and reflect on that life experience.
Now, on to your newfound hobby of meeting dates on the Internet. I ain’t mad at you; I actually think online dating is a good thing. It allows you to spend a minute to get to know each other and then decide if you’d like to meet. If a connection is made, I say go for it. But here’s the kicker: The connection should be between the two of you – you and your date. This should not start out as a party of three, unless the third wheel is your girlfriend sitting discretely at another table to observe. Reason No. 1: You’ve got to decide if this guy is genuine or cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.
I take issue with the advice of Steve Harvey, who says it’s okay to immediately bring kids into the mix. Do the hard work and take the time to get to know the person first. I, too, was a divorced mother, and I dated my now-husband for three months before I introduced him over dinner to my son. He knew I had a son before we ever went out on our first date. I made it clear that, if the two of us clicked, then he’d get to meet my son. He first needed to become my friend before befriending my son. I wouldn’t say that you’re an unfit mom, but don’t ever do that again.
I can’t say whether your ex-husband is jealous, but I’ll bet that he’s thinking that, along with the weight, you’ve lost your ever-lovin’ mind. Don’t prove him right.
Alma Gill’s newsroom experience spans more than 25 years, including various roles at USA Today, Newsday and the Washington Post. Email questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Facebook at “Ask Alma” and twitter @almaaskalma.