New BF, old issues | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Dear Emily,

I’m 29 years old with a stable job and a loving family. I was not open about my relationships with my parents until a recent ex hurt me so badly that they helped me move on. Like all parents, they want me to meet a decent guy who will love me and marry me.

I now have a new 36-year-old boyfriend. I feel he loves me like no other guy has ever made me feel. He was honest about his 16-year-old kid, which was not a problem for me or my parents.

In the first two weeks of the courtship, my mom liked him. Then he confessed that he is married but has been separated for over 10 years. He was 19, and the girl, 25, when it happened. He said he started annulment proceedings two years ago but couldn’t process it for lack of money. He and his ex did not bother appearing before a judge since the woman’s parents used their connections to validate their marriage contract.

When my mom learned about his situation, she told me he cannot come to our house ever again. She predicted that my guy will not have the means to pursue the annulment, and I will end up miserable.

He felt deeply hurt.

No one in our family supports us. My boyfriend said he will continue his annulment process in two years’ time. We’ve been going out only for some two months.

How can I ask him about his plans without sounding like a nagging girlfriend? Am I a disobedient child? My parents were so right about my ex. How would I know that this one is worth it?


You’ve not known this man for even two months, and already you’re obsessing about annulment, becoming a nagging girlfriend and now at loggerheads with your parents over him? Isn’t that such an inordinately short time to watch your world fraying at the seams?

Have you no desire to know him better? It’s a been-there-done-that experience for him—and he has a son to show for it.

Your parents are right to be wary of him. Try not to begrudge them for having only your best interest at heart.

How can they allow you to go into the fray when they see a whole world waiting to be conquered at your feet? How can they allow themselves not to rein you in when you’ve had your own history of disappointment only recently?

They must be shaking their heads and wondering if you ever learned any lesson from that one. There’s a saying, “When you fall down, pick up something.” Did you?

Any guy can be a gentleman, loving and perfect. He’s had only a few weeks to show off his wares to the hilt—not enough time for you to see the counterpoints between his Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personalities.

Take it one day at a time. What’s the rush? Is there a fire somewhere? An emergency perhaps? Has he (gasp!) gotten you pregnant? Or are you just worried about getting on with your age with no serious boyfriend? But 29 is young by today’s standards.

You’re old enough to throw yourself under the bus—for him. Whatever anyone says, in the end, everything will depend on you.

E-mail: [email protected] or [email protected]

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