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Boyfriend keeping me a secret

(22 Posts)
ThingsThatMakeUGoHmmm Tue 19-Jun-18 23:29:37

Sorry this is so long but I'm trying to avoid drip feeding.

I've been with my boyfriend for 6 months. He left his wife over a year ago, he hadn't been happy for a while, there was nobody else involved, they have no children. She didn't want the relationship to end and tried to persuade him to come back. His family and friends put him under quite a bit of pressure to try again. It's almost like because there wasn't anyone else then there was no reason not to try to make a go of it.

He and his wife used to live in the same small town as his parents and brother and they had/have lots of friends in common. She still lives there. When he left he moved about an hour away from there and I live about an hour from him in the opposite direction. So, we are unlikely to accidentally meet any of them.

It took him a while to tell his family that he was seeing me and I have only recently met them. He felt they would disapprove. They seem to have been fine about it though.

He doesn't want his wife to know he is seeing someone because it might possibly cause upset and drama (and he says it's none of her business). I'm fine with that but...

...my issue is that when he occasionally socialises with the guys in their old circle, along with his brother, he pretends I don't exist so that it doesn't get back to his ex. We went away for a long weekend abroad recently and they think he went on his own (I don't know if he outright lied or just ommited to say). Btw His family have warned him against letting his ex know that he is seeing me.

I don't expect/want to be included in his old social circle nor do I expect him to stop seeing them but it makes me feel a bit sh*t tbh. I don't know if that's reasonable.

I sometimes feel that he isn't really ready for a relationship if he can't be honest about us. It bothers me that he and his family are pussy footing around the ex. I want him to be proud to be with me and not give a f*ck what everyone else thinks. It's a shame as I really think that in every other way our relationship 'has legs'. I don't want to end it but I don't want to live in the ex's shadow either.

somuchunanswered Tue 19-Jun-18 23:48:25

YANBU. I’m not one for ultimatums, but I’d be telling him that to continue like this is a dealbreaker. You don’t live a half a life for anyone else. Not him, not her, not his family.

SandyY2K Tue 19-Jun-18 23:52:27

Had he filed for a divorce yet? I'd rather not date a seperated man. Especially as his wife's feelings are so important to him ...he could easily reconcile...hence it's better you're a secret.

If his family knows...why is he pretending you don't exist to bus brother?

I sometimes feel that he isn't really ready for a relationship if he can't be honest about us.

I agree.

If it were me ..I'd say we need to take a break until he feels ready to not have you as a secret... because it feels like being a mistress...like a dirty little secret.

Whether I'd hang around and wait is debatable.

NotAnotherNoughtiesTune Wed 20-Jun-18 00:04:25

In this stage of the relationship he should be excited and proud to show he's met someone new he really likes. The fact he doesn't means he isn't as excited about it as you - sorry!

I don't get why pussy footing around the ex if he didn't cheat, unless she has severe MH issues maybe?

I think his family are keeping the peace as in their mind there is still a chance he will go back to her and as long as she doesn't know about you, she will be willing to try again too.

Why he isn't saying though I couldn't be sure. Not too sure about you? Not too sure if he still loves her? Maybe he doesn't want the headache of questions. It doesn't really matter though - as long as he isn't showing he's with you, you will never move forward.

I hope you can find someone who can be proud and show they are with you 🌷

MissConductUS Wed 20-Jun-18 00:09:07

He's not really completely available at this point. Find someone who is.

nibblingandbiting Wed 20-Jun-18 00:16:15

He's still emotionally attached to her. He doesn't want her to know because he is hoping they will get back together.

Petitepamplemousse Wed 20-Jun-18 00:21:50

No WAY. This is unacceptable.

ThingsThatMakeUGoHmmm Wed 20-Jun-18 00:45:12

Those were the kind of responses I was expecting. I just wasn't sure if I was being too demanding.

To be clear, his brother knows about me and I have met him and his wife. It's the friends he's hiding it from.

I'm sure he doesn't want to reconcile with her. They are definitely in the process of getting divorced.

I think he still feels guilty about ending it and hurting her though.

I think I may have to suggest we cool it or take a break if this continues.

MissConductUS Wed 20-Jun-18 01:25:43

I think that's a wise plan.

Rednaxela Wed 20-Jun-18 02:24:53

He is just not that into you.

Don't offer up a "talk". 6 months in? Not worth it. Pull away, become mysteriously busy a lot. See what he does.

pissedonatrain Wed 20-Jun-18 02:35:51

You're the rebound. He's still married. Move on.

My H kept his "girlfriend" a secret because he was still married to me.

Don't date "separated" men.

IsaidMrDarcynotArsey Wed 20-Jun-18 03:42:01

It’s messy, unsatisfactory and disrespectful of him to behave in this fashion. Clean break - move on. Don’t look back.

ThingsThatMakeUGoHmmm Wed 20-Jun-18 12:07:16

I'm not one for playing games and being mysterious. I'd rather tell him how I feel, then he can take that information and act on it, or not.

We do communicate well and have had other issues we've had to overcome already - I have teenaged daughters and a bitter XH (say no more). Ah the joys of middle aged dating!

To be fair on his brother and sil, they've bourne the brunt of the drama and pressure. They're churchgoers (BF's ex is also though he isn't) and I think that's part of why some others are over invested in the whole thing.

CardsforKittens Wed 20-Jun-18 12:15:50

I once had a boyfriend who kept me a secret from his friends. It was because they all knew his other girlfriend.

But even if that's not what's going on, I agree with other posters that your boyfriend is not actually available. Things are messy and complicated and that's shit when you've only been together a few months. If I were you I'd walk away.

lifebegins50 Wed 20-Jun-18 12:30:44

How long was he married? I think you need to be cautious, a relationship needs solid foundations and this is shaky.

Where is he in the divorce process?

vampirethriller Wed 20-Jun-18 18:45:59

This happened to me and out was because he was still with the ex!

Feckers2018 Wed 20-Jun-18 18:53:10

Waste of time. Probably going back to his wife eventually. Move on its not worth the damage to your self esteem.

Olddear Wed 20-Jun-18 19:39:49

What upset and drama would it cause?

HeddaGarbled Wed 20-Jun-18 23:12:16

I’m not sure that I agree with most of the PPs. I think he’s trying to be sensitive to his wife’s feelings, knowing that she is going to be very hurt by this news.

Are they going for 2 years separation? So there’s another year to go before they are divorced?

Of course you don’t want to be kept secret for another year. I think you’d better discuss a timescale with him. I feel so sad for her but she’ll have to know eventually. Maybe 6 months is too soon? I think she’ll feel it’s too soon. Though it might be better if he tells her gently and privately rather than her find out by accident.

didsomeonesaybunny Thu 21-Jun-18 00:02:30

In this instance it really could be a matter of him not wanting to hurt his wife. He’s told other people about you so it’s not like it’s an affair where he’s secretly still very much with his wife.

With that said it is quite disconcerting I think, I was glad when my ex introduced me to his family and friends because I felt it legitimised our relationship. Unsurprisingly he kept every other girlfriend a secret from his family because he’s not ready to commit. I think your circumstances sound different.

springydaff Thu 21-Jun-18 00:45:19

I agree with last two posters - he's already immensely hurt her and doesn't want to pile on more hurt so soon after eg 6 months.

ThingsThatMakeUGoHmmm Thu 21-Jun-18 08:22:42

Thanks recent posters for the different perspective. What you say is how he's explained it when we have spoken about it.

They were together for about 20 years. He still cares about her wellbeing and is being very fair financially both now and in terms of the divorce. Divorce will probably be two years separation. Only recently started due to her not wanting it and him not wanting to hurt her more by pushing it so it will probably take that long anyway. He would be happy for her to divorce him for unreasonable behaviour but she's unlikely to do that and he wouldn't do that to her.

He is a very kind man, which is one of the things I love about him. My experience of divorce and separation though is that it was better to just get it done - rip off the plaster - so everyone could move on. In a way that was kinder. My XH didn't want a divorce either.

In a way it's none of my business how he conducts his relationship with her. I need to tell him how I feel about it and take it from there.

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