Dear Uncle Mat 

It has been almost four years since my husband (to whom I am still legally married) called me and ended our marriage. While the pain and devastation of that reality lingered on for a very long time, it was a blessing in disguise as my friends and family members so eloquently share over and over again.

We share an incredible child together (the main reason why I am so graceful, forgiving, and kind to the X-husband). His choice of girlfriends has had an effect on our 8-year-old child and he does not get it no matter what I say, what tone I use, or how many times I say it. I just want to beat some reality into him and the Chica he is with at the time. When X-husband left the marriage he immediately began a romance with a co-worker whom I thought was a friend of mine. It fucked up our kiddo’s head big time since he has grown up at Daddio’s job and at the time knew this Chica to be both Mamacita and Daddio’s friend. The X-husband’s behavior changes around our child, and kiddo wonders why Mamacita’s friend is now with Daddio? Unfortunately, due to the minimal size of SA, his dates pretty much always turn out to be women that I considered a friend or cool peeps before the spreading of the love between them. His most recent Chica actually told him up front that she “has problems with the exes of the person she is dating.” I award her honesty and I actually was excited about this one before she began to treat me as if she did not know me.

I am no saint. However, I romance the love when the kiddo is with his Daddio and I don’t allow anyone too close if my child or my relationship with his Daddio are a problem. I imagine when my world is rocked from bottom to top by another I will have to cross that bridge. To date no one has earned my trust.

How I can mend my child’s pains and questions without making Daddio look bad along with maintaining grace para the Daddio?

— Desperately wanting to be heard

Dear Desperately,

I have great respect for your dedication to your son and his family, but I believe you need to start moving forward with your lives. Your husband is clearly an ass. Giving a “C” student an “A” doesn’t make him smarter. Your first step should be to divorce him. If there are financial strings or other personal messes you believe to be obstacles, clean them up and move on. Start now. It’s called closure.

Children are emotionally intuitive and understand more than they will directly communicate. Don’t make excuses for your husband or these women. You could lose your son’s trust and respect. Nor should you speak lowly of them; you are not looking to breed spite. Your son will make his own judgments. Encourage him to speak freely and instill in him your kindness towards others. Consider letting him talk to a counselor at school or in private practice.

Real friends don’t date their friend’s husband or bad ex-husband. He should have the decency to correct any chica who is disrespectful to his son’s mother. Keep the higher ground and remain civil in public, but accept nothing less than respect and graciousness from both parties in the presence of your child (though I advise against beating them). If your ex-husband will not ensure this, you may need to negotiate stricter visitation rules.

Exercising discretion and caution with your suitors is prudent, but don’t hide your life from your son, either. Let him know you are dating and make him feel involved. He should meet his mom’s new friends. Keeping your romances at a safe, yet visible distance will allow him to observe and understand healthy adult relationships and how they develop. He might encounter a good adult male role model or two.

These changes are difficult and you might want to see a therapist, too. After four years, your learning curve is still a bit steep. A nice objective party to help you clean up your mess and remind you to pull your head out of your ex-husband’s ass might be needed.

Much love, luck, and closure (please),

Your Uncle Mat

Uncle Mat answers questions about relationships, sex, pets, and art. Email him at dearunclemat@sacurrent.com or Myspace.com/yourunclemat. Your true identity is safe with him.


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