The Atlantic

Dear Therapist: I’m Dating a Divorced Man With Kids, and It’s Harder Than I Thought

His ex-wife is constantly texting and calling him about problems with their kids, and I can’t help but feel annoyed.
Source: Bianca Bagnarelli

Editor’s Note: Every Monday, Lori Gottlieb answers questions from readers about their problems, big and small. Have a question? Email her at dear.therapist@theatlantic.com.

Dear Therapist,

I’ve been dating Adam for two and a half years. I’m 33 and childless, and he’s 48, divorced, and the father of three kids. We seem to keep having the same fights about his needy ex-wife and the negative impact she has on our relationship.

Despite my wish to appear mature and chill, I have a strong distaste for the ex-wife. She doesn’t work, and she collects disability from the government and spousal support and child support from Adam. She attaches herself to every ailment for which she can find a symptom, and is on all kinds of medication. The kids’ main residence is with her, and Adam has the kids a

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