The ex factor

Dear Dategirl,

I have recently gotten myself into a quandary; maybe you can help. I have been divorced for three and a half years. The divorce was acrimonious, but it has been clear all along that my ex-wife regretted some of the things that happened.

I, on the other hand, have spent the last three and a half years destroying myself with guilt and self-loathing, trying to blow her off and get laid by someone else. Then I met this new woman. We started to date, and it became clear that she liked me—a lot! And I liked her a lot, and before long we were in bed together and having a great time. I began feeling like a million dollars.

My ex eventually found out about the new lady, and the same evening she found out, I committed a major blunder by acting affectionately toward her. Then she started saying that she wants to try to put the marriage back together again, that she has learned all these lessons and now sees me in a whole different light. She wants me to decide to stop seeing my new lady friend and get back together with her. I am not about to do this. I like my new lady friend. She has invested a lot of emotional energy in me and obviously wants me around for a long time. I would be a cad if I dumped her now that my emotional health was restored and went back to my ex-wife.

But there is the chance that my new lady friend will find some reason she doesn't want to continue with me. My ex-wife knows me well and says she wants to try again. But the divorce happened for valid reasons, and I can't believe that those reasons have evaporated, as my ex-wife claims. She is in serious financial trouble and needs my help getting bailed out. I am wary of stepping into that trap just because she is talking sweetly to me. So I face three choices:

1.) Blow off my new lady friend and tell my ex-wife that she is on.

2.) Blow off my ex-wife and tell her that the divorce was final and I know we can never make it.

3.) Continue to sleep with my new lady friend and date my ex-wife (not sleeping with her) to see if she is right about us being able to turn over a new leaf with each other—but keep the relationship with my new lady friend going because we are really having great fun and I don't want it to stop.

Eventually I am going to have to make a final decision: my ex-wife or the new lady. I want to treat them both decently in the process. I don't know how to do this. I need to know if I am doing the right thing and how to eventually cope with the difficult job of carrying through with whatever decision I make.

Free Guy with Two Women After My Ass

Dear Free Guy,

There is nothing that pisses off a certain breed of woman more than to see her ex happily ensconced in the arms of another. Have you ever noticed how much more likely you are to get checked out by other women when you're on a date? The same women who wouldn't look at you twice if you were sitting at the bar alone are all over your action when you're out on the town with your girly. (P.S. Romeo, be forewarned that many men in relationships have been fooled by this and end up crying in their beer alone after they dump their tried-and-true in order to cash in on all the action they could be getting, only to find out that they've suddenly turned invisible to the female population.)

Well, your ex is one of these types. Plus, she needs your money too. Yikes! Don't be a knucklehead! You've got a new girlfriend who is tons of fun. Why screw that up? It's a nice ego boost to have two women after your ass (as you so eloquently put it), but, make no mistake, it's not going to last. I doubt your new girlfriend is going to put up with your dating your ex-wife, even if you do promise not to sleep with her. And I'm willing to bet that you'll become a whole lot less attractive to your ex once your new girlfriend is out of the picture. If you don't get your ass in gear, there's not going to be any decision for you to make because it'll be made for you.

Having difficulty deciding to whom to give your ass? Write or Dategirl, c/o Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western, Ste 300, Seattle, WA 98104.

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