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Am I unnecessarily jealous?

Dear Bunmi,

My boyfriend split with his wife after 18 years of marriage. They have two teenage kids who he adores and sees a lot of.

Although it was a difficult break-up, they’re now on friendly terms. I’m confident there’s nothing going on, although occasionally I feel a little jealous.

I see his kids quite often and get on well with them, but she doesn’t know about me yet. I wish he would just tell her, but he’s worried that the goodwill may go if she thinks he’s with someone else now.

However, my real issue is this: he has said he might spend the eldest child’s 16th birthday with his family at his old house. I know this is good for the kids, but it doesn’t seem right somehow — all a bit too cosy and like old times. And, of course, I would like to be part of it too!

I’m a bit worried he might see his old life through rose-tinted glasses and decide to go back to her. Should I confront him about this, or just accept that these are the kind of things you have to deal with when you’re with a man who already had kids?

Shalewa, by e-mail.

Dear Shalewa,

Sports events, weddings, graduations, important birthdays and serious health concerns are the time ex-spouses can be together without overstepping boundaries. Meeting for lunch when there’s another person in your life is probably over-stepping the mark.

You need to set some boundaries. If this is the first major landmark since the split, I can see how he’d want it to be ‘normal’ for the children, so tread carefully.

Another thing, if his teenage children know about you, chances are they would have told their mum! It’s early days yet, and with time, things will improve to such an extent you’ll be gradually included in activities by his first family.

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