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Dear Wendy: “My New Boyfriend Disapproves Of How I Handle My Ex”

I recently separated from a boyfriend of several years and am now dating someone new. Long story short, I separated from the ex because I always had to pay for everything. I feel stupid and angry at how long I accepted no progress with him. The separation so far has been reasonably amicable and I’m trying to keep it that way. New guy knows the situation and that I am still settling some financial items. I own the cars, for example, including a truck the ex put 1/3 of the money into. At first, I was willing to just let him have the truck, which he really wants, and I would take the other cheaper car, but the new guy doesn’t agree with me on this. Basically, he feels I’ve paid more than enough into the relationship and should at least get some money from the truck. I agreed, and so I told the ex; he balked, but agreed to pay me some more for the truck (but not its full value). He doesn’t have a job though, and the insurance is coming due; I want it transferred to him already but I’m worried he’s not going to pay me for it. New guy would not be happy if he found out ex got away with the truck, but deep down, I just want to put this all behind me. I’m worried, though, that he’ll assume if I don’t stick it to the ex like he deserves, that means I’m still okay with being walked all over. Am I being a pushover still? What do I do? — Possible Pushover

The only thing that would make you “still a pushover” is if you let your new boyfriend talk you into doing something you aren’t comfortable with. If you’re OK with handing the truck over to your ex, with the understanding that you may never get another dime for it and the acceptance that that’s a price you’re willing to pay to just be done with the split already, don’t let your new boyfriend dissuade you from that decision. Relationships are great in that they allow us to get another perspective or opinion before making major decisions, but if you’re with a partner who doesn’t respect your decision — especially when it has nothing to do with him — something’s wrong.

Explain to the new guy you’re very happy to have successfully made it out of your last relationship fairly amicably and you’re at a point where you’re willing to lose some money on a truck if it means putting the whole thing behind you and moving on for good. If he still has a problem with that, let him know you’ve spent enough years feeling resentful in a relationship and if he’s not going to respect your decision on this matter, you’ll kindly show him the door. In all honestly, it would probably do you some good to have a little time on your own after ending a relationship of several years before committing to someone new.

I work with my ex. We dated for a year and a half and broke up mutually as the long-distance was taking a toll on us. We didn’t talk for four months straight (while we were away at school) and once we got back to work this summer, we started being friendly. Toward the middle of June, we were buddies again (which is good, because we’re in the same friend group). Suddenly, I found out that I contracted mono, and ever since, he’s dropped off the face of the planet. Now whenever I try to talk to him, he’s either rude or flat-out nasty. He doesn’t take my jokes anymore or talk to me. I thought we could be friends, especially since we work together, we have mutual friends, and we’re in each other’s lives on a daily basis. I don’t want another relationship, but why can’t we be cordial at least? Why is he treating me so poorly? Do I try to talk to him about it? — Irked by a Jerk

Back when I was a teenager, we used to call mono the “kissing disease,” because one of the major ways it’s spread is through saliva (um, too bad I wasn’t actually kissing anyone when I got mono at 16, but I digress … ). I imagine it still has the connotation, and when your ex heard you’d contracted it, he assumed that meant you’d been making out with other guys. Maybe in his mind he thought there was a chance for a reconciliation, or maybe he had some fantasy you weren’t over him yet, and now, imagining you with someone else, he’s realizing that that might not be the case. Seems totally immature, and if it were me, I’d say “good riddance” to him and wouldn’t give him a second thought. But since you work together and share some mutual friends and are intent on at least maintaining a cordial relationship, I suggest ignoring him for a few days until this blows over. If he’s only being nasty when you confront him first, stop confronting him until he gets his panties in a bunch over something else. After all, guys like him always manage to find new things to get worked up over.

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