Ask Amy

Try counseling before dumping family

Dear Amy: Recently I reconnected with a woman I knew more than 25 years ago. We e-mailed, texted and spoke by phone.

A few months ago, I was in her hometown and she came to my hotel. We had a few drinks and spent the night together. We continued our conversations, and recently I was at a convention where she also was and we spent the week together.

We virtually skipped the convention and just enjoyed each other’s company.

More recently, I was back in her town and we spent another few days together.

We share details with each other that we don’t share with our spouses. We talk about everything, share everything and have started talking about a new life together.

This would entail us both leaving our spouses.

We talk every day, and know the pain this may cause, but we truly are in love and want to be with each other.

We’ve made the decision that we will be together, but the question is when?

Do I just tell my wife I am leaving her? Should I wait for a job in the new city first? — No TigerDear Tiger: It seems you are asking for guidance on how to leave your family.Sorry, no can do.

I’ve managed to stay sentimental enough about marriage that I would urge you to try to stay with — rather than flee from — your family.

It is obvious that you are entranced by this new relationship.

All I can say is that there is no easy way to dump your family — certainly if in the course of leaving them you intend to also leave town.

When faced with such a monumental life choice, it is helpful to sit down with a counselor to discuss your intentions. Try this first.

Dear Amy: My boyfriend of almost a year has ongoing friendships with three ex-girlfriends and an ex-wife (they did not have kids).

He says he wants to get married to me, but I haven’t even met his mother yet!He continues to be in touch with a passel of exes and confides in them about our relationship.

What do you think?

— Confused

Dear Confused: You can stop polling people now. The score is 7-zip.

Either this guy doesn’t know how to be in an exclusive relationship, or he doesn’t know how to be in an exclusive relationship with you.

Either way, this bothers you, and he will have to either include you in these other friendships or justify his behavior enough for you to be comfortable with it.

You might start your frank conversation by asking how he would feel if you took an ex to meet your parents rather than take him.

Send questions to askamy@ or Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611.