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Ask a Teacher: My Boyfriend Treats His Ex Better Than Me

Conventional Wisdom is a different kind of advice column. Your questions will be answered by people from all walks of life rather than by advice experts. This week, a teacher tries to help out a woman who is jealous of her boyfriend's ex. If you have a question you'd like answered on Conventional Wisdom, you can submit it here.

Today's Question:

My boyfriend buys the mother of his child really nice gifts for no reason. He recently got her a nice jacket that cost well over $100. Now for Christmas he's getting her some really cool equipment for her art studio. We've been together for eight months. She's known him for five years. The issue I'm having is he doesn't make a lot of money but finds ways to buy these expensive gifts for her. I wouldn't complain if I were receiving the same treatment, but instead I get cheap $5 gifts and such when I usually help him pay rent, gas, etc. What should I do?


To see the teacher's answer,


Dear Presentless,

When you got into a relationship with this man, you knew he would have some sort of relationship with this woman because she is the mother of his child. Naturally, jealousy issues are going to come up, but you must remember that their relationship existed before you entered the picture, so he's not choosing her over you. It's simply a fact that as the mother of his child she will be in his life for the foreseeable future.


That being said, if you're willing to tolerate your boyfriend's relationship with this woman (of course I'm not saying it's romantic or that it even has to be a close friendship), then you should find a way to make it work for you. You should talk to him about specific things that are bothering you — like the extravagant presents — and figure out if, and how he can be more sensitive about your concerns. If you guys find a balance that makes you both feel that your needs are respected, then I think you can work it out.

Good luck.

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