Q: My boyfriend and I, both in our 50s, have been together seven years. He has been legally separated for three and we are living together. His ex does not know about me. Last year I found out that he had left her flowers on Valentine's Day. He does not know that I know. I have every reason to believe that he did it again this year.
I am trying to be understanding -- that he just wants to be nice and make her feel good -- but I am having a hard time with this. I know that if I ask him, he will get defensive. He did get me beautiful roses and a sweet card. I do not question his love for me but I do wonder if he is still in love with her.
– Sleepless, Boca Raton
A: The flowers seem less important than the fact that he's still legally separated. Why isn't he divorced yet? And why doesn't his ex know about you? If you're serious enough to live together, he should be telling people in his community that you exist. Including her.
It's time to have a talk, but not about whether he still loves his ex. Ask him about your future together and how he plans to end his marriage. Ask him whether he feels comfortable letting the people in his life know that you're his significant other.
Something tells me the flowers wouldn't bother you so much if you knew where you stood. Yes, you know he loves you ... but is he committed to making a life with you? It's time to find out.
Readers? Are the flowers a big deal? Would she care about them if he was divorced? Is it weird that the ex doesn't know about her? Help.
Recent blog posts
Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.