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Dad worries about introducing girlfriend to ex-wife

DEAR AMY: My ex-wife and I have two beautiful, well-adjusted daughters, both in graduate school. The girls were in middle school when we separated and I began a long-distance relationship, going strong now for several years. My ex and I had some hostility early on, mostly from her end, although admittedly I did not always handle things well. The stars have finally aligned and my soul mate is moving to my town soon. We plan to buy a house together and will probably get married eventually. Although my girlfriend is the love of my life, in some circles I suspect she is still considered "the home wrecker." I was slow to introduce her to my daughters, but they gradually got to know and like her. Going forward I anticipate some major things like graduations and weddings will take place, and I can't very well leave my girlfriend at home. I understand that my daughters' wishes take precedence, but is it reasonable to assume that both my girlfriend and I would be invited to events? Should I discuss this with my daughters? How do I handle the inevitable meeting of my girlfriend and my ex? Would a standard introduction be appropriate?

-- Concerned Dad

DEAR CONCERNED: You are overthinking this by a mile.

If this woman moves to your town, moves in with you and becomes your life partner, then she should be included in all family events to which you are invited.

In advance of this big move, you should call your ex-wife to say to her, "I realize these last few years have occasionally been tough for you and I think you've done an amazing job. Thank you for that. I want to let you know that "Laura" is going to move here soon. We're planning to live together and I wanted you to hear this from me before you heard it from anyone else."

Yes, when the moment comes to introduce these two women, a "standard introduction" is all that's required. The mind reels thinking of alternatives.

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