Dublin: 17 °C Friday 19 July, 2024
dear fifi

Dear Fifi: My boyfriend is married... Should I abandon ship and just get a cat?

This week, resident agony aunt Dear Fifi tackles more relationship issues.


Hi gang. It may be a short week heading into Easter, but that doesn’t mean we’re all in good spirits. Welcome to the second ever Dear Fifi column, where I aim to give you new insights on your problems and raise a smile along the way.

If you want to see how things are done around here, check out last week’s column – it took in snooping, addiction issues and Jessica Fletcher cosplay.

Let’s get down to it…


Dear Fifi,

So, single chap I’m seeing used to be married. His ex found me, threatened me and is adamant they are still husband and wife. Yes technically they are, cos this country has f*cked up rules regarding divorce. But they are not still “husband and wife”. He’s flipped out at her for coming near me. Do I run a mile and just buy a cat? 

While I’ll always try and give you impartial advice, I’m allergic to cats so I’m going to say “no” straight off the bat to your last question. (Please know in advance that any complaints about my attitude towards cats will be marked as spam and filed in the bin.)

There are a fair few moving parts in your first question though – some of which you may already know the answer to, but I feel obliged to mention just in case.

Firstly, you’ve used the word “threaten” in relation to the behaviour of this guy’s ex-wife. It’s hard to know what exactly you’re getting at there. If it’s merely warning you off from what she perceives to still be her fella, that’s one thing. If there’s been any suggestion of physical harm to you or indeed anything at all more sinister, that’s quite another. It goes without saying that you should put your personal safety first above all else and never risk it, and that goes for both romantic relationships and cats I’m afraid.

Now I’m going to have to mention another bit of house-keeping – and please, letter-writer, don’t roll your eyes despite what you think and do give this a moment’s thought. Could there be any grain of truth in the ex-wife’s claim that herself and your fella aren’t completely split up? You know the ins and outs of this far better than anyone else, so I’ll say no more – except that you should always listen to your gut.

You also refer to your beau “flipping out” about what his ex-wife is doing. I’m always a little circumspect about people who totally trash their exes, especially ones this serious. If she’s so terrible, why did he once respect her enough to marry her? Beware those who have nothing but negative things to say, because there’s a strong chance they’re conveniently leaving out their own failings. (You don’t mention whether there’s kids involved, but if so that’s a tie that’ll bind them forever, no matter about Irish divorce laws, so consider that too.)

One more niggly thing… You don’t even mention if you like this man in your question. Hopefully someone with this past is  giving you something in the present to tip the scales. Do you really like this guy? That’s a major motivating factor. If he’s not worth the current/future hassle and the door is looking more and more appealing, you’ll realise that soon enough yourself.


Eyo Fifi lady. Should I quit my job that I get paid very little at (it’s a start-up) and whose work I dislike, despite the fact that I’m friendly with my coworkers and the job could potentially pay off nicely in the future?

Aside from death and taxes, there are two certainties in in modern Ireland: rent and regret.

If you can pay your rent and follow your dreams with no fear of regret, then do it. Life’s too short. However, that said, it’s easiest to find a job when you’re in a job. Keep your eyes peeled while you’re still in this one and make the future transition as seamless as possible.

If you like your co-workers (and need a reference) it might be worth hanging on a little bit longer until you’re leaving for something worthwhile in pay and job satisfaction. These things aren’t always an either/or. Stay, but plan to go.

Want to talk?

Confess a story, ask for help or just shout into the void for a bit and see if that helps. All welcome. Anonymity totally guaranteed always. 

Check out previous advice>

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.