He’s been married this whole time?

It's a perfect time to send your own relationship/dating question to [email protected] (or use this form).

I have been with my partner for over five years. He is hilarious, sexy, fun, and my favorite person. We have had our ups and downs like everyone else, and generally have good communication and are great together. He was out of town on a trip with friends. I stayed home and hosted a friend for some wine while our dogs played. She gets tipsy and lets it slide that my partner is still legally married – since 2009 – to his ex. She was told by the ex, but didn't know it was a secret or I wasn't supposed to know. Well, I know now and immediately messaged him and asked him what the hell, and he stated that he got married in 2009 for health insurance (understandable, thanks America), and she asked that he not tell anyone, so he didn't.

To him, it’s a non-issue, and keeping it a secret as a favor to ex was the least he could do. But to me I feel so deeply gut-punched and betrayed. It feels like he put her feelings before mine. I am still in shock and don't know how to proceed, if I want to proceed, and what I would need from him to feel whole/better. He has offered to talk about it, but his flippant responses so far don't give me hope. What do I do? I feel so lost and sad.

– Lost and Sad

He's offered to talk about it? Well, that's nice of him. (To be clear, that is sarcasm.)

I understand why you're upset. This is a big secret to keep from a partner of five years. Also, it's not like the ex has maintained privacy. She told your friend about the arrangement! Your friend made it sound like it's common knowledge.

This brings up a list of other questions about your romantic relationship – whether the two of you have spoken about marriage and health insurance, and whether he chose to lie. I'm with you on the "thanks, America" part. It's easy to understand why people are still connected to exes for this kind of reason. But as his partner of five years, you'd want to know things that other people don't. It affects your life, too.

The most upsetting part of all of this is his lack of sensitivity right now. Did he apologize? It sounds like he moved on to "it doesn’t really matter" before he even acknowledged how this made you feel.

I can't tell you what this means about your future with this man, but I suggest a conversation about why he's been so blasé about your response, and what that might mean. If you're in any kind of financial partnership – if you share accounts, plans with money etc. – ask him how his marriage might affect the status quo.

Consider his responses. Think about whether you need counseling together. He's going to have to figure out why this hurts you so much in order for this to work. You’ll have to talk more to know whether he's capable of empathy and accountability. An apology would be a good start.

– Meredith

Readers? How would you respond to this news?