Welcome Mats and Doormats — Which One Are You?

Getting played by a Beaker lookalike … or is she? Blane Bachelor makes a rare slip-up in this week’s advice.

Q: I have been seeing Rebound Boy (I just recently got out of a year-long, supposedly forever relationship) for about two months. He is nice, has a cool, laid-back attitude, and is fun and easy to be around. Add fulfilling sex to the mix, and we have a great combo. The first thing is, I am not physically attracted to him. He resembles Beaker from “The Muppets.”

Second thing, when we are out, he barely pays attention to me. Like we aren’t even together!!! With that being said, other men hit on me because they don’t know I actually came with someone. Which makes me feel like we are very casual and open to dating other people. I want to bring this up to him, but am afraid he’ll say “bye-bye” because he won’t want to share. He’s mentioned that before. I don’t want to oust our occasional nights out and great sex if I don’t have a backup. I do enjoy his company and luvin’. But it’s not enough, and I need more attention. Plus, one of his buddies is really cute and available. Am I psycho??? How do I handle???—Baffled by Beaker

A: This guy might be a Muppet lookalike, but you’re the one getting played like a marionette. I had to reread your letter three times to make sure I wasn’t missing anything. And I still don’t quite get it. You’re boning a dude who looks like Beaker but makes you feel like a Gonzo-esque sideshow, yet you’re still following him around like Miss Piggy chasing her precious Kermie? If you were guest-starring in such a sketch on “The Muppet Show,” Statler and Waldorf would be cackling like hyenas up in the balcony at this storyline, and I’d be right there with them.

Even if this jerk is an Animal in the sack, you need to pull the curtains on this show, pronto. He has no problem getting intimate with you in bed but ignores you in public? And then has the audacity to say he doesn’t want to “share” you? Please. The best sex in the world doesn’t make up for such an insulting lack of respect, and you’re letting him get away with it. Cue him to the exit: stage left, right or center, take your pick.

And keep this in mind before you pounce on Beaker’s buddy, however cute and available he might be: If you keep accepting these roles as the hapless doormat, you’ll be typecasting yourself for life as a character much more suited for “Girls Gone Wild” than “The Muppet Show.” You want more from your romantic relationships? Then demand it. You won’t find a worthy leading man any other way.

Q: Nearly six months ago, my husband (I’ll call him Dan) and I divorced after a 10-year marriage. We didn’t have any children together, and it wasn’t a bitter divorce. We remain friendly. He’s been having hard times lately and has recently lost his job. He’s picking up little jobs as he can to make money in the meantime until he finds something more permanent, but I know it hasn’t been easy for him. We’re still sharing mortgage payments on our house, as I have a good-paying job.

The problem is that Dan wants to move back in until he can get on his feet again. Although he has mentioned getting back together, I know this will never happen. My friends say I am crazy for even thinking about such an arrangement, but I do feel sorry for Dan and feel I should help out since he and I bought the house together. Would like your advice.—Wary Ex-Wife

A: This disastrous economy has so many unfortunate subplots, one of which is yours—a divorced couple grappling with the fallout of an ended marriage, job loss and a shared mortgage in a horrible housing market. A rising number of divorced couples are choosing to live together because they simply can’t afford not to.

I’m glad to hear you have friends for support in this awkward situation. But this is your life, your house (well, half, anyway) and your (ex-)husband. I don’t think you’re crazy to consider helping him out; I think you’re compassionate.

You do have the advantage of a kid-free environment, and therefore you won’t face any wracking guilt that this confusing situation would be sending your offspring into a lifetime of therapy. You and your ex are also friendly. But you run the risk of turning your non-bitter split into something, well, bitter if this doesn’t work.

If you do go through with it, you need to set some ground rules first. According to Terry Real, author of “The New Rules of Marriage,” the most vital is to remember this is a temporary situation (he caps it at six months). Real also suggests viewing your new dynamic as roommates, with discussions beforehand about sleeping arrangements (separate beds, of course), meals, chores and, in your case, how your ex will contribute to the mortgage. Finally, if you’re already burning up the sheets with someone new, this just won’t work. Your brokenhearted ex will have a much tougher time getting back on his feet while you, his beloved ex, are getting busy with his replacement down the hallway.

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