You knew he was in the middle of a difficult divorce, but sometimes you fall in love with the wrong person at the wrong time.
It happened. You love him. It’s a mess. What now?
“Should I give him a chance and wait till he settles after divorce?”
“Dear Claire, thank you for all your love, empathy, and advice.
I’m dating a caring man who is currently going through a difficult divorce because his wife cheated on him. He has 3 children.
He is wonderful in every way. He says he loves me and wants to marry me someday, but I need to tell him whether I will be ok with him being a devoted father and not resentful if and when he prioritizes them. I find that scary considering his marriage failed due to making the kids a priority and from what I hear, the kids are quite volatile and they have a possessive mother whom they are close to. I have not met them yet.
He is also not sure if he wants to have more kids (and I do want to be a mother).
He also is 90% with them and only makes time for me when it’s convenient for him…which I confronted him about and he apologized and said he needs more time before he goes into a new relationship.
When I tried to give him its “you’re either all in or all out” talk he just keeps calling me. Every day, 4 times a day. He messages a lot. We do have great conversations and a great connection.
I feel less alone in the world, I feel wanted and it also helps me escape the reality that I’m in my late 30’s and not in an exclusive relationship let alone married.
I tried telling him I need exclusivity but he cant give it to me right now, which I understand but I don’t want to just remain friends forever. It feels like I am wasting my time and my 30’s and who knows, he could potentially fall in love with someone else or decide he may not want me or kids at all.
Should I just cut my losses and walk away? Should I give him a chance and wait till he settles after divorce? Should I be real and accept we have no future? Should I give him a timeline..ie. if in 4 months you don’t know the way forward please stop calling me?” — N.
Beautiful N., I can hear your frustration. And I think I have some advice which will help, but first I have to say the thing which is going to be so, so hard for you to hear.
If this man is “going through a difficult divorce” he is not yours.
Until he’s completely divorced, and has some time to not only adjust to a massive change in his life and try to heal from the trauma of a major life stress…
This man is not yours.
He’s not yours to be exclusive with, or “be all in or all out” with.
He’s not yours to talk about marriage with.
He’s not yours to talk about having children with.
You need to slow down, put things back in order.
You need to accept that you fell in love with him, but this relationship must be put on the back burner for a while. Because he is in the middle of a very large, very earth-shaking life change.
He is simply not free to build a life with you, star-searcher.
After he makes it through this difficult divorce, things are going to look different for BOTH of you…
A difficult divorce takes time, and it takes a serious toll on the people involved. Adjusting to divorce — especially where children are involved — takes even longer.
A year or two down the road, not only will he be a very different man than he is right now, YOU will also be a very different woman.
Maybe the two of you will be a good match for each other; after he’s free and clear and healed, you can certainly test it out gently and see.
But for now, you must tell him these 5 words (and mean it):
“Call me when you’re single.”
Then you need to cut off MOST (if not all) of these intense communications that are going on.
And get back into dating, beautiful heart.
You might also think about him once in a while, might check in every month or so in a friendly way, but don’t be his girlfriend, his therapist, or his outrigger in this storm.
You do you. Date, and build your life.
Because whether he means to or not, he’s using you.
He’s using you to help himself feel less miserable in the midst of an ugly divorce.
He’s using you to “tide him over” until he feels more stable.
He’s using you as a “back up” lover because his marriage is a wreck and there’s probably no intimacy at all right now.
He’s only able to give you crumbs of love because all his time and energy are invested in a messy divorce, and the reality that he STILL must be a father to three children, who are going through SO much stress of their own.
That’s not the man for you, fierce heart. You deserve more.
Don’t let your desire to be with ANY man keep you from searching for the RIGHT man.
You said, “I feel wanted and it also helps me escape the reality that I’m in my late 30’s and not in an exclusive relationship let alone married.”
If you let your fear drive you, you run the risk of choosing the wrong man for you.
When you are secure in your confidence, and you are already in hot pursuit of your own dreams and goals for life, then you become deeply attractive to the men around you.
Do your best to let LOVE drive the direction of your life, rather than fear; it will be so much healthier for you in the long run!
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