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This Exchange simulates the original Couples Coping Support Group. It is designed to help persons with concerns in their relationships, family, marriage, seperation, divorce, etc.Offering a wide range of real world, personal experiences, information, knowledge, suggestions, & views from real people.
I'll apologize in advance for the length I'm sure this will end up being. I tend to get a bit wordy!
I'm struggling with a lot of things in my life right now and I don't know if it's because I have a tendency to be pessimistic and overthink or if there are really some things that need to be dealt with.
I am recently single again, after a 10 year marriage. I am in an LDR with someone in a similar position, although his divorce is not final yet. He has a small child and his family lives fairly close to him.
We had a brief attempt at a relationship before I got together with my husband, but it just didn't seem like the right time for us then. Although we both apparently harbored and tried to hide feelings for the other all these years while we remained friends.
Anyway - to begin to get to the point. This man is only the 3rd person I've really had a relationship with. A high school boyfriend, him the first time, my husband, and now him again.
He made a joke last night about me being out to dinner with another man b/c I wasn't home when I usually am. I asked what he would think if I had been and he said he would be fine with it but that he wouldn't really understand why I'd done it. Which got us off on the topic of dating again in general.
When we first started talking again and were talking about the problems in our marriages, we both said we needed/wanted time to find ourselves (or whatever) before jumping into something with someone else. Neither of us (that I'm aware of) has ever really lived alone, been free to date lots of people, etc. We've either been at our parents, in a long term relationship, and/or married.
He is more sexually experienced than I am, however.
I know I love this man. I've loved him in one way or another as long as I've known him. And I truly believe him when he says he loves me. I cannot remember ever feeling this way about anyone - even my husband. We have so much in common and get along great and have a long-term friendship to base a relationship on.
What concerns me is that we seem to be moving awfully fast from 'We need to find ourselves' to 'We're going to be together forever'. He hasn't actually come out and said that last bit, but he does want me to move to where he is and has indicated he expects us to get married at some point.
He says I've been damaged by my previous relationship and that I shouldn't worry that the same problems I had there will happen with us.
I don't really want to date. I don't want to try to meet new people. I don't want to go out and have sex just to up my number of partners.
But I couldn't live with myself if I ever really hurt this person. I know if I did go out and found someone else it would hurt him now. But I also think he actually would sorta understand because he's not 'free and clear' as he puts it.
What I really don't want to happen is to get 10 more years down the road after being in his life and his son's life and find out I'm in the same place I was with my husband.
And I don't want to pack up and move (and try to sell my house) and be surround by his and his ex's families and be 6-8 hours away from mine and have things not work out.
Should I put more faith in my feelings for him, and his for me? Or do I need to get out there and meet more people and at least give dating a try before settling into something else?
When I got separated I didn't think I needed or wanted anyone else. Everything has happened quickly and unexpectedly with this person. But I don't know if that has to mean it's a bad thing.
I'd love to hear others' opinions on this. And if I've been confusing I'd be happy to answer questions. I tend to talk in circles sometimes!
I think you should do whats best for you. It sounds like you have found a great person in this new man, but the doubts or hesitation you have are valid.
My parents and others in my life have always told me that when you get out of a serious relationsip, as you have, its best for you to take it slow. Like you (and him) said, take time for yourself, to find you and what makes you happy.
From your post, to me at least, I take that you really do love this man a lot, but aren't sure you are ready to make the big move. And honestly I think you should wait. Be sure that you are ready to move away from your family and your home to be with him. Its a really big decision! Because like you said, you would hate to hurt him. Most of all I would make sure that he doesn't become a rebound, someone to comfort you while you are adjusting to life post-divorce. That may not be your intention, but just something to consider.
Because you're so recently single, and your relationship with this man didn't work out before, and his divorce isn't final yet, I think the best thing is to just slow things down and see what happens. Nothing needs to -- or should be -- decided now.
I don't think you necessarily need more experiences, but you do probably need more time living on your own before you make a decision to move to be with him. You said that you don't even want to date or meet other people -- there's no reason to make yourself do that and it would be pointless to do it just for the sake of it. The differences in his sexual experience and yours should be immaterial.
Are you sure that he's really getting a divorce? Do you know when it's supposed to be final?
If I were you, I think I'd stop talking about marriage and moving for now (especially since he's still married) -- let him know that you want to slow things down a bit so you can both be sure that you're ready to pursue a closer relationship, but agree that neither of you will see other people if that's what you both want.
Because this relationship with him would involve a major move for you, let things develop naturally and slowly so you can be absolutely sure that making that commitment is what you want to do.
Even though you have a history with him and you say you've always had feelings for him, don't forget that there was a reason you both ended up with other people instead of each other. Things may work out much better this time, but don't jump into anything before you know it's the best thing for both of you.
@ Luvin - yes, I care about him very much. And, in many ways I am more concerned about the actual move than being with him.
@CJH - I have read your responses on other topics and you always seem to have good advice to offer. I don't know if it makes any difference or not to your point, but our previous 'relationship' was more of a group dating thing in college where we sort of ended up as a couple a few times, but wasn't anything terribly serious. I met and started dating my husband seriously, which is what led to the end of our budding (potential) romance.
I am 99% certain his divorce will go through. In my state the separation term is a year, I'm not sure about his. The completion of a separation period does not immediately dissolve the marriage though - BOO!
I am trying to dissuade any talk of a future marriage. In fact, I've said, and (right now at least) believe I'd rather 'live in sin' than get married again. Especially given some of our particular circumstances and ex's issues.
Although it's not your particular phrase, I think I will talk to him about setting some 'guidelines' for our relationship though. Will we see other people and such. He says he's not interested in dating either, but you never know when the opportunity might arise. And he doesn't want people to think he left his wife for me (it was already in the works), so seeing other women might be a good thing.
I want to move from where I am - so I've made my peace with being away from my family. I'm not that close to them now - a couple of hours. But I have never wanted to live in the city he lives in. Although there's a lot of culture and activities, he would be my major draw. If not for his son, I think we would try to find somewhere we both would enjoy.
I appreciate the replies so far. I look forward to hearing more!
Your situation sounds almost identical to mine. My husband and I are currently seperated, we were high school sweethearts, he had to move to a different state, we drifted apart, he ended up getting married twice, had some broken engagements, had 2 children, came looking me up again, I lived 3 hrs away from him, I traveled to his town every week-end and holiday(4/04-2/05), we got married 12/3/04, come 2/05 he insisted I move to his town, I got a job there and moved there, 2 yrs into the marriage things started going wrong, and this is where we sit today. And unfortunately we have 2 deceased DD's(33yrs old & 24 yrs old).
Upon his request/demand, I had given up my career, my home, his promise that I could always go back to visit my DD and her DD's fell through, same for the rest of my family.
Please read carefully through cjh1203 response. Maybe if down the road, the two of you could move to a town that is somewhere in the middle of your current homes. Less friction that way maybe.
People say it a lot and it may sounds trite, but you really should take time for yourself after exiting a long relationship. You've expressed valid concerns about finding yourself in the same position years down the road as you did your ex-husband, and that tells me even more you need time to heal yourself. You don't want to find yourself in a relationship that is comfortable yet not healthy. Many times when we leave one relationship & get right into another, we repeat a cycle or don't learn from our mistakes with the previous one. He will also need time to heal and grow, as he's exiting a marriage.
And truly, if you guys are meant to be, you will even if it's a year or two (or however long it takes) in the future. Build yourself up so you are growing, learning, and being the best person you can be, for yourself, your kids if applicable, and any future loves will benefit from this as well.
Darlyn, my heart goes out to you! I can't imagine giving up all you had to - even for love - and then to lose children on top of it all.
I do not have children, but he does, and he does not want to miss out on his son's life. So, I very much understand why he wants/expects/thinks I should be the one to move - especially since I am not happy in my current town anyway. And I would not want him to miss out on his son's life in any way - as you should not have been expected to miss out on your family's lives!
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