I’m a late-30s, twice-divorced, father of two. My first marriage ended amicably, without children.
My second ex-wife, however, attempted to take and control my access to our two children.
I’ve spent a small fortune on a lawyer and it now appears I’m going to keep 50/50 custody.
She’s also attempting to financially destroy me.
If she wins, I won’t have enough money left each month to afford a home big enough for the kids to live with me.
Meanwhile, I’m an educated professional with a very good job and 12 years’ experience. She doesn’t work, by choice, and has a legal-aid-funded lawyer.
She also cheated on me constantly the last 18 months of our marriage.
I’m now very afraid of another relationship, and untrusting of women in general.
I’ve become a womanizer, sleeping with multiple women a week, most don’t know the others exist.
Some are one-night stands, some become recurring “friends.” If anyone pushes for more than sex, I drop them. I know this isn’t healthy, is dangerous, and won’t bring me happiness.
However, I’m terrified that the next woman will end up leaving and forcing me to fight to keep my income again.
How do I get past this?
I’ve thrown away potential relationships with women who are 20 times what my ex-wife ever was.
Divorce sucks. That’s a reality for both sides, whether it’s about lost finances, lost expectations, lost parenting ease, or all of these conflicts.
Yet you’ve complicated your life even more.
You’re directing your pain from one woman’s behaviour, to a shallow lifestyle of taking it out on many women.
You’re risking disease, consumed with financial fears, using so-called women “friends,” and, building an obnoxious pattern among women who are apparently “20 times” you.
Stop your frenzied womanizing. Stay home more and try to heal. Spend gentle time with your kids helping them feel secure, in whatever home you can afford.
Treat your women-friends with respect, not just as sex objects.
Yes, the court process is difficult, and income changes upsetting.
But an ongoing unhappy marriage has its own stresses that goes on for years.
Divorce has given you (and your ex) a chance to move on towards something better.
Counselling can help you recognize that avoiding the possibility of having a new, meaningful relationship, is only hurting yourself.
Unless you also count the kids.
They end up dealing with whatever moods, anger, and negative effects of senseless womanizing, they inevitably feel from you.
I've been with my boyfriend (younger than me) for three years. When we moved together, I didn’t know he was carrying debt and doesn't earn much at his job.
I’m considering leaving and dating someone who wants to get married soon and has the same work ethic as me.
Or, do I stay because I love him and we have a good relationship?
He's left me multiple times and moved back to his parents’ home, then returned and we make amends.
We started counselling but it defeats our trying to save money together.
I also have strained relations with his mother due to his repeatedly moving back with her.
How can I calm my anger towards him for abandoning me and restore faith in him?
Good relationship? You don’t respect his job level, earnings, or financial management, nor his leaning on his mom.
If you truly love him, then you need to decide if your monetary and marriage goals outweigh your emotions.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman whose boyfriend hasn’t told his brother that he’s dated her for five months (June 20):
Reader – “In the words of the comedian Chris Rock, "If you've been dating a man for six months and you haven't met any of his friends, you’re not his girlfriend."
“This may not be definitely true in the letter-writer’s case, but considering the information which she wrote, it seems like a definite possibility.
“I suggest that she back off from this relationship until he gets his house sold and he’s completely clear of his ex-common-law partner before going any further.
“Then she should tread carefully (as to re-starting the relationship) for a lot longer than five months.
“If that happens, and he still wants to be with her, he'll let her know.”
Ellie – I agree, he’s already been clear: He doesn’t want pressure from her for “more” than dating. Not now, and likely not very soon.
Tip of the day:
Healing post-divorce stress doesn’t happen through wanton promiscuity, seething anger, or blanket distrust of women/men. Get counselling.