Following are leftover questions from my online chat, “Are Rebound Relationships Doomed?” (February 18):
I’m dating a woman I was set up with a couple of months after my wife left me.
This woman’s beautiful, intelligent, and says she loves me.
However, if we stay together I know it’ll mean my moving to Boston from Toronto and marrying her… she’ll accept nothing less long-term.
I already think I love her, but it’ll mean living in a different city from my children (not far) and working there (not difficult).
There’s no doubt that it’s harder on the kids than moving from home in town, UNLESS you work on keeping close contact.
That’s not difficult with Skype, email, and phone contact. But you must also be prepared to travel frequently to see them, and bring them into your new life by having them visit… and be treated as close family when they do.
Big problems develop if the new partner isn’t welcoming to children.
Be clear right now that you’re a man with ongoing responsibilities and emotional connections to your children. Say that you need her to be understanding and supportive.
Also, delay your move until you know you can find meaningful work there, so you won’t regret the change or have to rely on your new partner financially.
This may mean taking an upgrading course and/or passing exams regarding different US requirements for your field.
You should investigate this right away, especially before you sign on to any property investment or other binding contracts.
I met a widow whose husband had died in an accident two years ago. They’d been married for less than five years.
I felt empathy for her and her kids (I lost my father when young) and really liked her.
I suggested we go for a weekend together after we’d dated for a couple of months and had started to be intimate.
But she used her kids as an excuse several times when I know her mother could’ve helped her out with them… and it was only for one overnight away.
I kept on trying to make a time-away plan for us and it only seemed to push her away even though she was loving and passionate when we were together.
I finally gave up. Was I wrong… was it too soon still? Or just me she didn’t want?
She wasn’t ready, for you or anyone else.
The fact that she was loving and passionate showed that her resistance to going away wasn’t about you.
To her, and perhaps in her children’s eyes, it would’ve meant she was moving to a next phase of the relationship, as a couple on your own.
It represented a fuller break from her past, and from her late husband - her children’s father. It was more than she could handle emotionally.
Her loss was sudden and tragic, a shock to her and a great blow to her children. You can still feel empathy and compassion for their situation. Don’t take it personally.
But if you feel you can’t hang in, take a break, and tell her that you care for her greatly but need some distance since she’s not ready for more.
Her comfort level and willingness to try moving forward may change after a break of six months. Send only an occasional email at most, wishing her well.
After the break of six months, it’ll be wise to check in with her and see if she’s more able to move forward.
Eight months after I’d divorced, a man I liked fell hard for me. He convinced me to buy a house together.
I felt very loved and desired. But soon after we moved, I realized he has alcohol issues, which he previously hid.
He becomes verbally abusive and mean when he drinks, every few days.
Now he sees I’m losing feelings so he’s hounding me and acting jealous when he’s sober. Was this a rebound that was destined to fail?
It was not “destined” to fail, but it now should. Unless he acknowledges his alcoholism and does something about it, you can’t stay with anyone who’s treating you this way.
Talk to a lawyer privately about how to handle a split, especially regarding the house.
Then tell this man he needs to shape up or you have to separate (make sure you feel safe when you raise this, otherwise leave first and send a lawyer’s letter).
Tip of the day:
Make sure that a prospective partner’s supportive of ongoing ties to your children.