My live-in girlfriend and I have realized that though we’re very good, compatible partners, we both want a more-emotionally connected relationship, and passion too.
We’ve been together for six years, which was two years after her divorce. I’d had a couple relationships but the last one ended badly, so I was still single. Getting together answered both our needs for a calm atmosphere along with fun times as a “family,” and enjoying some shared interests.
I had my first shot at being a stand-in “parent” to her two sons, as their father basically abandoned that role and moved far away. The boys are now 12 and 13.
I’ve grown very close to them, helping these smart kids through home-schooling during the pandemic and getting outdoors with them to keep active within our “bubble.”
Though I’m leaving their home, I intend to visit them, of course. But I’m worried that they’ll be very hurt and reject my ongoing friendship. How can I best handle this?
Friend, not their father
You have an even stronger role once you leave, which is essential to maintaining the boys’ trust in you, and also your own self-esteem.
Their mother and you must together explain that your relationship to these children has always been intended as a sincere friendship for life.
It means you’ll visit them regularly; they can contact you when they wish and you will contact them. You’ll still help with homework when needed, and also get together for some of the outdoor activities that you all enjoy together.
Demonstrate this promise of continued contact as soon as possible after you move out. Phone. Visit. Schedule a hike together.
Your ongoing friendship will be one of the most meaningful relationships they’ll know. Bravo to you for your commitment!
Readers’ Commentaries Regarding the husband who wants to “swing” with several sex partners vs. the wife who doesn’t want this (August 19):
“Unless this woman married fairly late in life, she can’t be much older than 50. She would have been raised when women were empowered to take charge of their lives and not accept being subservient to a partner (male or female).
“Why is she asking what to do? A swift kick in the derrière and an open front door is what my husband would get if he dared to suggest something like this.
“I’m not condemning people who want to live this lifestyle. Their life, their choice. However, I don’t want it and neither does the letter-writer.
“I believe that it’s too late for counselling help if he would still go ahead with other sex partners despite that she doesn’t approve or join in.
“My advice would be, “Just show him the door and slam it behind him.” Good riddance to bad rubbish.”
Reader #2 – “I agree with you about counseling for the couple. But your answer sounded like it’s her fault because she doesn’t join in his activities, and maybe has health issues.
“How does his going from monogamy to sleeping around sound like he’s going through a midlife crisis and now it’s her fault?”
Ellie - My response didn’t suggest a “midlife crisis” for him, nor blame her for his “swinging” interests.
Counselling can be very helpful when both partners remain stuck with opposing viewpoints, both giving opposite ultimatums.
The husband insists he “needs” the excitement of added sex partners.
The wife long-ago decided she couldn’t “keep up” with his wilderness trips. That doesn’t make his swinging her fault. Neither tried to share their interests.
After 48 years with my soulmate, I’ve been a widower for five years. After two years, I met an intelligent, attractive, complex lady. I fell for her.
Part of our time together was as roommates, with a written agreement, having given up on a serious relationship. COVID was a factor. No pressure, I enjoyed her company.
I now have a friendly relationship with a nice lady who enjoys single life. We meet weekly, but I’d prefer daily contact... a roommate, not a serious relationship.
Women at your age/stage may be lonely, too, but they’d be wary about becoming “roommates” unless there’s a contract defining what’s shared property and what isn’t, plus a type of pre-nuptial agreement if the arrangement ends.
Hold back from suggesting rooming together until you fully trust the other person’s expectations and intent. Meanwhile, enjoy the nice, independent lady you see weekly.
Tip of the day:
Creating “family” ties for children of divorce is a precious gift.