I’m 42, divorced for four years, with one child, age 12. My ex-husband (14 years together) had surprised me with serious hurts and disappointments and I was ready to move on.
I’ve dated a man, (not exclusively), who’s 47 and recently expressed serious feelings for me.
He wants to live together and says we should both sell our current homes and move into a house we buy and own together.
This man comes from a wealthy family while my background is comfortable but less socially-connected.
A few of his close friends are even snobbish and haven’t been very welcoming to me when I’ve met them, even though their friend is openly wanting us to live together.
Meanwhile, a year before I accepted my first date with this man, I’d spent four months getting close with another man, my same age, who was separated with two children.
He was also very different from me, but in ways that fascinated me.
His parents were never rich but involved in humanitarian projects in different faraway countries. He grew up with an open mind to all kinds of backgrounds, and is a very positive and adaptable person.
But he was troubled by the effect of his separation on his two sons, ages eight and ten, which I respected. We agreed to not see each other for a while so he could focus on getting them settled in the new situation without he and his ex-wife fighting.
It’s during that “break,” that I met the man currently pursuing me.
I think I’d have a secure future with him due to the intense feelings he states. But I also think that if this other man and I can get together eventually, it would be the love of my life.
He texts me occasionally and I know he misses me as I miss him.
Do I just wait and hope that he’s able to be with me soon enough to revive the passion we’d felt for each other?
Or take the “safe” offer and give my child security that’s being offered to us?
What’s the Right Choice?
There’s no guarantee of winning the prize you want just by choosing one door over another.
“Security?” Surely, you thought you had that when you were getting married to your ex-husband, only to be hurt and disappointed by him over 14 years.
Real security comes from within. It’s not based on the money you have for extras after paying for all necessities. It’s the well-being that wraps your emotions and feeds your sense of self.
Your child, too, has already lived with an awareness, even if internal only, of discord, distance, and disruption in her home life, coming from parents.
Moving together with someone you clearly don’t love, based on his pressure towards shared home ownership, could well be a mistake that unsettles the child’s security far more a second time. At 12, on the threshold of teenage, a bad reaction could intensify and last for years.
You’ve already made your choice - the man who “fascinates” you. You love and respect him, and want to share a life with him. . . not choose dependence on someone else for potential stability.
You’re a woman with significant life experience and many years ahead to benefit from it.
Text this man back, telling him that you admire what he’s doing for the sake of his children, and that you’re waiting for him.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman who didn't like her boyfriend wearing clothes during sex (Sept. 11):
Reader – “Saying that she has the right to ask him to do otherwise, and hinting she may need to dump him if he doesn't comply, is wrong.
“If a man indicated that he required a woman to sleep naked beside him or he may break off with her, he'd be controlling and misogynistic, bordering on abusive.
“It doesn't matter what his reasons are. This issue is hers, not his. It’s irresponsible to tell her that she has the right to tell him how he should sleep and what to wear when they're having sex.”
Ellie - In a committed relationship, each partner has “the right” to ask for behaviour adjustments. And, if there’s an issue that one partner just won’t discuss, it leaves the other feeling “unheard.”
That’s exactly what I wrote, not the harsh threat that you’ve interpreted.
Tip of the day:
Sometimes a love story is just that. Be grateful if and when it happens to you.