I’m male, 45, separated and in divorce proceedings. I was a devoted faithful husband, father of two, hardworking.
It was an abusive/controlling relationship for many years, until I gave up when it was spoiling my health.
Since 2014, I’ve been platonic friends with a woman. My ex-wife knew who she is and there was nothing to hide.
Once separated, my friend used to check on my well-being. During that time, she got engaged and I was happy for her.
Right after the engagement, her fiancé left the country and she had no clue when he’s coming back. A year later, she went overseas when her grandfather passed away.
She’d occasionally send an email. I found that I’d fallen in love with her. I asked her when she’s returning but she pranked me, responding that she’ll stay there forever.
My world crashed and I wrote back that I loved her. She immediately replied that she’s marrying her fiancé and I should heal.
I didn’t email again but missed her dearly, then suddenly heard from her. So, I told her about my divorce proceedings.
When I asked why she went away so abruptly, she said that my ex-wife called her and said that I’m divorcing because I want to marry her.
Eventually, her sister contacted me and I learned that my friend never married because her fiancé was abusive, controlling, and stalking her everywhere. Yet she’s adamant about eventually marrying him.
Her sister asked me to help and I was able to convince my friend, via recorded videos, and she finally broke the engagement.
Now, she’s scared of using her phone and has a phobia about being stalked. We’ve only met three times in person since last January.
Recently, I told her that I’m in love with her and I want to create memories together. She acknowledged that she wants me in her life, but never said anything beyond. We message regularly, but when I ask to meet, she says she’ll try.
Does she really want me or not? What should be my course of action?
Yearning for her Love
She knows your feelings, yet she’s holding back. She’s likely far too traumatized from the abuse and continued harassment, and still sees you as a close friend.
What she needs most is time to deal with her understandable fears and phobia, through getting therapy. She should not start another relationship until then.
Tell her that you realize and understand her need for counselling which you hope she’ll get. Offer ongoing friendship without pressure.
Distance somewhat – much less messaging, occasional suggestions to do something pleasant together… but NOT a meeting to discuss the future.
As she heals (and you do, too), it’ll become clear whether or not there’s the possibility of a relationship.
My ex-wife and I are divorced, have equal custody of two now-teenage kids, and have new partners.
The kids prefer hanging out at their mother’s house.
I get it that they’re used to Mom’s routines.
With my girlfriend, they feel they’re in “her” place.
How can I get them to visit me and my partner more?
Missing My Kids
Get together with them in many ways and settings – at their sports events, taking them to a baseball game, at a park BBQ with their friends.
Ask your wife to join you at some of these outings.
Let them get to know her as a friend, not a stand-in for their Mom when at your place.
Readers’ Commentary Regarding growing up with a parent who is a narcissist:
“A narcissist will always choose a target. I can speak from experience. My mother chose me to be her target and she was a bully and a narcissist.
“Sadly, this affects a child's self-esteem. It went along with making me despise my mother.
“And sadly, a narcissist never changes. My other two siblings who were my mother's favourites also became narcissistic just like my mother.
“I have the same feelings towards them as towards her, as they made me their target as well.
“I avoid them as much as I can, I don't need their drama.
“My mother passed away many years ago. Needless to say, I haven't missed her. But narcissists will ALWAYS blame their target for their own bad behaviours. In the narcissist’s mind, he/she doesn't have any problems. I truly feel sorry for the children.”
WORD OF EXPERIENCE
Tip of the day:
Don’t push for a new relationship with someone who’s still suffering trauma from the last one.