I’ve been dating a woman on and off for five years. I’m a widower, 48, with a young son, age nine.
The woman, whom I love, divorced ten years ago and has two teenage boys whom she indulges extremely.
She feels sorry for them because their father isn’t in their lives.
Unfortunately, both her sons are rowdy, rude, disrespectful to their mother and also to me.
I’ve brought them into my life, treated them kindly and well, because I love their mother and wanted our relationship to work.
But my efforts failed. Both boys refused to change their disruptive ways. They totally ignored my son and wouldn’t even talk to him when we were all together trying to share conversation at dinner.
Their mother kept excusing them as “fatherless” and needing more time to adjust.
Six months ago, after five years of these teenagers calling the shots in whether our relationship could ever move forward, I asked her to move in with me so we could give it a real effort.
I felt forced to break up with her.
To my astonishment, the woman who’d said she loved me deeply, started dating someone new right away.
I try to not continue communicating with her. But she regularly sends me different conflicting messages.
One day, it’s “I’m so in love” (with the new man). The next, it’s “I’m moving in with him, but I still love you.”
I do still love her, so when she opens the possibility of another chance, I’m hoping and waiting.
How do I handle the ongoing pain in my heart?
Like any breakup, healing requires taking one step forward whenever possible, and reminding yourself in between of why things didn’t/couldn’t work out.
This woman didn’t respond to your son as you responded to hers. That’s a serious flaw in her and the relationship.
No matter that she felt she had to “indulge” her sons’ rudeness because their father had abandoned them, she was very wrong to let them ignore an innocent child who would’ve loved the company of potentially fun, kind, older boys who visited his home.
That’s especially true, given that you, his father, welcomed those teenagers along with their mother, and tried to blend your two families.
Her instant “new” relationship is another red flag. When she doesn’t get full acceptance for her way of raising her sons - ignoring their rudeness to others - she hurts back.
Another man, another plan, and she twists the knife by saying she’ll move in with him.
She must have other compelling qualities and you may have had, while dating, a passionate connection.
But for your dream of being partners in a blended family with all your sons, she was not the right choice. Not for your son, nor for you.
FEEDBACK Regarding the man who’s upset about his wife’s added 70lbs. in their marriage’s first year (October 3):
Reader – “He should be concerned about his wife’s health and what caused this rapid weight gain.
“Shaming her is definitely wrong.
“However, some warning flags: She’d "always" attended a gym since they met and only followed a healthy lifestyle until her wedding dress fit.
“She and her mom are now pressuring him about having babies. She got her man, she’s comfortable, and it’s she and her mom who want kids.
“The couple better get counselling to see if their values are compatible for this marriage to last.”
FEEDBACK Regarding the wife described as a “Morning Dragon” (Oct. 1):
Reader – “I'm one of those people and added sleep isn’t always the answer. Most people with this issue are actually slow to wake. My “zombie” stage is two hours long.
“I roll out of bed around 4am, read email and do other solo quiet things for about an hour before I can get near the stove to cook breakfast without burning myself.
“Then I spend an hour cooking and eating breakfast while allowing myself to finish waking up before leaving for work at 6am.
“This is a life-long issue. My husband’s happy to give me the morning quiet so both our days don't start on a sour note.
“The solution is to get out of bed earlier so we dragons can be around our families without being grumpy. For me, two hours works, other people have different time solutions.”
Tip of the day:
A lover who ignores your child isn’t the right choice for a live-in partner.