I knew whom I’d marry from age 12. Our parents were close friends and though he was 16 then, he always treated me as special.
When he went to University, he visited me whenever he returned. Our two families attended his graduation together. He gave me an engagement ring later that day. He was 23, and I was 19.
He got an excellent job offer and we moved here, far from home.
Life seemed perfect until I became bored, so I took courses and eventually got a degree in a social-services field. I loved it!
My husband was used to making all the decisions but I’d gained confidence that my choices also mattered. There were huge arguments. We started sleeping apart.
He hired a much-younger female as his assistant, and their affair became apparent. We divorced nine years ago.
His young partner was fickle so they broke up several times, then finally parted. I had a boyfriend but his life involving children and his ex-wife was complicated.
Then I got dangerously ill and my ex looked after my recovery and needs in the home we once shared.
Over three years later, I’m well and still here with him. We’ve both grown, matured, and want to stay together. Do you think we can make it work?
You have a very good chance now! You’ve been through disappointments in each other that many young couples experience when marital routines and realities take hold.
You each reacted with anger, fights and jealousies, and went separate ways with other partners. Now, you’ve experienced strong reasons to re-connect - you were in serious need of help only from him, and he felt the emotional will to care for you.
This is a loving re-connection you must nurture. There’ll still be differences but they can enrich a union instead of divide it, if you maintain respect for each other and your relationship.
Check in periodically on how each of you is feeling about the reunion. If there’s a sticking point, ask yourselves how much it matters. Be conscious of the old issues that divided you - his tendency towards making decisions for you both, your reactions to it - and be open to a gentle reminder that you can, as a couple, handle this better.
While I often suggest counselling for people needing help with their relationship, in your case I’d suggest a different approach - a “check-up” session with a therapist you choose together, to confirm how to stay on this path and/or correct any mis-steps along the way.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman who was “ghosted” by an online dater after they had sex several times, and says she’s lost trust in all men (March 26):
Reader – “She’s 31 and should know better. She needs to protect herself. The red flag was, “We were both frustrated,” not we were both madly in love. He was showing her he was looking for fun and sex.
“Though some men lie about love, lying about family is harder if she meets them (even over Zoom). So, if she wants a husband, she needs a man who’s crazy in love with her. Then he’ll introduce her to his parents, siblings, friends, everyone.
“By the time I was 31, I was determined to be madly in love with anyone I met and hopefully have him feel that way.... many dates ended nowhere. But I kept my standards high!
“Why waste your time not looking for a good man to marry?!”
Reader’s Commentary Regarding the current mother’s dilemma between working and “Mothering:”
“Being a Mother or a Careerist is draining for the female who’s a human dichotomy - 50% mother plus 50% careerist requiring 100% of her energy.
“My wife, a retired teacher, found the classroom dynamic of kids has redeemed her declaration that staying home was valued most “to not miss anything.”
“Is there a remedy for female family-angst? Only if she focuses on respecting her Mother Love which is unique.
“What creates the happy female? Happy wife = happy life husbands are reminded.”
Ellie - The majority of women don’t have many choices. Depending on where they grew up, their education, any racialized circumstances, other social/housing inequities and the times (e.g., now), survival largely determines whether they must be sole, equal or part-time earners.
Motherhood as unpaid work, may then be a joy, or a constant pressure for needing more time and energy.
Tip of the day:
A renewed loving and respectful relationship definitely deserves a second chance!