I’m a man, 49, divorced, with custody of four children (ages twelve down to three). My ex was 15 years younger than me.
Her family on both sides had mental health issues, which emerged after our marriage.
I never knew when she’d snap. It happened, and she’d meet someone else online. She finally told me that she never loved me.
I started dating last year and discovered that few women want to be with a man my age with four young kids.
I finally believed I’d found a strong, shared connection. She’d raised her kids, now 22 and 20. She was long separated and recently divorced.
We lived together for several months. She stood with me through a custody case and we vacationed together (no kids) recently.
She later said she didn't want to raise kids any more. Yet she still loves my children. We have a great time together, alone or with the kids.
She suggested we take a break. We still have most of our stuff in storage together and at our separate places.
She got a job 25 miles away to where we were planning to move but the courts had me keep the kids in their present school district until a July trial. I moved in with family meanwhile.
Is this something I wait for? If yes, how long? Do I need to do anything?
Am I doomed regarding dating anyone? (49, four young kids and presently living with family.)
Confused Older Daddy
Any two people contemplating raising four youngsters who’ve already experienced upheaval, should take time to be sure of the relationship.
She sounds like a loving and wise woman, worth your taking that time. Don’t rush her.
Meanwhile, keep up contact and easy chats, even while taking a break from a defined relationship.
Build gently on the respect and caring you share.
IF it doesn’t work out, staying with family only complicates your life more, especially if you start dating someone else.
I called my college ex (together throughout our 20s), two years ago.
We were over once I had a child with someone else 27 years ago, although he contacted me periodically while I raised my child as a single parent.
I became annoyed by his persistent calls. And only reached out thinking maybe it’d stop.
He still cares deeply for me in a way I’ve never known before. I realized that he was truly hurt by our relationship ending and later by my unexpected pregnancy news, even though he’d already ended our relationship.
He believes he must continue with his long-time fiancée.
My feelings for him are resurfacing. He wants to spend a “platonic” day with me. So, I suggested we meet to bring closure to us.
But he says that if it becomes a compromising situation, he knows he’d want to have a relationship with me again.
We're both 59. If I want another chance with him, should I make a move?
Be very sure of your own feelings, and that you’re not just testing his. He’s been open that he’s still vulnerable regarding you.
Do not just “make a move” to see what happens. He has an obligation to his fiancée, and if you truly believe that you two would likely re-connect, tell him so, and suggest that he first end his engagement.
You don’t get a pass on having to treat this situation with sensitivity and care, in favour of rushing ahead just because you’re both 59.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding relationships that remain difficult no matter how hard you try:
“I’m a guy who wears my heart on my sleeve, and have found that someone always takes advantage of that in me.
“I keep meeting women who are liars and cheats.
“My ex-wife used to hit me. She had her kids taken away for threatening to kill them. Child Protection Services was constantly involved because of her.
“Since my divorce, my two significant relationships were both with women who were users.
“They both had daughters to whom I gave my time and love. Yet I was lied to and mistreated.
“Why can’t people can’t see that having a life-partner means both must be at the same spot at the same time, trusting one another. And never cheat!”
Ellie – You’ve got the right idea but the wrong selection process. Take time to know someone well and develop trust, before baring your heart.
Tip of the day:
When children are involved, a new relationship should build slowly and thoughtfully toward mutual commitment.