I’m going to give you the story in a nutshell. A divorced woman has been officially divorced for a little over a year after a 20 year marriage. They had some financial and other issues and he refused to go to counseling. She said he is a good dad, but she felt nothing for him.
She started dating a guy who has never had kids and describes the relationship as “a dream.” He is great with the kids, but she realized a few months into it, she was still grieving the divorce. She found she missed her ex and felt guilty.
Reaching out to the ex, they started hanging out for a couple weeks, until she began thinking about the new guy and missing him. She is now seeing the guy again and the ex doesn’t know.
She said she doesn’t know what to do. She said faith plays a large role in why she is still considering getting back together, that she believes in forgiveness and accepting people for who they are.
She describes her ex as “passive, the life of the party, simple.” The new guy “takes initiative, responsibility and is thoughtful and caring.”
She said if she didn’t have kids she’d choose the new guy. Her ex has agreed to go to therapy. She said she feels like she might be “settling” if she gets back with the ex. She said she desperately wants to make a decision but she can’t.
If you have advice for her, comment here!
In the meantime, I have a few thoughts. I’m not going to tell her who I think she should choose, but I will offer a few things I see as an outsider, which she might not be able to see. Please realize that I am not judging, I just want to bring up some things to consider.
1. It’s normal to miss your ex. It doesn’t mean you should get back together.
2. It’s waaaaaay too soon to determine if the new guy will work out, so she is taking a risk if she chooses him. I guess what I’m saying is, usually a relationship is bliss for the first year or two, at least.
3. There’s a difference between missing someone and feeling guilty. You shouldn’t get back with someone because you feel guilty. It will never work.
4. She missed her ex when with the new guy. She missed the new guy when with her ex. Is there something missing with both men? Is neither guy the right guy for her?
5. She said she believes in forgiveness and accepting people for who they are. She can still do that: forgive her ex and accept him for what he is without getting back together.
6. She really needs to listen to her own words in the way she describes these two men.
7. If she didn’t have kids she would choose the new guy. That speaks volumes. That said, the two of them are still in LaLa Land because the relationship is so new.
8. She feels like she might be settling if she gets back with the ex. Huge red flag that scares me.
9. Why does she have to make a decision? Maybe let things play out. Consider being honest with both guys and see how they react. She isn’t committed to either one (unless the new guy thinks they are exclusive.)
The thing is, she really should think thoughtfully and carefully. This decision will affect the rest of her life. I do want to say that she mentioned having financial problems. I would encourage her to work on her professional life to improve that situation. Maybe the focus needs to be on her kids and her career and put these two guys on the back burner.
There is something about work and independence that lends self-worth and confidence, not only in oneself, but in your decision-making abilities. Does that make sense?
I will be wishing this dear, sweet woman the best as she struggles to find true love and happiness. I give her a lot of credit that she is considering reconciling. I only hope that in the end, she does what is truly right for HER and her kids, not out of guilt or a sense of obligation to anyone. It sounds trite, but it is true. Life is short and when you find love, I say grab it–whether that means with the ex, the new guy or neither!
Like this blog post? Check out my article, “Divorce Advice: 9 Things For Rock Bottom”