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Waitergirl

Dating a Divorcé

11 posts in this topic

I didn't see you actually ask for advice anywhere in the post, but I assume that you were posting this because you wanted to  hear the opinions of other forum members. In that case, these are mine...

 

I know you are not a believer, but in my religion, Jesus Himself tells us that if a person divorces and remarries another they have committed adultery along with the one they just married. I believe that the Lord gives us commands not for the sake of doing so but gives them to us for our benefit and protection.

 

Now, for me, that would be enough reason to make my decision especially provided the reasons behind the command. But let's take a further look at the situation.

 

The number of times the relationship has been on & off seems to be a warning sign. I see where you said that you are each other's only friends at this moment. That seems like another warning sign to me. I think that this makes you more vulnerable to making a decision out of present loneliness instead of what would be best in the big picture. It seems that you know that this is not an ideal match, but that you are trying to make it work because of the fear of loneliness.

 

For me, it is hard to both make friends and to find people worth making friends. That is to say, it is not so simple to just go out and make friends. But, it would be advantageous (obviously) to have good friends who can offer you input and counsel. Fortunately, people on this forum can do that.

 

Now, an age difference is not the biggest obstacle. If two people have many important beliefs/views/experiences etc. in common, then a bit of an age difference (within biological & legal reason obviously) is really no challenge. But in your situation, you have very different backgrounds coupled with an noticeable difference in age. I also have to caution that you are only hearing one side of the story concerning this divorce. When one has feelings for an other, it is easy to believe everything they say and to not consider the other side of the story. You also have to keep the issue of his daughter in mind. His last marriage is not just something in the past that done with. It produced a daughter, and he will have some level of connection to her. So that is going to be an issue for you that is going to come up again and again and may cause issues for you. Another age difference to keep in mind is how close in years you would be to his daughter.

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If you have to ask strangers on a forum about it, then it's probably not a good relationship.

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Break up with him. Move on. The age difference isn't the issue.

 

The issue is basically that you aren't sure about it. Also you'll never be first in his life no matter what he says, his child comes first then you. Plus you're 21, you will CHANGE A LOT in the next few years. Believe me.

 

As for him, he's 32 years old. He's going to have to learn to socialize somehow later on. You can still be friends, but you should start with a clean slate in your first marriage. Especially if you want it to last. If he's a trustworthy man, he'll manage well. If he ends up breaking down then you were right to move on... so either circumstance wouldn't be a problem.

 

I'm only being harsh because you've iterated several times that you have had issues with this, and the fact you're posting on a forum means you're really having doubts that it will work out or last. Go to University, get through school and in a few years if conditions are still there then rethink it.

 

But really, if he's your ONLY friend then there is a huge red flag.

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These are the days of our lives.....

 

Hi there, sorry to hear about all of your angst. Of course no one can tell you what to do, no one hear is going to know what is  best for you based on a tiny snippet of your situation, only you can decide that. I can just point out that the fact that you two are breaking up so often is an indicator that this is not the best situation for you. I think in your head you keep noticing problems and warning signs but in your heart you care for him and you may let your heart over rule what your head knows is not the best.

 

I don't know if you are thinking somewhere deep down that if you eventually marry these warning signs that trouble you now will suddenly go away and get better. I don't believe that is the case. Dating is usually the fun, carefree, easy part and things become more difficult after you marry. I think these things will continue to bother you and be a problem.

 

Everyone is different and has different "standards". Some don't care about sexual pasts or previous marriages and some do. You don't seem to care. I personally want to marry another  who is a virgin and has waited until marriage. I wouldn't even date anyone who has been married before. Not that they are bad or that  there is anything wrong with them, I just don't want to ever be anyone's second husband. I want to share those special experiences together and not be the next one on the card. Someone tried to set me up with a girl once and I had agreed to go out but changed my mind when I found out they had been married. That's not what I want so why go out.

 

I wish you the best. The picture you paint doesn't sound very promising, age difference, previous wife and daughter, you being off at school, you saving yourself for your husband but him having all of these previous experiences and the possibility of comparisons you two breaking up so much. It sure sounds like there is probably plenty of great guys you can choose from that are your own age and are waiters themselves. Once you date some more guys you'll see this, since right now this is your one and only serious relationship.

 

Good luck.

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These are the days of our lives.....

 

Hi there, sorry to hear about all of your angst. Of course no one can tell you what to do, no one hear is going to know what is  best for you based on a tiny snippet of your situation, only you can decide that. I can just point out that the fact that you two are breaking up so often is an indicator that this is not the best situation for you. I think in your head you keep noticing problems and warning signs but in your heart you care for him and you may let your heart over rule what your head knows is not the best.

 

I don't know if you are thinking somewhere deep down that if you eventually marry these warning signs that trouble you now will suddenly go away and get better. I don't believe that is the case. Dating is usually the fun, carefree, easy part and things become more difficult after you marry. I think these things will continue to bother you and be a problem.

 

Everyone is different and has different "standards". Some don't care about sexual pasts or previous marriages and some do. You don't seem to care. I personally want to marry another  who is a virgin and has waited until marriage. I wouldn't even date anyone who has been married before. Not that they are bad or that  there is anything wrong with them, I just don't want to ever be anyone's second husband. I want to share those special experiences together and not be the next one on the card. Someone tried to set me up with a girl once and I had agreed to go out but changed my mind when I found out they had been married. That's not what I want so why go out.

 

I wish you the best. The picture you paint doesn't sound very promising, age difference, previous wife and daughter, you being off at school, you saving yourself for your husband but him having all of these previous experiences and the possibility of comparisons you two breaking up so much. It sure sounds like there is probably plenty of great guys you can choose from that are your own age and are waiters themselves. Once you date some more guys you'll see this, since right now this is your one and only serious relationship.

 

Good luck.

 

Thank you so much, HeWhoWaits!

 

This has truly helped me gain more perspective. I will definitely be re-reading this post over the next few days...it has already been a tremendous help!

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I know you are not a believer, but in my religion, Jesus Himself tells us that if a person divorces and remarries another they have committed adultery along with the one they just married. I believe that the Lord gives us commands not for the sake of doing so but gives them to us for our benefit and protection.

 

Matthew 19:9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.
 
Apart from that correction, I strongly second Syzygy's post.
 
Do you know why he is divorced? Do you consider the reason acceptable? To what extent have the both of you discussed his terminated marriage?  How much of your knowledge of his past is dependent on what he has told you? Have you spoken to his ex-wife? If you don't have any friends who can provide advice, assuming you have living parents/guardians, what do they think of you being married to him? What do his parents think of it? 
 
I'm not convinced that starting dating close to a year after getting divorced reflects great wisdom and having learnt enough out of the failed marriage.
 
Lack of other friends/support persons also poses the risk of exacerbating any abusive situation that may arise. AT THE LEAST it would exacerbate your vulnerability when non-abusive conflicts and problems arise - and they will, since it is marriage....Who would you rely on for extra-marital support? His age, experience, previous marriage relationship, and (arguably) gender place him in a significantly more leveraged position in any marital disputes particularly if your social, financial/educational resources wouldn't make distancing yourself from the relationship easy.
 
Unless you are some kind of hyper volatile, "immature" individual so many breakups-and-get-together-agains (to me) don't reflect well on his interrelational skills; he's been married for 7 years, I would expect him to have learnt a lot (either during or after) from that experience if he did his part in trying to maintain and grow the marriage. And if he hasn't, I would be worried, very worried. If I were dating a divorcee/widow I would expect her to be noticeably pre-empting my concerns, proactively addressing issues, and leading me to new depths and scopes of interrelational understanding/skills, allowing me to make use of what would likely be her significant greater experience and insight over mine. I would expect this to be absent only to the extent/reason of her wanting to gauge my maturity, skills, and character.
If the breakups are due to either your or his volatility/immaturity, then clearly neither of you are ready for marriage. In which case I would look to at least turning the present relationship into a non-exclusive one. If you cannot keep a dating relationship stable with its comparatively limited pressures, what would a marriage look like? What if that marriage came under additional fiscal and child-rearing pressures - two of the most conflict generating areas for marriages? You would also have to entertain the possibility of his child joining any future household of yours. If that is a problem for you then I don't think you will do this man or his daughter justice.
 
I would be very interested in hearing what our divorced members have to say on this topic. Queen comes to mind - I am sure she would have some wise insights for you! [is it possible to tag members in posts??]
 
I hope I didn't come across as too harsh. I sincerely wish you all the best and hope you make the right decision. 

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Apologies in advance for any tops.  Advice is advice, no matter who gives it.  And that includes the advice I give out.  :)  Remember, at the end of the day you're the one who is going to have to live with whatever decision you make.  So, with that said, as I know you are of a philosophical nature, I will not give advice as much as possible (although I've had similar experiences to your situation,) but instead leave you with some questions that if you find your own answers to, may be of some help.  Here it goes:

 

1)   Have you ever heard the saying that sometimes we ask questions, that if we're really honest with ourselves, we already know the answer to?  If this may not be the case for you, then what specifically were you looking for from asking others in an answer that you could not find within yourself?  (Apologies for using the word "you" so frequently, I don't mean it in accusing form, just trying to emphasize the need for strength/independence of advice I know you can gain from yourself.)  If this may be the case, then what is /are the factor(s) hesitating you from really delving into the probable answer?  Are these factor(s) helping or hindering you from making an outcome that aligns with your own inner well-being, happiness, and morals?  In other words, what do you want in your future, and is this relationship based on what you know from the past and the present, going to help/hinder/be neutral in attaining what you want?  Whether it be the marriage you've wanted, the amount of trust/love you need in a relationship, the amount of support for your dreams/PhD, etc.? 

        I ask you this, because thinking long-term is best in the end, (but that's just my advice, lol,) otherwise it's just going to hurt more prolonging a relationship that really isn't going to end up long-term, but still staying in it and bonding even more which = more hurt and questioning/doubting whether one should ever leave the relationship at all. 

 

2)      If you were to write down a list of seven realistic/viable things you never want to compromise in a relationship on /qualities you want in a partner, would these qualities match up to the relationship you currently have?  Are there certain things you are willing to settle on not having?  If so, what are they?  As I'm sure you know, there is no perfect person/perfect relationship, but it's really crucial to find what we don't settle on beforehand, so that we don't become overly flexible when we are in a relationship.  Unless of course being overly flexible with reciprocated /not reciprocated flexibility in regards to your needs/ wants in a relationship is what you're looking for.  But I've yet to find any fellow girl, including myself, who really felt that way.  Another way to phrase the question I guess is, is this love just about looking into each other's eyes without looking with each other in the same direction?  And if it is, is it worth it to you now?  And if it's not, what is causing the hesitation to break up or not break up with him?  Is it because of a "scarcity complex" of never finding the one /anyone better, not thinking you deserve better, not wanting to feel the hurt that comes after a breakup, etc.?

 

3)  Actually, a really basic question I was not able to find an answer to while reading your post, was what exactly are you wanting right now?  Do you just want a long-term relationship that may or may not work out?  Are you looking to be married anytime soon?  (I've met non-religious 20 something year old classmates who were married and were going to school, so it can work, but I don't know like I said, exactly what you would be okay with and what you are not.)  When you go to college, would it be worth it to you to stay in a committed relationship with him?  Even if many other gorgeous, intelligent men (who may be WTM and vegan, you never know, or could become one,) were interested in you?  You seem to have both beauty and brains, and believe me, I wouldn't be surprised if at least one decent guy in your four years of undergrad, would be interested in you.  Especially if your major is philosophy, because I've found the guys who major in philosophy to be a little less shallow, then let's say a business major.  No offense to the business majors... but hopefully you understand what I'm trying to get at.

 

4)   Now, you said that at times you get jealous about him talking to his ex-wife and the fact that he has a kid and was married?  But, really ask yourself, where is the root of this jealousy coming from?  For instance, is it an inherent trait within you?  There's nothing wrong with jealousy inherently, I think.  It can often indicate to something important.  Like, is it indicating you nee to be in a relationship /would feel most safe and secure in a marriage where your husband is your first and does not have children?  Or is it indicating that you are jealous because he is giving you reason to be with the way he talks with his wife on the phone?  Everyone has needs in a relationship, and is it not important to acknowledge them within yourself?  Have you been open and honest with him about these feelings you are having?  How did he respond?  As the one who was married and has a kid, it is his responsibility, not yours, to assure you and give you reason to feel safe/secure that he is over her and his whole attention is just on you now.  Remember, assuming you marry someone who has dated before, there will always be memories/moments they will have had with someone else that will not be the first they have with you.  You have to ask yourself whether your love for this guy (and his love for you as well) outweighs the difficulty that otherwise makes you doubt staying in the relationship.  Hope that makes sense, and speaking of weighing, that leads to the next question....

 

5)    Have you done a cost-benefit analysis?  Like, have you written on a piece of paper the costs and benefits of staying in the relationship versus not staying?  You can use bullet points and for instance assign a number (1-10, with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest,) the amount of value you place to each bullet point, with one side of the paper being the pros of staying in the relationship, and the other side being the cons of staying in the relationship.  This way, you can still factor the feelings you have for him into the equation, but in a way that doesn't let your feelings to overrule the decision you make in a way that may or may not be destructive, but in a way that is part of a more logical way of deducing an answer.  You can add up the points on either side and see what you get.  However, another option could be...

 

6) So, from the question, a possible misconception in advice-giving could be to tell you to stay in the committed relationship or not stay in the committed relationship.  But this is the "either or" fallacy, meaning it gives the false conclusion that you have only two options.  For instance, you could have an open relationship once you go to college, tell him that you want to take a break and see how your first year of college goes and get back with him if your or him don't meet anyone new, etc.

 

7)  Now I know there are people who have little to no friends for various understandable reasons.  But out of curiosity, why does a 30 something year old divorced man with a child have no friends except his girlfriend, assuming he's a bit more established than you in the world, so-to-speak?  This could be a potential red flag.  I und3erstand some people just aren't lucky having friends, but it's a question that when I read your post, I wondered to myself.  I think it's especially difficult when you break up with someone, and the only friend you have is the person you're breaking up with.  (It's happened to me before a while ago.)  It seems though you have found a supportive group of people on this website though.  Also, is the age gap ever a problem or is it not an issue?  I know, that when I was 18 and briefly dated a 40 year old guy (who admitted grudgingly later on that I was more mature than him,) that at times it affected our relationship.  But anyway... it's all up to what you are looking for, which only you know, and of course you don't need to share with anyone else on here if you don't want to.  I also can tell that it's been up and down, and no matter what, ask yourself what you are learning from all of this about yourself, about life, and your relationship.  Whether or not you stay with him, kind of stay with him, or don't stay with him.  You can use these lessons to aid you in improving your relationship with him, or improving the next relationship you have with someone else. 

            I can tell that this has been difficult for you so far, but please don't let your feelings for him be the sole reason for you to be in the relationship.  Do you have common ground with this man, or want to have common ground with him?  i.e. being vegan, philosophical mind, appreciating WTM, etc.?  Remember, feelings can come and go, and there are plenty of fish in the sea as cliché as that sounds.  Believe me.  I also am a vegan for ethical reasons and don't want to marry a guy who drinks alcohol (not even a little) and doesn't smoke, and is at the very least respectful of WTM.  Already met two guys like this, so hopefully you aren't in the "scarcity complex" mindset.  Though there are other fish in the sea, you just have to ask yourself whether this fish is special enough for you to keep as your one true fish, when there may be other fish better suited to you out there, whether in the near future or far future.  Or whether this fish you have is good enough for you and you can work out the problems in the relationship together and /or accept each other's baggage, which will always be a part of any healthy relationship.  Because there will never be a perfect person/ perfect relationship, but it's up to you to decide whether it's realistic what you can expect from others, yourself, and what you want.  And see if the math adds up between these two factors.  If not, adjust the equation.  But if these factors all add up correctly, then it's up to you whether or not you want to keep this equation, or move on to a next equation with new factors and variables.  Hope I'm making sense with my analogies.  :P  Wish you the best, and feel free if you need any further clarification on anything I said or whatnot.   

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Thanks for the amendment there Bearded One. I didn't mean to leave anything out there.

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