Divorced, apprehensive to date again
I was with my ex wife for 12 years. We met when we were 17, married at 23, house at 24, son born at 27. About a year later she lost interest in me, and after a year or so of her disinterest and neglect (felt alone in my own house) she cheated, I couldn't forgive her, and we got a dissolution with shared parenting. I loved my wife very much. As time went on, my love and admiration and respect for her only grew. Over the course of our relationship I only became more mature and responsible. Now, nearly 5 years later, she is remarried, I haven't been on a date in over a year, and have only been on 4 first dates during that time. One of them resulted in a 10 month relationship which ended as well as a relationship can end, but left me once again emotionally exhausted. I'm having a difficult time attempting to date again as I fear it will only result in more hurt feelings while also worrying that there isn't anyone out there (who I'd be interested in) who would want me. (who wants to take care of someone else's kid?!) I was never single in my 20s, so I have VERY little experience dating as an adult. Any advice is welcome.
Jin - before you date you need to let go, how you do this I'm not sure as I feel you are possibly comparing every woman to your wife, you know, the one who cheated on you and is now re-married. We all feel like you do when a long term relationship has finished. Who on earth is going to find us attractive again, unfortunately in your case who on earth is ever gonna be as great as your ex-wife. Maybe you ought to think this one through a bit more. What is it you want in a woman and the ensuing relationship as mate it's doomed for failure if you're trying to recreate what you had before. So fresh start, new page and as my now husband says (he was a widower and had been married to his childhood sweetheart, had kids to her, you know, like you the '1st' everything) you never know what's round the corner and sometimes you have to take that chance... He did, I did and we found each other...See? Chin up. You don't have to take dating seriously just go and have some fun first. See who's out there. Choose say a Friday night as your date night and date! I hope I helped. Gotta move on my friend otherwise you'll be continually living in the past when you do actually have a future! Honest!
Jin, you're biggest issue is that you haven't dealt with your marriage/divorce. 12 years is a substantial chunk of your life. You're still working it through your mind without realizing it. You may possibly still have some guilt from it all and still be blaming yourself in some way for it's failure.
This prevents you from dating successfully and also puts you in a place where your self confidence and self esteem is gone and as you state, leaves you emotionally exhausted after attempting to be with someone else.
There's plenty of women out there who will have you, you just have to wait for the right one who will accept you and your son totally.
But you need to move on from your previous marriage properly before you will be any good for anyone else.
When you achieve this, you will be doing it for your son as well as yourself, because he needs a confident, happy father.
You may need counseling, but you also need to set yourself a realistic challenge/goal which you've never done before to assist you build your confidence up again.
The diagnosis and prescribed treatment are spot on. Truly, it's great advice guys, I really appreciate it.
MANALONE, that goal I need to achieve is getting into shape for the first time in my adult life. I've honestly been trying, but it's difficult without having someone hovering over me reminding me to stick to it. (institutionalized by marriage much?=) Any suggestions?
HEAR4U, I am intrigued by this concept of dating and fun being linked in some way, for it is foreign to me. I don't know how to NOT take it seriously. I mean, I want to be all, cool and loose and casual, I'm just, not... you know?
Jin, that someone hovering over you will be you. You are being successful just by planning it without actually doing it. When we plan to succeed, nothing stops us.
Make sure you're fitness challenge is achievable in small packets. Set yourself daily fitness goals to achieve a weekly goal, then monthly...and so on. In a short time, you will crave the exercise because it's become easier because you've paced yourself with small, but achievable goals. It will become a healthy habit, a regime if you like.
And make sure you reward yourself by getting out socially.
And I can assure you, when you achieve your fitness goal, you're confidence levels will be through the roof.
What you put in is what you'll get out....
Jin: i know how you felt when your wife cheated on you. I am currently in yr 10 of a relationship that started when i was 19. My spouse has betrayed me several times. I now have 3 kids, and i am experiencing the question, who is going to want to raise someone else's kids. My advice for you is, there are women out there that will love your child if they love you, as that child is a part of you. You, as they have already said, need to let go of your past relationship. You need to see where you may have had fault in your relationship ending, if that is the case(there are 2 sides to every story, its not that im blaming you, i promise), but you need to forgive yourself if you feel any fault, you are going to sabotage any possible happiness you may find. Getting yourself into shape will come easy once you are happy with yourself. Then if you are as good a guy as it sounds like, you will find the right someone when it time.
You have not got a closure on your previous marriage in your mind. Either you are still looking for answers or you are blaming yourself for what happened. I also feel you probably need counselling to push the fear of a new partner out of your mind.
Step 1: Stop thinking about your ex wife. She is happy in her life but you are making yourself miserable thinking about her. Keep telling yourself I will not think about her. I need to move on to be happy.
Step 2: Don't think of a date as a serious relationship, commitment and hurt etc. Think of it as you are just spending some time with a good friend.
Step 3 :When the relationship with the person you are dating is getting more serious, don't chicken out! Just because one relationship didn't work out doesn't mean none would! Every person's expectation from the spouse are different. Who knows may be your expectations match better? Look at it from this angle too. Some mistakes happened in your first marriage but haven't you got wiser from it? Trust yourself, you will know how to veer around problems better than before. After all we all learn from experiences and perform better, isn't it?
For your son you are his Hero, you have to live up to his expectations and be more confident, happy and ambitious in achieving your goals!