You're correct. This is him wanting a safety-net (you) in case the new relationship fails to work out and ends as would leave him without company on a Saturday night and resigned to having "how's yer father" with his right hand.
If he loved and cared about you deeply he wouldn't have been capable of ending it, let alone start a new relationship with someone else. What utter rot. I love you is as I love you *does*. NO man in love plonks his mate back into the cruising field for other men potentially to steal away forever. Do WHAT? Ludicrous.
If he doesn't know what he really wants then he should wait until he does, not make you (and this new woman) bear the brunt of his confusion and dithering. But I don't believe him. Confused minds (to that alleged extent) are paralysed minds, meaning, they tend to DO NOTHING until the mist clears and they can see where they're going or even want to go. He's not confused; I reiterate: he's trying to hedge his bets so that no matter what happens with either of you, hopefully he'll still have one woman left rather than none. The other thinking behind it is this: He can hold off asking her to sleep with him too soon (because he can sleep with you), thereby presenting himself as a total gentleman, and he can maintain an air of self-assurance (tres attractive) because, having you as his safetynet, he won't ever appear or feel desperate (unattractive). Since when did you become a Superman cape in his dressing-up box!
This may have been hard on your kids but - you're supposed to be teaching them as well as letting events and situations outside of your control teach them, to learn how some people come and go whereas others stick around for life, which only SAMPLING can reveal, because - that's life and people for you. The trick is BALANCE. If they only ever experience short-term coming and going, that's giving them the wrong impression. If they're allowed to buy into the delusion that every relationship will be life-long or long-term - ditto. They need to see both sides of the friendships and "special friendships" coins. What they DON'T need to see is their own mother lowering her self-worth and principles for the sake of - WHAT? Because Monkey See = Monkey (later on in their adulthood) Do.
If you're not ready to throw yourself right back into dating then - so what? Who said you had to? Would you sign up for a course of break-dancing if you were only 3 weeks out of hospital, having had your leg in traction and now limping around with your leg in a caste, on crutches? Wouldn't make for very pretty or enjoyable dancing, now, would it. Granted, SOME types can wing it or just about manage (albeit end up prolonging their recuperation period). But if you know yourself enough to know you're not one of them then allow that psychological leg to heal by doing only the bare minimum walking on it and the rest of the time putting it up with a well-deserved cuppa.
You don't have to match up to him. It's not a race. Particularly when this guy's WILDLY premature new relationship is as far from a sign of battle-imperviousness or readiness and ripeness as you could get. (Plus - Like attracts Like - she's probably got her leg in a cast as well.) Who wants to enter a race for idiots?
Nope, the romance is over. Don't let him demote you via tricking your Cortisol-addled brain into his free-of-charge, on-call prostitute just for solely his own convenience. He wants to sleep with you? - "Sorry, I only sleep with men with whom I'm in an exclusive, steady, COMMITTED relationship" (or "Sure, I'll have sex with you; £250 per hour is my rate (and no, I *don't* take American Express :-p)".
Also...What's 38 gat to do (gat to do) with it? What's 38...but a human-made concep-tio-oon? (- name the 80s song/singer!). Haven't you heard? You're as young as the man you feel.
'Feel' your kids, that'll keep you youthful.
Anyway, back to exipoopoos: if I love you is as I love you *does* (or abstains from doing) then you tell me what him trying - after everything you were supposed to have meant to him - to use you as a mere safetynet and free, on-call prossie is in terms of a "does"?
Ouch, indeedie. Sorry.
As a man who recently concluded a long-term relationship with his lady, I tend to believe that I want to remain friends with her. She still means a lot to me, and I still love her. I really don't know what I want, but I do know that she has been an important person in my life for these past several years, and I don't want to just become enemies with her and never really talk to her again.
It's difficult, and every couple of days we slide back into this awkwardness where I feel like she's avoiding me and start to notice her faults, and we don't really talk much. Then there are days where one of us really wants a hug, or to talk, and it's like we keep the friendship going and revive its remains.
I want to say that the girlfriend is none of your concern, though I realize that relationships are tricky and who knows when she came into the picture and all that. But still, if you and him are done, then why should it bother you if he lives his life and meets new women? I get that we all need time to heal and move on, but everyone has different ways of doing that. Maybe they aren't that serious, who knows?
Anyway, if this guy is still talking to you and still making an effort to be part of your life, then maybe he is serious. That's my ten cents.