I have been divorced for less than a year. We had a long history of having arguments that got verbally abusive and sometimes even a little physically aggressive. I admit I had problems with selfishness and wanted to do things my own way. I became tired of helping my ex-husband do his schoolwork all the time because he is visually impaired. I also feel like I was never really attracted to him. I loved him like a friend, but there was not much spark there.
As time went on and things were not going well, I found myself becoming attracted to other men. I even told my husband that I was falling for some other men. I think this helped to push him and me more towards divorce.
I am emotionally troubled since we divorced. I fell deeply in love with another man who is about the same age as my father. There were no children in my former marriage, and the man I have fallen for is divorced after a long marriage with three kids who are my age or older.
Any advice for a lonely, confused woman?
I think you need to slow things down and figure out how you ended up in this lonely and confused place.
Clearly, having a new relationship isn’t helping you feel any better about yourself or your life. You really shouldn’t begin a new relationship until you have finished the previous relationship. You appear to still have some unfinished business with your first marriage.
I don’t know you or your ex-husband, but based on your own admissions, it seems like being in a committed relationship was difficult for you. The sacrifice and commitment needed in a long-term marriage were elements missing from your marriage.
I have observed that people often hook up with older partners because they want someone to take care of them. They don’t want an equal partner. Instead, they are looking for a surrogate parent they can depend on without having to give much. Are you running from your responsibility to be an equal partner? Are you willing to give as much as you take?
If you thought that it was difficult to unselfishly give to your visually impaired husband, you are going to face even more challenges giving care to an aging man who will most likely need regular help. You will also need to work with his adult children and will be expected to function in a grandmother role in the future, if not immediately.
Living in a relationship requires constant unselfishness.
Your reasons for leaving your marriage may have been more complex than you shared in your question, but it sounds like you have serious doubts about your decision to divorce. Now that you find yourself in a strange situation, it appears you’re asking more questions about where to take your life.
Give yourself time and space to assess what you have to give and whether you’re really emotionally ready to take on the requirements that a long-term marriage requires.
There are challenges with every relationship. The consistent feature of all healthy relationships is that both partners are willing to put their partner’s needs above their own. When both people make that their priority, the marriage will thrive and neither of them will feel lonely.
Geoff Steurer is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice in St. George, Utah. He specializes in working with couples in all stages of their relationships. The opinions stated in this article are solely his and not those of St. George News.
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