Dear Ms. HeartBeat:
I’ve been seeing my friend now for 6½ months. I’m in love with him, but I feel like I’ve been on an emotional roller-coaster with him from day one. I’m wondering if it’s worth hanging in there for much longer. He’s going through a divorce, and I’m recently divorced. We fell in love within two months of knowing each other, and he’s already given me and engagement ring and we’ve discussed our potential “future” together.
Thing is, it’s getting real tough hanging in there through the child custody battles, division of property disputes, and everything else that comes along with the “d” word. The problem is that he lets it all get him so far down, he shuts me out completely. It’s bad enough that we live 100+ miles apart and I’m driving there every weekend to see him because he works swing shifts and is on call most of the time. Sometimes I feel like I’m giving 110% and my efforts are rarely reciprocated because he’s so pre-occupied or severely depressed to the point of drinking.
Sometimes, I feel like I’m in his way. He’s done a lot for me, I can admit that in the past before things got so shaky, our relationship was blissful. I feel like he helped me in many ways to get over my divorce. Now that the war is on between he and his wife, he’s losing emotional ground where his kids are concerned, (sometimes they’re under-dressed and practically shoeless, though he’s paying child support, stuff like that), because he loves them so much.
Please give advice on the following: (1) How can I be there for him without making his problems my own. I still have my own apartment, child, life; (2) am I facing too much at once in trying to be there for him during this process? (3) if I step back now, do you think I’ll lose him? Do you think he’ll feel like I abandoned him when times got tough?
Losing Grip in NC
Dear Losing Grip in NC:
This situation is nothing but a rebound relationship. All this talk of a future is nothing but jaw jacking. The entire relationship is nothing but a distraction from the issues you both need to be concentrating on in your personal lives.
I strongly suggest you stop trying to avoid the issues of divorce and its affect on your child and yourself by focusing on this clown and his problems. You have problems of your own that you are running away from. When women that are mothers do things like this, it really works my nerves. Your child cannot possibly be getting the proper time and attention from you because you are busy chasing after some drunk depressed fool and focusing on what is going on in his life, his problems, his children, his money — all stressed out trying to support and “love” him.
You instead need to be spending this very difficult time with and worrying about YOUR child and YOUR emotional health and YOUR future as a family. What plans have you made for yourself financially, spiritually, emotionally, mentally? What steps are you taking to make those plans come to fruition? What books have you read that will help you heal your spirit after divorce? What do you do to nurture yourself and your baby? Are you going to buy property? What about investments for a financially secure future?
Girlfriend, you need to break it off with this man immediately. You will be alone and you may even feel a bit lonely for awhile, but you will get over it! You cannot be a responsible parent chasing after men.
Too many women think they must have a man to feel successful. Lonely, desperate women will subject their children to all sorts of unnecessary drama that includes abandonment (because the new man doesn’t want to be bothered with her children), neglect while she focuses on meeting his needs instead of the needs of her children and household, and sexual abuse from these many “boyfriends” mama has running in and out of her life.
A few months of being alone is a small price to pay for the benefit you can do your baby if you keep your attention directed where it needs to be – ON YOUR CHILD. Don’t be so quick to involve yourself with anyone; wait a few months until you and your child are healed from the divorce. You will know you are emotionally healthy when you are ready to move on, feeling good about who and what you are in your new family unit.