Needless to say, my entire life imploded and I retreated even more into myself. Since 2012, I have been dealing with this and have come out of it pretty well due to my faith in God, along with a few great friends and family. I love my kids and I am their dad, no matter what.
I started dating a woman in the fall of 2013 and things started good, but, as our relationship progressed, I found that I had become clingy again. I always take the back seat to her job, kid, and family, and I feel that the only way to make her happy is to not bother her unless she wants it. She has told me lately that work and her kid are #1 and I am not part of the priority list, but she wants us to have a life together and she thinks she “hit the jackpot” with me. With this said, she blows me off when we are together with the kids and her excuse is it’s about the kids and not us when we are spending time as a family.
While she says she has never been in a caring, long-lasting relationship, is this excuse valid to neglect me emotionally and physically? I have been wondering lately what is the point, but I do love her and want to be there for her and help in any way I can. But she needs to be there for me too, right? Or am I being too serious with this and in need of relaxing a bit considering my past? — Still Clingy
So, you’ve basically been in a relationship (either with your ex-wife or with your current girlfriend) for 26 years, since you were 14 years old, without more than a one-year break to gather yourself? And you relied only on your faith in God and the support of some friends and family to pull you through the end of a 24-year relationship and the discovery that your wife had been cheating on you for years and that the two kids you believe were biologically yours belonged to another man? Don’t get me wrong — a strong faith and support of loved ones can go a long way, but given what you went through — your self-described life implosion and retreating into yourself — I’d say that professional therapy (years of it, probably), as well as some time to reboot, emotionally and psychologically, before jumping into a new relationship would have been in order. But it’s not too late now! I highly recommend you find a professional to talk to because it’s clear you need the kind of guidance and support that even the most loving family and friends aren’t capable or qualified to give.
In the meantime, dude, you need to drop the girlfriend. You’re obviously following a pattern, and the pattern needs to be broken. You’ve gone from one woman who ignored you and made you feel like you didn’t matter to another woman who does the same thing. I mean, she told you that you aren’t on her priority list?? Who cares if she thinks/says she’s “hit the jackpot” with you if all her actions indicate a total lack of regard for you? Get out of this relationship. Get psychological help to get to the bottom of your martyr complex, and, if you haven’t already, consider asking for a DNA test to prove the paternity of your two children. It’s wonderful that you will love them and care for them as your own no matter what, but I don’t know why you are choosing to believe your ex-wife that you AREN’T their biological dad. If you were sleeping with her around the time they were conceived, then there’s just as much chance that these kids are biologically yours as there is that they’re the other guy’s.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.