Jim works for a family business and about a year and half ago separated from his wife. About six months ago, right before we started seeing one another, he filed for divorce. I only know his side of the story, and, from what he has shared, they fought endlessly, she cheated multiple times, she was emotionally abusive, and the list of issues goes on. She did not work during or prior to the marriage. Thus, she has been completely dependent upon him, and still is. Their divorce is not finalized because she is contesting. They have two children, ten and five. He loves them to death, and I really love that he is so devoted to his children. I’m also happy that he is open to having more children in the future, since I would like to have children too. I don’t know all the gory details of Jim’s marriage and divorce, and I am not sure I want to.
Sometimes, Jim will share with me what is happening, and I try to be supportive and listen, but I’ve never gone through a divorce and I don’t have children, so I don’t know what the right answers are. At times I will Google and try to read up, but there is so much going on. And they were only married for six years, so there’s no set anything to go by.
He has his own hobbies, which is great and he loves them, but they affect his availability. Also, his soon-to-be ex frequently changes the times and dates he can see the kids, which also affects things. There are times when I feel like I would completely rearrange my schedule to be more compatible with his constantly fluctuating one, but he still can’t always make time for me. On the Wednesdays or Tuesdays when he doesn’t have his kids I would like to just hang out and relax, but he will often just want to be alone. I am not asking for every free moment, but, on the days we are either off or available to each other, I don’t understand why we can’t have a little more time together.
I haven’t met his kids yet, and I understand they are going through a difficult event. I am not pushing to meet them either. The topic hasn’t come up and I don’t even know if I should bring it up. Should I mention it? Because I would really enjoy meeting them. I just don’t want to be pushy.
Recently, I told Jim that I love him. He didn’t say it back and that’s okay for now. I am not going to browbeat him to say it, but I hope that he will. We have talked about the future, discussing things in terms of “we” instead of just “I.” We do take weekend getaways when we can, or sometimes go out to things on some weekends. But these are all planned almost last minute. It’s like I get him in concentrated doses and then it’s just phone calls. And he does call me almost every night and sometimes during the day when I’m off and he’s on his lunch break.
I just don’t want to be a fool, waiting around for someone who doesn’t see me as important in his life. I don’t need to be number 1. That right is reserved for his kids. But maybe #2 eventually? Am I asking for too much? Am I being a silly, nervous girl? Because I do love him; it’s just the whole situation makes me soo nervous. I feel helpless at times. — In Love with Man Divorcing
It sounds like you want more than Jim is able to give you right now, and you need to decide whether you can be patient and wait for his life to settle down a bit or if you’d rather move on and find someone who is as available to you immediately as you’d like him to be. That’s not currently Jim, but it doesn’t mean it won’t be eventually. He’s in the middle of what sounds like a messy divorce. He has two young kids whose parents have recently separated and who need extra love and support and attention right now. He’s also trying to navigate co-parenting (and probably custody arrangements) with a woman he has a lot of unsettled issues with — a woman he is still legally married to who is contesting his divorce filing. On top of that, he works for a family business that she may or may not have some financial interest in. That’s a lot on his plate. If, despite all that, and after only six months with you, he’s giving you as much time and attention as you say he is — weekend getaways and frequent phone calls — seems like a good sign and a good indicator of his feelings for you. But to push him beyond that when he is dealing with so much seems unreasonable and unrealistic. You risk pushing him away for good.
On the other hand, you are a single woman who’d like to have a family of your own one day. You’ve found a man you think you love. It’s natural that, after six months, you’d want to progress to something more formal and serious. It’s understandable that you’d at least like to have more regular quality time with him — time that is planned in advance. But Jim can’t give you that right now. It doesn’t mean you aren’t important to him or that he doesn’t see a future with you eventually, but your timelines may simply not be a match. It may be a couple years before he can give you the kind of commitment you want now, and even then he’s still going to have kids who come before you and an ex-wife who will always be in the picture. Are those things you can deal with? Can you wait while he deals with the mess that is his life at the moment?
Be honest with yourself and, if this isn’t what you’re prepared to deal with, MOA. If you can’t give Jim the space he needs to handle everything he has on a his plate, MOA. If you need more than he is giving you, MOA. But if you think you can be patient and that your patience could pay off eventually, hang in there. But don’t push him. Accept that the way your relationship is right now is how it will be for a while. If you don’t want to wait, embrace that and let go of this relationship.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at [email protected].