In February of this year I got a job at a local restaurant where I met a nice man. Over some time the new man and I got very very close and fell in love. Before I knew it, I had lost all feelings I had for my husband. I had been known as the woman who went crawling back to her abusive husband to give him another chance, but this time I didn’t. The new man and I had something so fiercely romantic. I was given everything my husband didn’t give to me (emotionally).
My husband’s family moved to another state and extended the offer for me, my husband, and our kids to move with them. Starting over new sounded good – but leaving my new lover didn’t. How could I cut off something so great and exciting, right? Well, I moved, but I kept in contact with my new lover. My husband wanted intimacy with me and I wanted nothing to do with him. I moved back to my home state 10 days after leaving, with my kids. It was an incredibly hard financial struggle to make ends meet without child support. I had to get a roommate to help alleviate the financial burden on me, which turned out to blow up in my face, a very toxic situation. I ended up homeless in September and I didn’t want to put my kids through the misery of living solely off survival mode. I allowed them to stay with their father while I got my stuff together and while I tried to find myself.
Living without them was awful, although I visited them a couple times a month (9-hour drive one way). I asked my lover what he thought of the idea of letting the kids live in his place with us, but he says he isn’t ready for that. I explained to him that I am not expecting him to play the role of father figure and that I am just in a desperate position to where I’ll do anything to get them back (no, there are no custody or child support arrangements at this time). Even with that, he still tells me he isn’t ready. I feel like he could be viewing my kids as a “problem”? He’s taken them out to have fun alone before, and he’s watched them a few times before too.
We’re in month eight of this love thing we have going on, and I have concerns about him. There are things he has done that make me wonder, but I have overlooked his flaws. Maybe this is a case of looking at him through rose-colored glasses. I have the option to go live in the other state with my family again or they’ll help me find my own apartment in their area. Why is the thought of leaving this new lover so emotional? Like, yeah, my kids come first! But the thought of going back to a potentially abusive situation again makes me nervous. Still, I’d do anything to be around my kids again! — Looking Through Rose Colored Glasses?
Really, you can’t understand why a man you met a few months ago might not be ready for his “lover’s” three children to move in with him? You’re damn right there’s a problem here and it isn’t your kids, it isn’t your lover’s perception of your kids, and it isn’t his flaws that you overlook because you’re seeing him through rose-colored glasses. The problem is that the last thing you need right now is a man and yet a man is exactly what apparently is standing in the way of your being with your children.
You have choices here, and they do not include living with your lover or returning to your abusive husband. Instead, all reasonable choices include NO MEN. They include filing for a divorce, getting custody and child support in order, and figuring out a way to live near your children, independent of a man (aside from any child support or alimony that may be owed you). The last thing you should be doing is trying to move your children into the home of a man you’ve known such a short while and whom you apparently have “concerns about,” who “has done things that make you wonder.” You shouldn’t even be leaving your children alone with a man like that, let alone asking him to play some sort of father role. And don’t fool yourself — asking him to let your three children move into his home while you continue to do your “love thing” is exactly that. It’s a roundabout way of forcing him to take on a father-figure role, and not only is that totally unfair to everyone involved, but also it’s grossly inappropriate.
Look, if you didn’t have kids to think about, I’d say go ahead – do your love thing with your lover and have a great time. But you DO have kids to think about and until they are safe and secure, with their parents close by and gainfully employed and able to provide for them (and co-parent together), that should be your sole focus. Instead, you are completely diluting your focus with this dude you have concerns about, who does things that make you wonder. Seriously, what are you thinking?!
You cannot erase the hurt your estranged husband has caused you by rushing into another relationship. But you CAN begin to heal — and to help your children heal — by prioritizing their and your basic needs: a home free of drama and abuse; gainful employment; food on the table; everyone in the same town. You have family who will help you find your own apartment near your kids. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? I promise, once you get settled, and you work out custody and child support arrangements, and you get some therapy for yourself (!!), there will be other lovers down the line. Maybe even some who don’t do things that make you wonder.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.