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“Should I Let Her Go?”

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  • #850253 Reply
    Dear WendyDear Wendy

    From a LW:

    “I just searched for something I am having trouble with, and your article popped up! I see where you take questions, so here it goes!

    I always told myself that I would not date anybody with kids. I have a few good friends who have married a person with children, and it ended in divorce… with that divorce, they lost a wife and those children they loved. That leads me to my predicament. I started dating someone who has twin boys. I was hesitant, but I had been praying for months for God to bring someone special. With that being said, we started dating and things were great in the beginning. We took day trips together, and even went on a cruise together. Everything was great, and then suddenly it wasn’t.

    We started bickering back and forth a lot, mostly because of my insecurities. Things were rough for a few weeks, and started going decently again. I got upset one day, and took my frustration out on her by ignoring her or becoming short in my actions and responses. She decided that was the day she wanted to end things.

    I have talked to her a little over the past week, and she said we need some time to figure things out, and time for me to get some help. I agree with the last statement, and I am going to see a counselor today!

    I have asked her if there is a chance of us starting over, and she said she does not think it is wise if we are together, but she did offer to sit down and talk about things. Now for your advice…! She said that I am emotionally immature, and that I’m not ready to be a father. She wanted to get out before things got even more serious between myself and the kids. I love this woman more than I have loved another in my life, and I was growing very fond of those kids. I’m not sure if I should let her go, or try and show her that I’m willing to do whatever it takes to be a husband to her and a father to those kids?”

    #850255 Reply
    Dear WendyDear Wendy

    She’s not yours to keep or to “let go” of. She’s broken up with you. She doesn’t want to be with her. You shouldn’t show her that you’re willing to do whatever it takes to be a husband to her and father to her kids because that’s a lie. You’re not ready to be a husband and stepfather. You have insecurities that keep you from having a healthy, functional relationship. You have a fear of losing your significant other and the kids who come with her, and that fear is standing in your way of really committing. Committing to someone requires some risk – you risk a broken heart, you risk losing the life you build with the person. You don’t sound anywhere near ready to take that risk. You want a guarantee that you won’t have your heart broken and since you know you can’t get that guarantee, you take out your anxiety on the person you love. Your ex knows this about you and is protecting herself and her kids from that.

    Get the help you say you know you need. Leave this woman alone. When the time is right, you will find a match for yourself and you will hopefully have the tools you’ll need to be emotionally available.

    #850258 Reply

    ” I got upset one day, and took my frustration out on her by ignoring her or becoming short in my actions and responses.”

    She’s right, you are emotionally immature. An emotionally mature person talks to their partner when they are upset or frustrated. They don’t ignore or become short with that partner. That doesn’t mean you have to talk instantly. Sometimes you need to say that you are upset but need some time alone and then will be ready to talk.

    Look into the books by Dr. John Gottman. He explains how stress in a relationship physically affects men and women in a different way. Men often have their blood pressure shoot up rapidly and they need a break before they can talk. You can find his books on Amazon but you can probably find them at or through your local library. He specifically talks about marriage but I don’t know why you couldn’t apply his insight in a relationship.

    Getting some counseling could also help you to do a better job of communicating in a relationship. Your job is to learn a better way of expressing yourself. Many people learn poor communication skills in their childhood home. It’s up to you to learn good skills. Then you are in a healthier position to be in a relationship. Maybe with your ex or maybe with someone else.

    #850259 Reply

    “I have asked her if there is a chance of us starting over, and she said she does not think it is wise if we are together, but she did offer to sit down and talk about things.”

    You can’t start over. That would mean that she didn’t know you and she does. She can’t quit knowing that you get short and ignore her and that you are insecure. The only thing you can do is work on yourself and then see if she is still available and if she interested.

    #850261 Reply

    You know, at a certain point in life people just stop being willing to put up with bullshit. I can imagine a parent of twins has only so much space in her life for a partner, and you showed her who you are deep down. Deep down, you’re selfish, insecure, immature and you took your issues out on her. She doesn’t owe you another chance. She doesn’t have to wait until you work out your issues and insecurities. You’re not ready to be in a relationship. You really should remain single for awhile.

    If you’re pretty sure you don’t want to date a woman with children, don’t.

    #850262 Reply

    You don’t have a decision to make with regard to your ex. She’s gone and, based upon what you wrote, she made the correct decision.

    All that you can do is move on and fix yourself. If you don’t fix yourself, you aren’t going to have a successful relationship with anyone. Yes your insecurity (jealousy s well?) is a problem, but your letter suggests that you are all too quick to use that as an excuse to somewhat justify your bad behavior and your belief that you deserve a second chance. You don’t.

    You talk a lot about dating women with children, but your problem has nothing to do with her having children. You behaved badly, she saw the red flags, she left. As simple as that. She says you are immature. You are. She might have felt a push to react to the red flags in order to protect her kids, but really, any woman with healthy self-esteem would have left you.

    Sulking is not a good or a mature look. It sounds like you tried to punish her and demand extra consideration because you are immature and insecure. Life doesn’t work that way. Large personal deficiencies are a red flag, not a reason to expect added deference and bowing to your moods.

    #850265 Reply

    I say this is over. You simply do not get along very well.
    That said pretty much EVERY MARRIED or COUPLED twosome I have ever been around often act hilariously immature and curiously short around one another. Snippy snippy snippy. So, that isn’t exactly the cardinal sin most here have made this out to be…

    #850268 Reply

    Yeah, I don’t buy that this was a one time “I got snippy so she’s done” issue. Most people will give someone a chance or two. Or 75 as we see here all the time.

    She’s not yours to let go. She’s gone. Now you have to let go of the idea of her.

    Get therapy. Figure your shit out. Do better with your next relationship.

    #850276 Reply

    L for L — Yes, this is definitely more than one or two occasions of being snippy towards her. In LW’s own words: “I got upset one day, and took my frustration out on her by ignoring her or becoming short in my actions and responses. She decided that was the day she wanted to end things.” So basically the old sulky, silent treatment, with perhaps some snippiness thrown in when he did deign to speak. It obviously was bad, he knows this is what pushed her to end things.

    #850281 Reply

    I’m not clear on how long this relationship lasted. It sounds like it was pretty short.

    The bottom line here, as everyone says, is that she doesn’t want to be in the relationship anymore, and that means it’s done. There’s no decision for you to make. When one person wants out, the relationship is over.

    I understand that you recognize your mistakes (which is good), and that you want a second chance to get it right. But sometimes, the mistakes kill the feelings, and there’s no going back and no fixing it. It sounds like that’s what happened here.

    And I have to be honest, the behavior you described would have made me end the relationship, too. I *have* ended a relationship for exactly those reasons. Being with someone who takes out their insecurities on you is hell.

    All you can do now is learn from the experience, and take those lessons to your next relationship. It’s great that you’re seeing a counselor. Work on those insecurities before you try dating again, because none of your relationships will be successful until you get that under control.

    #850282 Reply

    She decided she doesn’t want to be in a relationship. There’s no situation where you should try to convince someone to be with you if they do not want to. Even if you did, it should be concerning to you that it required that much work, and would probably just mean that you’d break up again later.

    Making a counseling appointment is good, but it’s just a first step. If someone says you shouldn’t be together and you should get help, then “help” requires a lot more than just making an appointment. It takes a lot more time than that. Use what you learn to help you in your next relationship.

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