Good Situation, but I'm Still Unsure

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    Thank you for reading my thread. I’m at my wit’s end, and I need some fresh, objective perspective.

    I am 35 and recently divorced from my first and only relationship, whom I met my first semester of college. My divorce was horrible and nasty, and over a year and a half after I separated from my wife I am still dealing with repercussions from it, namely a vengeful father-in-law who is suing me over a completely concocted story of his to extort money from me.

    I’d be happy to elaborate on my failed marriage if anyone wants to hear, but in brief summary: I grew up and changed and felt like I had grown apart from my wife. I had sacrificed all of my own family relationships and being what I wanted to be in order to please her. To top that off, her parents were clearly more important to her than me and after a while, I began to feel taken for granted, used and unimportant. Her parents were very controlling in our relationship, and I often felt bullied by my father-in-law, which my wife excused as ‘love’. I used to look forward to death, believe it or not – I felt like I just existed, producing the paychecks so my wife and her parents could have the life they wanted for her, with little regard for my own dreams.

    Unfortunately, toward the end of this awakening/sorting out of my feelings, I met and became interested in someone else. I separated and asked for a divorce before proceeding with anything, but my exwife and her parents see it as an ‘affair’ due to the timing, which I agree was horrible. It was and is a huge, grave mistake – one in fact that I am ashamed of and disappointed in myself about, but I am learning through therapy, this site and others like it, to forgive myself, realize I can’t change the past, and to work on living a better today. Have no doubt, I take full responsibility for my actions and shoulder the blame fully.

    In any event, I began dating this girl who was also finalizing her own divorce, and unfortunately moved in with her quickly when I was temporarily forced out of my own house. We had a tumultuous couple of months thereafter. She was initially very clingy, wanting to be with me ALL the time, freaking out if I went for a walk alone outside or if I was too long at the coffee shop. She displayed a lot of jealous tendencies as well – always commenting that other women were ‘checking me out’ or nervous if she saw that a female had called my phone (I have a pretty even mix of male and female friends).

    My exwife finally moved out of my house, and I retained that home in our settlement, so I moved back. I needed to get back to my surroundings, my routines, hobbies and way of life in order to feel whole again – I’d felt very out of sorts in her apartment. But my girlfriend flipped out about it. In fact, the emotions were so bad, it took 2 tries before I finally did it.

    Then she didn’t like us living apart. I’d told her I needed space and wanted to do my own thing some nights. I’d agreed we’d spend the weekends together and an occasional night during the week, but that quickly turned into 6-7 nights at my house.

    Then it became ‘silly’ that she was spending money on her apartment and basically living at my house so she moved in. I know, this is a mistake, but I was in the thick of settling my divorce and was rather indifferent to other distractions at the time. Plus i hate dissapointing people.

    The next several months were tough – we’d get into emotional spats every 5-7 days, mostly around communication issues. But a a lot of that has subsided, as has the clingy-ness.

    Things are okay right now, we have a pretty good life, but here is the problem. There is nothing wrong, but this doesn’t feel ‘right’ to me. I don’t understand why can’t I feel great about this situation. She is a great girl – stunningly beautiful, gets along with most of my friends, very smart, has a great, well-paying job, is athletic, has a great family, wants a marriage and kids (which I’m not ready for yet, but maybe one day), loves me and cares for me.

    I can’t put a finger on why I wouldn’t want to be with her – there’s really no reason – I’d think most people would think I’m crazy for not being infatuated with her, but I’m not. I cringe when she starts talking about the future, and I find myself only saying “I love you” when she says it first, but I know I do love and care for her, but to what extent?

    I hate that I got into this situation, and I hate that I for whatever reason, don’t feel happy in it. Am I punishing myself for some reason, not letting myself be happy? I can’t figure it out.

    My therapist and friends think she is not the right girl for me, and that while she may be a wonderful person, we just might not click, or I might not be ready for it. My therapist thinks I might be addicted to the physical aspect of it (we have a great physical relationship whereas my exwife and I barely had one). I don’t know – I just keep asking myself, what more could you want??? She has all the aspects you want in a partner. But I can’t seem to feel better about it. Part of me just wants to prove I can exist on my own and to be able to make my own choices in life (I met my wife at 18 and have never really been on my own, and my inlaws didn’t really let me live my life when I was married). But I don’t want to let a good thing pass me by, either.


    Wow! It’s like looking in a mirror! LOL!

    I can’t believe how many times I’ve heard this story:

    1) Man and women decide to separate
    2) Man finds comfort in the arms of another woman
    3) Man develops a high intensity physical relationship with new woman
    4) Man begins to sense that something “doesn’t feel right”, but can’t put his finger on it.

    It frustrates me to no end that so many men experience this pattern and we’re never given a heads up or advice on what not to do during a separation or divorce. I’m going to take out billboard ad and paste this all over the world: DO NOT PURSUE A NEW RELATIONSHIP DURING YOUR SEPARATION OR SOON AFTER YOUR DIVORCE!

    I’ve been in the exact same situation – you get divorced and you simply take your wife out of the picture and put another women in her place physically, mentally, and emotionally. You haven’t changed, your behaviour hasn’t changed, your thoughts about relationships, love, and sex haven’t changed, heck, you haven’t even changed your living space, but yet you still expect this new women and relationship to be better than your last. Been there, done that, and it does not work.

    I could go on for hours, but all I can say is trust your instincts, therapist, and friends on this one – this girl is not right for you right now. I’m sure she’s wonderful and would perfect for you a year or two down the line, but you need to spend some time alone. You need to get some solid footing before you can pursue another relationship, otherwise, you’ll find yourself married and divorced very soon.

    As hard as it is, let this one go by. You’ll definitely meet another women when you’re in a much clearer head space and you’ll both be better for it.

    Not to scare you off from taking action, but a word of warning – if you’ve haven’t been alone since you were 18, this break-up is going to hurt. Might even be more painful that the separation from your wife, so brace yourself with plenty of space and time to process your emotions.

    Best of luck!

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