Sunday, December 16, 2007
Dear Aunt Babz,
Hi. I need help figuring out what I should do. I met a man earlier this year. He is 53 and I am 44. He
has been separated for 2 years and will soon be legally divorced. They have been apart the whole of 2 years. He has 3 children who live with her. I have one child (12). I have been divorced 2 1/2 years. My son and I tried to make a new life for ourselves I bought a home and had a good job. Then I got laid off and have had trouble finding employment. I am losing my home and my car. During these changes my relationship with this man, was just starting and he let me know right up front that he didn't love me but wanted to be exclusive and we are in a serious relationship. I love him more than I have ever felt love before. I was married for 20 years. He was married for 15 years. While we were dating I discovered he was texting the girl he had been dating before me. She is 31. And he still is and also texting a woman in another state where he grew up. We have had discussions and I think he just needs time to go through the after divorce stuff (like I did) I am willing to do that provided that I'm not being a fool. He has said he has feelings for me and he has taken us in to live with him. My trouble is I'm not sure if living with him is a good idea. I take good care of him and his kids love me and me visa versa. I really want this to work out. He has told me that he isn't ready for a commitment. He tells me that I am really great and loves the way I am as a woman. And he talks about future things with me.And he says he likes having me here with him. Most of my life has been a closed off environment resulting in no friends to speak of and lack of experience with dating. As a result I am unsure of what to expect from a man. Please feel free to ask me questions. Thank you for your help in any way.
There are no rules, anymore, when it comes to the dating game, are there? I must say, I don't care for it much and at 48 have chose to forth go, "The Hunt." I am content being alone. But most are not and I must say, I do understand your dilemma.
Exclusivity, should mean, "I give my heart to you and you only. I will not shop at other grocery stores. I will not be sneaky or entertain the notion of non exclusivity by texting other women." Obviously, his idea of exclusive, is different than ours?
No, you have absolutely no right, to dictate what your thoughts are, concerning an exclusive relationship. We are aware of this, right? I do believe old school rules are out, as well, as we encroach upon a new age...2008. I can't say as I like it or agree. Nothing's certain, in this life but progress and change. Quite often, it's not for the better, eh? Thus far, I've not seen the new rule book either. The definitions of right and wrong and all the gray areas are not in black and white. But I know this much;
If you do not define, your "Right to Happiness" and you do not speak up as to what you expect or feel an exclusive relationship entails, **I will bet this website, that it will continue as it is and possibly get worse. Tell me different and I'll shut this site down. Yes, I am that sure of myself.
At the same time, I am aware of your feelings of obligation. Yes, you feel somewhat beholden because he has taken you in. Knowing full well, that you do not and can not dictate the terms of this endearment, we must approach this from a different angle.
Had it been that you were in your own home, I would come out, guns blazing but I am Intuitive enough to realize your situation. On one hand, you are a good woman who'll do anything for her man. You'll rope the Moon, fry it up in a pan and serve it in your sexiest lingerie, maybe even in one of his shirts(they do so love that). You are sure enough, of yourself, as a woman, that out of respect, you'll allow this man to lead, figuratively and literally, in life, dancing and even run the remote. Yes, you are a good woman but you're no dummy and least of all, you can't stand to be played. Am I right? I also feel that you are not sure, how to proceed because of this unique situation and the fact that he has made it clear to you that and you stated, verbatim,"he let me know right up front that he didn't love me but wanted to be exclusive and we are in a serious relationship."
The Games People Play
Never be a victim, Darling, nor a martyr for the cause. See, there are defining factors here. I assume that you sleep with him, possibly in the same bed? When two people live together, that bed becomes the marriage bed, morally and physically. But does our friend want his pie, donuts, cake and eat it too? Many men, if given the chance, would want it all. Meaning, if they had a good woman, such as yourself, to come home to but could also play little games and get away with it, they most certainly would and do. Your guy has the best of both worlds and why would he change it? Basically, as it stands, you don't feel you have the right to call him on his crap, do you? I do understand though. What to do?
Find the proper time, that perfect moment, when you know he's open to a few questions. Quite often, that's right before he believes he's about to get lucky, (I'm giggling, sorry, as I remember those perfect moments of interrogation). As any expert interrogator knows, you must be armed to the teeth with the proper way to present your questions. You want to get the maximum effect and outcome, in as little time, as possible. Yes, you must rehearse and orchestrate your questions.
This will be a full course meal, with exotic twists and tastes, things he may not have tasted before. Start with cocktails, literally and figuratively, something to cleanse the palate. You might make the statement, " I wanted to tell you that I am more than appreciative for your help, for myself, as well as my child [insert name]. For this, I am so thankful and hope you have been aware of my gratitude. Actions do speak louder than words, do they not?" I assume he will validate your good, supportive and for lack of a better word, "Wifely" behaviors.
As an appetizer, you'll want to serve up an ego fluffier. "I think you know, just how deeply I care for you. I've not cared for any man, as I have for you. I do believe you care, as you've indicated, while not intending to commit? Right?"
For the second course, you serve up,the dense soup "While our relationship is unique, please define exclusivity for me?" (I wish I was a fly on the wall for this one) "While I am not pressuring you, for commitment, I would never want to be a fool or even worse, set myself up for the fall."
I think by simply asking for some definition, you might get to the bottom of what's important; Is your guy getting the milk free without buying the cow? Yes, you have a right to know
Keeping It Real,
Written by Staff & Ask Aunt B at 9:55 AM