Author Topic: Is it time to say goodbye to new guy?  (Read 8377 times)

Trying

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Is it time to say goodbye to new guy?
« on: March 13, 2015, 06:27:47 PM »
Tonight is the one year anniversary of our first date.  Our dinner reservation is cancelled because he has a puking kid I have a last minute basketball conflict.  Tonight was supposed to make up for the reservation we cancelled on Valentines Day because he got called into work to plow snow.  These are not the reasons I think it may be time to same goodbye but a part of the problem.

New Guy is an great guy.  He has opened up my heart and shown me that I can love someone new and not stop loving DH or honoring his memory.  He has made me feel special and desirable and cherished.  With him I have been able to laugh and cry and be honest about my life and my struggles.  We have an amazing physical connection and I have rediscovered the joys of intimacy that were missing from my marriage with DH.  Our connection is very intoxicating and grounding at the same time.

The problem is that we both have so many obstacles that are preventing our relationship from moving forward.  With me it's my 2 older kids who are struggling with their grief and getting their lives on the right track.  My relationship adds to their grief and makes all of our lives more difficult.

He is recovering from a financially devastating divorce. He has years of financial struggle ahead of him.  I am fortunate to be in a comfortable position with a good job.  But not comfortable enough to take on someone with debt who has 2 small children.  I can afford to take my kids on vacation once or twice a year but I can't afford 3 more and he can't either.  I can afford to pay my half of dinner out a few times a month but he can't. So how could we ever combine households without me lowering the standard of living for me and my kids? I know that sounds selfish and superficial but my kids shouldn't have to forgo vacations and going to a Yankees game because I can't afford to pay for 3 more people.

So the option is to continue living separate lives, enjoy our time together but maintain completely separate lives. I go on vacation with my kids alone.  We only go out when he can afford his half or I can afford both of us.  He doesn't come to family events and holidays because my kids can't handle it. 
We care too much for each other to stay like this with no hope of the relationship progressing.  We both want to be together and have a future but the obstacles are too big.

So what do I do?  Give up a great man who I have no future with and focus on my kids? Live with the loneliness of being in a relationship that isn't enough or live with the loneliness of just being alone? The idea of hurting him is unbearable but hoping for a future that isn't going to happen is painful too. 
You will forever be my always.

anniegirl

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Re: Is it time to say goodbye to new guy?
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2015, 06:52:18 PM »
And so what does he think?

Because you've discussed your reservations and fears with him, right?

There's a lot going on for both of you and none of what you've shared is a smallish issue when it comes to combining lives and families.

But you say you have a really great relationship anyway. Even with the problems.

If you haven't talked with him about your fears, expectations and what you really want to happen going forward - you should. That's where you start.

It's probably not as all or nothing as you think. Nothing is really that black/white.

But I wouldn't throw in the towel until I'd had a good long conversation, listened to what he thought and tried to come to a middle position. If it were me.

Then again, I immigrated to another country to marry a guy I'd met on the Internet and had known less than six months. (spoiler - I am still married to him.)

Still, I vote - talk to your guy before making any decision. jmo.
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Trying

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Re: Is it time to say goodbye to new guy?
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2015, 08:16:38 PM »
Thanks Anniegirl.  We have talked about it, at different times when everything seems so hopeless for our future.  When it comes to my issues he says he will wait as long as it takes, he wants to be with me forever.  When it comes to his financial issues he tells me I should run for the hills. 

He married a little later in life, in his late 30's and it went bad quickly.  I married at 24 and had 20 wonderful (although not perfect) years with my DH.  He says I'm the best thing to ever happen to him.  I can't say the same.  I would have stayed with my DH forever, despite the problems we had, it was a good life and a wonderful partnership.  There are things that new guy brings to our relationship that were missing from my marriage and that's what I have trouble letting go of. 

I wish things were more clear cut but I am beginning to realize that it rarely works that way for anyone the second time around.
You will forever be my always.

anniegirl

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Re: Is it time to say goodbye to new guy?
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2015, 08:29:04 PM »
 
Quote
He says I'm the best thing to ever happen to him.  I can't say the same.

If I am reading this correctly, he's found what's he's always wanted in you, but you've had what you wanted and can't say that he is equal to or better?

Is that the real problem?

Forgive me if I am reading things that aren't there. Words on a screen, ya know. Sometimes need a bit more info.

But, from a personal perspective, I married in my 30's for the first time. My LH was a great guy. He suited who I was at the time though I have no way of knowing how we'd have fared over the long haul b/c that simply never happened.

My husband, marriage and life now is the happiest I have ever been in my life and I feel guilty saying that b/c my LH got sick early in our marriage and I spent most of our marriage taking care of him and juggling way to many issues at once and alone. How can LH possibly compete.

You had a long and happy marriage - even though there were issues. New guy is issues from day one. How can he compete?

Ultimately, you have to do what is best for you. You are dating. It's serious but it's still not a firm commitment and your priority is you. You've talked. You're still not convinced. Maybe it is time.
This is not the droid you are looking for.

Trying

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Re: Is it time to say goodbye to new guy?
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2015, 08:48:42 PM »
I don't think it's fair for anyone to be compared to someone I was with for 25 years.  I was 19 when I met DH and we grew up and became adults and started a life together.  Over the years we had some issues and intimacy was one of them.  He had medical problems unrelated to his death and medications that were probably responsible but he refused to address the issue so it was something I decided I could live with because the good outweighed the bad. 

New guy is full if passion, respects me, values me and makes me feel things that I hadn't felt for a very long time.  What I have to decide is it worth dealing with the bad for all of the good.  The decision was easier with DH because of our long history, because we had 3 children to raise, because we created a life together. 

Am I afraid to be alone for the first time in my life? That's probably a big part of it too.
You will forever be my always.

Mangomom

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Re: Is it time to say goodbye to new guy?
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2015, 08:50:31 PM »
Trying,
I think that if you have that many questions/red flags/doubts, you need to stop the relationship.  I pushed aside so many red flags in my first widow relationship because I really wanted someone by my side, even though we were not compatible.  I kept telling myself that it was only because this man was not my LH that I didn't feel it completely.  My relationship with my two teens suffered because they were still deep into their own grief process.  I'm not saying stop your life for your children, but i think as a family unit, you all need to be at peace.  I would have worked harder at helping my kids accept the relationship if I knew in my heart it was right.

There are so many things we doubt in the first few years of widowhood.  But listen to your gut, heart and mind.  If you find that, six months out, the void is still there, look him up and see where things are.  But, DO NOT make you smaller to fit him.  That is a huge recipe for regret.

Mangomom

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Re: Is it time to say goodbye to new guy?
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2015, 08:52:23 PM »
  The decision was easier with DH because of our long history, because we had 3 children to raise, because we created a life together. 

Am I afraid to be alone for the first time in my life? That's probably a big part of it too.

That was a huge difference for me as well.  It is easy to grow up with someone, but to try to fit with someone who has grown up apart from you, and has their own patterns and methods is extremely difficult.  Being alone sucks, but it is sometimes necessary to have the most personal growth.

Trying

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Re: Is it time to say goodbye to new guy?
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2015, 09:04:01 PM »
Thank you Mangomom, I know you've had some tough choices to make too.  If he was a bad guy or treated me poorly it would be easier to end it.  I think that you're right about my kids too. Even though I have kept this relationship separate from them, it does take away energy that should be spent on them.

Why can't anything be easy??!!

You will forever be my always.

anniegirl

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Re: Is it time to say goodbye to new guy?
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2015, 09:26:30 PM »
I don't know that I would call any of the issues you two have "red flags". They are problems to be dealt with that will take time, effort and ultimately might not be worth the trouble but you say that he brings you passion, he values and respects you. Those are not little things. You build relationships on those things.

Do you love him? That's something you haven't said.

And will you be okay 10 days from now or 10 months from now with the decision?

It won't cost you anything but time and conversation to see if you can come up with solutions. Minus love though, I am not sure that I would continue. For love (and passion, respect and being valued), I'd be willing to do so mighty heavy lifting.

It's not easy. You are right. And not fair. I hope things work out the way you want them to.
This is not the droid you are looking for.

momtokam

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Re: Is it time to say goodbye to new guy?
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2015, 10:41:36 PM »
I want to send you some big hugs....

I sooo know how you are feeling, I lived almost exactly the same scenario.

He was married late 30's, 2 young teens, very bad marriage, crazy ex. He is off work on disability due to an injury.
He said and still says I was the best thing that ever happened to him, and he will wait as long as it takes.
The passion and intimate connection was unreal. We had so many things in common. When we were together, it was like another world for me, but when we parted, reality set in again. My kids never knew, and I still think that they are not ready. The guilt was killing me.

I put things on hold back in September. I was always honest and upfront about all my feelings and life. He always knew where I stood. I could not keep going with all the uncertainty.  I didn't think it was fair to him. It would have been so much easier if he treated me poorly but he treated me like gold. I felt it was better to stop it before it would hurt him more. 

I was a year out when we met, maybe I was not ready. I really don't know.

We have remained friends, but not sure this is a good idea. I saw him yesterday, he still wants to wait for me. I keep trying to convince him not to. He kissed me. I didn't fight it. I wanted to kiss him. I don't have a clue what I am doing or what I want.

But I will not resume anything until or if I am sure, and I feel my kids will be more receptive to the idea of me dating. I told him this.

I don't know, maybe he isn't the one for me. I keep thinking I'll know when it's the right one, and all will feel right, but will it?

I just wish things were simpler, like when I met my DH and it just flowed into the right direction.

I cannot begin to give you advise on what to do. I'm not even sure I'm making the right decisions for me.
For me it came down to which choice would hurt him less in the long run. For now, I think I made the right decision.

I just want to wish you the strength to do what you feel is right for you.  Look deep in your heart an hopefully the answer is there.







Trying

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Re: Is it time to say goodbye to new guy?
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2015, 05:50:43 AM »
Momtokam our stories are so similar.  I think that trying to remain friends must be very difficult when you both still have strong feelings

Anniegirl I do love him and if I didn't have children or they were grown, love would be enough.  I don't really care about money, he's a hard worker, he's responsible about living within his means, I respect him very much.  Having kids changes everything and my kids will always come first.  They have lost so much already so how can I move forward with a relationship that adds to their pain? 

I really appreciate you letting me talk things out, I can't with any of my friends IRL.  He and I are seeing each other tonight, unless something comes up again, I will talk to him more.  We have both been honest and up front with each other from the beginning but over the past month I have felt this shift from thinking "everything will work out someday and we will be together"  to "it's going to stay the way it is for a very very long time".
You will forever be my always.

Captains wife

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Re: Is it time to say goodbye to new guy?
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2015, 06:16:18 AM »
MMT - I am so sorry, that cannot be an easy decision to make. Navigating this world of dating as we are further on in life, with kids, our  baggage, other people's baggage is rough and I dont think a lot of people (not in our situation) fully understand that. The positive thing is that you two are talking about it and you have a great connection with someone new. I miss sharing my life with someone too and it is my ultimate goal although I have no idea how I am going to get there. I'm sorry your kids are struggling with grief and thus it is harder for you to manage your social life as well. From your post, it does seem that being "together" is not going to happen any time soon but might this not change in the future, when your kids are older ?? I think the financial situation is something to consider if it will never change - I think its not the most important thing by any means but it can create tension down the road (just based on my own personal experiences). I don't want to make any decisions for anyone (and I am having a tough enough time trying to figure out what to do with my own dating life!) but I think it comes down to what you really want with your life and what you and your family can work with. If you are ok with separate lives for a while, especially while your children are adjusting to this new normal and still growing up, and you two can find ways to keep connected then maybe its just part of this adjustment post widow? If you aren't getting everything you want from this relationship and don't see that changing at all in the future, then that does take more consideration. I am sorry, you have a lot on your plate generally these days and this must be hard to also deal with on top of everything else. Its so hard to know when its "right" these days......and when to just move on. Sending lots of virtual support !

anniegirl

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Re: Is it time to say goodbye to new guy?
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2015, 11:20:53 AM »
Quote
Having kids changes everything and my kids will always come first.  They have lost so much already so how can I move forward with a relationship that adds to their pain? 

Kids do add more than a few wrinkles. And their ages matter.

Adult children, imo, usually have the most difficulty with new relationship - especially if they are in their late teens or 20-somethings and aren't in relationships themselves. Teens run a close second and children under 10 are the most open and often very accepting.

My husband - who was also widowed - had two young twenty-somethings and he was honest from the get go about his plans to date again. They were supportive right up until he met me and decided to remarry. It was rocky after that and it took both girls a long time to really be okay with me and the marriage.

We were very understanding. We took their feelings into account as much as we could but my husband was always very clear with them (and his sisters-in-law who were a bit cold too) that he was a grown man and his love life was not their business.

My daughter was four. She struggled with the changes having a dad for the first time presented, the fact that she felt herself in competition with him for me and just the overall change that our moving to be with him caused.

Nearly eight years later - we are a family. Blending took time. It was well worth it.

A short version and not in anyway meant to be other than simply an example of how you can enter into and build a relationship even when the kids aren't yet alright.

My children do come first in many, many instances but never when it puts my relationship with the man I love in jeopardy. I know perfectly well how selfish that sounds. We live in a kid centric society (though perhaps we didn't grow up in it ourselves) and parents are supposed to sacrifice everything - including their own futures - to make certain our kids are happy.

But our kids are grieving. It's a process that takes time, and beyond being understanding, listening and keeping them from self-destructive behavior (which is nearly impossible once they hit a certain age), there isn't that much we can do. They have to weather it and come out on the other side. Just like we do. Giving them the power to decide what we, as the parent, should or shouldn't be doing is not a kindness to them (or to ourselves). We are still the parents. It sucks sometimes. It sucks harder when grieving is involved. But we have to think of the longterm future whereas kids (and they are kids up until the day you know they aren't anymore and that can be a long time) don't think longterm. They think about now and maybe a couple of days from now. They are not worried about us not should they, which is why we have the tricky job of balancing our very real and important needs against their perception that the world has ended when it hasn't.

I know that sometimes love isn't enough no matter how much we want it to be. I am glad that you and your guy are still talking. Still trying to find a way. That way - whatever happens - you can find a measure of comfort in that. You are a good mom. He is a good father. You both deserve your happiness. Together hopefully but individually if not.

This is not the droid you are looking for.

Trying

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Re: Is it time to say goodbye to new guy?
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2015, 07:23:14 AM »
We talked a little last night about my concerns but mostly we just had an amazing night that leaves me more confused.  He keeps saying that he is patient and things will eventually get better and it will be worth the wait.  There are plenty of times he is frustrated too but says he has never considered walking away. 

So no answers yet but I appreciate you all letting me bounce things off of you and getting your perspective.  I will keep you posted. 
You will forever be my always.

nonesuch

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Re: Is it time to say goodbye to new guy?
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2015, 12:19:16 PM »
One size does not fit all.

You know, there are people who could live with this a long time.  Some people like their freedom, cherish their privacy, and don't feel the need for companionship 24/7.

I did some work years ago for a woman in her 60s who'd never married.  She had been asked. She was of the opinion that none of the men who had asked were worth giving up her freedom for.