Relationship Q&A: Should I Settle?

Her Question

I am 47 years old.  I am divorced.  I am the mother of three teenaged children.  I was in an abusive relationship for 12 years and finally got the courage to leave my husband.  Our divorce has been finalized for almost two years but some days I wonder if I made the right decision.  Not that I liked the abuse but the dating scene is so much different now than it was when I was younger.  I met a great guy but I don’t love him.  He wants to get married and I don’t know what to do.  He makes sure that my kids and I want for nothing but I don’t feel emotionally connected him.  I appreciate everything that he does for us but I feel guilty because I think I’m taking advantage of him.  On the other hand, this dating thing is more depressing.  I don’t have the energy to sift through all of the men out there playing games.  My kids will be leaving home soon and I don’t want to be left alone.  Should I settle and marry this guy even though I know he’s not the “love of my life” or should I hold out?

My Answer

I was almost hesitant to tackle this one but decided to give it a shot.  In relationships it is almost impossible to get everything on our checklist.  No one but you can determine what you can or can’t deal with.  In this situation, you should consider taking it slow and focus on getting to know the guy better.  It doesn’t seem like you all have been dating very long and you are probably still processing a wealth of emotions from your previous relationship.  Don’t rush into another situation and if he really loves you and has your best interest at heart, he will understand.  If you feel like you might taking advantage of him by accepting gifts/items; maybe you could ask him to hold back a little.  One the common problems in relationships is a lack of communication.  You seem to have a lot of internal conflict and if you are considering making this man your life partner, you need to be able to talk to him honestly about the situation and how you feel.  Just as you deserve to find the “love of your life”; he deserves the same.

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6 thoughts on “Relationship Q&A: Should I Settle?

  1. Trudy says:

    The issue here really isn’t whether her current partner is the right one or how much dating sucks. Three things stood out to me from reading this:

    1) Has she had genuine professional counseling for the abusive relationship?
    2) If not, wouldn’t the fear of emotionally connecting and trust issues from the past explain why she cannot connect now?
    3) Why are her ONLY options a man she doesn’t love OR a poor dating scene? Though we are placed on the Earth to connect, a man and her children’s only purposes for existence aren’t to “keep her company.”

    The core issue in her response is this phrase: “I don’t want to be left alone.” This line is the first line that needs to be said to a therapist and then they work from there. Not wanting to be alone could have been the cause for the acceptance of the initial abusive relationship in the first place. Because she doesn’t feel comfortable with herself, every relationship will be impacted.

    Her issues are not going to be resolved by being more communicative with the current partner. The core issues have to be addressed first. This is where the communication should begin, IMHO.

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  2. Belinda says:

    Sis..I was in an abusive marriage (verbal/emotional) and I finally came out. I have a simple solution…take time to heal. I advise folk to take at least 1 year knowing that most won’t adhere; but at least spend that time alone assessing you. This is not about the new guy for clearly you are struggling with your inner emotions; and as someone mentioned..you need to deal with the core issues & the core issue is you. Abusive relationships whether physical or emotional must be assessed. Often we are co-dependents in that same said relationship and it sounds like (IMO) you’ve moved your co-dependency to a new man who happens to not be abusive (on the surface). However, with that being said, he might have some of his own issues going on hence him assisting you. A healthy relationship is a mutual exchange with both parties giving and taking…no selfishness allowed. Blessings..

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  3. Huh? Am I to understand that you don’t have an emotional connection to him but you are more than willing to take his money? That is foul! He may not be the love of your dreams, but he is definitely not an ATM machine. Stop taking his money and/or accepting gifts for yourself or your children.

    As for the other emotionally issues at hand, I am not qualified to speak on intelligently. So, my only response is to seek some professional help. You owe it to yourself as well as your children to live your best life.

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