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Relationship after divorce...slightly freaking out(8 Posts)
I'm new to this forum but just need to get this off my chest and hope it will all start to fall into place just by getting it out there! I don't quite know where else to turn for advice because unless you've been through it, you can't know how it feels.
Background - I divorced my ex-dh last year after 21 years together. I'm 43 by the way. So had pretty much spent half my life with him. We have 2 kids - dd is 9 and ds is 11. Over the years, we had totally grown apart. We went for some couples counselling but it was clear that neither of us really wanted to fix things. We were more like flatmates than anything else. Just had nothing in common at all, I didn't love him any more and he didn't love me. Hadn't had sex in years. And when we did it was crap. So both agreed that it was completely over between us. We managed a fairly amicable split. The kids still think we're the best of friends even though we're actually not. But we've always maintained a good front when they're around. So all good so far. They go to him every other weekend and they live with me.
Anyway, DH moved on and is now living with someone else. I have no problem with that really. She's welcome to him! I couldn't bear to live with him any more. And he seems a lot happier.
I spent the best part of a year on my own and was quite contented until there came a point when I thought I was sick of sitting at home on my own every night. So I signed up for online dating. One disastrous first date ensued! But my second guy was really nice. We hit it off straight away and I've been seeing him since November 17th last year.
All going well. I've had a few wobbles about it - partly because I wasn't expecting to meet someone so quickly I think. He is very lovely to me. Treats me so well. Tells me I'm amazing and perfect the whole time. I should be really happy right? Well, I've had a few wobbles over the last few weeks but on the whole things were going well. He's quite full on though. He texts me all the time which is lovely. Very attentive (complete opposite of dh). We spend every other weekend together (when the kids are away at their dads).
But this weekend, we were supposed to be spending the weekend at his house which is about half an hour away from me. He has another house he goes to every other weekend down in Devon which is where his kids live. His kids are older (14, 16 and 20). Anyway, there is a party for one of his friends next weekend and he asked me if I would go with him and stay at the house in Devon with him. So I said yes, why not. But then he said that his kids would be staying with him on the Saturday night and he's told them all about me and they are totally fine with it. I know they are older than mine and he's been divorced for 10 years so they're very used to the situation. I have been honest with him and said that I won't tell my kids yet because they're still a bit traumatised by the split with my ex-dh. And he's fine with that.
Anyway, all was OK and after my initial slight freak out about meeting his kids, I calmed down and we had a nice evening together and he stayed last night (my kids were away). But overnight I had a total meltdown freak out panic attack. This morning I couldn't wait to get him out of the house. I just felt so anxious and panicky about it. I looked at him objectively and thought to myself I don't even know if I really fancy him that much (although there is amazing chemistry between us and the sex is much better than with dh). And then started to panic that I've just latched on to the first bloke that's shown me any attention in about 10 years and who treats me nicely. But actually I feel like I'm settling for second best and perhaps he's not what I want. We don't have much in common in terms of our background. The snob in me says I have my own house, a great job, I am very educated, pretty clever etc. He went to catering college, has just lost his job in IT sales (not his fault - redundancy). But intellectually he's miles away from me. But we do have a laugh together. I think I'm quite worried about what my family and friends will think when they meet him. Which is really shallow of me. I know!
I don't for one minute imagine that Mr Perfect is out there for me to ride off in to the sunset in a perfect scenario. But equally I don't know whether I'm in this for the wrong reasons. The thought of meeting his kids just seemed to push me over the edge slightly. So now I don't know what to do. Whether to just say fuck it and go next weekend anyway and meet his kids. Or whether to say no, I'll stay home, have some space on my own (probably redecorate a room or something to distract myself - there's plenty to do because I've just moved house). And just tell him I'm not ready for that next stage. I feel so confused about it all.
Am I just massively rebounding?!!! I had another panic like this about a month ago and put it down to tiredness and PMT. Now I wonder whether this is the same thing - I'm knackered (very late night last night) and have awful PMT. But surely if things were really right then I wouldn't be feeling like this every month just because of hormone changes?!!
Anyway, I'm just wondering if others have been in a similar situation with a new relationship after a long term marriage breakdown and what their thoughts are.
Thanks for listening.
You need to calm down and quite the over analysing, you like him, you have fun together, that's enough no? I think you should go, you'll probably have a great time.
You don't have to be exactly alike to get on, give it a chance!
I think your body is telling you not to go; to back off from this relationship.
I think you've worked out that he's a nice guy, but not who you want to spend the rest of your life with.
Take some time for yourself.
It sounds to me like you're on the rebound, which is fine and having a fling with someone completely different to your ex-H is actually very healthy, but if you're not sure that this will be a long-term relationship I would keep things fairly casual for now. You sound like you've leapt in with both feet and are having second thoughts now that the first flush of lust is over, so explain to him that you'd like to slow things down a bit as it's all a bit overwhelming when you're still so freshly out of your marriage. Don't go down and meet his kids if you're not ready to take things to that stage. Remember, you're in control of what you do, with whom and when, so if something in your head is saying 'Wooah, slow down!', listen to it. Much better to take things at your own pace. If this is meant to be, whatever your differences, it will be. And if it's not? Better not to get in too deep.
Ok, I haven't been in this situation but I think same rules apply as for all dating. The starting point should be that this is fundamentally about what YOU want. There is absolutely zero point in kidding yourself along or kidding anyone else along with stuff you're not comfortable with/ready for.
If you have a feeling about something (i.e. he's a bit full on, I'm not ready to meet his kids yet etc) RESPECT it. Your mind knows what it is doing. Don't beat yourself up for having an opinion, however shallow or rebounding or whatever you think it makes you. It is just as likely your subconscious is giving you perfectly good hunches, and your only fault is to start dressing them up as evidence of your flawed character! I am put off by disproportionately full-on people too, because it feels like they're having a whole experience with solely THEIR feelings rather than MY feelings IYSWIM.
Having said all that, if such a feeling/hunch occurs, there is no need to go into full on panic mode and run away from the whole thing if you don't want to. You are in control. Everything is negotiable (or it should be - if it isn't, then run!) Ask him if you can take it a bit slower, if that's what you want.
OR, if you think actually this isn't going to work out, end the relationship. You don't need a specific reason other than "I don't think this is working for me". You don't need anyone's permission to only date people you really, really want to date, and no-one else.
I'm in a very similar position and I'm kind of going through the same things. My partner has been single for quite some time though and doesn't have kids so it's a bit different.
I met him in Oct last year after a 23 yr relationship & marriage. I haven't introduced him to my children (12 & 7) yet and he's only ever been to my house for a quick coffee.
I've had the wobbles you describe and sometimes panic that I've jumped into something too quickly. But I've explained I'm going to need to take it VERY slowly and he's fine. He's not put any pressure on me at all which is a massive help. If he'd been too full on I think I'd have knocked it on the head by now but he's too nice to end things so I'm seeing how it goes.
Have a good talk about how you feel. If he's a goodun he'll understand and won't put any pressure on you if you don't feel right.
If it was a choice of slowing things right down or ending it completely which would you rather do? If someone else came along would you prefer to move on or do you like him enough to keep on seeing him, even just casually?
You don't have to move onto anything more serious until or when you're ready. Keep things on your own terms. Don't rush anything and listen to your instincts.
I imagine when it comes to introducing a partner to DCs it does take things to a different level. If you are not ready for that, be honest, say so.
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