MOVE ON WHEN RELATIONSHIP FIZZLES
DEAR MIDLIFE BACHELOR:
Please help me with something I can't get past. I dated a young woman for 5 years, married her for 25 years, and then divorced her 3 years ago.
I thought that when we married, that sex would be a normal thing (I liked it, she seemed to like it - why wouldn't it be a natural part of our relationship?). I learned that it would be metered out (once a month to coincide with her ovulation hormones). I must have been weak because I was willing to wait. If I was away
on that day/evening, I would have to wait another month. This went on for 15 years.
After some time struggling financially as the sole breadwinner in the family, I convinced my wife to take a job. In her new position, she had a holiday party at a co-worker's house. One co-worker was so tipsy she decided it was okay to stroke me while we were sitting around the room chatting. I should have protested, but I liked it. It made me feel wanted. I knew it was wrong, but I didn't resist. I didn't mention a thing, and it wouldn't have been a problem until this co-worker told my wife how hard I was. This was what killed our marriage. I begged her to forgive me for not protesting, but it was never the same.
I got a chance for a transfer and agreed to move to another city because she was unhappy with everything about our life together. I moved her close to her mom, knowing that she wanted a place to live without me. I made it work for another seven years hoping that things would get better. They got worse. I spent more and more time away from home just to avoid the constant complaining. Eventually, I met an attractive young lady who captured my imagination. My wife befriended her also. Not wanting to cheat on my spouse, I filed for divorce. Once the divorce was final, I made my intentions known to this attractive young lady. She then informed me that my ex-wife had put her up to coming on to me, and she had no interest at all.
Now I spend all my time alone. I pay my ex-wife extra alimony so she won't get evicted from our former home, and I wonder what I can do to move on. I don't feel good about myself, and what I've done. I would like to come out of this so my kids will want to come visit me.
MIDLIFE BACHELOR ANSWER:Thanks for writing in. Several things are clear to me - first, you did make a mistake by letting your wife's coworker touch you inappropriately. To your credit, you did do everything possible after that incident to be a good husband - you tried your best (for YEARS AFTERWARD) to give your wife the best life possible. Only problem was - she just couldn't forgive you ... she just couldn't get past any of it.
Let's inventory the lessons you've learned:
1) Don't beat a dead horse. If your relationship fizzled after the first ten years, then your lesson is - next time a relationship wears itself out, then immediately take the steps necessary to move on. Even though your intentions were good (by staying with her), really all you did was enable a large waste of everyone's time. It is as much her fault as yours - people just get used to one another ... this is called having a "relationship for the sake of a relationship". I've been guilty of this, myself, in the past, too ... so there's no shame, just a good lesson in "time management".
2) There is no guilt when you are single. You remember that feeling when your wife's coworker stroked you? Well now you can go and get that elsewhere, and not feel guilty about it. Women are all around you ... you just have to open yourself up, and go for it. Try match dot com - go to the Online Dating Discounts page (link is toward the top of the midlifebachelor dot com home page), and sign up today. I guarantee you that if you write a nice, positive, inviting profile - and also carefully choose your profile photos ... that you will get the attention that you need and deserve.
3) Don't look back - look forward. Sure - there are things you could have done differently ... but reality is that you are where you are, and over-analyzing the past will only make you grow old prematurely. Instead, take note of your mistakes (but don't dwell on them), and focus on moving forward. Do not look in your rearview mirror - as only what is ahead of you matters.
As far as getting your kids to come visit you, the only thing you can really do is reach out to them periodically, and see if they can find it in their hearts to come to terms with what happened. Know that your ex-wife may have fed them some misinformation - and in that case, the best thing you can do is not to call her a liar, but just to remind them that there are two sides to every story, and that no matter what they believe you love them, and always have loved them.
Hopefully you found this helpful. I encourage you to consider joining our Midlife Forum here on midlifebachelor.com ... where we talk about a lot of things, including dating and midlife crisis issues. We'd be happy to have you as a member of our community. Here is a link to it: Midlife Forum