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Thread: Dates and Confused

  1. #1

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    Dates and Confused

    I am a 33 yr old mother of 3. I was in a 5 year marriage to my older chidren's father and he was the worst! A heartless cheater and we were off and on for yrs because he would always say things to get me to come back. The last straw was when he had to tell me that one of the women he was cheating on me with was now pregnant with his child. I really think that is was suppose to be this way because that was the only thing that would make me completely done. We get divorced and quickly I start dating the "man of my dreams" He was incredibly handsome, he works and has goals! My older 2 loved him! He was "perfect". I quickly agree to have a child with him because I just knew that He was "the one". After our child was born the blinders came off of my eyes. We have been together for 8 yrs and I have put up with Drug and Alcohol addiction with him, having no license so he couldnt even drive, his so called "plans and goals" basically just became a conversation and no action was ever taken. He told me multiple times when I would tell him I was worried about finances he would just tell me that he wasn't going to get another job unless he has his license which was no where near the future as he expected me to pay his fines with taxes instead of him paying himself. These last 2 years were the worst. We stopped communication, being physical, and the older children began to dislike him because of the difference he made between them and our child together. Alcohol and drug use became worse. the kids and I finally left and the kids are happier than ever. My issue is that now both exes ( the ex husband and the ex partner) are trying to win me back. The Ex husband has changed throughout the years and is a very responsible man but dont know if I could ever fully trust him. The ex partner now has his license and is trying to woo me in any way he can. I am still very physically attracted to the ex partner and I am in a small way emotionally attracted to my ex husband. I'm sure I need to shut both of them down but they are both confusing the crap out of me. I haven't healed from either relationship and I'm afraid they are both playing on my vulnerability right now. The ex husband is saying no pressure but wanted to let his intentions known. the ex partner is pressuring and has let it well known he wants me back but im afraid he will go back to his old ways if I cave. PLEASE HELP!!!!!! any advice will be greatly appreciated!!!

  2. #2
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by cdawn87
    I'm sure I need to shut both of them down
    I think you just gave yourself the advice you know you need to listen to.

    This is all really only as confusing as you want it to be. I say make it simple, by being brutally honest with what's happening. You're a human, which means it always feels good to be wanted, even by people who are bad for us. Stir in history, attraction, and children and there is more "feeling" triggered. We humans like to feel things.

    But when you use a phrase like "playing on my vulnerability"—well, that kind of says it all. It takes a lot of strength to recognize when we are vulnerable. You do, which means no one—not these two men, not anyone—can "play" on it. You can, however, make the choice to keep engaging, but wherever that goes will be the result of your own actions, not theirs.

    So choose wisely.

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    Originally Posted by bluecastle
    I think you just gave yourself the advice you know you need to listen to.

    This is all really only as confusing as you want it to be. I say make it simple, by being brutally honest with what's happening. You're a human, which means it always feels good to be wanted, even by people who are bad for us. Stir in history, attraction, and children and there is more "feeling" triggered. We humans like to feel things.

    But when you use a phrase like "playing on my vulnerability"—well, that kind of says it all. It takes a lot of strength to recognize when we are vulnerable. You do, which means no one—not these two men, not anyone—can "play" on it. You can, however, make the choice to keep engaging, but wherever that goes will be the result of your own actions, not theirs.

    So choose wisely.

    Thank you so much for your insight! I think the most confusing thing about it all is that BOTH are acting more like I had wanted when we were together. I think the irrational fear of maybe losing out on the reaping of what I helped sow into their success as being Men and not boys. Its the thought of "what if this is real?" "what if they really have changed and I don't give them another chance?" I'm sure this is making me sound like a very dumb woman which makes me so mad at myself because I take pride in my intelligence and success as a woman and mother.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by cdawn87
    Thank you so much for your insight! I think the most confusing thing about it all is that BOTH are acting more like I had wanted when we were together. I think the irrational fear of maybe losing out on the reaping of what I helped sow into their success as being Men and not boys. Its the thought of "what if this is real?" "what if they really have changed and I don't give them another chance?" I'm sure this is making me sound like a very dumb woman which makes me so mad at myself because I take pride in my intelligence and success as a woman and mother.
    You do not sound like a "dumb woman" at all.

    Here's the thing to just be honest about: whoever they are today, however genuine it is, does not negate the past, or the mark left on your spirit by the past. And sometimes—often—the mark is the thing that deserves our respect and tenderness. I got terrible food poisoning once at a very fancy restaurant, a place I know many people have enjoyed, before and since. But I don't go back, because the mark of that food poisoning is real and I know myself well enough to know it would sour even the best meal at that place. Fortunately, there are many great restaurants to try, if you catch my metaphoric drift...

    This idea of "losing out" on what you "helped sow," while understandable, is not the stuff of sincere connections: not with others, not with ourselves. It is transactional, vengeful, anger-based—all very human, but not the stuff we want to indulge in. The world is a better place, and your children's lives are enriched, if these men become better human beings. Your own enrichment, though, should not be dependent on that, as your worth is its own precious metal of sorts, not one that can be polished or tarnished by them, or any man.

    I can't tell you not to wade into this swamp, or these swamps. But zoom out a few degrees, and you may see that what right now feels like a "new" paradigm is actually a place you've been before: enjoying attention and investing hope in the idea that these men can change shape for you, and provide you with happiness. The past is a decent predictor of the future, so be honest about what investing in those ideas contributed to your life and ask yourself if you're interested in more of that.

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    Platinum Member boltnrun's Avatar
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    Well, the one who physically abused you should be an automatic "no way", no matter how hot he gets you.

    Sounds like the ex husband wasn't high quality either, what with the cheating and all.

    There are actual nice men out there. But you won't find them as long as you keep digging in the retread pile.

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    This has spoken volumes to me! I can't thank you enough for the insight you have shown me today. You're right, I've never placed value or worth in myself other than being a mother. I have always let someone else determine my value and worth. I do not want to invest in "ideas" any longer in hopes that they become a reality. Thank you again so very much

  8. #7
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by cdawn87
    I do not want to invest in "ideas" any longer in hopes that they become a reality.
    Boom.

    Cause the thing about that headspace? It is what they call a lose-lose. The actual person should always be "bigger" than the ideas in our heads, which is next to impossible when it comes to people who have given us serious emotional whiplash.

    To that end, I would say—and this is just me—that their romantic pursuit of you is actually a solid sign that they have not undergone the radical transformation you're trying to convince yourself they've gone through, since if they did they'd be evolved enough to not need it validated; their own newfound decency would be a reward in and of itself.

    Of course, that same analysis can apply to you: that your entertaining of it all might be a sign that you've still got some self-work to do—or at least a sign that it's time to dig deep and live the lessons. You're young, intelligent, a custodian of three lovely and growing hearts. So much reward right there, and the stuff to share with someone who has not left marks all over your own lovely heart.

    Less poetically? I don't think anyone has cured a sever burn by putting their hand back on the burner that burned them.

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    I have a lot of self work and healing to do you are right!
    I haven't fully stepped away from the breakup to even give myself a chance to heal let alone work on me and finding my worth. Thank you! I will no longer be the validator of their own worth! It's time I validate my own!

  10. #9
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by cdawn87
    I haven't fully stepped away from the breakup to even give myself a chance to heal let alone work on me and finding my worth.
    Look at that: seems you've realized who you're supposed to be getting serious with romantically right now—yourself.

    Give yourself some time for that and you'll be amazed what happens. This business won't be nearly so confusing—intoxicating as that confusion can be!—because you'll have taught yourself what feels right, and what does not.

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    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear this. Are they both child support for your children?
    Originally Posted by cdawn87
    My issue is that now both exes ( the ex husband and the ex partner) are trying to win me back.

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