Dating woman going through a divorce... roller coaster.

Dating woman going through a divorce... roller coaster. apoliteguy: My story is my experience in dating an ex-high school sweetheart.  She was in the process of breaking up with her husband of ten years when we reconnected via classmates.com.  I was separated from my wife for about 3 years, so it was a real breath of fresh air to hear from her through the wireless internet.

I felt that I was extremely sensitive to her marraige issues.  My wife had pulled a Kaiser Soze on me by announcing that she was no longer in love with me and that she was going to stay with her family.  So I was very sensitive to the idea of whether or not her husband actually had adequate and explicit warning that the marriage was in jeopardy and had an opportunity to do something about it.

At the same time, I have to admit that I liked the idea of my ex- becoming a "free agent" again.  After giving them enough space to take a run through counseling, my ex- and I kept conversing and eventually starting officially dating around the time she filed for divorce.

(see follow on post due to 5000 char limit)


Re: Dating woman going through a divorce... roller coaster. apoliteguy: (contd from above)

Unfortunately, I'm in the dreaded "rebound" slot of the relationship.  My hope was that by taking things extremely slowly and agreeing and committing to being overly communicative whenever issues came up (something she never had with her ex-husband), we would have the opportunity to really make a go of it.

An important detail that I've glossed over is the fact that we live about a 3.5 hour drive away from each other, and that I work at an Internet startup company in Silicon Valley.  Our relationship really consisted of talking on the phone every day and alternating every other weekend to see one another (we both have children and would use the off weekends to spend time with them).  It wasn't ideal, but we were making it work... or so I thought.

Things seemed to be going great, with me getting high marks from her and her friends on Valentines' Day.  About a week or so after Valentine's Day, I had a pretty serious project coming up that was occupying a lot of time at the office, so I told her that I wasn't going to be able to spend a lot of time on the phone.

Well, apparently that was a really bad thing to do - depending on your perspective.  She found out during that drought of communication that she had become extremely reliant on my presence (even at 4 hours away), and that extreme reliance really scared her.

(cont'd on next post)
 Re: Dating woman going through a divorce... roller coaster. apoliteguy: (see previous post)

From my viewpoint she was dealing with way too many things and she had no real plan on dealing with it all, she just wanted to eliminate one of the variables - and unfortunately for me she came to the conclusion that I was the variable that was easiest to get rid of. 

From the tone of our relationship and the way things seemed to be going I would have thought that I would've been best used as support, but instead she reached a decision that most people I've talked to wouldnt' have taken.

Now obviously I can'tbe in her head, and I can only imagine the stress that she must've been feeling.  She really didn't like feeling dependent on me, and I can completely understand that, as I am not a big believer in codependency, but her logic was to "figure out how I can be by myself without anyone to help me out."  Besides letting her go, the only "out" that I could find was pointing out that she would never truly be alone (thankfully) because none of her family or friends would ever let her "go it alone."

With all that said, I've allowed her to take time for herself.  I've asked her best friend to keep an eye on her since I can't, but it's so painful to think that one week everything is great and then the next I am dealing with someone who is completely stressed out and won't let me help her.

I tell myself all sorts of consolations, i.e. if it's meant to be... blah, or if she really is that unstable then you deserve better than that... but I really miss her in my life - and I recognize that it is self-serving, but I truly believe that I can help her come to grips with her fears and issues (either just by being present or through a counselor)... that said, it sucks to be identified as part of the problem.

So this is day #2 of being a freshly minted single.  I'm OK for the  most part, although clearly I'm not great, otherwise I don't think I would be posting on this site....  The piece that hurts so much is that I really felt like I had done everything I could --- I had eliminated all the stupid behaviors in my life that had led to my initial breakup and applied those object lessons to this relationship.

I guess you have to realize a couple of things (Here I am being my own counselor lol).  One, that it takes TWO people to make a solid relationship.  And if person #2 isn't willing to meet you halfway, whether it's to reach across for that hand or to just meet you at the middle of the bridge, at some point, no matter how long your arms are or how big your love, there's nothing you can do.  Some things can't be saved.

The other thing I realized is that some people have to work through their own issues and insecurity and guilt.  Until that actually happens, they can't REALLY love someone in a positive way.  And maybe I haven't worked through my own issues, but I am just really sad to have this happen.  I'm not a big fan of jumping from happily ever after to nothing from 0 to 60 in 3.5 seconds flat.  :)

Guys, ladies - if you have any commentary I'd love to hear some fresh perspective.  Obviously this is pretty long and by it's nature one-sided.  But I've done what I can to be objective about the description (believe it or not)  :)

Thanks for the time.  I look forward to hearing from you.

VP



 Re: Dating woman going through a divorce... roller coaster. apoliteguy: (cont'd from above)

While my project ended and we started talking more again, that fear had planted a seed that bore some rancid fruit only a month after...

Out of nowhere (from my viewpoint), she said that she needed to take a break from our relationship.  At around this time she was scheduled to have some surgery (breast issues), and her divorce was about to become finalized.  In my mind, she just had a bunch of stuff pop up at once and she was feeling stressed... but what set my alarms off a bit was the fact that she was trying to handle all this stress by herself instead of trying to work things out with me.  (As far as I can tell she wasn't relying on friends or family particularly either).

Well, in spite of our agreement to work things out and talk things over before they went critical, she took some time away and ended up deciding that it was best if we didn't see each other anymore.  (All the above background came after a lot of Q&A over late night phone conversation, btw, as she really didn't know why she was feeling the way she was feeling)

There are a couple of other threads on here about what you're supposed to do when someone requests time off from the relationship.  From my standpoint, relationships shouldn't get to that point w/o understanding why, but if you have let things get to that point, it seems like the consensus is to just let them go and attempt to hash things out.

(cont'd in next post)