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Divorced and Backing Off

Marianne wrote:

I am dating a man whom has been divorced for seven months now and we have been dating for a year.

We got together right after his separation and we have had a great relationship. We never had fights, we always talked them over before they got out of control.

Now, we have lived together for five months and he has decided that he does not want to be in a relationship that he needs time. He said that he has so much going on that he does not know what to do and what is going on with him.

He gave me a promise ring right after the divorce and then a couple months ago for Christmas his oldest daughter and him went a bought me a beautiful Christmas present. Well, he let her give it to me and she said it was a diamond for each one of them. Daddy, her and her little sister. I did not know what to say.

Now, I feel that he is giving up on a great relationship. I ask for us to go to therapy together and I am moving out. Do I just cut all ties off until he knows what he wants.

Dear Marianne

"We got together right after his separation" - which is waaaaay too soon for someone who is going through hell. I don't doubt your feelings for him, or his for you. On one level, you have helped him through a difficult time.

But at a deeper level, your relationship must have been motivated - to some extent - by the 'rebound' process; his (subconscious) need to priove to himself that he can still make relationships. Your relationship is forever tied up with his separation issues, and his inability to know if it's real or rebound.

It's his own feelings he does not trust, and as you met so soon, he has no 'baseline' to work with.

You are right to back off; he may need counselling, he may not - what he really needs is time and space. You need to let him now that you are there, and leave it to him.

You also, for your on sake, need to realise that he may never call, and you need to consider how long you should wait.

You also need to consider his daughters, who should have been spared all this. They - quite understandably - are desparate for daddy to settle down with anew lady; both of you - unintentially - have made promises (literally or symbolically) that have been broken. Be careful to be honest with them; accept that they may hate you and blame you, however unfair it feels. You can walk away from all this. They cannot.

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