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Old 10-16-2021, 09:39 AM   #1
Broken Old Man
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Default I could use some perspective

Good morning,

This will be a long post...I appreciate any who read.

I have a situation I'm having a hard time figuring out and could use any thoughts, ideas, any of you can provide.

In my introduction I stated that I have three failed marriages...that I'm still legally married to my last wife, but we haven't lived together for the last 5 years. There wasn't any intimacy in the relationship for at least 5 years prior to my moving out. We had separate bedrooms. I can honestly say that though I'm far from perfect, I never cheated, never physically abused her, never verbally abused her, didn't drink to excess, and always held a steady job. I fully support her today financially.

Shortly after I moved out 5 years ago I reconnected with a lady who used to work for me. I always thought we had a connection and I wanted to see where that might lead. Things went well as long as I kept things just friends--till I told this lady I wanted to get to know her better, at which point she blew up, and ended contact. Well that was a kick in the balls!

I didn't pursue any other relationships for another 2.5 or three years. I had a short romance right before COVID, but COVID and other issues ended that.

I don't really have any close friends. I do have work acquaintances, but that is not really the same thing, at least not to me. Most of the people I associate with at work, work for me.

Anyway, last Spring, I decided I really wanted to find a connection, a friend, someone who I could just be me with and be accepted. I went to a dating site and started looking around. I didn't have a public profile, but the one I used when I tried to contact someone was blatantly honest. I was up front about my three failed marriages, my current legally married situation, the fact that I don't plan to ever get married again, that I wasn't looking to move in with anyone, and didn't want anyone to move in with me. That I was looking for a friend, a connection and the only thing I would promise was blunt honesty.

Well, much to my surprise, I connected with a lady. I'll just call her T. T was at the end of a very ugly, drawn out divorce process that had been going on for over two years. She has a son who just recently turned 5.

She and I started slowly chatting through the site, then at her request we went to texts...she didn't want to talk on the phone or meet yet. That was ok with me, I wasn't in a hurry. As things progressed we got to a point where we were texting multiple times a day and sometimes had marathon text sessions at night. I learned that one of the main reasons she couldn't talk on the phone was that her mother was with here at this point and a true busy body. T just didn't want her mom spying on her and causing problems. T is a very private person and really didn't want her mom in her business. Yes, I have verified her mother was really there.

So, we get close in our texts, there really isn't anything we didn't talk about. We both agreed that we wanted to meet and see if the connection was as real. in real life as it was in the virtual world. But the timing was off. As I said, T was in the final week of a long drawn out divorce, she was trying to get ready to move, she had her son to take care of, her busy body mom was with her, etc. etc.

During our conversations she told me that her primary desire was to be able to stay here in CO, but that she was afraid she would have to move back to FL where her family was due to financial constraints, etc. I obviously wanted her to stay here, even offered to help her financially for awhile if that would help, but tried to NOT push her in one direction or the other. Told her she had to do what was best for her and her son. Ultimately, she decided she would be better off moving to FL where she had a place to stay with her sister for awhile, family around to help, and could be away from her ex who is as near as I can tell a complete piece of chit.

We did finally have the chance to go out to dinner a couple days before she flew to FL. It was the most comfortable, amazing time I have ever had on a date. She agrees.

Fast forward to her move to FL. She is swamped with setting up a new life, getting son into kindergarden, still dealing with legal stuff, etc. And, as it turns out her family who promised help, have been anything but.

We continued to text and talked on the phone occasionally. The connection was still there and ultimately she wanted to move back to CO. On Aug 28th she called me late at night, we talked for 3 hours. During that convo, she and I agreed that we really wanted to spend time together, that we both wanted to be in an exclusive relationship and even made plans for me to fly her out here for a visit within the next couple weeks...even picked the weekend we thought would work for both of us.

I was on Cloud 9. I had met someone I found very attractive, someone who I could be completely honest with, someone who accepted me just for me.

Then everything, all of a sudden changed. When I tried to confirm our weekend so that I could buy tickets, she informed me it was no longer going to work that weekend, that we would have to find a new one. After that, communication from her end drastically slowed down. When I asked her about it she said she was overwhelmed with everything on her plate, her ex was filing continuous legal actions, her ex-inlaws were being a real pain, her sister (who she moved in with) was being a pain, her family wasn't helping etc. She assured me that she hadn't met anyone else, yes I asked, but that she just needed time.

Around the second week in Sept I took a road trip to IN to see my family. She basically went silent the whole time I was on the road. If I heard from her at all it was a one liner saying she and her son were ok, just busy, overwhelmed and tired. I tried to be patient, not one of my stronger points, till I got home. Once I as back home I reached out and got no response. The next day I texted and called, and told her that if I didn't hear from her I would look her sister up and contact her. All I wanted to know was that T and her son were ok. Well, that kinda pissed her off, me saying I would look her sister up. She said if I was to do that it would really piss her sister off, she was afraid her sister would kick her out, etc. She also stated that she really needed me to understand. That she would talk about the future with me, but it had to be on her time, when she was ready and that she really wanted me to not add pressure or stress. I promised her I would not add pressure or stress and have stuck to that to this point.

We have maintained limited contact...I have asked no questions other than how she is doing. I haven't pushed for anything else, trying to be true to my promise. In this time, she no longer references "us" or that she wants to spend time with me or even that there is an "us".

I've been very patient. I knew her ex had a week long visit with T's son this month. Hoping against hope, I sent her a text asking if there was any possibility that I could fly her out here for a visit. She thanked me for the invite, but declined saying she needed to take care of several medical appointments, focus on school, get a car of her own, etc, and all of that would be easier when she didn't have her son to take care of. I agree all of that is easier when she doesn't have to take care of her son, but it is still a let down.

So, I'm frustrated, confused, and kinda lost. This woman has never lied to me, never asked me for anything (money, etc.) and I know we had a VERY strong connection. I have maintained my promise and not pushed...but that is getting harder and harder to do. Its now been six weeks since we really had a good conversation.

One part of me says she is trying to let me down easy and I should just let it go. The other says yeah, but at my age, this is likely the last dance for me, and I need to fight for it till there is no fight left.

Any thoughts, ideas, insights any of you might have will be greatly appreciated.

If you have questions, ask. I'm pretty much an open book.

BOM
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Old 10-16-2021, 11:10 AM   #2
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Default Re: I could use some perspective

Oh yeah,
Almost forgot.
Last week, T texted me, let me know that when I send her cards, packages, flowers, it is now causing her problems. Her Sis and BIL start asking all kinds of questions...telling her to forget CO, etc. Making things very uncomfortable for her.
She stated she hates it there and cant wait to get her own place.
Honestly, I've told her I would pay to bring her back here and let her stay with me till she could get her own place.
The only response I've received was, Thank you, I will think about it.

I've made the offer to bring her back here a couple times.

BOM
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Old 10-16-2021, 12:22 PM   #3
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Default Re: I could use some perspective

I'm going to share a few of my impressions.

I would not accept being someone's secret. Either they are with me and open about it, or they are not with me.

It doesn't sound like she's is ready to move on. People in general, know what they want and will be very clear about it. On the fence communication or vague language usually indicates either they don't know or an unwillingness to commit to anything.
Maybe she wasn't looking for financial support but needed emotional support through the divorce process.

Also, I can't wrap my head around that second part. If someone was sending me a care package, flowers, whatever...acts of love, I would never call that a problem. Like, how lucky is she to be receiving that from someone who genuinely cares about her? That is so sweet and endearing.

Honestly, I don't know her. Something seems off about this situation. I think you should listen to what your instincts, inner voice are saying.
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Old 10-16-2021, 12:39 PM   #4
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Default Re: I could use some perspective

Thanks Cinnamonsun,
That's the weird part, she seemed so sure of what she wanted up until right after our last conversation. There was never any hesitation. We were continuously on the same path, or at least from my perspective we were.
Also, it isn't that she is trying to keep me a secret so much as she doesn't want her family all up in her business. Her family knows I am/was in the picture. She just didn't share much about me...none of their business.
She was in her marriage/relationship for 23 years, lived away from her family the whole time...wasn't that close to them. Only went back because she thought it was a better way for her to start a new life for herself and her son.
I don't know. I'm confused.
Trying to respect the promise I made to her to not add pressure/stress. If I make a promise I keep it, but....

BOM
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Old 10-16-2021, 03:03 PM   #5
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Default Re: I could use some perspective

BOM, sad and hard as it might be seems like it's time to let go. Cinnamonsun might have hit on something that she was looking for emotional support through the divorce.

Something changed for her after the move. You may never know what, which is frustrating. She sounds like she does not want to continue your relationship.

All that said, don't give up on yourself. This does not have to be your last chance to dance. My mom's neighbor was in her 80s when she found love and marriage.
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Old 10-16-2021, 04:06 PM   #6
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Default Re: I could use some perspective

She's caught up in a new life and probably will not ultimately return to your state. Also, you are still legally married. At best, you are a friend only - not a relationship. Not until you tie up that loose end.

Finish the business at hand and you will probably have better luck with women. Personally I wouldn't be friends or anything else with someone who is legally married, even if they've been separated for years. Just a bad situation and it also says you leave stuff undone (in your life) and that's definitely not what most women are looking for.
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Old 10-16-2021, 04:39 PM   #7
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Default Re: I could use some perspective

I appreciate everyone's input.
Thanks,

BOM
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Old 10-18-2021, 01:26 PM   #8
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Default Re: I could use some perspective

If she wanted to stay connected she would find a way.

Her actions have been clear and consistent: she keeps away from you.

Maybe you will never know why this happened, maybe she doesn't even know herself.

Stop listening to her excuses for it.

I think you should move on from her.

Don't give up on yourself though. Get yourself a divorce and then put yourself out there again. You have a lot to offer. 🙂
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Old 10-18-2021, 04:32 PM   #9
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Default Re: I could use some perspective

Thanks Bill,

Msg received.

I won't seek a divorce till she reaches 65 and has access to mediare/medicaid and Social Security.

Yes, I know how most people feel about my approach, but it is what I choose to do.

BOM
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Old 10-18-2021, 04:44 PM   #10
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Default Re: I could use some perspective

Quote:
I won't seek a divorce till she reaches 65 and has access to medicare/medicaid and Social Security.
Oh!

Like I said, you have a lot to offer.
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Old 10-18-2021, 05:49 PM   #11
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Default Re: I could use some perspective

Quote:
Originally Posted by Broken Old Man View Post
I won't seek a divorce till she reaches 65 and has access to mediare/medicaid and Social Security.
BOM
BOM, for what it's worth I know someone else who did this for the very same reason.
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Old 10-18-2021, 05:58 PM   #12
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Default Re: I could use some perspective

BOM,

Here's another option if you wish to remain married to your wife but engage in a pseudo-monogamous relationship with someone else: consider polyamory. Even though your desires isn't polyamorous, by definition, that particular group (with might be considered the "+" in the LGBTQ community) might be able to offer you alternative solutions and perspectives. Right now, your feedback will most likely be monogamous-related, very conservative, very conventional. It sounds like you are open to more than that, and that you have other ideas. It also sounds like you have a big hear that cares about your wife, but for whatever reason, you don't feel it best to divorce your wife (or even legally separate). A therapist might be able to help you unpack all of these interpersonal relationship struggles along with your current situations regarding multiple partners - one being your non-sexual marital partner and the other(s) being whomever you're dating.

If your dating pool comprises only those who are monogamous and conservative, they are likely not going to have the same values and understanding as you, which will inevitably end the relationship before it has a chance to flourish - which is what it seems like you're experiencing. Even if you're meeting others on the rebound, or others caught up in marital problems, or others caught up in divorce problems, custody battles, financial troubles, medical issues, and the like, you've got to ask what it is you are attracting or being attracted to, what it is you're seeking, and whether or not the people whom you are seeking will have a high likelihood of agreeing with your idea of romantic relationships and, overall, sexuality. Polyamorous groups might consider your needs more than mainstream monogamous groups, so that might be one option.

But if you are monogamous and conservative, then the other option is to seek care for yourself, and know that the dating scene is tough - especially during a pandemic, and especially as we age! Perhaps you truly do want a singular relationship but don't know how to divorce your current wife out of some repressed guilt that you feel - for whatever reason. You honestly don't owe her anything.

That said, I recall you mentioning spiritual beliefs as a motivator for some areas in your life, including helping out people and your wife. If that's the case, a pastoral counselor with at least an M.Div. or Ph.D. in Divinity will be able to greatly help you! I may know of one in a different state, but very close to your state, if you accept private messages. Or you can reach out to a local church within your denomination or non-denominational stance and seek out counseling there. Some of those counselors have also studied psychology and trauma (such as the one I'm thinking of), but they are not psychologists since their focus is on spiritual needs and practices. If you seek guidance to know whether or not you're in the right spiritual path with dating, with your wife, with it all, seek out a few pastoral counselors - the more the merrier in this case, since it's not like singular psychotherapy; it's often short-term. Find out what works best for you in that regard and then go from there.

Perhaps a psychotherapist could help you individually with interpersonal relationships, especially concerning aging issues, transition issues, this ongoing pandemic, your pre-retirement years planning, your concern for being alone during your last years of your life, geriatric issues that might concern you, etc. If you're hoping that your wife will be there for you eventually, or if you are projecting onto your wife that which you fear the most - being alone and therefore not wanting to leave your wife alone - then that's also an issue you can address in psychotherapy. Psychotherapy isn't just about people with mental illnesses; it's also about dealing with short-term mental health issues related to relationships, careers, adjustment issues, etc.

Hopefully I said something that will help to point you in the right direction. If not, then maybe something opposite to what I said might help point you in the right direction, LOL. I'm okay with being wrong, too.

I just hope you hang in there and do a lot of self-care while you're dealing with these challenges. Find time to also enjoy something about you alone, while you're also seeking companionship!

You're not alone in the struggle, my veteran brother! Hang in there!
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Old 10-18-2021, 07:46 PM   #13
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Default Re: I could use some perspective

Thank you Sprinkles,

I honestly have no interest in the polyamory world. One of the ladies that used to work for me is a member of that community. She is open about it, would probably welcome me into her little corner of the world. Just not for me. Nothing against that lifestyle for those that lean that way, just not me.

Regarding talking to a spiritual leader, also not my bag of tea. Yes, I am a spiritual person, but my spirituality centers on my own relationship with my own God. I don't need some other human trying to tell me what I feel or believe in that regard.

I have been to therapy and it helped a lot. I wouldn't be where I am at today if not for the T I had a few years ago. We did discuss relationships a lot. I'm good with where I'm att.

The good people here, yourself included bring forward what I've known all along. I've got a LOT of baggage. Honestly, Molinit, hit the nail on the head and I aprpeciate being reminded of that.

I have no intentions of reconciling with the wife....none. At the same time, because of a conversation God and I had some 12 to 15 years ago, I do feel an obligation/responsibility to take care of her. We could all psycho analyze that from now till the cows come home, but it is my belief. I choose to do what I believe God wants me to do, and what I believe is right.

That said, any woman I have met had known from day one my current situation. I've never hid it, have been very open about it. They said they understood and were ok with it. Now, saying and being are two different things. I get that.

Concerning the lady that this thread was started about, I came to the conclusion this weekend that the best thing I can do is just be her friend for now. She is going through a major transition, which isn't going anything like she anticipated, and the last thing she needs is someone trying to engage in a romantic relationship. Things might change, things might now, but as you say, in the meantime I need to focus on me and take care of me. I'm aware of that and I'm doing that.

For those that mentioned it, I'm NOT giving up on myself. I've been alone most of my life. I'm ok alone. Yes, some companionship would be nice from time to time, but I don't need it to survive.

I'll be fine.

Besides, I've found these forums and maybe I can be of some use here.

I do appreciate everyone's feedback/thoughts/suggestions.

BOM
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Old 10-18-2021, 08:04 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Broken Old Man View Post
Thank you Sprinkles,

I honestly have no interest in the polyamory world. One of the ladies that used to work for me is a member of that community. She is open about it, would probably welcome me into her little corner of the world. Just not for me. Nothing against that lifestyle for those that lean that way, just not me.

Regarding talking to a spiritual leader, also not my bag of tea. Yes, I am a spiritual person, but my spirituality centers on my own relationship with my own God. I don't need some other human trying to tell me what I feel or believe in that regard.

I have been to therapy and it helped a lot. I wouldn't be where I am at today if not for the T I had a few years ago. We did discuss relationships a lot. I'm good with where I'm att.

The good people here, yourself included bring forward what I've known all along. I've got a LOT of baggage. Honestly, Molinit, hit the nail on the head and I aprpeciate being reminded of that.

I have no intentions of reconciling with the wife....none. At the same time, because of a conversation God and I had some 12 to 15 years ago, I do feel an obligation/responsibility to take care of her. We could all psycho analyze that from now till the cows come home, but it is my belief. I choose to do what I believe God wants me to do, and what I believe is right.

That said, any woman I have met had known from day one my current situation. I've never hid it, have been very open about it. They said they understood and were ok with it. Now, saying and being are two different things. I get that.

Concerning the lady that this thread was started about, I came to the conclusion this weekend that the best thing I can do is just be her friend for now. She is going through a major transition, which isn't going anything like she anticipated, and the last thing she needs is someone trying to engage in a romantic relationship. Things might change, things might now, but as you say, in the meantime I need to focus on me and take care of me. I'm aware of that and I'm doing that.

For those that mentioned it, I'm NOT giving up on myself. I've been alone most of my life. I'm ok alone. Yes, some companionship would be nice from time to time, but I don't need it to survive.

I'll be fine.

Besides, I've found these forums and maybe I can be of some use here.

I do appreciate everyone's feedback/thoughts/suggestions.

BOM
BOM,

I totally understand your not wanting the spiritual advice. I suggested it, but honestly, I think the same way you do - I have my own spiritual beliefs, and I don't go to any organization.

I'm glad you were able to make a decision about your current situation/relationship.

I'm also glad you haven't given up.

I'm content being alone, but I'm open to possibilities.

I'm glad you are finding support here, and offering a lot of support to others, including me (thank you!).

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Old 10-18-2021, 08:06 PM   #15
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Default Re: I could use some perspective

Honestly you donít really know her that well. There might be ton of reasons for her doing this or that. I also think you might have come in too strong. You barely know her yet offered to pay for her tickets, offered to support her, offered to move her in, sent cards and packages and you literally barely know her. I know you mean well but for many women it would come across as love bombing and would be rather unsettling and might even seem dangerous. I recommend to proceed slowly when you meet new dating prospects.

I personally would probably block a man if he said he is going to look up my sister especially if I barely knew him. It all sounds very intense and somewhat scary. Again not your intentions of course but I am pretty certain things like that creeped her out

You have a lot to offer but you might scare people off before they give you a chance.
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Old 10-18-2021, 08:27 PM   #16
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Default Re: I could use some perspective

Divine,
Thank you for your feedback,

You may well be right. However prior to her moving out of state, we spent hours talking. She knew exactly where I was coming from. Nothing I did should have been a surprise. I entered the relationship/friendship with her promising her one thing...blunt honesty. I hid nothing. She is the one that insisted that even though she was moving out of state, she knew we could make this work. Not trying to take shots at her...just stating facts.

Still, I can really only speak for myself. People are people. We have no control or real understanding of anyone but ourselves.

LIfe goes on. As I said, I've decided that the best I can do for her at this point is just be her friend.

BOM
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Old 10-20-2021, 10:45 AM   #17
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Default Re: I could use some perspective

It seems like she needs to get her life sorted out first. There is to be a lot on her plate and it feels overwhelming.

I would back off / give her space a (it seems she is not even sure what she might want right now?) and move on with your life.
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Old 10-20-2021, 12:43 PM   #18
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Default Re: I could use some perspective

Thank you Rive,

I guess when I posted my original, I pretty much knew what you just said...just needed perspective, which everyone here gave.

A couple days ago I let her know that from this point forward, I would still be her friend, but no longer focus on anything else.

Told her that when/if she ever wanted to be more than friends, let me know.

Appreciate everyone's feedback.

BOM

Last edited by Broken Old Man; 10-20-2021 at 01:05 PM..
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