Dear Amy: I am a 51-year-old woman. My husband died two years ago.
I started talking to a man through an online game. It started out as mild flirtation. I asked him if he was married. He told me his marriage was basically over. He hadn't felt anything for his wife in a while. I thought that was a safe answer, and we decided to meet in person. I felt like we had known each other forever.
We've "been together" for seven months, and he is still with his wife. We don't get to see each other very often, but he calls me every day. He tells me he needs time to think about how to get out of his marriage without losing everything he's worked for.
He also has a job where he is required to live in his city, so moving in with me is not an option. I have a 13-year-old daughter at home.
My adult sons are happy that I found someone, but are not happy that he is married.
He has brought me so much happiness when I was going through so much darkness. I don't think I'm rebounding.
Everyone tells me he won't leave his wife, but he doesn't even sleep with her. There is no love in their marriage.
How long is too long to wait for someone to make up his mind?
Amy says: People who are rebounding usually don't realize it. That is the self-deluding magic of a romantic rebound.
When someone says that his marriage is "basically over," one response is: "Well, when it is actually over, I hope you'll let me know."
He is "basically" committing adultery. This is not what steady, reliable, honest and loving people do.
If your daughter liked a guy in middle school who already had a girlfriend, would you tell her to charge ahead, regardless? Are you modeling positive relationship behavior? Make no mistake — she is watching.
Because you are willing to be in this relationship, he has little incentive to change.
For you, this relationship dangles unfulfilled promises, and over time, your own self-esteem will take a hit. I predict that whatever timeline you impose, he will find reasons to extend it.
This relationship seems to have pulled you back to life after your husband's death. I hope you will take this experience and use it to meet other people who are more available to be in a committed relationship with you.
Mom has new love
Dear Amy: My wife left the house and our kids (and me) four months ago.
She left us to be with a new man, and things seem to be getting very serious. She's trying to have the children be OK with her new choice.
I have tried to let her know that it is too soon for them to be introduced to her new love interest. I have even sent her articles on how detrimental this is for our children.
What do I say to my children to try to prevent any future issues and have them grow up as "normally" as possible?
Amy says: You don't mention the age of your kids, but, aside from what is going on with them, you should make sure that you and your wife have a legal separation agreement, with custody arrangements.
I agree that it is probably too soon for your children to absorb that their mother has bounced away from them (and you), and into another serious relationship. If she has visitation, you likely cannot prevent her from making this introduction, and so you should do everything you can to mitigate any fallout.
Don't pump the kids for information. Make sure the kids know that whatever they encounter with their mother's mixed-up life, you are their calm, steady, stalwart and supportive dad.
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