Welcome to the
Marriage Builders® Discussion Forum

This is a community where people come in search of marriage related support, answers, or encouragement. Also, information about the Marriage Builders principles can be found in the books available for sale in the Marriage Builders® Bookstore.
If you would like to join our discussion forum, please read the Announcement Forum for instructions, rules, & guidelines.
The members of this community are peers and not professionals. Professional coaching is available by clicking on the link titled Coaching Center at the top of this page.
We trust that you will find the Marriage Builders® Discussion Forum to be a helpful resource for you. We look forward to your participation.
Once you have reviewed all the FAQ, tech support and announcement information, if you still have problems that are not addressed, please e-mail the administrators at mbrestored@gmail.com
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,701
M
Member
OP Offline
Member
M
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,701
OK, my divorce has been final for a couple of years now, I really did work at trying to save my marriage, and WXH shows no signs of wanting another chance...

So I'm now getting (finally) to the point that I think it is time to move on now without any further hope of reunion with WXH.

My dilemma is that I'm pretty sure that once I do become involved with a new man then, and only then, my WXH will become interested in me again. But I would never use another man to try to get my WXH interested in me. And in all honesty if that is the only way my WXH would want me again, then that's simply not good enough for me anyway.

Part of me worries about WXH and how he will react when he realizes it's too late. His pattern is to only want what he can't have...

Last edited by meremortal; 01/02/08 03:10 PM.
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 4,345
A
Member
Offline
Member
A
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 4,345
Welcome to the board, MM. Two years is certainly long enough to "heal" from the divorce (in most cases). Assuming you have gotten over the divorce and your XH, you should be in good shape.

But I find it a little odd that you still are considering the possibility that your dating may get your XH to want you back. I dunno, it just gives me a feeling that perhaps you are still not over him? Because if you were totally over him, I would think that you really wouldn't give a rat's butt as to how he reacts to it - so would you consider taking him back if he asked you to? Has he dated at all in the past two years?

It does sound like a dilemma, and I certainly don't know how to answer it. But then again, you can't live the rest of your life in suspense of how your XH will react to your actions; that is living in the past. At some point, when you are ready, you have to start living for the future. But only you know when that day comes.

AGG


Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,531
T
Member
Offline
Member
T
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,531
I think your real dilemma is whether your are ready to let WXH go or not. If you got involved with a new man and he became interested in you again, will that affect you? Because if it does, that's hardly fair to the new man, is it?

That said, before you even worry about involvement with a new man you might be better off to start out just dating and making friends with different men. You don't need to get "involved" with anyone just yet, especially if you think WXH might react in a way that affects you (i.e. where you might be tempted to go back to him).

Disclaimer: Just in case anyone jumps on my because I'm slanting this away from M recovery, I'm basing this on the thread title that she's ready to move on. It looks more like she's ready to "think" about moving on rather than actually doing it.

Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 171
A
Member
Offline
Member
A
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 171
I would advise searching for "Letting Go" on Google, and printing and reading the articles you find there.

Then take action.

No sense waiting for someone who left you to maybe come back.


"Sell 'crazy' someplace else, we're all stocked up here." ~ Melvin Udall
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,712
M
Member
Offline
Member
M
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,712
MM,

I worried about the same thing. But it wasnt until I fully let go (not, let go because I wanted my wife back...but just, let go!), that God was able to get her back to me.

By letting go, you are leaving the future up to God. And trusting Him to guide your ways. You cant lose that way, no matter what you ex does.


Standing in His Presence

FBS (me) (48)
FWW (41)
Married April 1993...
4 kids (19(B), 17(G), 14(B), 4(B))
Blessed by God more than I deserve
"If Jesus is your co-pilot...you need to change seats!"

Link: The Roles of Husbands and Wives
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,701
M
Member
OP Offline
Member
M
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,701
"But I find it a little odd that you still are considering the possibility that your dating may get your XH to want you back. I dunno, it just gives me a feeling that perhaps you are still not over him? Because if you were totally over him, I would think that you really wouldn't give a rat's butt as to how he reacts to it - so would you consider taking him back if he asked you to? Has he dated at all in the past two years?"

I don't feel totally over him and don't know when I will... I do realize that getting involved may help me 'feel' over him more... at least temporarily... but I don't want to use another man that way and don't want to get involved with a new man until I am sure I am over WXH for good. Hence my non-involvement to date. I do however feel less and less for my WXH and am finally starting to believe it is possible to someday not feel anything like desire for him anymore.

And the caring about how he will react is getting less and less a factor for me too. He is currently in a self-pity stage where he is pretending that he needs to recover from the divorce... he's saying the same sort of stuff to his family and our daughters that he said about his first wife leaving him (years before I even met him)... he's spinning it as if the divorce happened to him instead of him insisting on it after cheating on me.

Also, all I have to do is remember how horribly cruel he was to me and our daughters to counter any concern for how he will take it when I meet a new man.

As to taking him back if he asked: I doubt seriously he will ask that UNLESS he gets jealous about me being with a new man. And I would want to be sure before then that I would never consider taking him back. And even if he asked before I got involved with another man I doubt seriously he would be willing to make any of the changes that would be needed in order for me to trust him enough to give him another chance. I would have to see major changes over an EXTENDED period of time first... I can't even tell you how many years of positive efforts from him it would take LOL.

And as each day, week, month...year has ticked by, the more ticked off I've become and less likely to want to give him another chance someday. I mean I can see now just how little I meant to him compared to other people, his ego, his reputation, etc. And when I think about how little our daughters mean to him I don't think I can ever completely understand that let alone get over it to the point that reconciliation would be possible. The more time has gone by, both my hope and the chances of recovery have diminished.

I think I'm getting very close now to the point where I will no longer have any interest in reconciliation even if by some miracle WXH finally says and does ALL that he needs to.

It's just I am SO SURE that WXH has interpreted my not dating as more time for him to put off any recovery attempt, and/or he won't realize he wants me until he knows he has lost me to another.

But I will say that is much less a concern for me now than it was in the past. Hopefully there will come a time when I will not care at all what reaction my WXH will have to my dating. And IMHO THAT will be the appropriate time to start dating, right?

Last edited by meremortal; 01/03/08 08:02 AM.
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,701
M
Member
OP Offline
Member
M
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,701
MortarMan -

I totally agree:

"I worried about the same thing. But it wasnt until I fully let go (not, let go because I wanted my wife back...but just, let go!), that God was able to get her back to me.
By letting go, you are leaving the future up to God. And trusting Him to guide your ways. You cant lose that way, no matter what you ex does."

This is how I feel about it most of the time now - that it is all up to God and that WHATEVER God decides is fine with me!

I have put off offers from men for years now and don't really have any intention of getting involved with any of the men who are currently interested in me right now anyway.

I KNOW my WXH's has interperted my not dating yet as either no man being that interested in me and/or I'm still so interested in WXH that I may still cave to reconciliation his way... But neither of those false assumptions are true of course LOL.

I think it will come as a big shock to WXH when he finally realizes otherwise.

The truth is most of the time now I'm hoping God does NOT want me and my WXH to reconcile! It would be such a big gamble, too much to ask of me IMHO. AND it would take so many years of reconciliation efforts on my WXH's part, which he hasn't even started yet, before I could rust him ebnough to give him another chance, that I would be basically consigning myself to being alone for the rest of my life just so that MAYBE he would finally prove himself trustworthy enough to get another chance...

Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,531
T
Member
Offline
Member
T
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,531
So why not just go on a few dates? Some men have shown interest already - why not meet one of them for dinner? One or 2 dates does not a lifetime commitment make, nor does it even constitute involvement.

Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 11,245
C
Member
Offline
Member
C
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 11,245
I don't know your case well, but from the clues you've given, he was/is an abusive personality. Unless he has hit rock bottom - nothing left to live for in life, etc. - he will not change one iota for you because, in his mind, anything that went wrong was completely your fault. Abusers are never at fault; they are perpetual victims.

Therefore, you are still, IMO, acting in your abusee mode. I urge you to read "Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men" by Lundy Bancroft (http://www.amazon.com/Why-Does-He-That-Controlling/dp/0425191656). Also, look up tally's thread. You will see what sounds to me like similar behavior (hers and yours) and a tendency to be willing to give up any progress just to have the man back.

I'm not trying to diss on you, it just scares me that your posts sound so much like you've spent this time just waiting for him to wise up and come and sweep you off your feet once again while, most likely, he hasn't given you ten minutes' thought in that time. Sorry to be so blunt, but your comments scared me, for your sake.

Have you done any work on yourself in that time? You sound a little bit like a codependent personality, in that you've remained separate from men but you're still waiting for the romance - whoever it comes from - to come in and take over for you. FOO issues? Studied your patterns to make sure you don't pick the same type of person?

Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,701
M
Member
OP Offline
Member
M
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,701
"So why not just go on a few dates? Some men have shown interest already - why not meet one of them for dinner? One or 2 dates does not a lifetime commitment make, nor does it even constitute involvement."

I of course turned down all offers before the divorce was final. AND those men who were willing to date me when I was still a married woman are of no interest to me now either.

Then for a while after the divorce was final I was still open to reconciliation so I was not going to date a man just to try to make my WXH jealous or to lead a man on.

Even now, when I'm feeling that there is really no sense in waiting any longer for my WXH and I am closer to moving on, I don't exactly feel any sense of desparation or hurry LOL.

I'm fine with being by myself most of the time. Plus I've become EXTREMELY picky now too. I will be much more careful the next time arund. In all honesty I'd rather stay alone than to marry another loser... or to settle and then later meet somebody better.

I know a lot of people date people they know they are not really interested in long term. I've never been that way. Even when I was young I didn't really date. There have only been a few men I've met in my whole life that I was interested in really. I didn't go out on dates very often and when I did it was only because I did believe there was a possibility of it becoming meaningful.

Also, I prefer group activites and then 'courting', to dating. I don't want to 'date' in the common sense. I meet men who are interested in me just from my normal activities and involvements. I was never an advocate of the typical way women try to meet men: going to bars, blind dates, match-maker internet sites, etc. Dating is so artificial IMHO and is something I would prefer to defer until engagement and marriage.

Last edited by meremortal; 01/03/08 07:37 AM.
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,701
M
Member
OP Offline
Member
M
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,701
"I don't know your case well, but from the clues you've given, he was/is an abusive personality."

Yes, he is. The family counselor said he's sociopathic.

"Unless he has hit rock bottom - nothing left to live for in life, etc. - he will not change one iota for you because, in his mind, anything that went wrong was completely your fault. Abusers are never at fault; they are perpetual victims."

Yup - My concern is that once I do get involved with a new man then, and ONLY then, will he have hit rock bottom and realize/regret enough to change. We were together for a long time and we have children together. So like it or not, logical or not, I DO still feel some sense of concern for him. Plus because he is the father of my daughters I have concerns about how well he can handle it when he finally realizes (too late?) because of the effect his reaction could have on them.

"Therefore, you are still, IMO, acting in your abusee mode. I urge you to read "Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men" by Lundy Bancroft (http://www.amazon.com/Why-Does-He-That-Controlling/dp/0425191656). Also, look up tally's thread. You will see what sounds to me like similar behavior (hers and yours) and a tendency to be willing to give up any progress just to have the man back."

I appreciate your concern but you are way off-base here. I most certainly am not in any way still a victim of his abuse. I have done tons of research over literally decades in how/why such men behave. And I most certainly have no intention whatsoever of giving up any inch of progress just to have him back!!! In fact that's a major reason why he is not with me now - because I was unwilling to accept his numerous recovery offers on his twisted terms.

"I'm not trying to diss on you, it just scares me that your posts sound so much like you've spent this time just waiting for him to wise up and come and sweep you off your feet once again while, most likely, he hasn't given you ten minutes' thought in that time. Sorry to be so blunt, but your comments scared me, for your sake."

I get what you're saying but it's not like that at all. I am a very busy and mostly happy person. I am so onto his 'sweeping you off your feet' routine that his charm lost it's effect on me a loooong time ago. He's already tried that many times to no avail. He knows I expect real changes and real committment. And as I already stated what I would need to see from him, and the length of time I would need to see him exhibiting those changes, makes recovery practically impossible.

I also realize he probably hasn't given me much thought since the divorce. BUT I am willing to bet, not based on any false hope or desire on my part, but on how well I know him, that once he realizes that I am with another man he will finally regret and want another chance. I assure you I am in no danger of being conned back into a false recovery with him LOL. It's more likely that even if he really does want to do a real recovery someday I won't be willing to - whether or nto I'm involved with a new man.

Also, my reasons for not getting involved with another man are not all about my WXH. Before the divorce was final and even for a while afterwards I was still open to reconciliation (BUT only a REAL recovery - NOT another false one). So of course I was not interested in getting involved with another man yet. I wanted to know that I had done all I could to restore my marriage before moving on. That had more to do with my morals and responsibilities to our children than it did to wanting to give my WH another chance, or to wanting him back.

"Have you done any work on yourself in that time?"

Oodles! I started back to work, took a class to update my skills in the career I used to have, updated my resume, and have lots of friends, hobbies, and volunteer activities.

"You sound a little bit like a codependent personality, in that you've remained separate from men but you're still waiting for the romance - whoever it comes from - to come in and take over for you."

Actually I never was the man-hunting, or had to have a man in my life, type. I am pretty content to be alone. I have several reasons for not dating that have nothing to do with my WXH. I am SO not waiting for ANY man to come in and take over anything in my life LOL! I sort of like not having to POJA with a man before making decisions. If/when I remarry it will have to be with somebody who already agrees with a lot of the things that are important to me.

"FOO issues?"

I don't know what that means.

"Studied your patterns to make sure you don't pick the same type of person?"

ABSOLUTELY!

Last edited by meremortal; 01/03/08 07:44 AM.
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 4,345
A
Member
Offline
Member
A
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 4,345
Quote:

I'm fine with being by myself most of the time. Plus I've become EXTREMELY picky now too. I will be much more careful the next time arund. In all honesty I'd rather stay alone than to marry another loser... or to settle and then later meet somebody better.




This is an awesome attitude, and if you truly feel this way, you are way ahead of most new-to-dating post-divorce folks (me included at the time). No better motto than "I'd rather be alone than wishing I were alone".

Quote:

Dating is so artificial IMHO and is something I would prefer to defer until engagement and marriage.




Maybe it's a terminology issue, but I would tend to postpone engagement and marriage until after dating, not the other way around. "Dating" (the way I define it) is a process of getting to know the other person really REALLY well, over a long period of time, to assess compatibility under many circumstances. Starting relationships after a first or second meeting (i.e. going steady) tends to put the cart ahead of the horse - exclusivity implies a "commitment" of sorts, and why would you want to have that with someone you hardly know? So my advice would be to go on dates (I don't know if that is different from "dating") and see how you interact with a number of those dates - I'd shoot for meeting several men that way (not all at once, mind you). And take your time before deciding to "go steady" with any of them.

I have seen many people come through here (myself included, again), thinking that they don't need such experience of meeting 10-15 people, that they can "tell" if someone is "the one" - in most cases, that does not work. As we mature through life, our lifestyles become more entrenched, we have kids, houses, careers, so the fit becomes much more difficult than meeting someone in college. It's really hard to tell if someone is "the one" until you spend a lot of time with them, and until then, I would not commit to exclusivity.

Anyway, all I am saying is that you are a long way from even thinking about engagement and marriage - do some dating first (I don't mean "sleeping around" by "dating", I mean meet different people), and see where that takes you.

AGG


Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,701
M
Member
OP Offline
Member
M
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,701
Maybe I should clarify what I mean by 'dating':

"It's really hard to tell if someone is "the one" until you spend a lot of time with them, and until then, I would not commit to exclusivity."

This I agree with. I just don't buy into the notion that spending time alone with a man enables me to get to know him better than spending time with him in a more normal group setting. IMHO dating itself is a level of exclusivity that I reserve for my fiance or husband. I prefer to spend a lot of time with a lot of different men as a natural part of real life. That IMHO is a good way to get to really know what the men are like.

I DO meet lots of men already in my life, men who are interested in me, so I don't really see the need to employ artificial or somewhat desperate tactics such as I see others using to try to meet somebody. I guess I just never saw the point of that - it seems so artificial IMHO. I prefer to just meet people through my normal lifestyle and activities.

And I don't see any point in spending one-on-one time with a man if I don't desire anything long-term with him. There are plenty of opportunites to get to know somebody in group settings and through normal activities. In fact because 'dating' in the typical sense is so artificial, IMHO it probably prevents getting to really know the other person better. I prefer to see how men behave in their real life than their faky dating behavior. You can get to know somebody's friends, family, coworkers, etc. a lot better when you spend time with them around those people instead of on a one-on-one date with them. I want to see what they're really like, the way they normally behave around people who know them well.

I don't want to spend romantic, dating-type time alone with a variety of men... only with my husband or a man I'm engaged to. If a man doesn't like me when he sees me in my real life, around my family and friends, enough to want to marry me, then I'm not interested in him anyway.

I did go on a few dates before I was married and IMHO it's highly overrated and made me feel sort of uncomfortable. Again, this is probably partly because dating behavior is often not natural behavior - you're only seeing your date in a brief and artificially positive way.

IMHO dating is part of the reason why there are so many divorces. It sets up unrealistic expectations that can't possibly be maintained once the honeymoon is over. I have no desire to sample the flirting and seduction techniques of a wide variety of males LOL. I'm actually not even interested in men who want to date a wide variety of women. What would interest me is a man who is busy being himself: growing, learning, giving, volunteering, working, and who has not spent a lot of time dating women he had no intention of building a committed future with.

It's not that I am opposed to romance, dating, honeymooning once a committment is made. I guess the list of things I reserve for my future husband is just longer than others'?

BTW, I realize this may sound foreign to many who have accepted the dating leads to going steady, which leads to engagement, which leads to marriage... assumption. I understrand that many people simply assume their is no other way to meet somebody and get to knwo them well enough to marry them. But among my friends and acquaintances this concept of getting to know people in normal group seetings, and then courting versus dating, is not some strange, misunderstood concept. Many people I know completely understand it is not only possible but preferable to avoid the whole dating before engagement scene.

I'm not saying this to offend anyone else or to try to impose my beliefs on others. It's just what I choose for myself.

BTW, I've had no problem meeting and getting to know plenty of men in group settings. I've even gotten to know several of them well enough for them to express a desire to get married. I didn't have to spend time alone with them for that to happen LOL.

Last edited by meremortal; 01/02/08 08:51 PM.
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 4,345
A
Member
Offline
Member
A
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 4,345
I completely support the idea of meeting men in normal group settings, and seeing them through normal interactions, before jumping into "romance". Sounds like a good plan.

And I take no offense at your plan to not date in the "traditional" or "romantic" way. However, I do question these points:

Quote:


I don't want to spend romantic, dating-type time alone with a variety of men... only with my husband or a man I'm engaged to.




Quote:

It's not that I am opposed to romance, dating, honeymooning once a committment is made.




Quote:

Many people I know completely understand it is not only possible but preferable to avoid the whole dating before engagement scene.




Quote:

I've even gotten to know several of them well enough for them to express a desire to get married.




I don't quite understand how someone can make a commitment without some one-on-one interactions, and, yes, some romance? For instance, what if you take the plunge only to find that your new beau has no interest in affection (assuming it's important to you)?

See, I think that the problem with marriages ending in diovorce is not that people "date", but that they don't really understand ENs and compatibility, and don't ponder whether they can mutually meet ENs and are compatible. They get married, only to find major incompatibilities later on. And I think the idea of postponing romance until after the engagement creates the same risk - what if you are not compatible romantically? That is one of the biggest compatibility dimensions, IMO.

Anyway, just trying to offer some food for thought, not to imply that I have "the answer" .

AGG


Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,701
M
Member
OP Offline
Member
M
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,701
"Maybe it's a terminology issue, but I would tend to postpone engagement and marriage until after dating, not the other way around."

To me, the behavior typically described as dating, spending time alone with a possible mate in romantic settings, acting as if we are a couple (if only for the evening) is not something I want to do with a man I do not ALREADY know VERY well from having spent a LOT of time with him in group settings and in normal real-life situations; AND even then if I didn't already know that we each were interested in a something permanent, with each other, then I would have no desire to spend time alone with him anyway.

"Dating" (the way I define it) is a process of getting to know the other person really REALLY well, over a long period of time, to assess compatibility under many circumstances."

I agree. I just haven't seen much evidence that one-on-one dating achieves that. I currently know several single men, some of which are interested in me, and I have been able to get to know some of them really REALLY well without going on a single date with any of them. Maybe it's a difference of opinion about how we each define getting to know a person really REALLY well? The things I want to know about a person can quite easily be learned by spending time with them in group settings and observing them interact with the people in their daily lives and normal settings. Seeing how a man behaves while on a date doesn't really tell much about what he'd be like to live with IMHO.

"Starting relationships after a first or second meeting (i.e. going steady) tends to put the cart ahead of the horse"

I also agree with this statement. I would never consider starting a relationship with a man I've only met once or twice! I prefer to observe a person for a longer period of time, to really get to know them as a friend first, before I would ever consider something more permanent. I have known some people who because they didn't believe in having sex before marriage, hurried to marry somebody who was practically a stranger (one of my sisters did this). I'm not talking about that LOL. Even when there is a certain chemistry and immediate mutual attraction, I see no reason to rush things. I still want to see the person in normal, natural surroundings for a while first. Often the initial attraction quickly dissipates and I am quite relieved that I did not 'date' the person and instead can continue comfortably as friends!

"exclusivity implies a "commitment" of sorts, and why would you want to have that with someone you hardly know?"

I agree with this too. Dating to me is a level of exclusivity that I don't share with somebody I hardly know. On a typical date the two people are alone together, excluding their family, friends, coworkers, church family, etc. Also, on a typical date the setting is falsely romantic and intimate, a pretended 'coupleness' with somebody who is practically still a stranger. And the setting is usually anything but real-life situations. So I have never found such dating to be very useful in getting to really know what somebody is really like. Basically all that is learned is how skilled your date is at dating.

"So my advice would be to go on dates (I don't know if that is different from "dating") and see how you interact with a number of those dates - I'd shoot for meeting several men that way (not all at once, mind you). And take your time before deciding to "go steady" with any of them."

It's not that I don't take my time LOL. I wouldn't accept a marriage proposal from a man I barely know. The difference is I prefer to 'date' and spend time with a man in group and natural settings.

"I have seen many people come through here (myself included, again), thinking that they don't need such experience of meeting 10-15 people, that they can "tell" if someone is "the one" - in most cases, that does not work."

Again I agree. Part of the reason I'm in no hurry is because I realize I may not have even met my future husband yet. Plus out of the men I do know, I'm still observing and learning about them. Because I avoid the whole one-on-one dating, one man at a time thing, I can more easily meet and get to know several men at once while reserving for my future husband the exclusivity of 'dating'. For example, my daughters and I are ballroom dancers. I feel sorry for the women who go to the dances with a 'date' because they usually don't get to dance very much, end up staying home if they can't find a date, tend to scare men away with their trying to find a date/mate agenda, and the guys they date usually don't end up marrying them anyway. I have more fun, get to dance more, and meet more men, by going to dances without a date.

"As we mature through life, our lifestyles become more entrenched, we have kids, houses, careers, so the fit becomes much more difficult than meeting someone in college."

This is one of the major reasons I want to spend time with men during the course of daily life - both mine and theirs - rather than on 'dates'. I prefer to meet men through our kids' activities, in the neighborhood, at work, at church, at volunteer and social activities. That way I can observe how they behave when they are not on a date - what they are really like in their real life. And they can see what I'm really like in my real life too.

"It's really hard to tell if someone is "the one" until you spend a lot of time with them, and until then, I would not commit to exclusivity."

I guess dating itself is a level of exclusivity that I reserve for a man I already have gotten to know very well AND has already indicated he wants more than just dating?
And knowing that it's pretty common to have an initial attraction to a person that can quickly fade once you get to know them more is one of the many reasons I do not date.

Some men I know I felt attracted to at first but not anymore. Others I feel attracted to sometimes... And others I feel more attracted to as I get to know them more.
Conversely there are men who seemed intially attracted to me, flirted with me, but quickly lost interest and moved on to their next target if I didn't respond instantly. As I see them use the same lines on other women that they tried on me I'm relieved I didn't encourage them LOL. There are some guys who soemtimes seem interested in me but at other times are just friends. Some potential there - who knows? But it's really the men in the last category - the ones who seem more interested in me the longer they know me, seeing me acting like my real self, that have the most potential IMHO.

IF I ever remarry I don't want to lose myself in order to get or keep a man. I'd honestly rather be alone than do that again.

"Anyway, all I am saying is that you are a long way from even thinking about engagement and marriage"

LOL I somehow gave you the false impression that I would be willing to get engaged or married quickly, to a man I barely know.

"do some dating first (I don't mean "sleeping around" by "dating", I mean meet different people), and see where that takes you."

I think the confusion is that you maybe assumed that by saying I wouldn't date a man I wasn't engaged or married to that I would therefore engage or marry a man I didn't knwo vey well? If/when I marry again it will be to a man I have known for some time, spent a LOT of time with in group settings, then started dating when we became engaged, then married. And I wouldn't want the engagement to be extremely short either. In addition to dating during the engagement period I would want to go to pre-marital counseling, discuss money management, POJA, and stuff like that first.

And I wouldn't sleep with a man I wasn't married to either.

Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,701
M
Member
OP Offline
Member
M
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,701
"No sense waiting for someone who left you to maybe come back."

I fully realized that the likelihood of my WXH ever coming back was slim at best.

And actually, I can't imagine WXH even agreeing to what I would expect in order for recovery. And that list has only grown longer with time LOL!

My reasons for refraining from 'dating' were only partly related to waiting for WXH to want reconciliation.

However, it is advised to not get involved with somebody new after divorce. I certainly wasn't interested in a rebound or revenge relationship. I was married a long time and the length of the marriage affects the length of time it takes to recover enough before getting involved with somebody new. I was waiting for my own benefit too - not necessarily JUST waiting for my WXH to return.

Besides I have met and gotten to know several men during that time since the divorce. There's a lot you can learn about men without having to be alone with them on a date.

Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,701
M
Member
OP Offline
Member
M
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,701
"Has he dated at all in the past two years?"

My guess is yes he probably has. I really don't know.

But in any case, that has nothing to do with my decisions.

If he hasn't dated he has still stubbornly refused to take responsibility for the adultery/divorce and failed to initiate a genuine recovery effort.

If he has dated, my personal reasons for not dating still apply.

We were married 25 years. I've read it takes one year of recovery for each 5 years of marriage. That isn't affected by what the X is up to, BTW. We were separated for a couple of years and have been divorced for a couple of years now. I didn't want to get involved with a new man before stabilizing myself first. Even if my WXH and the OW had stayed together and gotten married my personal recovery time would still have been based on the length of my marriage, right? Again, this is not entirely because I was waiting for WXH to come home.

Also, the way I prefer to get to know men can be done without dating anyway. So it's not like I've been waiting to meet and consider other men as a possibility for the future.

The offers I turned down before the divorce was final were from men I would not consider now because they obviously didn't get what would be wrong with dating a married woman!
Of the men who've shown interest since the divorce was final: one married another divorced mom (met, dated, married really quickly IMHO), a few I have zero interest in because of problems they have, and the rest I'm friends with and getting to know better without 'dating' one-on-one. No hurry.

Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,531
T
Member
Offline
Member
T
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,531
Quote:

To me, the behavior typically described as dating, spending time alone with a possible mate in romantic settings, acting as if we are a couple (if only for the evening) is not something I want to do with a man I do not ALREADY know VERY well from having spent a LOT of time with him in group settings and in normal real-life situations;




This is not necessarily so. You can meet a man for dinner in a restaurant, a show, go to a festival, walk in the park - all public places surrounded by people and not necessarily romantic (at least it's a far cry from a hotel room at Niagara Falls). True, your family/friends etc are not there, but this is where you get a chance to talk to the guy and get to know him. It is a natural progression from what you describe meeting men in groups. But surely wouldn't you want to spend an evening/day with a man in a safe setting where you can talk alone, yet still in public BEFORE you agreed to a long term commitment with him?

Quote:

Seeing how a man behaves while on a date doesn't really tell much about what he'd be like to live with IMHO.




That's not the purpose of dating. The purpose is to have a chance to communicate one on one and get to know each other. Some people are shy in groups. Some people act differently in groups than they do alone. If you've already met a man in a group and discovered there is a mutual attraction and interest, wouldn't a date be the next logical step? Here you can actually talk about your respective ENs and things that may be more difficult to talk about in front of a bunch of people.

Quote:

Dating to me is a level of exclusivity that I don't share with somebody I hardly know. On a typical date the two people are alone together, excluding their family, friends, coworkers, church family, etc. Also, on a typical date the setting is falsely romantic and intimate, a pretended 'coupleness' with somebody who is practically still a stranger. And the setting is usually anything but real-life situations.




Again, it doesn't have to be. There are lots of places to go and things to do on a date without false romanticism. Some dates could be an activity you have in common with a man - for example skiing or some other sport. You could have a really enjoyable time, with no romantic pressure at all and a chance to talk to the guy one on one. I really can't see how you can completely substitute one on one conversation in a group - there are just way too many things that are difficult to talk about in that setting that are absolutely necessary to know.

It's not that I don't understand your importance in group settings - I prefer to meet people that way myself. But I can't imagine developing a lasting relationship of any kind (including friendship) without at least some one on one interaction without the influence of group (peer) pressure) first. Anyway, that's my 2 cents.

Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,701
M
Member
OP Offline
Member
M
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,701
"True, your family/friends etc are not there, but this is where you get a chance to talk to the guy and get to know him."

It has not been my experience, or what I've observed with others' situations, that spending time alone with somebody of the opposite sex in a date setting really provides a more accurate way to get to know them than seeing how they interract with others in real life settings. Also, far too many people unfortunately interpret time spent alone with somebody of the opposite sex as equating opportunity for physical intimacy and/or as 'going steady'. I am not interested in that level of involvment, or even giving the impression of that, with a man I don't already know quite well AND know we both are interested in taking the friendhsip to the committment level.

"It is a natural progression from what you describe meeting men in groups."

I agree that it is a natural progression. However maybe where some are comfortable with using the group setting just to initially meet, and then quickly advancing away from group settings to one-on-one dates to get to know each other, I think it makes more sense to stay in the group setting AS you get to know each other better. It's maybe just a difference of pacing and volume? I really have no desire to spend a lot of time alone with a lot of men only to learn they aren't the sort of guy I would want to spend time alone with LOL. Especially since I could have just as easily learned that about them without spednign time alone with them. Getting to spend time alone with me is not something very many men have gotten to do and I'd like to keep it that way. Men who are interested enough in me to stick around long anough for me to get to know them in a group setting are the only type of men I'm interested in anyway.

"But surely wouldn't you want to spend an evening/day with a man in a safe setting where you can talk alone, yet still in public BEFORE you agreed to a long term commitment with him?"

It is not at all difficult to have private conversations with somebody while still being in a group. It happens all the time. Also, there seems to be this popular myth that the only way somebody can tell whether or not the other person is really interested in making a commitment is to start pretending some sort of committment has already been made - to start behaving in ways that normally would only be reserved for somebody you already are in a committed relationship with.

And I'm not saying that I would be willing to get engaged to a man quickly, to go from meeting him in a group setting and then shortly thereafter get engaged ao we could start dating one-on-one! I do know some people who did that version of the "I kissed Dating Good-Bye"... That's not what I'm talking about and I would not reccommend that either. I'm talking about both meeting and getting to know men in group non-date situations over an adequate period of time to really get to know them, and whether or not they even want to be in a committed marriage with any woman, let alone specifically me, before going any further.

There was a book that came out a few years ago called 'He's Not That Into You'. The author revealed that it doesn't really take a man a long time, or one-on-one dating, to decide whether or not he is interested in making a committment to a woman. Also, that book and many others I have read addressed the false assumption that many males are so afraid of committment that the woman needs to date them for a long time, keeping her expectations of committment hidden, or she will scare him away before he is 'ready to commit'. Apparently men usually do make up their minds pretty early which women they just want to date and which ones they would be willing to make a committment to. So contrary to popular opinion, it's neither necessary nor advisable to use one-on-one dating if your goal is to meet somebody to have a committed marriage with.

I know it may sound strange, because there is this presumption that one-on-one dating is the way it's done, maybe even the only way some people can even imagine getting to know somebody well enough to make a committment.

I currently know several single males, that I've gotten to know pretty well in fact, without having to spend any time alone with them. Many of them seemed initially interested in me and even wanted to date. Some of them have even indicated they wodl like to get married. It wasn't necessary for me to date them for them to reveal that level of interest.

Of course sometimes since I don't accept an invitation to date, they just move on to some other woman, which is BTW fine with me. It actually serves as a way to filter out the men who aren't that interested in me specifically. If some other woman would do, I'm not interested anyway. I am glad I didn't date them because after observing them further I saw they were not so much interested in me specifically, or in getting married. They just want to date women, lots of different women LOL. I'm not at all disappointed that I'm not just one of the many women they've dated LOL.

Besides, until my divorce was final AND any hope for reconciliation with my WXH was over, AND my personal recovery from the divorce is complete, it would be not only wrong but unwise to get involved with a new man. So meanwhile I have been getting to know several different single men naturally through my normal activities. It's given me the opportunity to see that it really isn't necessary to date men in order to get to know them well and to find out if they really are interested in making a committment. I really can just relax and be myself, going about my usual business, living my life, and when/if I want to remarry I can get engaged and start dating my fiance. If I had started dating soon after my divorce I would still be under the false impression that I would have to date in order to find and get to know a man well enough to remarry someday.

Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,531
T
Member
Offline
Member
T
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,531
I guess that's where we differ then. It may be possible or even probable that a man can decide on commitment early on but for me it takes longer. I do prefer to meet men in groups the way you describe, but I would need to go on a few one-on-one dates before I made a decision to to stick with one particular man or to move on. Not that I have much experience with this LOL - I've been married most of my adult life. But even among the single men that I currently know through various activities, I couldn't imagine making any kind of commitment on any level without getting to know them better one-on-one first. And some of these guys I've known for years and even decades so it's not like I don't trust my first impression of them or anything.

Page 1 of 2 1 2

Link Copied to Clipboard
Forum Search
Who's Online Now
0 members (), 11 guests, and 48 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
Lethabo, Livn1dayAtaTime, widup, Reggg, Endlessvow
71,682 Registered Users
Forum Statistics
Forums67
Topics133,528
Posts2,322,562
Members71,682
Most Online3,185
Jan 27th, 2020
Building Marriages That Last A Lifetime
Copyright © 1995-2020, Marriage Builders®. All Rights Reserved.  |  Web Development by SunStar Media.
Site Navigation
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5