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Advice for Dating a Divorced Man Needed!!

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  • Advice for Dating a Divorced Man Needed!!

    My boyfriend (let's call him Max) and I have been dating several months now. He got divorced last year for many reasons: she didn't appreciate him, they had little in common, no sex, constant fighting, no attempts to reconcile on her part, etc.
    Things were great when we first started seeing each other. We have a lot in common and enjoy spending lots of time together. I'm over at his place all but one day a week, and we only share one day off work in common, so we do each have one day to do our own thing until the other gets home. After work during the week, sometimes we engage right away and sometimes he plays his Xbox for an hour or so first - that's all fine.

    Lately, however, there's been something changing with him. More and more often, he gets moody and wants more time to himself. He'll snap at me for no reason or get irritated when I ask him what's wrong. Sometimes he'll complain about being bored, but he won't want to do anything.

    Last night we talked about this and he's concerned that old issues from his marriage are seeping in to our relationship. He doesn't know what to do about it, and I'm not sure what my part should be.
    Do I give him more time to himself? Do I leave when he acts like this? Do we try to talk through it, or should I just let him figure this out himself? He was with his ex-wife for 13 years (they weren't married that long - maybe seven or eight years). He's said the he sees and wants a future with me, but these issues from the past that he hasn't squashed yet are a threat (his words).

    Advice is appreciated. Has anyone else been through something like this?

  • I have been in this situation as the divorced male. It appears to me that he has never taken the time to learn about himself -- he went from a bad relationship pretty quickly into a new one. He does need time to sort things through.

    That does not mean he needs to be without you. Men are usually terrible communicators about their wants and needs (and he may not know at this point what his "real" needs are). Help him to communicate better and express his feelings. For example, explore with him the "old issues" that are creeping into your relationship. What does he need to work through them? There are some very good books to help you through this -- my favorite relationship communication book is Dr. Sue Johnson's "Hold Me Tight". I am just starting to read her latest book "Love Sense". Look through the titles on Amazon and see what others found helpful.

    Issues cannot be squashed. They must be resolved. Individual therapy for him would be best; it helped me clarify many issues in my life and contributed to my finding a great relationship.
    "The only consistent feature of all of your dissatisfying relationships is you." Despair.com "Dysfunction"

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    • I've always had a firm rule about not living with anybody. That means that you're always able to be apart as necessary, and that may be the heart of the problem. If you see too much of each other, it may turn into a domestic situation where general irritability grows over silly stuff. You don't have to 'divorce,' but I'd definitely try giving each other more space.
      [FONT=Trebuchet MS][COLOR="#800080"][B][SIZE=4]Woman trapped inside a woman's body![/SIZE][/COLOR][/B][/FONT]

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      • Thanks, effy. I'll look into those books. I'm not sure he's up for therapy, but this is good insight to consider.

        Originally posted by jen1447 View Post
        I've always had a firm rule about not living with anybody. That means that you're always able to be apart as necessary, and that may be the heart of the problem. If you see too much of each other, it may turn into a domestic situation where general irritability grows over silly stuff. You don't have to 'divorce,' but I'd definitely try giving each other more space.
        I am considering giving him more space, but I'm not sure that will ultimately 'solve' the issues.

        I am curious though... why don't you want to live with your SO?

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        • So I can keep him at a distance and not have him 'in my mix' at all times, which keeps my feelings for him affectionate and not resentful (that he left the toilet seat up or spooled the TP wrong or whatever).

          We hang out a lot and spend a lot of time together, but the fact that we keep separate residences seems to reinforce our autonomy. I think that's good for a relationship. (I'm not condemning cohabitation out of hand, particularly for obvious scenarios like marriage, but I'm not the marrying type.)
          [FONT=Trebuchet MS][COLOR="#800080"][B][SIZE=4]Woman trapped inside a woman's body![/SIZE][/COLOR][/B][/FONT]

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          • Love Effy's reply.

            And, I believe that to be true. Finding yourself. Now is the time for him to reflect and see what it is in life that he wants and doesn't want. The Divorce couldn't have been easy and more so the marriage, that's a lot of years to live in un-happiness.

            Things will trigger and if he feels married again fear will step in of those memories and not wanting to feel that way again. We are all human.

            Spending so much time together is like a marriage. He needs time to heal from his past so he can truly move on with you, his future.

            Having more time to himself will make him feel free and able to be himself, having you there as well in that, will make him feel happy and loved and miss you, all strong foundations to build a new relationship.

            Sex is only one component that he missed, the intimacy, bonding. But laughing being able to talk about anything and everything, seeing you dressed up, taking you somewhere, combined is powerful.

            Change it around. You don't want to go there every night in any event, have sex straight up or after an hr after he's placed the x-box. You want him to see you dressed up, hear you laugh, talk about everything and anything.

            He still has baggage so he can't fall into a full time relationship yet. He needs to still have a bit of the dating stage in him and for a while and more space.
            PUT A LITTLE 'LIKE' IN MY SOUL!

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