I’ve been seeing this guy off and on for several years. Recently he expressed his love for me and wants more than just an on again/off again relationship. I care for him deeply and would even go so far as to say I’m in love with him, too but for some reason we just can’t seem to make us work.
He and I just never seem to be in the same place in our lives at the same time. When I wanted more, he didn’t. When he wanted more, I didn’t. I think we’re both in a place now where we both want something real and long-term. I love being in his presence; I can share anything with him without fear of judgment; he makes me laugh; I don’t have to pretend to be something I’m not; I can just be myself when I’m with him.
But here lies my problem, I’ve been married before—he hasn’t and I’m sure he’ll eventually want that if he’s saying he wants something long-term. My marriage ended as a result of physical abuse and due to the fact that my now ex-husband molested our daughter. With that being said, I just don’t know that I’ll ever be able to trust anyone enough to say, “I do.” So my question is do I simply say no to something long-term or do I take a chance not knowing if I’ll ever be able to say, “I do?”Dear Can’t Say I Do,
First of all, so sorry to hear about your ex husband and his abuse to both you and your daughter. I’m happy to hear that y’all were both able to finally escape that situation because not all women are that lucky.
Now, with that said, , you should wholeheartedly be mindful of warning signs and who is around your daughter and your heart. As a mother, your primary role is to be protector to your daughter. I can only imagine the distrust in others you now have when her own father abused her. But not every man that follows will be like your ex-husband and they shouldn’t have to pay for him being the abusive asshole that he is/was.
I don’t know the gentleman you’re dating now besides what you’ve written but I hope that in the time of your on again/off again-ness that you’ve not only grown to trust him but more importantly judge his character (within reason, of course, because I’m sure you trusted your ex-husband at one point). But again your on again/off again guy is not your ex husband. He’s a completely different individual and shouldn’t have to pay for what your ex did.
Furthermore, your ex-husband abused you and your daughter not because he was your husband but because he was an asshole, so married or not if this new guy is an asshole as well he can do the same thing (I pray/doubt he will). So if you guys grow towards marriage, the rings won’t all of a sudden make him a child molester or woman abuser. He either is already or he isn’t.
So if you truly have that trust—which is understandably shaken in men in general due to your past—and you see a happy and safe life with this man just follow your heart. Marriage wasn’t the problem last time around it was who you were married to that was the problem. So if this is a better man then chances are you’ll have a better marriage, should you guys go that route. At the end of the day, though, only time will tell.
It sounds like you both love each other dearly so I say focus on that and let the relationship evolve from there. You don’t have to be married to be happy and every relationship doesn’t have to lead to marriage if that’s not what the people involved want. As long as you and your daughter and the man you choose to be with are all in unison that’s all that matters
Good luck and be safe.
Could you ever forgive someone for harming your child? How hurt would you be to discover that your own partner was the one hurting your child? What do you think should be the punishment for child abuse? Have you ever been in an abusive relationship? If so, how did you get out of it? Would an abusive marriage make you leery of getting married again? Or, would that just make you more selective about who you let into your heart? Would you be able to? Is it fair to carry over distrust from a previous relationship into the next? Do you think that this woman will ever be able to trust another man again? What advice would you give her?
Speak your piece…