I'm a 47-year-old divorced single mom of two young children. I've been dating a 60-year-old twice-divorced successful businessman for several months. He has showered my children and I with gifts, trips and promises of a future together. I have to admit from day one my inner voice thought he was peacocking by always talking about his wealth and the treasures he has collected from his success, but then he would show me his vulnerable side by sharing the pain of his two divorces. His first wife cheated on him and his second wife walked out after a few months. I felt such empathy because I too had been cheated on. He said all the women in his life were crazy, except me. We were kindred spirits who had finally found each other.
All was going swimmingly well until I made the colossal mistake of intertwining my children into our world from early on. In the beginning it seemed everyone was having a water-splashing good time. But, as with all things, the merry-go-round stopped and my kids jumped off the ride and turned into mini Linda Blair-esque monsters. In fact, I kept waiting for them to spin their heads and spit green pea soup at me. My sweet little angels began throwing tantrums, crying and shouting words at me that have ripped my insides out:
"We hate you! We want our old mommy back. Why can't it just be the three of us again???"
I have always considered myself a great mother as I would do homework with them, clean the house, make dinner, work, sponsor play dates, read endless stories and rub their little heads into the evening slumber. So, when I met this man I thought:
Finally, this is my payoff for all my sacrifices.
Needless to say, the man I was falling for began to change. Frequently, he would travel for business and tell me he was coming home the next day then I wouldn't hear from him for several days. Of course I was upset, but he always had an excuse; the batteries in his phone died or his charger got dropped in his coffee, or, or, or, w-h-a-t-e-v-e-r!
After his last trip I didn't hear from him for six days. He finally wrote an email telling me how much he loves me, but he feels my children will never accept him and he doesn't want to let me down anymore because he forgets to charge his phone and can't call me when he travels. He said his love for me is endless and he wants us to take some time apart to think about how we can make this work.
What do you think I should do? Should I hang in there? I don't want to let him go and be alone again. I'm not sure my children will ever get their old mommy back because I will never be the same after this.
Am I crazy??
Dear You're not crazy,
It is terrible you were the recipient of this man's pernicious behavior. You need to dump his old ass -- no pun intended! He obviously presented himself well, but he is a one trick pony sister. Sounds like he has the depth of a ford -- and I'm not talking about a car -- so don't drown yourself in any tears for this guy. He is not deserving of you. Quite frankly, I hope you never are the same after this experience and instead you will turn inward to the warrior woman who is beautiful, intelligent and confident. You are a successful CEO of your family corporation, especially as a single parent. Your job is the most important job of all because you are raising future citizens of society and that bears a tremendous amount of responsibility. Additionally, you are not alone because you are surrounded by the love of your children and the love for yourself who instinctually knew this man was never right for you. All his smoke and mirrors temporarily blinded you. Its time you forgive yourself, move forward and start listening to the inner voice you spoke about. Don't ever allow yourself to be driven by the fear of being alone. In this particular situation you might have become the crazy ex he refers to if you continued down the path of not staying true to yourself.
This man is emotionally reckless and addicted to romance. He doesn't have the fabric to sustain a long-term relationship, so don't try to trick yourself into believing anything different. When a guy tells you over and over he couldn't call because of an electronic dysfunction, he is lying -- plain and simple. There is no reason in today's electronically saturated world that a person can't reach out if they want to. When he told you he felt your children would never accept him, this was manipulative and as low as a person can stoop. He placed the blame on two innocents who were thrown into your relationship without the time, tools or guidance to cope. Children are like pets -- if they are rejecting your new friend, they are probably sensing the insincerity of this person. So what if they threw a few tantrums, that doesn't make them unaccepting children. All children need time to adjust to anything new in their lives. As a mother your only mistake was not recognizing that you needed to slow the relationship down so you could get to know this man better and not throw your children into the vortex you co-created. I would venture to guess had you slowed down and just spent time getting to know him you would have walked away early on without the involvement of your children.
Now let's work on helping you move forward with ease. I would absolutely respond to his email. Writing can be a great release and healing mechanism. You can word it any way that serves you and always add a little humor to lighten up the space around your heart. Here is a sample of what you might say:
Dear Greg (I'm tired of using the Dear John adage);
I don't love you, perhaps for a moment I was infatuated, but love, that requires time, patience and the commitment to work through events that arise in your lives together. So no sweetheart, I don't love you and I am moving on. Apparently, our haste to run into this was one of those things that somehow got out of control. Sorry. Whoops. Moving on. Live and learn. See ya!
Sadly, this guy will con many more women in his lifetime, but I would wager he will die a lonely old man. His peacocking showed you early on his true insecure character and echoed his shades of narcissism. This is a man who believes he can do and say anything because he is protected by his wealth and success. I have yet to see anyone take a U-Haul with them on the way out of this lifetime. But the loving memories we are capable of co-creating with our true partner is more valuable than any bank account. Now go forward and lick your paper cuts, because these are not deep life altering wounds. Don't ever stop opening up your heart, it's what makes you unique and beautiful.
In the end darling, I can't help but laugh out loud -- not at your expense -- at the con this guy fed you. If you want to get back at this guy -- cuz you know you do -- and all the guys out there who have played such foolish games on women, send this article to everyone you know including him. Consider me your secret weapon -- wink, wink.
I wish you all the best my friend.
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