Thursday, 22 April 2010

The World Is Full of Delectable Divorced Men and....Their Children!

As you might have guessed my conversation with E didn't end there...

…….“I know, but I really want your opinion on this, you’ve been there. You remember when you dated T for a while. He was divorced with kids wasn’t he?”.

Hell yes I remember him. T was a hot mess crazy Irish man, a property developer with taste (sorry to press the Irish stereotype button), for alcohol which I have never seen surpassed.

Regardless, of his various complications and in a strange way, because of them, we clicked. All was going well until one of his kids flicked the brat switch and decided it was time to break us up; something which he did routinely to any woman who dated his Dad.

This kid played every trick in the book and won hands down. He had guilt-tripping down to an art-form, unleashing his ‘craft’ whenever we had something planned like a mini-break or a quiet night in. He was a graduate in emotional blackmail, fighting at school, stroppy behaviour, sulking….actually that was just him being a pre-teen.

Even then, I could see his point of view - he wanted his Mum and Dad to get back together - and why he was being such a pain - for attention and because I fronted him about it. He smirked and rather chillingly told me I wouldn’t last long and hell the kid was as good as his word !

I did my best, but during one of our numerous ‘let’s make this work' chats with his Dad, sanity took hold of me and I sensibly (I know hard to believe me be sensible in a dating scenario!) broke it off with him.

Not because I was scared of the situation, when I’m into someone I give a 120%, which isn’t really necessary all the time – see I am learning at last. I love kids. His daughter and I got on like a house on fire, but trying to deal with his son who acted like he hated me every time we were together (I nicknamed him 666!)was just too much.

Once I’d taken off my rose coloured specs and could see the world in black and white again, I had to acknowledge several inescapable facts.

A lot of divorced guys swear blind they will never marry again, so traumatised are they by the loss of their children, money and lifestyle. Ignore this type of talk at your peril!

With their children – going from seeing them daily to trying to pack five days living into action packed weekend moments is pretty much impossible. If your Mr Divorced has very limited time with his children, then including the distraction and division of attention of him trying to include you in that time, can be pretty messy!

Next, there’s the economic/lifestyle impact of a divorce, this can hit some men really hard financially. Just think about it, MD had finally landed his dream house, job, car, membership to the golf club (optional, dependant on age and competitive sporting/network instinct!), then one decree nisi later and all that goes out the window.

MD has to start over, but this time if his relationship works out, he will end up paying for two households for the feasible future.

Let’s not forget as well, that some guys are also adamant that they don’t want any more children, which is cool if you are a bright young thing when you are dating MD, but if you’ve reached the age where your fertility rating is dive bombing by the hour, that’s got to be a deal breaker.

There’s one more cold, but true factor you have to acknowledge, when you are dating DM with kids. This is something that particularly affects you, if you are new to the situation; also it’s what I told V, even though I know she didn’t want to hear it.

“ The child or children will and should always come first. That’s part and parcel of being a parent. You should ever forget that, particularly if your DM a great parent. If you ‘join’ a family as a third wheel, don’t expect to be treated like you were there at the beginning".

"That family unit has history and you aren’t a part of it. Also, if you are expecting your guy to ‘man up’ and lay down the law with his children, who he is already feeling guilty about leaving because for the divorce; if he is such an amazing Dad, like you say he is, he isn’t going to risk alienating his children by taking sides with you. After all you’ve been in his life for what... four months!".

"Until he’s comfortable and ready to commit to you long-term, which means big stuff like working out the relationship between you, his kids, his ex-wife; all of that stuff, then a third wheel is exactly what you are and will remain as”.

E paused then answered, “So you think I should call it off?"

“That's not what I said". I replied "It’s not about what I think, it’s about what you do. Whatever you decide, it will be the right thing. You have to trust yourself”.

Isn't it funny how we all end up with this trunk full of gold life experiences, that we can pull little nuggets from and pass onto others. All we are ever required to do, if asked, is to pass that experience on without judgement. I’ll hold a good thought for E, because she’s fallen hard for MD, which only complicates things further.

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