One I never thought I'd be asking about...cross-posted from life after divorce.
So, after divorce in January 2012 I got together with my friend I'd met in May 2011. We'd become attracted to each other but when my husband (the cheating lying manipulative abusive one) got back from deployment in August and wanted another chance I talked to my friend whom I'd not yet started dating (we were about to!) and he understood and said it showed I was committed to marriage. Husband had not changed, showed his true colors, I filed for divorce in January. How he acted when I accepted his suggestion (threat!) to divorce was vicious, he said all kinds of low, nasty things to me, some of them based on intimate knowledge of me and my past (bio family) and were very hurtful, like I should go back to my brother then (who raped me when I was 12 or 13...) So, took a month to get my feet under me, contacted my friend, we started dating right away, became intimate at end of 2/2012 and it was fantastic, the whole relationship was great. We were planning a future together, by now we knew each other very well. March 4 he had a brain hemorrhage, he's now in rehab. It will take a long long while, I think, before he is getting his feet under him, longer still til he is completely independent, if ever. Turns out he has an underlying health condition. I can only see him twice a week at rehab because his sister doesn't believe we had a real relationship, because of the APPARENTLY short duration, she only sees sex in relationships, I suppose, the time between May and January don't count, not sure why except a third party appears to have attached itself to the family (from whom he was estranged) and convinced them, the social worker intervened, so after 6 weeks of seeing him every day in the hospital, I can still see him twice a week in rehab. Not sure where it will go from here. He told me, in a moment of coherency, after he announced to sister and nurse that I was his girlfriend (when I asked him who I was), that what doesn't kill me will make me stronger. He also said to move on. Obviously I have to move on with my life. Now I am not sure if I should be open to other relationships. In 2 short weeks of being together, this guy fixed, literally, and specifically, 5 years of abuse from my husband. I was very very very clear on what love felt like in its purest form. Remember, this is a guy that knew me well and the whole time I was going through crap with my marriage, he was holding out for me! I knew I had fallen for him but never told him and didn't really know how he felt about me, I thought he was not going to marry anyone and was going to stay single and look after himself....he had this public plan, meanwhile was using this story to get close to me as a friend, where I felt comfortable, he had no clue I had fallen for him in the summer, and then I told him on a date on 2/25 and after that - BLISS! There is nothing like getting it on with your very best friend.
Well, now I am in my apartment, I boxed up his stuff because I couldn't stand looking at it, I have made efforts to be back in my life now that he's in rehab and doesn't need me like he did in the hospital. I have no clue what to do. Should I accept dates, should I actively look for dates?
I signed up to do some AMC activities like rock climbing, hiking and bicycling, I am going to be an apprentice grease monkey in a local bike shop some hours each week, I have work I can do from home and a 10 hour a week job this summer that's research but recruiting subjects (for a project dealing with domestic violence). I have my writing and I can go back to the theater to volunteer. I have dancing but to go back to the studio where we met right now is painful, I might try to take a class. That way it will be structured. I really liked east coast swing. We were going to take Hustle together, a date night, every Thursday, with dinner and then a dance social together after, first and last dance together. I went back to that place and danced a waltz with a friend who works there, we got to the corner where my guy used to make eyes at me and try his fancy turns he'd learned to impress me, and I missed the feel of his hands on my back, down low, in the spot where only he was allowed to hold me. So it was awful, I had to leave after one or two dances, second dance far away from that corner. I have another friend I can do Cuban dance with. I get along very well with this guy. I'm not sexually attracted to him, it's more of an instant fondness and connection. But when we dance or hang together or talk it is very cozy. So I'm confused. I don't know what to do. Probably there is not anything to do. At least not right now. I know my guy told me to move on. He wouldn't want me to live without being actively loved, and he can't do that. But I don't want to hurt him. However, he was willing to stand by while I spent time and even shared my body with my stupid abusive husband, because I needed to because of how I felt about honoring commitment to marriage and taking someone at their word that they had sincerely changed. I'm a Quaker, so it's all about discernment. I think it might be wrong to feel something for someone and to have the capability to share something and not share, not sexually per se, but intimately. Ouch. Does anybody have any insight on this? I will obviously never get involved with anyone who doesn't honor and respect how I feel towards my guy who totally anihilated the effects of my abusive relationship and put pure love into my heart. But why did he do that, for me to wrap it up again? I know he would be happy for me to have someone, who was really worth it. But it makes me sad to possibly hurt him again although first of all he will know by feel that I have love but it's love I could also share with him, even though he isn't capable of it physically and probably won't be...but who knows. Maybe a miracle will happen, however I don't really think so. I think people are way too optimistic. My therapist and the psychiatrist I've been seeing (I had two nearly three anxiety/anaphylaxis attacks, not so much from what happened to him but from the way his family treated me, others have told me they are nuts, and they are, but that doesn't make the way they treat me any better...hence I have secured relative-free visiting time apart from the family via the case manager, but only twice a week...which given that I should take care of my life and he would want me to, is enough, right now...)...any way the pro's think that I should trust my instinct on my decisions. My Cuban friend said he is going to make me a dinner, he came by the restaurant one night where he usually teaches dance when I texted him to come visit, to talk about a dance night here at my college where he taught (it was fun). Then he invited me and my kids to his studio and I saw his work and he showed me his shrine where he prays and his special drum, and he gifted things to my kids. When he calls he always gives regards to my kids. My kids adore him, absolutely. They know that I like this guy, and they don't have a problem with it, and are not confused that I see my guy in rehab and see this other guy. Maybe I should take a lead from my kids and we should do what makes us happy. My thing is I live in a small town, I worry people will think I didn't love my guy, don't. But I do, however I absolutely know he would be willing to handle having me with someone who cared for me, who even knows the situation with him, and how it was before. (My Cuban friend does.) I see the way I am acting with my Cuban friend, that is how I knew how I felt with my guy, it was how I acted around him, I caught myself at it! I know how this will go. But I'm still confused, I want to feel guilty, it's like a knee-jerk reaction, so many people have said how supportive I was to my guy when he was in the hospital. Now I can't do that. What will I do if and when he recovers and is capable of holding up 1/2 of a relationship, which is the only way he would be in one in the first place? I am keeping a journal so he will know my thoughts and feelings and the efforts I've made to move on in all areas of my life as I was planning to do prior to May 2011 when I met him. I was so scared then, because of my husband's abuse. He made my adventure into the end of my marriage more fun, because of the stellar efforts he was making to get over his own hurt, and to take care of himself, despite challenges (like, I think, alcohol, and some underlying health issues) and severe emotional pain at losing his stepdaughters in the divorce. I never saw this coming. I thought I had a new life that had a pure and honest love. We were so honest with each other about what we wanted, and careful with each other...now I don't know, when I talk to him, I think he does understand, he has been coherent always since his surgery when it comes to me and my emotional needs. He did tell me to move on, but it hurts. I don't think moving on means leaving him behind, I just think it means being present in the here and now and adjusted to spriritual and physical reality and walking into the future with my new love gyroscope that has been expertly calibrated. Oh my ex husband who placed his whole ego on rock and ice climbing broke his arm and has to even have surgery on it. My guy who spent a week in a coma and is not really coherent about remembering the name of the food he eats, says 'good' and no he is not sorry, not one bit.
Re: One I never thought I'd be asking about...cross-posted from life after divorce.
The family is no doubt scared of you because there are a number of women out there who actually go for sick and even dying guys - they move in take over and eventually cut the family out of the guys life.
I've seen it happen in my own family and it's very sad and frustrating to go through.
so they are doing what they see as being protective of him, and while he does identify you as his GF to them,they are worried that his judgement is all messed up at the moment.
So it's not personal - they don't even know you - but it is family protecting their boy.
As for you - yes you should be open to dates - you are still in the early divorce process so be light and dont' get super serious.
Re: One I never thought I'd be asking about...cross-posted from life after divorce.
Ah, I was over my marriage last May. It was most definitely abusive. I only gave him a second chance because he'd been deployed and said he had got counseling and said he wanted to change. I stayed in the apartment that I'd moved into and let him stay over, but he still had 'his' house (he'd only put his own name on it, if I were cheating and lying I'd do that too lol...anyway I'm not a house person so didn't care about that...). He started in on swerving the car with me in it and threatening suicide by car, a situation where I could not go anywhere with him in the car without fearing for my life...also he showed up with scratches on his back and whined and fussed and said maybe we should get divorced when I told him I needed to know where the scratches came from because they were exactly where I put my hand when we were intimate, and his moustache had smelled funny when he was late for a movie date about 5 days prior...he said I didn't trust him. Nope. He said I didn't want to trust him, I pointed out I was reconciling with him and that was proof that I did, that was when he backed away space-wise, went into my kitchen and said eyeballing me to assess the effect of his words, maybe we should get a divorce. I said sure thing! Then he turned vicious on me, lol.
BUT the weird thing is it's this lesbian woman who only knew my guy through the dance studio, who has latched herself onto him and affiliated herself with his family, from whom he was most definitely estranged. The family apparently adores this woman, and let her into the closed guardianship hearing. I don't know what her game is, except that her current job is taking care of an aging poet so she may very well be the kind of person you describe. I know she definitely has relational issues so she probably only feels comfortable in a caretaking position. I am not that way at all. In fact, seeing him twice a week is good because I do enjoy taking care of myself and contributing to the world in a grown-up way I have my writing and some other stuff going on.
Nope, not getting super serious with anyone. It's like I have a built-in brake against that...I actually enjoy the trust-building that goes along with other men respecting my relationship the way it is with my guy. They see how attached I am to him and I think that this, instead of being something that alarms them, lets them see how I am as a friend and a lover, when I cannot be a lover to this guy. That I am handling the situation as best I can and taking care of myself while standing up for myself as best I can and getting visitation with him that also doesn't affect me negatively.
It hurts that they let this other woman, who also denies that I had a relationship with him, into their lives and inner circle, when she only had a casual friendship and was not a lover or girlfriend, or even a real close friend outside the dance studio...and yet will not let me in the inner circle even though the social worker interviewed me and established the relationship and it was well respected at the medical hospital. I know that it is recognized now because otherwise I wouldn't have got the time as they would only do that if it was in his best interest (not mine). I mean, he was found in my bed. Maybe they think I lured him there. They have his phone, they can see the phone log. My necklace was also left on HIS bedside table, I'd forgotten it there on a different, previous night, and they knew this, also that I had an established toothbrush at his place, and there are friends who can vouch for the year-long history between us, that he was waiting for me to figure out my marriage and was betting that it was just a temporary setback, because my husband was really a jerk and didn't deserve a second chance...my guy had faith in me and wanted me to be absolutely sure about my marriage ending and so didn't try to influence me in any way as he wanted me for sure, not by coaxing me. It takes a very strong person to take that course of action.
Re: One I never thought I'd be asking about...cross-posted from life after divorce.
I'm so scr*wed. I can't see him because his sister moved him to another state and decided it wasn't in his best interest for him to see me. (His case worker before had decided otherwise...but whatever...) And now she cannot find his kayak and a silver belt buckle and left a vm on my cell saying 'if these items do not turn up very soon I will have no choice but to report them stolen to the police.' WTF I don't have these things and why can't she just call and ask me if I know where they are instead of leaving a message like that? My landlord said it's harassment and I can ask her atty for her to have no contact with me, send a notarized letter and if she continues to get a restraining order I can use to get her to leave me alone. I gave her what she wanted, I didn't try to visit or anything for an entire month after she made her decision. I guess he has been asking for me, and this accusation is to cover her decision, i.e. it's a sound one because I am suspected of stealing his stuff. She's been like this from day one. He tried to warn me about his family the night before he ended up in the hospital. I can easily see what he means, this woman is nuts.
My issue is not all that but I've been spending a lot of time with his friend he introduced me to, and it's kind of turned into a dating situation and his friend has a thing for me, I knew that from the start but also that the friend honored our mutual friend's relationship with me and of course when I could visit him I knew how he was doing, he knew who I was, etc. Now I can't see him so I have no clue how he's doing and whether it's reasonable to hold out for him or not. I have no idea if he wants to contact me and won't because his sister has told him lies about me abandoning him because of his condition or what.
I guess I'd like to date his friend, well okay, what we are already doing is probably dating, we got out to dinner and have been kayaking a couple times and I've taken him to the movies, we've walked around town...but are not in a defined relationship. But it's heading that way. I'm just not the kind of person who sees myself as cheating on a guy with his friend, and his friend isn't the kind of guy who would steal a woman from his friend, especially when he was down and out. I've had zero communication with my guy friend who had the brain hemorrhage for an entire month. I heard through the grapevine that he is oriented but cannot remember that he had recently moved to a new place. He has short term memory issues. This he might recover from in a couple years. I've been there myself!!!! I met him when I was rehabbing and couldn't work at all, my life was sort of a mess work wise, so I went to dance class to try to get my mind to start improving, figured movement and music and social interaction would be a good thing. About 8 months later is when we became intimate...after my abusive/cheating ex husband had come back from his deployment and I was able to see he wasn't going to change and I'd filed for divorce and cooled out for a month on my own, no contact with this guy friend for that month and then I let him know I'd filed for divorce and we got together...
The other thing about this guy friend, even if he recovers, the people in his life, his family (whom he would probably sever ties with again as he had before) and some friends/acquaintances that keep visiting, have been cruel to me, outright cruel, as in verbally attacking and backstabbing and some two faced behavior. Not a lot, the other times they manage to be civil...but it's enough so that it's a concern and I decided that I won't go back to the dance studio where we met because of these people, it's not that I'm backing down, I just think that the presence of these people is not an environment that I enjoy. There is a dance club/team on my campus and I can dance there, and there is another studio close by I can go to if I want lessons, and yet another place I can go to as well if I like, and they offer classes also through adult ed in the same city as the studio I'll be avoiding.
Soooo, my landlord and others seem to think I'd be better off without this guy who is now in rehab. But I really cared for him and I don't want to hurt him or for him to feel angry if and when he does recover enough to be on his own and finds out his friends have gone off together. I suppose I could explain to him that the environment of his family and 'friends' was too much for me. I was looking back on his facebook posts, and someone had commented about ignoranuses (people who are both stupid and a**holes) and he had commented he knew many but was too nice to say to them...and this is true. Even if he doesn't think highly of someone he still allows these people into his social space and treats them the same as everyone else. I'm not sure why. It's like he enjoys the attention, just to not be alone or something. OK, I shouldn't diagnose. He was picky about people but rather than be alone he would pick from people who were available. Now some of these people are ones that I won't be around because of the way they treated me. I don't care for their character. And won't still go to the dance studio, just to prove a point. It's not fun any more. There are a couple guys there I enjoy dancing with but it's not worth it, and if they want to dance with me, let them call or text me to ask. There are other places we could go to dance. I'm through with that studio and those people.
I'm just wondering if I should take the plunge and get involved further with our mutual friend, now my friend. He says they weren't super close, they kayaked together and hung out after kayaking because my friend was one of the ones who had time to hang out after kayaking.
It's not as though either of us are perfect, either. He has some issues, so I've been playing it cool to see if he makes any attempt to work them out, and it seems like he is coming out of whatever dark hole he was in when my guy was hospitalized. My guy had talked to me about this friend after introducing him, and had been worrried about him, and that's one of the reasons I started spending a bit of time with him, because my guy said he was going through a rough time with work and might move back to his home state. That resolved and he's still here. Now his grown daughter is about ready to move in with him for a while. None of that really matters although I guess it should. The weird thing is we have a good relationship and talk about a lot of stuff besides our mutual friend...and we really get along great.
I'm sitting on the fence and looking for advice or insight. I have no clue. I could easily see myself getting involved with this guy and telling my (former) boyfriend if he recovers and comes looking for me, that the environment in which he was living was inhospitable and that because of it our relationship was doomed to failure. I think he had some issues with anger and drinking and not wanting to be by himself and when I finally expressed explicitly my interest in him he jumped at the chance (I know he had a thing for me all along because he told the guy I now spend time with, the mutual friend...) then when he had his brain hemorrhage not long after that, his life was a mess and that's the snake pit I ended up in.
Honestly I can't see him recovering enough to have an active lifestyle with me and my kids. That's sad. We like to bike and canoe/kayak and to ski and it's unclear if he would be able to do that. Like I said, I have no information. But there are all these people that I am pretty sure will stay in his life. And after how they've treated me, I don't want anything to do with them, ever. I want to put all that behind me.
I'm thinking of seriously dating this friend of ours I've become close to. His lifestyle isn't super healthy...I'm hoping over time he will make an effort to get healthy again. The extra weight is an issue for me. He is upside down on his house and in debt, but said he can probably do something about that. He is getting his health insurance in order and asked me about doctors in the city that's between us. I've talked to him about what I really want in life and he hasn't gone running away from me...he's met my kids, as we all used to visit my guy in the hospital together once in a while.
I just can't get over the guilt hurdle of all this.
On the other hand, my work life has improved. My apartment has become more organized. My finances are solvent if not ideal. I have got out on a regular basis for dinner dates and a few recreational outings. I just hate that point of no return...maybe it means acceptance of the stark reality of what happened to my boyfriend. Or maybe it means that I am going against what I know in my heart, i.e. that he will recover and that he would be willing to leave the hurtful people behind and start over. I just can't figure out which it is, if I'm being delusional about the possibility of him recovering enough to be in charge of his own life again (i.e. sister is not guardian any more) or if I should just let it go, he has not contacted me and maybe he just can't and it has nothing to do with anyone telling him I've abandoned him by choice (rather than because of restrictions imposed by his sister...) It's not like I was visiting him a lot in his rehab before he got moved, twice a week for about an hour...he would talk about me to others...a lot of people that are nice and supportive got mad at me when I wouldn't fight what his sister did with the restriction that he couldn't see me. But she's nuts...even when I didn't visit for an entire month she still wants to accuse me of stealing his stuff and make trouble. I don't get that. It does make me want to move on. Family like that is a deal breaker, but then I feel bad because my family of origin was even worse and I cut ties with them entirely (1995).
I feel like a spiritual loser walking away from him. On the other hand, the new relationship feels like a good thing, except for the guilt. It's not as though he died. He still knew who I was, he called with the help of a nurse the morning he got moved to the new place where I couldn't visit him...he acted like he thought I'd be able to visit and I told him the truth, that I wouldn't be allowed to...I chatted with him a bit, told him I loved him and said goodbye. He sister was not liked by the staff of that rehab place or the hospital where he was for 6 weeks, I can't imagine she's any better respected or liked at the new place either, but she is his guardian and my attorney friend who gave me a free consultation on the phone about this said that's just the way it is, don't waste time or money on the likes of her or the situation, it's just bad and the state doesn't have the money or resources to provide oversight to guardianship situations unless there is grave physical abuse involved. I get that.
I had a lot of false expectations about what it is to be American. There is not really so much freedom to life liberty and pursuit of happiness as one might think. There are loopholes to all that. Legal ones. I guess it's just another sad ballad of life. Something I'll cry over whenever I think of it, even if I have moved on to something that's more real and do-able. It isn't right to choose suffering when there is another choice, but I want to make sure that my choice doesn't cause him more suffering.