Re: He spends weekends away with ex-wife and kids?
Hi again, thanks for the feedback...I gather from your responses that this situation would be absolutely unacceptable to most people. I don't know why it is so easy for me to normalize him staying over at her place, but I consider myself to be a fair and reasonable person and I guess my first instinct is always to trust the other person when I have no reason to doubt him or her, and try to understand where he's coming from. The emotional (and sexual) connection we have is so deep that I cannot doubt his honesty. And objectively, I think if I were in his situation I might not know what else to do, either, short of not seeing the kids at all. Also, I think it has to do with the fact that we had been strictly friends for three years when we first got together (which was AFTER my husband and I had separated, for totally unrelated reasons; I did not leave my husband for him and --despite my occasional self-questioning-- will not go back to my husband if this relationship does not work out). My work requires that I spend over half of my time in another city where he and I were colleagues. He, too, was far from his children after having been laid off from his job where they live. After a long search, he had found a new but not permanent position where my second office was located, which was also a foreign country for him. When we met he was in the situation I described: divorced but sleeping with his ex and spending long periods (several weeks at a time) whenever he could at her place with the kids, which his position allowed. I was slowly coming to terms with the reality of my need to leave my husband over those years, too, even though he and I never talked about that. It honestly never crossed my mind that there could be something more with him, and according to him it never crossed his mind, either. We were just friends, and as our friendship deepened so did our emotional connection. Then he was offered a new and much better position back in his home country, but far from his kids. I happened to be there the week he was packing to leave and, on the night we were going to say goodbye, we found that we could not. Since then, we have both been trying to negotiate and re-adjust our lives to fit with this new reality. He has a new job, in a new location, has ended his physical relationship with her but cannot accept only seeing his children on vacations (earlier I wrote about how little I thought he was seeing them, but then later he told me that the first stages of our relationship had really distracted him from them and that he needed to make it a priority to spend at least one weekend a month with them, which seems good and right to me). I do not live here but have been able to spend about half of my time here thanks to a great boss who allows me to work remotely. And since my current job will soon end anyway, I am thinking of moving here. But it's a big risk for me - a new country, new language...as for my ex, we have not divorced yet, mainly because there are so many new variables (it's not clear where I will be living, if I'll be able to find a job immediately, what the legal issues might be in terms of how best to liquidate our assets..) and also because we have just needed time to let the reality of this loss set in. With every week it has become clearer that we did the right thing by separating. I think both of us have now accepted it.
But anyway, when I look at the situation objectively I think: if I can believe that he is not having sex with her- which I can- and he and I have a good emotional connection- which we do- then why does it feel somehow like an emotional betrayal for him to be there with her and the children in the family atmosphere? She is the mother of his children, after all, and if the only way for him to see the children is when she is there then why should I not be able to accept this for the childrens' sake? He says the situation is painful for her (she is not over him and was very upset when he told her about me, even though she accepts it and has tried to communicate that to me) and that it certainly isn't ideal for him either. But I don't know, I don't know. Is it just going to be impossible to have a relationship with this man until his children move out of her place? Is there some other solution I could offer him?