Dear Dating Coach,
I am dating a man whom has been separated, but not yet legally divorced for a year now. Bob says it is all over and there is no chance of getting back together with his wife and they have no kids. He claims that he wants them. I will soon turn 37 and am starting to worry about conceiving.
Recently, I found that he still has saved voice mail messages from his soon to be ex wife. .WHY IS HE KEEPING THESE MESSAGES? I’m lost with this…he is always so quiet. I cant get him to open up much at all. Bob says its all in my head and he shouldn’t have to share everything with me, but honestly he hardly shares a thing. I rarely feel close at heart with him and it often feels like he is keeping stuff from me. But he swears that he is not…ugh!
I feel like I may be wasting my time. Bob says he’ll soon have the final divorce papers, but I have to keep bringing it up. I feel disrespected. What advice can you give me?
Thanks from “In the Dark”
Hi In the Dark,
Sorry to hear about the difficulties with your relationship. I totally get the biological clock ticking thing – that is a real concern for a woman in her late thirties/early forties who wants children. My over 40 dating coaching clients frequently share this concern with me.
I want to give you my honest opinion – so I hope you don’t mind my rather direct answer. I have a hard time trying to figure out what motivates people to do the things they do. My advice instead focuses on you and what you want.
If you don’t have a history of trust issues, but your current man is bringing this out in you, then I say TRUST YOUR GUT! Your intuition is telling you that something is not right. Pay attention to these inklings because often where there is smoke, there may be fire – something could be not on the up and up – especially since he won’t discuss much.
In fact, whether you have trust issues or not, his lack of ability or desire to communicate is troubling. What will happen once you have children and there is a laundry list of things that need to be discussed and figured out?
If you have questions or concerns about your man and his soon to be ex, ASK HIM DIRECTLY. If he doesn’t want to answer or talk about things, that IS AN ANSWER and gives you a good example of how things will go in the future.
This is why it’s best to avoid getting involved with men who have not finished their divorce. I advise my over 40 dating coaching clients or those dating after divorce to steer clear until the divorce is final. And sometimes it can take up to a full year after for the necessary healing to be complete. That is water under the bridge for you, since you are already dating him.
Relationship longevity is based on good communication and negotiation skills. Compromises are needed to keep a relationship healthy and alive. If you can’t talk about things with Bob, that is not a good sign for having a healthy, long-term relationship. Without conversation, how can you negotiate or come up with solutions to problems?
Be brave. Bring up your concerns and then decide what to do next based on his response. If his answers satisfy you, then stay. But if he doesn’t want to talk and you continue not to feel close at heart with him, you may want to start fresh with a man who is more emotionally available.
Wishing you love,
Ronnie Ann Ryan – The Dating Coach
photo credit – Desiree Delgado