I am a recently divorced mother of 3 who has had a very challenging time throughout life. I feel as though I no longer have a clue what to do. My ex is now calling me regularly and asking me to sleep with him. I don’t know what to do anymore! I know that I still love him, but I don’t think he is right for me. I wish he was. Our divorce was bad and I had to go find a job that takes up a lot of my time and energy and I don’t know if I have made the right decisions. Please, please help me. I am so tired of crying.
– Heather R. in Cincinnati
Forgive me if this comes off a little harsh. If you are tired of crying, then quit it. You are letting your insecurities and fears get in the way. Simply put, there is no safety net in life, except the one we build for ourselves.
Your ex-husband, while not a totally bad guy, is a master manipulator. You are already aware of this. The problem here is that he is all about what serves him, and you are left with the aftermath. Sleeping with him, while it can be enjoyable, isn’t going to repair the relationship or your situation. If anything, it’s going to make you feel worse about yourself. What you choose to do is totally up to you.
You are a very kind and compassionate person. While I do pick up you still have feelings for your ex, and love is in there, what comes through more strongly is pity, and the loss of the stability you had when the two of you were together. Easier doesn’t always mean better. It just means easier.
It’s time to look at your marriage with a little more honesty and a lot less compassion. It’s not a time to try and assess if the decisions you made, as well as the ones that were forced upon you, can be classified as right or wrong. The past is what it is, and for you, there really is no going back. So let it go.
Heather, you’re tired, you’re beat up, and you’re scared. But you’re making it. Yes, it’s hard – but it will get easier.
I know you have to work. Most of us do. The job you have now is manageable, but there are better opportunities for you out there. Start looking. You will find a different job that is more personally rewarding and less draining. It doesn’t feel that far away from you – roughly two months. While it is not clear to me exactly what you will be doing, this job is especially attractive to you because you will be helping others in some fashion (which greatly helps you) and there will be greater scheduling flexibility. There is also the possibility that you will be able to work from home at least part of the time, which is going to take a lot of pressure off of you.
You are currently in a position to take control of your life, without permission or approval. It feels like this is a bit new and a bit scary to you. This is a blessing, Heather, not a punishment. Embrace it and you will be rewarded.