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Old 06-17-2013, 07:47 AM
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Funny how things work...

So, as expected, xAH did not show up to see the girls yesterday until late in the day. It was hard to get up with the girls and see them eagerly wait for him (bc of course he promised them he'd come and take them out to breakfast then didn't), then look sad, try to pretend they weren't sad, fight with each other bc they were upset etc... I took them out to breakfast and to the park and all they kept saying was that they wondered when daddy would call and come see them. I won't lie. It was hard. Seeing my kids sad bc of him sucks.

He showed up hungover, unapologetic and when D5 told him he was mean to not come earlier he told the girls that they were just repeating what I say and that they should be glad he came at all.

Father of the year material...

The good news: I just said happy fathers day and left. I didn't let the day be ruined, I had a nice day with the girls and I was able to put on a brave face for them and comfort them without letting on how sad I was for them. Those are successes.

I went to the gym which I rarely get to these days and was enjoying myself.
All of a sudden I glance to my left and there's a friend who I haven't seen in nearly 1.5 years. I worked with him for several years and we became good friends bc it was a small program and we shared a lot of the same kids... When I first left xAH (we were friends while I still was trying to make it work) he was a nice source of support but then in a very respectful manner he let me know eventually that he had feelings for me that were moving beyond friendship and said that he didn't want to make things hard for me and that he'd give me space. I really appreciated his honesty and then I left that job at the end of the year and we lost touch (mostly because I felt like it wasn't fair for me to remain in touch when he said he felt more strongly toward me than I was ready for at the time).

So, anyway, he recently moved to my town and saw me at the gym and came to say hi and we picked up chatting like no time had passed. It was a really nice end to a hard sort of day... It made me realize "oh this is what a normal conversation with a grown man can be like". The fact that HE asked right off the bat about my girls and was genuinely interested in how they were in contrast to their own dad who couldn't be bothered to see them for most of the day was striking.

He offered me his number and said if I ever felt like getting together as friends he'd love to hang out. And frankly, so would I.

I don't know if it's a bad idea-- I have no interest in a relationship with anyone right now-- though if I did, he would be a great guy to be in one with-- but I would like to rekindle a friendship with him because he was such a good friend and I have thought about him a lot for the past year and wondered how he was...

Anyway, that's how the day was... Am I wrong to be thinking about getting together sometime?
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Old 06-17-2013, 07:54 AM
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I don't recall if you have a divorce in process or if you are just separated at this time. I don't think it's a good idea to start a relationship with a member of the opposite sex (even if it isn't romantic) until at least the divorce has been filed, and preferably until it is finalized.

I just feel like you should be extremely careful on that front. You know how your husband twists things around. You also know he isn't adverse to physical violence. I would be extremely careful about giving him any ammunition that could be used against you.

This is all just my own personal thoughts on the matter.
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Old 06-17-2013, 07:54 AM
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Personally I say go for it! He was put back in your life for a reason. If nothing beyond a great friendship develops that's fine. You deserve this!
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Old 06-17-2013, 07:55 AM
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Sorrrry! forgot it was a husband situation. I wasn't married to mine so I didnt think about that.
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Old 06-17-2013, 07:57 AM
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I think it would be a good thing for you to get together with this guy.

Just make sure that you're clear where you're at to avoid any hurt feelings. The way he stepped back before I think is very respectable and he sounds like he'll be able to judge for himself if friends is working or not for him.

There is a chance he'll start developing feelings for you again, so you both just need to make sure and communicate clearly.

Do you think with time you'll be interested in a relationship with him?
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:05 AM
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Dear skaredy, I can say this, from my experience......It is harrrd to keep boundrys intact when one person has romantic attraction more than another. I have seen numerous "Lets just be friends" situations turn sour.

I would say to consider the following:
1. What is your state of vulnerability, right now?
2. How far along are you in your own recovery program? How much can you trust yourself--if things turn south? to avoid past patterns?
3. Just because you knew him for years at work doesn't mean this is the same person you would meet in an in timate situation. Living with someone always reveals a person that you had not previously "known"

Lots to consider...I know....but, the stakes are high...very high.......sigh!

dandylion

P.S.--there is also the matter that Suki mentioned. Don't let yourself be in a situation that could hurt you down the road. Ex husbands can be vicious o n that front!
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
SAnyway, that's how the day was... Am I wrong to be thinking about getting together sometime?
WTBH, I am so glad the day went as well as it did.

Your girls will not appreciate being spoken to like that as they get older, trust me.

As for the friend, like Suki said, be careful. But go for it! You deserve some friends and a chance at a new life, right? Just be careful - with the friend's feelings as well as dragging him through some serious dysfunction.

Maybe you can start by being very clear about your boundaries right now with the friend. I have a great guy friend who I know would like to date me; we talked openly about it and I told him the timing was off for us, and I respected him too much to drag him through my own issues. He appreciated me being open about it, and who knows...maybe one day timing will be right...

So go have a good time. God knows you deserve it!
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:12 AM
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I don't know your story but I say go for it. I think you ran into the man for a reason.
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:19 AM
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You seem grounded and healthy, and you don't seem desperate at all to meet a man. The guy sounds respectful and nice. Why not?
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:19 AM
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He does sound like a pleasant man.
So are you very attracted to him? Because he is going to be viewing you from behind the romance viewfinder.
If you don't feel the same, then I wouldn't pursue this friendship unless you can state very early that you only care for him as a friend, and he is ok with that, and not only says he is ok with that, but shows he isn't trying to work on you to take it elsewhere.

If you are romantically attracted to him, are you ready to jump in again? Because there's no statis period going to be happening here...he has feelings for you, and no matter what he says he does have an agenda, even though he sounds like quite the gentleman in his approach and patience.
He wants a relationship. A romantic one. Do you?

You handled the father's day mess beautifully!
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:25 AM
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We are not divorced thanks to xAH being a game playing a$$ who will not agree to anything. He and his a$$ of a lawyer keep finding bs to complain about and will not finalize the separation agreement. We DO have a legal separation agreement which in my state is exactly like a divorce-- as in depth as the divorce agreement I mean-- I just can't get remarried or change my name until he agrees to finalize the separation agreement to a divorce...

The dragging out of the divorce is his way to keep me attached to him and I am not putting my life and friendships on hold bc of it.

I won't be in any kind of relationship beyond friendship with anyone- I am not interested in that-- and my old friend knows that (I did say that clearly at the gym)... So, I am going to give him a call in a few days and maybe we will take up running together again once in a while or something...
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Tuffgirl View Post

As for the friend, like Suki said, be careful. But go for it! You deserve some friends and a chance at a new life, right? Just be careful - with the friend's feelings as well as dragging him through some serious dysfunction.

Maybe you can start by being very clear about your boundaries right now with the friend. I have a great guy friend who I know would like to date me; we talked openly about it and I told him the timing was off for us, and I respected him too much to drag him through my own issues. He appreciated me being open about it, and who knows...maybe one day timing will be right...

So go have a good time. God knows you deserve it!

This friend of mine was married and is divorced (has been for some time) to an alcoholic (not sure I shared that before) and it was nice to know someone who'd been through the same thing as me... I didn't know this about him when we first were friends by the way...

Yeah I had a very frank conversation with him a few years back and we both bowed out gracefully I guess. I knew I'd be too tempted to rely on him too much and with him wanting a relationship once he knew I was on the way to single-hood I felt that was unfair...

Yesterday we spoke (me mostly) bluntly about where things are at. I made it clear that the girls dad continues to be an a$$ and make things hard at times but that I try to just focus on the girls and really spent most of my free time enjoying them and trying to find time to run now and then and that my life is pretty simple-- because it is.

When we last were friends I was just starting to untangle myself from xAH so it's very different now.
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by BlueSkies1 View Post
He does sound like a pleasant man.
So are you very attracted to him? Because he is going to be viewing you from behind the romance viewfinder.
If you don't feel the same, then I wouldn't pursue this friendship unless you can state very early that you only care for him as a friend, and he is ok with that, and not only says he is ok with that, but shows he isn't trying to work on you to take it elsewhere.

If you are romantically attracted to him, are you ready to jump in again? Because there's no statis period going to be happening here...he has feelings for you, and no matter what he says he does have an agenda, even though he sounds like quite the gentleman in his approach and patience.
He wants a relationship. A romantic one. Do you?

You handled the father's day mess beautifully!
Do I find him attractive? Yes
Do I want to be in a relationship with him or anyone right now? No
Have I told him that? Yes

Should I trust that as a grown man if he says he's interested in reconnecting purely as friends that that's true?

I guess you're telling me that I should not be na´ve and think that we can be "just friends" huh?

Sigh...
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
Do I find him attractive? Yes
Do I want to be in a relationship with him or anyone right now? No
Have I told him that? Yes

Should I trust that as a grown man if he says he's interested in reconnecting purely as friends that that's true?

I guess you're telling me that I should not be na´ve and think that we can be "just friends" huh?

Sigh...
You told us some more info...he says he is ok with just being friends, terrific.

It has been my experience that men (or women) who are attracted stay attracted and that it doesn't change to a friendship only feeling, although that is certainly possible.
But you know what, that's his thing to deal with. As long as he agrees to friendship only, and doesn't cross your boundaries, then I am all for you enjoying time with him and it sounds like you certainly deserve it.
And now me and the other readers know that you have already gone over this ground and established that, so no, I am not telling you that you are naive. You've discussed that with him, which I didn't know from the initial post. I don't see any red flags here. It sounds like it could be healthy and very good for you to be friends with him.
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:53 AM
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Hey, I say go INTO it as "just friends," but if it really feels right, I don't think there is any reason you SHOULDN'T take it further. Go very slow, consider the fact that it may complicate the lives of both of you, protect the interests of your girls at all costs.

Really, the rest of your life should not be on hold because your ex wants to play games with the legal process.

My two cents. Is it risky? Sure--but so is life.
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Old 06-17-2013, 09:10 AM
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Dear wtbh, I am saying that once a man is amored, that agenda does not end. Like the dog begging at the dinner table--they will stay the longest time....waiting in anxious anticipation that Perhaps...PERHAPS, a crumb might drop their way.

I am not saying that he may not be a lovely man--may he is---but whether he is or not....
he is a male who is attracted to you. Oh, they will say that they "understand" and that they "get it", but they will secretly keep all their senses alert to the possibility that you will "change" your mind.

Do you secretly hope for something more--even though your head tells you that a declaration of "friendship, only" is more expedient. If so, you would not be the first woman to do so...(LOL).

I am just saying to be honest with yourself; know the truth about the nature of man; and watch very carefully for the rocks in the river!

I am on YOUR side.

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Old 06-17-2013, 09:14 AM
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Night and day...

Well, life sent you a clear message, of how it has been like, and the potentials for healthier relationships. How exciting!




On the other hand, what a bad day for your girls / have you considered therapy for them? what a sad situation, if you do not want to see them getting abusive partners in the future, please consider getting them some professional help. (I do not remember if they are already going.)

This is coming from a 31 year old woman who is still sad about being let down by her father and who went through abusive situations in her past.
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Old 06-17-2013, 09:15 AM
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I totally get and appreciate the concerns from those of you expressing hesitancy... And I think I do know that most likely no matter what he says, there probably is a desire to have a relationship that is more than a friendship on his part. And to be honest on my end, if I had no interest in him beyond a platonic friendship I probably would not encourage a friendship because that would not be fair. I have no interest RIGHT NOW in anything more complex than a friendship but I do find him attractive and at the right time I could see wanting to explore more than a friendship... I think that if I did not feel that way, it would be cruel for me to encourage a friendship knowing he had stronger feelings than me...

My ex is insane and probably even when the ink is dry on the divorce will continue to think he gets a say in my life. I am very glad for the separation agreement we have (its a legal document) but absolutely will not be in any relationship other than a friendship until I legally have a right to...

And I certainly know the insanity of the ex well enough to realize that broadcasting my friendship with this man (or anyone for that matter- male or female) is just temptation to the ex to be insane. The number of FEMALE friendships I've had destroyed bc of his insanity are large- it's not like he keeps his control and abuse crap just for jealousy w men.

Basically any indication that I have a life and am happy seems to anger him.
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Old 06-17-2013, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by TakingCharge999 View Post
Night and day...

Well, life sent you a clear message, of how it has been like, and the potentials for healthier relationships. How exciting!

On the other hand, what a bad day for your girls / have you considered therapy for them? what a sad situation, if you do not want to see them getting abusive partners in the future, please consider getting them some professional help. (I do not remember if they are already going.)

This is coming from a 31 year old woman who is still sad about being let down by her father and who went through abusive situations in her past.
The girls are in therapy-- I already called their T and left a message explaining what happened and suggested if she had a cancellation they could use to see her sooner... Their T is wonderful. And she has really helped them both be able to speak up and say how they feel (to me and to their father).

Sadly his reaction to them when they state that they are sad or hurt is to get angry and they then are confused. When they express those things to me (bc god knows I am not perfect and I screw up w them plenty) my response is apologetic and compassion and I appreciate them for voicing their feelings. So I think they end up very very very confused a lot. They hear from me and the T that they should share how they feel and what they do deserve in terms of how to be treated... And they get that from me, from the T, from teachers, from friends parents etc.... And then their daddy whom they love is the one person they want care from the most and he reacts insanely.

I will continue to do all that I can for them but I have grave fears that nothing I do will be enough to make up for the hurt and confusion their father causes them and my inability to fix that for them makes me saddest of all.
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Old 06-17-2013, 09:30 AM
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WTBH, my great guy friend has been in my life (on the periphery) for a good 7 years. And you know something funny? This past winter, he had a short term relationship and I found myself jealous. Not hugely, but enough to recognize I had feelings for him that were more than just friends too.

My talking about my issues is more related to where my head is at the moment (like you!). This guy is a GOOD MAN. I would need to be in the place to accept this in my life. Right now, I am working on re-calibrating my picker so I can be the person I know he'd expect in his life AND accept him for who he is too. More to be revealed here, that's for sure.

But I have no regrets enjoying him as a person who is kind, understanding, and supportive.

I just recognize it is more than just friends but less than romantic involvement, if that make sense. Like we are both wanting the same thing only the timing hasn't been right - I think I said that already - but timing does matter.

But I will say this - it isn't complex or complicated at all. It's actually one of the few healthy relationships I've had with a man in a while, and what a blessing that has been to have a comparison between the unhealthy ones and the healthy ones!

Enjoy yourself! Life is short....
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