Choosing Between the Guys

Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Female
hi, i'm 26 yrs old with a 6 yr old daughter and a 3 yr old son. 7.5 yrs ago, i met a very sweet, 7 yrs older, man who is very quiet and not comfortable with showing his emotions (due to his past home family life). we became good friends and eventually started dating. i wasn't looking for anything serious and i just assumed he wasn't either. for months we would be together and then seperate, always because of no communication.

during one of these break ups, i dated another young man and became pregnant. my ex was very upset with me and we obviously went about a year or so just socially talking. after my daughter was born and her father and i didn't work out,( the end of him, totally) i stayed single for my own sanity. i realized that i was crazy about my ex, but not wanting to chance rejection i pushed him away when he came to me, i just didn't feel as if he was at the same level of me emotionally. i did believe that he cared for me, just not enough of what i wanted.

we slowly stepped back into the same pattern as before but i let him initiate it all. he came to my apt to stay, he called me, he asked me out. we then had a fight after months of this happiness and he decided that it would be perfect to make me jealous to date my out of town cousin...i didn't jump on board and as much as i hurt, i put it on the back burner and 'wisely' got even.

after analyzing this (we'd been off and on for 2.5 yrs) i still believe that we were both on the same level, but feeling the other wasn't and neither one of us wanting to be hurt again so we test the other one...make sense? probably not.. we were not on speaking terms for about 5 months when his closest sister (a good friend of mine) suddenly died. i sent him a card expressing my deepest sympathy, but nervous about making a scene at the funeral, i didn't go, as much as i wanted to be there for him and to show my respect for her. he came to my apt 2 weeks later and without saying anything to me, he just sat down and played with my daughter for a couple of hours and got up and left when he was finished without a word said to me. i didn't know what to say to him at all. he did this a couple more times with the same results.

then he called me and we talked, we agreed that we were both willing to try something a bit more than what we had ever had. i was cautious, but thrilled. my best friend who is a man 2 yrs younger than me and more like family (like the rest of his whole family) had always come to my house when he needed a place to sleep after his drinking times....i insisted that so there would be no driving involved.

my ex (then boyfriend) would call me at odd times and ask who was there and would drop in on times that he was suppose to be with his friends and my friends would be there, just so he could see who i was with and what i was doing. he would ask me what movie i had watched and exactly what it was about, etc... at first, i just laughed it off, then it hurt me that he would even think that i was doing anything wrong. at one point he would come over after work around 1:30 am and say hello and then leave after a little while. i eventually broke it off again and started dating others and so did he. i couldn't stand to see him with anyone else and i think he felt the same way, and we had one last night together, this time i became pregnant with his child.

i was scared silly about the whole prospect and gave myself time to adjust to the thought of having a child with him and what i wanted to happen. when i told him of the news, he was absolutely thrilled, the sparkle in his eyes had never been brighter until it sank in. then he asked me if the baby was his.....i was never so disgusted in my life. i simply answered yes, and then he accused me of sleeping with my best friend etc...and i told him to get out and not to come back until the baby was born and i would give him fair chance to be there for the birth and the baby's life. he walked away and i saw him once more during the pregnancy to see if i needed anything, and he had went away the day before the baby was born, on a trip. once a paternity test had been done, he was wonderful with our son. i simply gave up and dated someone i'd been interested in and my ex and i only had contact when it came to our son.

i thought the best thing for my children and myself was to have a normal family life, so i got married to the guy i'd been dating (for 2 yrs). I still loved my ex deeply but i wanted more for my children and i thought i deserved more too.

after being married for only a year, i'm thinking i made a terrible mistake. my husband is very kind, but first priority is his mother and father and tends to say he'll do alot of stuff, but never does it, etc.. i think the average male stuff. when i go to take my son to his daddy's, i just don't want to leave, the comfortable talk and the easy laugh's catch up with me and i want to stay there and never leave. my ex has never said anything out of the way towards me, but the warmth is there. i find that i want to make sure that he's eating right (soup tends to be the easiest for him) and he's just happy.

i tend to think things out long and hard before i make any quick decisions and i'm confused this time. i don't know if i truly want my ex back in my life for good or if i'm just aggravated at my husband for lack of gumption. please help me determine any patterns or problems that you see. a fresh perspective would be wonderful. also note, that my ex tends to do anything to 'make me happy' and stay on good terms with me and has this overwhelming vulnerable look to him..... Advice
It's always easy to idolize relationships that you're not in. Remember, you were WITH this guy before and it didn't work out. He was controlling and jealous! That is NOT the relationship you want to have while you are raising children. That teaches them incredibly poor lessons about how to have a relationship.

Yes, you love your ex. But it is very possible to LOVE someone without wanting to LIVE with them and I think you are in that situation. He's great in small doses. But for him to get into your life and start trying to control you again and be jealous over everything you do is incredibly unhealthy.

Every relationship takes work. Every person has good and bad traits. If your husband's bad trait is that he tends not to finish tasks, heck that is how most of the WORLD is not just how most GUYS are. Guys get just as annoyed with women over women's inability to finish tasks. You need to put time, energy and effort into your relationship with your husband. It won't just happen. It requires work and effort for a good relationship to thrive, and that is what you and your children deserve.

Also most spouses are upset that their partners are not 'really into family'. That your husband is really into family and values it is INCREDIBLY powerful. His mother and father won't be around forever. Cherishing your parents while you have them is very important - and means that you'll cherish your partner and kids even the more when the parents are gone.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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