What Would Debbie Do?
Put Your Resentment In the Closet
I started dating a man six months ago. I actually dated him for six months 27 years ago, when we were in high school, but we went our separate ways to experience life. We are both divorced now and we both have children. He is in the Army as a career, so at least one or two weekends he has to work. On the other weekends he spends the entire time with his 13-year-old son. Sometimes on Friday nights we get to see each other for a few hours, and the only other time is one or two times during the week. (His daughter is older and out and about, being social; and my children are both older and also out much of the time with friends or working.)
Now that I am quite sure we love each other and we both have agreed to a committed relationship, it makes me sad to spend my weekend time alone. I do have friends, a house, dogs, chores, etc., plus a full-time job during the weekdays, so I do have a life outside of him, but I miss him terribly all weekend. I have recently joined a gym and will be spending time there as well, but he will still always be on my mind. How do I go about being happy without him? I’m afraid my loneliness is going to turn to resentment and start to cause problems between us. Am I too insecure? And if so, what do I do to change that about myself?
I understand your dilemma. You reconnect with someone special, after years apart, only to find you have to be separated on the weekends. Here’s the good news: The important time he’s spending with his son is coming to an end.
I am the divorced mother of two teenage boys, ages14 and 16. And one thing I’ve noticed is that the time they spend with either their father or me has diminished over the years. Actually, 13 is about the time things begin to change. All of sudden there are other things to do on the weekends, like hang with their friends, go to sporting events, engage with girls. As time passes, he’ll begin to separate from his dad. You must have seen this with your own children. The time your boyfriend is spending with his son right now is fleeting. With that in mind, stay focused on the bigger picture. There will come a time when his son is not interested in him, and he’ll realize that it’s time to focus on himself, which will include his relationship with you. If you love this guy, the ultimate gift you can give him is this special time. You’re the adult – you know it will eventually even itself out, and then both of you will have a more balanced life together with all of your children. Until then, put the resentment in the closet and think bigger.
Also, six months into a relationship isn’t the time to become demanding. So take a deep breath, get in shape at the gym and give your guy something worthwhile to come home to – an understanding (and shapely) girlfriend! He will love you even more and appreciate the sacrifices you’ve made in order to help make his relationship with his son more meaningful.