First Relationship after Divorce

first relationship after divorce

Are you in the middle of your first relationship after divorce? Then you will want some of the insight our dating coach gives this reader.

Advice on Your First Relationship after Divorce

Readers Question

I'm currently going through a divorce. But I also have been dating a man for the past 4 months. While he was a pleasant surprise because I was not really searching for someone at the time, I really fell in love fast. So did he, he was very serious, very quickly. However, for the past month we have been fighting about anything and everything. So we decided until my divorce was final, we would take a break. In the meantime, we have contacted each other and we continue to tell each other how much we love one another.Last week, he emailed me explaining a big job offer that would relocate him for an unknown amount of time. At first, I was very upset because I assumed after my divorce we would pick back up where we left off. Then I thought about it and I think it is for the best. We agreed that we would keep in touch and we agreed after he found out more details we would sit down and talk to decide the amount of time we are willing to 'keep in touch' and try to work on this.

Are we doing the adult thing here by giving it the time it needs? Our relationship was so good and I was happier than I have been in a long time. I do not want to lose him and from what he says, he does not want to lose me. But what are he chances we can repair and make it work long distance?

-- Contributed by: Amy S

Expert Reply

Dear Amy S.

I once heard a comedian say that we shouldn't refer to an ex-husband as ex, but rather a 'why' or possibly a 'what'. Why as in, "Why did I marry this guy?" "Why did it take me so long to realize I couldn't change him?" And "What was I thinking?" The point of her humor was to imply that a woman getting divorced should question her motives in the partner she chooses.

Relationships created during and following a divorce tend to have many similarities to the previous marriage. Moreover, these new relationship have many of the same problems. The reason is simple. We choose our partners based on our level of comfort and ease with them. This is not on a conscious level. We don't think our way through choosing a partner. We let it naturally happen. The problem arises when we realize that the same issues, concerns and behaviors of our ex are eerily similar to that of our new partner.

The problem isn't with the new person, the problem lies with us. If we don't learn from our past and actively change our behavior, we repeat what we have not learned. This may explain why you fell in love so fast and why you and your boyfriend are fighting about everything and anything. Fighting in a relationship is normal, having the skills to listen and problem-solve are what is important. Another way to look at this is the same skills are used to handle problems and concerns regardless of the relationship between two people.

When you're in a relationship it is expected that the couple will discuss big and important decisions in person. It is important to look at the other person, see and hear his thoughts, feelings and concerns. You can't do this with text messaging, Instant messaging or email. The fact that your boyfriend emailed you about a big job offer tells me that he is an avoidant type. He doesn't like conflict and he doesn't want to hear what you have to say. Instead, he wants to be in charge of delivering the information and wants you to receive it no questions asked. Is this the kind of relationship you want? Does this sound like the kind of man who will make you happy? It doesn't to me.

The answer to your question is not easy and may be something you're ready to hear. The truth is still the same and I hope you can look in to your heart to hear my answer. The chance of your relationship working out long distance is as good as it was when the two of you lived in the same city…not good.

~~Lori

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First Relationship after Divorce