Effect of divorce


New member
Brief backstory: In 2011, I joined a couple that seemed tight, but ultimately was not. In all fairness, they did not understand the significance of their own issues. The wife, Lorelei, was a walking, talking apparition of cognitive distortions. She presented well on the surface. Put on a good face. But once a person got to really know her, it was apparent her grasp of reality was tenuous at best.

The Philosopher's only experience with women was with those who were like Lorelei. His own mother, an illogical mess, as were others that he'd dated. He thought that women just weren't very rational. Nonetheless, he loved his wife dearly.

When I entered the picture, I was a game changer: logical, reasonable, and even-tempered. He realized he felt far more comfortable talking to me than his wife who was unpredictably volatile and could be emotionally abusive.

I was gone for about year and they went through two marriage counselors before they ultimately separated and divorced. It will be two years in November since they separated. They have two children. Their mother told them I reason was the cause of the divorce, and that has contributed to keeping the Philosopher and I moving in slow motion, waiting for enough time to pass and the children to get old enough to doubt the veracity of her claim.

So we finally get to the nature of my query! I keep getting this push - pull phenomena from the Philosopher. It's like, don't get too close, but don't go too far. He talks about a future together, but it's always somewhat nebulous - like it is a pretty idea, but he doesn't really know how to get there. I made the comment to him that although he logically knew he could trust me, it seemed he didn't emotionally know he could trust me. He did not contradict me. I am in a seemingly perpetual state of limbo. Given that I have never experienced a divorce nor something that rocked my worldview as completely as this seemed to rock his, I don't really know how to deal with it. I am sure he is processing as fast as he can, but I am often left feeling a bit sad and resentful. Not so much at him, but at the situation. I have been trying not to add more stress to his situation than he is already enduring. But I am starting to wonder if by being so low-key, it is easier for him to not deal, to not move forward. I would welcome others experiences and insights.
It's always the couples that talk about how "perfect" they are, that end up falling apart, no?

I can only tell you I'm going through something similar. Fortunately, due to the particular dysfunction of the wife and the particular skills of the husband, I'm in much better shape with you with the children. She chose to make it very clear that she was rejecting him BEFORE she rejected me. At this point, the children would assume that any action of hers to keep me from them would be her rejecting THEIR friend, not HIS lover.

Because, ultimately, you and he both want the children's needs to be first. You're doing a good job of this now, it appears. Just be patient :) They will understand, if you keep doing this right. Keep being considerate of their needs; and being as kind as you can to the wife (after all, it's their mother, whatever she's done against you or him).

In the meantime, however, I think it's okay to remind him that it's okay for you two to get "close," without pushing boundaries that would affect the children. For example, frequent calls/communication. Date nights? I dunno. Anything that helps build your relationship. And, eventually, a "talk" about what it is you and he want (marriage, commitment ceremony, LLC formation, etc.)
Your situation with the children is indeed vastly better. But I am sorry you are having to endure the break up your couple as well.

As for the ex-wife, I never see her at all. She doesn't speak to me. And really after her awful behavior I am okay with that.

As for the children, I hadn't seen them for well over a year. At the time the daughter to whom I had been so close wouldn't speak to me. However, I attended a block party with the Philosopher on the 4th. The Philosopher's son was there. As a budding teen, he was far more interested in his friends than my presence. Not the least bit disturbed. Possibly a good sign, and not a bad one.
It sucks, but you always have to remember losing, in this case a 20+year relationship, is always harder for them. It's just weirder for you (no frame of reference.)

Reach out to me if you want to discuss further.