Dear Eloisa: I recently started dating a fantastic woman. She’s smart, gorgeous, amazing sense of humor and so very kind. I really think I hit the jackpot with this one. After my divorce, I was worried about the difficulties associated with finding a suitable life partner at my age, and then she came along. We immediately had a one-of-a-kind connection, like nothing I can really describe. So why in the world am I writing in to an advice column then…Here’s the thing, she has three kids. They range in age from 8 to 15. From what I know of them so far, they seem like wonderful children. My problem isn’t with the fact that she has kids, it is with the level of interaction her and her ex have in regard to those children. Maybe I’m being selfish, but it seems like she leans on him a great deal. They talk on the phone, text, even email. I hate to be jealous, but I am having a hard time hiding how angered I am by their relationship. Am I wrong?
All the best,
George – Denver, CO
Dear George: Yes, sorry to say it, but largely you are wrong. When there are children involved in a divorce situation, co-parenting comes into play. And while respective dating partners may not like this or may not be comfortable with the presence of the ex-spouse, it really doesn’t matter. What matters most is what is best for the child or children. It sounds like the woman you are dating truly is wonderful, not only because of all of the tremendous adjectives you gave her, but because she is making an effort to get along with her ex-husband and parent those kids to the best of their collective ability given the situation.
Now, it would be a different story if, for instance, they were engaging in texting or conversations that were not necessarily kid-based. My advice is to be honest with your new love. Tell her how you feel, and maybe she can give you some further input into the nature of her and her ex’s relationship, input that might help allay your jealousy.
Also, I’m guessing you knew that she had children prior to dating. Maybe this was something you should have thought about more. I know with dating services such as Mile High Singles they are very thorough in screening applicants and bringing up the difficult questions, such as those regarding children from a previous marriage and a client’s feelings about this. Dating can be tough, knowing as much as you can about not only that prospective other, but also about yourself is essential if you want to eventually find romance and love. Hope it all works out.
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