Direct Answers – Familiar Tale

Familiar Tale

I am a divorced mother of three, divorced almost nine years. I thought I would never find happiness again. Well, I have. I think.

This is going to sound so crazy, but I've met the most wonderful person yet feel unhappy. He is caring, loving, affectionate, supportive and everything any woman would want. So what is my problem? Let me explain.

Since my divorce from an alcoholic, I told myself I would not settle for less. The man I married would be all I listed above and more. I dated off and on, but nothing serious. Then I met a man four years ago who sent my heart and head in a swirl.

We had all these things we were going to do, he had a good job and he didn't drink to excess. He had never been married or had children. After three years, however, I realized he would never commit and never be "part" of the family.

His idea of a good day was to come home from work, work on his car and not communicate with me or the children until he was ready. He called it "my space and time."

For the most part, I respected that. But it got worse. It got to the point he didn't want to spend any time with us at all. He thought calling to say he wouldn't be home was "checking in" with me. After a lot of heartache and thought I ended it. Unfortunately, it ended badly.

A year later I met a man who wants to marry me. He loves the children as his own. He's never been married but sees us starting our lives together and him adopting the children. Every day he tells me he loves me, hugs me, and cooks and cleans with me. He wants to hold me at night and talk about us.

I'm not complaining about this. It's the amount of time he wants to do it each day. This is going to sound crazy, but he constantly tells me he loves me (about 15 times an hour) and hugs me. If I'm washing dishes, he hands me a towel to dry my hands so he can give me a "proper" hug.

He says he wants to show how much he loves me and feels I don't show it enough. To be honest, I don't feel it's natural for me at this point. I'm too busy responding to him. I feel like I am being pressured into showing affection when it's not coming from the heart.

~ Nicole

Nicole, once upon a time, three bears lived in a house in the forest. They were Papa Bear, Mama Bear and Baby Bear. One morning their breakfast porridge was too hot to eat, so they went out for a walk. While they were gone, a girl named Goldilocks found their door open and went in.

She tried Papa Bear's porridge. It was too hot. She tried Mama Bear's porridge. It was too cold. She tried Baby Bear's porridge. It was just right. Then Goldilocks went upstairs and found three beds. Papa Bear's bed was too hard. Mama Bear's was too soft. But Baby Bear's bed was just right.

You are Goldilocks, but the problem you've had is staying in the wrong bed too long. With an alcoholic it was long enough to have three children. With a man who wouldn't commit it was three years. That bed was too hard. Now you are with a man who smothers and suffocates you. That bed is too soft.

Too much is not right and neither is too little. The more time in the wrong bed, the more you blame yourself instead of the bed.

You've gotten out of the wrong bed before. You can do it again. Somewhere out there is the bed that is just right for you.

~ Wayne & Tamara

Column for the week of September 12, 2016

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