Alison, in your letter last week you said you are almost 46, working as an upscale escort, the mother of two young children, in a loveless marriage, and hoping for a proposal from Simon, one of your clients.
You are living in three worlds: the world of work and your flat, the world of your children and home, the world of Simon and his children. If you try to combine the three worlds, either it will be magic and you get everything you want, or it will be tragic and you end up with nothing.
You asked, “Should I divorce my husband, prompt a proposal from Simon and marry him? It would have to be a hybrid marriage for a few years, at least until my children were mature enough to deal with the situation. If I did this, I would split time between Simon, my home and my work. I know Simon would love for this to happen, and it wouldn’t break my husband’s heart as long as I pay for the children and mortgage.”
Alison, in fantasy all things are possible. But options in reality are far fewer than in fantasy. On the scale of reality to fantasy, where does your plan fall?
Even in your best case scenario there are problems. Your “few years” of a hybrid marriage look more like a decade to us. Your children are far from adulthood, and your husband cannot support them without your income.
Telling the kids is another matter. Your teenage daughter tells her bestie and now everyone at her school knows. Or the boy she’s crazy about tells his parents. You cannot count on a teenager not acting from anger or stupidity. Kids can’t keep secrets except from their parents.
To get your husband to give you the divorce, you may be tempted or forced to accept onerous terms. Or friends of Simon’s late wife may get him to “come to his senses” and face the obstacles, including the reaction from his own kids. Then he backs away from marrying you.
Now at 56 you are living in the flat you work from. Still with no exit strategy, with 10 more years added to the five you have already been an escort. You say you like it, because that’s what people say, but you want out and you see Simon as your exit plan.
That’s not guaranteed. A second before he says “I do” he can change his mind, and your plan falls apart.
But there are two realistic things you can do. The first is divorce. You can’t do anything with anyone else until that is done.
You have a marriage in name only. You need to fix that. You cannot be tied to a man because he needs your money from prostitution. You have to cut a reasonable deal without drowning yourself in debt. Your husband is weak. You can help support the kids, but he has to man-up and support himself.
Second, you need an exit plan from prostitution that is not contingent on something else, like a new man. When your children are marriage age, how are they going to handle your past? What impact will it have on their life choices, their emotions and their connections with others?
In a perfect world the kids take it well, and no one attacks them or hurts them with the information. But in this non-perfect world the kids are shocked, appalled and embarrassed. You have given ammunition to anyone who wants to take aim at you and your children.
You became an escort because you were in an emotionally and physically loveless marriage, and you were struggling financially. You are still in the same boat. You have two hard steps to take before you are free to fall in love. Take them.
~ Wayne & Tamara
Column for the week of May 9, 2016
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