You see, I have been on several dates with a wonderful man whom we shall call Tom (not his real name but close enough).
These past few weeks went as well as can be considering that my dear Tom is still living in the shadow of divorce.
Tom had been married for 20 years and has been divorced close to 3 years now. He has dated during this time but nothing really came out of those experiences.
Now I see why.
1. During our conversations, his ex is never too far away and not in a nice reminiscing kind of way (which would probably be worrying in it's own way) but in an intense angry kind of way. Somehow our conversations, no matter the topic, inevitably end up with his ex in the middle of it. And before you say that this is to be expected as he had spent so many years with this ex-wife, I'd beg to differ. What it does show is that Tom's way of looking at the world today is through his eyes of the past, as opposed to seeing and looking at what is happening here and now. And yes, Tom agrees.
2. He compares what I say or do with his ex by saying things like, "This is something I would have expected from my ex but not from you. " I smile as I write that and wonder, "How the hell did he get away with that?"
3. In the beginning, he was adamant he would never be in a relationship were an argument, any type of argument existed or had the potential of existing because he had done enough of that during his marriage. Well, show me a relationship where disagreements or arguments don't ever exist and I will eat my hat. Disagreements are necessary (up to a certain extent) because it is through these moments that you get to learn what the other person is about - it's the way the arguments are handled that matter most, not the fact that there has been an argument or not but that's a whole other blog. Yes, conflict in divorce is expected but understand the repercussions.
5. Any form of contact from his ex sends him spiralling into a world of irritation and anger. He received an email, an expected one I might add, one evening and for the next hour or so, Tom became subdued and lost in his own world as he planned what he would say at the meeting to make sure it goes his way.
Tom explains that he isn't yearning for his ex wife or the life they had together, fortunately he is aware that he is still living with so much anger (which stems from hurt) that allowing someone else in for who they are and as they are, can't compute in his psyche at the moment. I say fortunately because acceptance is truly the first step to healing, to moving forward because once you've accepted then you are able to change the situation for the better.
You cannot change what you don't accept.
Tom is dating while under the influence of divorce and until he sobers up, we women will all be matched up with his ex, compared to his ex, treated as though we somehow are capable of morphing and becoming his ex and to be fair, this is a path we all walk down following a breakup.
Have you ever dated a divorcée or divorcé, while they were high on their divorce status?