How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask TherapistJen Your Own Question

TherapistJen
TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 2816
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker
64783947
Type Your Relationship Question Here...
TherapistJen is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I've been seeing a man that lost s wife 2/2015. He was

Customer Question

I've been seeing a man that lost his wife 2/2015. He was married 40+ years two of his stepdaughters are having trouble still and receiving counselling for dealing with the loss of their mother. For this reason he doesn't want to tell them he is seeing someone. We were able to see each other about once a week but in the past couple months we have only been able to be close about two times. We usually meet at my house and because he is a handyman and my youngest daughter had school it was easy to do without getting caught. His kids stop by his place quite often after work and one worked for school district so now she has the summer off. This is going to limit times available quite a bit. I'm getting quite depressed and lonely and it's making me irritable and hard to deal with situations with my teen and young adult daughter that are trying to show their independence and disrespectful ways that is kind of normal for their age. I broke down and confessed to my girls why I wasn't as patient lately. I told this fellow now he's upset and says we need to take a break for a few days while he makes some decisions. Am I being unreasonable to think that he should just let his kids know we are dating or will that news really put them in a bad way? How much time should he let his stepdaughters vulnerability keep him from seeking companionship?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 4 months ago.
I'm sorry to hear how difficult this has been for you. This kind of situation affects everyone involved and it is okay that you desire to have more with him at this point. yes he was married for a long time and it is over a year since his wife has passed away and he is being delicate, is it possible that he is being too delicate with her daughter's? yes but we can't judge that because that's the way that he feels is best. sadly it has had an impact on you and how you are feeling. I don't think you did anything wrong by sharing with your children what is going on with you. You have had great insight into why your patience has been less lately and it was the right thing to do to share it with them. I am sorry that it hurt him in a way that he needs to pull back and reevaluate things. It is quite possible that his stepdaughter's will do better than he thinks and it could just be his fear and his guilt about moving on that is preventing him from sharing the news with them about you and something wonderful so maybe we can have some empathy for his spot as well and let him know that we understand and will do what it takes and hope that you can come together around this and share the wonderful news for his step-children as well. In the meantime give him the space that he desires and if it's possible let him know that you have empathy for his spot, will do what it takes and hope that you can come together and make it comfortable for everyone involved.
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 4 months ago.

I am here if you need me. I am here to support you. If all good for now, please take a moment to click on the rating tab to rate my support.

Jen

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 4 months ago.

I apologize, but I am not able to provide a call at this time, but am happy to continue here with you.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I was typing response but it got long and wouldn't let me finish saying what i wanted. Guess i can start over after while and tey again.
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 4 months ago.

Sorry that happened. I feel for what you are going though and the more I thought about it during the day, it seems like he is dealing with his own guilt and sadness about truly moving on.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
You said you couldn't talk now but could we schedule time later? If not, i will type out something.
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 4 months ago.

I am not able to provide a call. I await your reply here. Thanks so much.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
OK.bso to be totally honest we started seeing each other for over twelve years while he was still married. His wife had a bout with breast cancer and because of menopause and the treatment was no longer wanting intamacy. They discussed divorce but because that was only problem and because she would need medical and they didn't want divorce to upset adult children and grandkids they agreed open relationship was best option. I had called it off couple of times cuz just wasn't comfortable with it. I had worked closely with him at work though and he had supported me through my failed attempted return relationship with my ex, problem with work trying to force me out of my union job after already having a side contract with me to accommodate a disability, my own breast cancer, death of my ex, we both lost jobs to plant closure and then also was very emotional support for me to get on federal disability. His wife also had another life threatening ng km and of cancer. He didn't like me for sex only and vice versa. Even prior to his wife getting fatal cancer he had told me if anything ever happened with their marriage he would be with me. He even made time for me while she was going through her final days. Because oif this and the factbshe had given him permission when they were together I don't think it is his guilty feelings causing the problem. I told him I was a mental mess because I needed to talk to him and find out point blank what his thoughts were on our relationship, where he saw it in future and finding a solution to how we could see each other more. Maybe his stepdaughters truly couldn't handle his dating right now. But recently I had told him during one of our visits that I'm not interested in trying to compete with the like be she gave him or being compared to her at all. I didn't want him to act like that love never meant anything and just forget the memories they shared. He needed to hold onto them but I just wanted to create new memories for us to hold onto. He appreciated my talk with him. But I feel he underestimates his stepdaughters ability to deal with his dating. I fell if he let's them know that he's seeing someone and wants to work me into his plans a little more that as long as he tells them their mother and him discussed it that she wanted him to find another companion they would be okay with it. He just also has to assure them he'll always be there for them when needed and during special days and holidays too. He's not going to focus his time on me alone. It's normal for adults to want companionship especially after having it taken away when you've had it for so many years. When children become young adults they have these same desires and parental love does fulfill all human beings needs just as a child's love can't either. They still have their kids and husbands. He needs to assure them that his love for their mother will never fade away but her physical being and companionship is gone and leaving him empty and wanting happiness again. What do you think?
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 4 months ago.

Thank you for your openness and honesty about it all. There is a lot of history here and so many things that impact you both. Even though you were together before his wife died, does not mean he doesn't have feelings of guilt about fully moving on and including you into the lives, even if only by telling them, of his step daughters. I hear you say that "he needs to..." and I understand that but that is based on how you believe he should be acting and what he needs to say to them, but you may have a better chance if you speak to him in a way to try and understand why he is not ready, rather than indicate what you believe he needs to do. You might learn what it really is that gets in the way f him taking this step. If he feels pushed to do so, he may distance himself, so I believe talking to him to understand why it is hard for him would be the way to go. And I don't mean asking him what he wants with the relationship and where it is going, but truly trying to understand what is preventing him. More empathy could go a long way for you.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I agree. I'm doubting that his kids are the only thing preventing this. But i want him to be honest and firthright and tell me if there is another reason. I feel i deserve to know instead of being put on the back burner so to speak. If he truly is having problems himself i could accept that if he told me so.
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 4 months ago.

I understand all of that and I can hear your insistence, but I worry that hurts your goal....I would pull back a bit. It may just be his stepdaughters but he may not even understand why it is hard for him. I know you want the answers and want them when you want them, but he needs to figure this out. Pushing him will not help with what you want.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Here is example of my confusion. I asked him to spend night out of town with me out of town in early march. He agreed but he ended up having to take his disabled brother to social security appointment the next nirning early so couldn't stay but we did have 4-5 hours together. This whole time he kept saying he wanted to get a room next time and repeatedly told me it would probably be sooner than i think. So four months later mo mention of it. I told him last week my nirthday is end of month and it wold be a grest time then. He agreed and said he'd like to try and make it happen. So why would he send mixed messages. I could handle truth indtead of getting feeling there's somethibg he isn't telling me
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 4 months ago.

I don't really hear mixed messages like you and I don't think he is hiding any truth. He just simply may not be ready like you are. I know that is hard to hear possibly, but it may be simpler than you are thinking it. I would step back a bit, give him some space and when you reconnect, you come from a place of empathy.

Related Relationship Questions