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Dear Debra
Dear Debra, Advice Columnist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1852
Experience:  I have been an Advice columnist for 14 years. My column is published weekly in local newpapers.
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My my and I were separated for 2 years and f months ago we

Customer Question

My my and I were separated for 2 years and f months ago we decided to give it another try for my son who is 6 with the condition we go to couples counseling. Which we did..things went fine but now we are at the 6 months and I'm not to the point to were I'm in love with her. I love her and respect her as the mother of my son but not in love with her. I have been going back and forth on what would affect my son less 1. If I stayed in the relationship and wait until he's 18 but I would endure the marriage or 2. End the relationship. Please advise.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dear Debra replied 6 years ago.
You have a different kind of love for her. You have a love that you respect her for who she is, for the mother that she is to your son. But you feel you are not in love with her like you should be. It sounds like you both have been through some things and going to counseling was a step in working things out together. Some times everything that happens in like effect how you see each other. Hurt can build up and some times you protect yourself by not letting yourself fall in love again. If you open up and discover the things you once felt when you first started dating, reminisce about when you first met, try to rekindle the love you once felt for her. You have been separated a long time and you need to take your time to rebuild your relationship back. You need to find that place where you both can resolve some of the things that is keeping you from loving her again. You made the decision to try this relationship again. Love grows and gets stronger as you go through things together, but people's emotions put up guards around their heart out of fear to love again because they afraid to get hurt. You do love her, you just feel like you are not loving her like you should. You need to find these feelings once again, they are there you just need to start this relationship again like it's brand new. It's a fresh start for you both.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I have been going back and forth on what would affect my son less 1. If I stayed in the relationship and wait until he's 18 but I would endure the marriage or 2. End the relationship. Please advise.
Expert:  Dear Debra replied 6 years ago.
It really comes down to what is best for you and your son. Your his father for life and trying to make things work is you putting your son first. But you want to know what would affect your son less. My question is do you want to stay in this relationship? If you do not your relationship with your son does not change. You love your son and all that will ever matter to him is you being there. But you also have to be happy as well. If you feel like this is a relationship that is ended, you both need to work out finding a balance to each be equal partners in your sons life. What do you feel is best for you right now? Your son is number one in your life, but I would like to know how you feel about what you really want to do.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
One issue that worries me is that my wifes father left them when she was 6 years old, and her mother brought numerous boyfriends around her and her sister/brother. One of the reasons why I wanted to attempt to work things out was so that would not manifest with my son. As it was she was already going to bring the person she was seing around my son ony 1 month after dating which raised a red flag with me. In my world I have promised to refrain from bringing any one around my son until he is at least 10 to 12 years of age which she oviously has a different outlook. So if you are asking me what I feel is best for my son? Its me being around to protect him from experiencing that. Now about me, one of the biggest issue is that I'm not affectionate with her which she does complain about with all good reason. I have tried for it to grow within me but it does not.when she hugs me I feel like she's hugging a hollow tree but I'm still open to staying in the marriage just to be with my son. Now keep in mind these last few months we have been living in separate homes but I have been spending more time than usual with my son.please advise.
Expert:  Dear Debra replied 6 years ago.
Your son is first and I see you are willing to try to make this relationship work for your son. One thing I want to bring up is you feeling like she is hugging a hollow tree.Was things always like this in the beginning or has life situation altered how you feel about her? Is there something inside you that you are holding onto that is stopping you from loving her? I see your concerns with her dating and bringing people are your son at such an early stage. You feel that being around your son to protect him from this experience is very important to you and I understand. You are always going to do the right thing for your son. You will always put your feelings aside for your son. That too me is an outstanding father. I know you will do the right thing for your son. I want to talk about the things that are stopping you from starting this relationship new and fresh, finding that love you once had for her. See if we can understand why you feel she is hugging a hollow tree. You both live in separate homes right now and you are spending more time with your son and how is that working out for you so far?