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Dr. Paige
Dr. Paige, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1427
Experience:  Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist
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I have been in a relationship with a wonderful man for about

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I have been in a relationship with a wonderful man for about 3 years. This was my first real relationship after getting out of a 10 year abusive relationship. 18 months in, we decided that I would relocate and move in with him. We moved from a small city to a regional beach town about 2 hours away. I have 3 daughters from my previous relationship and he has 1 daughter as well, all under 12. After living together for about 4-5 months he started struggling with having a step family and he left a couple of times for a few days. We did see a counselor briefly but he didn't ever put into place the techniques suggested to help try to fix things. All went pear shaped and rather than split completely we decided we would still date but have separate houses and try to work on our relationships with our respective step children to try again. I have tried hard, but I don't feel like he really tried at all or has any intention of us living together again. After 8 months or so like this, I decided to move back to my home town where I have friends and great job options rather than being stuck in a small town where I didn't know anybody and had a job I hated. I have settled back into my old life well, have a great job I am enjoying. He has bought a business which is based in my area so comes to visit often while still living in the regional town where his daughter is. My issues started when I came back, I think it may have been one of the only times I made a major decision to better my life for me. Most other things have been done to please other people or for the kids. It has given me a lot more self confidence, and now I am questioning my relationship. We have a lot of love for each other and get on very well, but I am feeling like the relationship is going nowhere. I would like to remarry and have another child, but if he can't handle my kids now I don't see how we would ever be in a position to have another child. Then I wonder if I am being silly - why do I feel like I need to get married and have another child - is this because of some expectation of society or is it what I really want. For the last 2-3 weeks I have been quite distant from him, he knows but doesn't say anything. It is quite irrational, as I haven't addressed this with him either, but I have been getting more and more angry over the past few weeks because I feel taken for granted, especially after the last 4 months of questioning the direction of our relationship. He is very loving in most ways but our sex life has dwindled to almost nothing whereas previously it was very good. I know I need to talk to him, but I don't know what to say as I can't work out in my head what I really want out of this or in life in general. Last night was a bit wake up call for me, after a few work drinks I went home with someone, because they were being kind I guess and I wanted to feel wanted. I never in a million years thought I would ever cheat on someone and I would never do it again. But it has been a big wake up call for me that I need to do something to resolve these feelings, whether we can move forward with our relationship, or whether it is time to move on. It is not fair on either of us to go on this way. I am finding if hard, even if he did decide that he wanted us to take things to the next level, to believe that he can cope this time and that he won't just up and leave again in 6 months. I guess I need some help to work out how to approach this, and work out what I really want. I really do love this man and he deserves better than how I am at the moment. Your advice is appreciated.
Hello. You have a wonderful mindset for your current situation, although I know it probably does not seem like it to you. I think that you did all the right things and continue to do the right things in trying to sort out some of the challenges that everyone faces. There is never a for sure answer. There is always going to be risk in any choice you make. You need to know this and accept it with confidence. No one wants to make mistakes, but it happens. It's what we do with those experiences that make the difference in your next choice.
Yes, you do need to talk with him. You can practice having a conversation with him by writing it down. Sometimes seeing your thoughts on paper make perspective a lot easier to find. Write a notebook if you have to. Go back the next day and look over what you wrote previously. Does it make sense still? By writing your thoughts down, you can see a trend in what are your actual, core values and what other things come and go in your head as "what ifs".
What are your priorities and goals for yourself and your kids?
Just as you sat here and put thought into typing out your question, do the same for yourself. Writing things down can clear your mind of the circles.
Going into a new relationship, whether it is truly new or not,is a scary thing for anyone. You will probably have some level of regret no matter which choice you make. Don't let this fact scare you, let it help you be able to move past that fear.
Also, a relationship is 50/50 and it has to be that to work. I hear a lot of similar situations with women who have kids and feel their man isn't helping and that he is just floating along, not contributing when she is doing all the work. The reasons for this is that women find meaning in everything. It's our nature to do so. We see things as a whole and tend to be empathetic towards others. Men are not this way and women expect them to be, therefore get upset with them when they can't see what we perceive to be the obvious. You have to be very direct with men. If you don't tell them exactly what you want or how you are feeling, do not think that they will ever have a clue. It's just to say that there are differences between men and women. The more you learn to understand the way men think, it is easier (but more frustrating) to know how to go about how you approach them on any matter.
When talking to him about this, be direct and be thorough. Do not leave holes in your feelings that you assume he will know how to fill in. It won't happen. Again, another advantage to writing your thoughts and practicing a conversation is that you limit your post conversation reaction of "oh I should have said that to him".
I think you are doing just fine. I'm happy to hear you have made the choices that you have for yourself. It is refreshing to hear from a confident woman. Unfortunately, in my line of work, I don't see a lot of that!
Dr. Paige and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for your fast reply. The suggestion to start writing things down is a great one and I will do that. And I am glad you pointed out proritising my goals for me and the kids.
Do you think that it is necessary going forward to be honest about the fact that I cheated? I feel incredibly guilty but I am not sure it would be helpful at this point.
The decision is entirely up to you. Some people cannot live with the guilt and others would look at it as a necessary result that something is wrong in your current relationship. People don't cheat if they are in a happy partner situation. You have legitimate concerns about your relationship and the distance it has caused and this is the consequence of it. Again, think about the pros and cons of telling or not telling. With all of the other core issues at hand, I would say that is of little concern. Your future with him or without him needs to be addressed and repaired. Do not forget about telling him your concerns over your sex life. So many people forget that part and physical intimacy tells a lot about the health of a relationship.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
You have given me some direction here which I really do appreciate. It is nice to have the advice of someone who is completely removed from the situation. Thanks again.
No problem. Please feel free to come back if you need any further help, want to give an update or just to talk. You can get to me if you type my name in. Good luck. I think you will make the right choice!
HI. I wanted to make sure you were happy with my answer, as I have not received a positive rating from you as of yet. I wanted to check in and make sure there wasn't anything else you needed assistance with.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi Dr Paige, no sorry, no issues just not sure how this website works! Will try to fix it.