As a relationship coach and someone who writes for the premier matchmaker in the country, I have the tools and resources to deal with relationship issues not only for others but in my own situations as well. Before I decided to take this journey to study and learn about the science of relationships, how they work and what makes us do the things we do within the context of a relationship, I had a good sense of self and how to treat a woman. That said, like most men, I wasn’t without my challenges on how to deal with women. I want to discuss one of those here.
I was lucky enough to date a woman who was very charismatic and a lot of fun. She was around my age and she was well-educated. She was the mother of two beautiful children who I got to know very well and I was very fond of. She came from a two parent home with a strong moral upbringing and spiritual values.
This woman had come out of a tough marriage in which her husband had cheated on her. I was her first serious relationship after the divorce. Although we were attracted to each other and we had a lot in common, the first few months were very difficult. She was having trouble dealing with the pain of the divorce. I want to insert a footnote here that it’s important to grieve a relationship with a difficult break-up. You can’t continue to look back if you truly want to move forward, so you must allow your heart AND your head time to truly close one chapter so you may start another one. Months passed by and things were progressing. She was handling the divorce much better and we were getting closer.
As we were getting closer, two things really stuck out that were giving me problems with our relationship. First of all, I had female friends and acquaintances and she was very uncomfortable with that. This was understandable to me as her trust had been betrayed to the highest level. I tried to make sure that was not an issue for her, but any association with women on my part was simply unacceptable to her. This was trying on my part, but I was attempting to make the relationship work, so I tried to limit that type of contact as much as possible.
The second issue, which was ultimately our undoing was her inability to forgive those who wronged her in the past; specifically, her children’s father. Another important footnote: Divorce is painful, and adults are scarred, but children never fully recover. Nothing takes the place of two loving parents being together raising and loving their children. Nothing. The children in this instance were well-adjusted, but definitely impacted by the father no longer being in the home. The fact she was raised in a good home with both parents was something she fiercely wanted for her children. Also considering the fact that financial support for the children was an issue for the father, the mother had a tough time forgiving him. Each time she had to talk to the father, it was a blow-up. He didn’t handle it well and he would disrespect her during their conversations, bring up the affair, etc. It was a volatile situation.
This brings me to the issue which ultimately ended our relationship, her inability to forgive. When we were getting serious, I let her know that if we decide to take our relationship to the next level, (1) financial support for her children would not be an issue, because I would take that responsibility (2) she couldn’t have this lack of trust when I interact with women and (3) she had to forgive him. She couldn’t harbor this resentment anymore. It was draining on her and it was draining me. Ultimately, she couldn’t “let go” of my relationships with friends and associates. She couldn’t forgive her ex. It was too much for me to handle and eventually, we went our separate ways.
Again, she was an awesome woman who was dealt an unfair hand. She has since married and has a great family. This article isn’t about her, it’s about how we handle these situations. Forgiveness is a learned trait. It’s tough when we have someone in our lives that won’t forgive. Although that’s the case, in a marriage, it’s important to love unconditionally. How would you have handled my situation? What might have you done differently?
Jay Hurt © 2013