I’m in my mid-40s, and have an annulled marriage and three grown-up children who have all finished college.
A few years ago, I met a man six years my senior who has been separated from his wife for several years now, but never legally separated nor petitioned for an annulment.
I always thought a woman my age with kids would never fall in love again, much less catch the attention of a good-looking, intelligent, and successful guy. But it happened, and we’ve been in a relationship for the past three-and-a-half years.
A week does not pass by that we don’t see each other, and on the days that we don’t, he’d always call when he gets home at night. We enjoy each other’s company a lot—drinking beer, eating out, watching movies, going biking on weekends, driving around the city. He’s a wonderful, warm, caring, and loving person. I have introduced him to my family and close friends, and my children welcome his visits to our home.
However, it puzzles me that he has failed to introduce me to his family, like his mother and two grown-up kids, or his close friends. They do not know of my existence, or that he is even involved with someone. I’ve asked him about this, and to my surprise, he replied that he’s not yet psychologically ready to be publicly associated with anybody.
I know he sincerely loves me, but I do not understand why he has to hide our relationship in public. I continue to hope for the day when I would have an identity in his world. Unless, of course, I’m not be the one he’d like to spend the rest of his life with. He asked once if this is really such a big deal. Well, it’s something I have to live with, because leaving him will never be an option for me.
Would you hide your relationship with the woman you’ve fallen for?
You honestly want to have it all, don’t you? That’s not a finger wagging in the face, just a statement of fact—because you’re trying to fix something that isn’t broken.
Countless women would give an arm and a leg to have the man you’re involved with—this “wonderful, warm, caring and loving person”—regardless of whether they’re given an “identity” in this relationship or not. Give him my email—I’d take him myself, gift-wrapping not needed!
You have initiated these set protocols in your mind, so that instead of enjoying his companionship, generosity, and kindness to the hilt, they’re preventing your happiness from going full blast. You’re kicking around these non-essentials like a ball, wanting to be introduced to people who truly have nothing to do with the two of you at the moment.
Sure, you’re in a romantic relationship with him now. But that is not being married to him, or even engaged. Didn’t you say he and his wife are only separated, therefore still married in the eyes of the law?
From your point of view, you want all and sundry to celebrate and acknowledge that you two already belong to each other. But you’re not your boyfriend, and though you’ve been intimate, you don’t know the workings of his mind, or even what his plans are. You’re both looking at this relationship from different viewpoints. You don’t even seem to be on the same page.
He may be one of those people who are truly honorable. He probably wants to clear this minefield of not being legally separated from his first wife before putting a label on his relationship with you.
Refrain from seeing shadows where there are none. Enjoy his company, his love, his devotion patiently. Life is too short.
And you truly can have it all. Just heed the advice of Charles Barkley, the NBA great, who said, “If it ain’t broke, don’t break it!”