I was married for 8 years and have a 9 yr old daughter with my ex. We have been married and divorced twice. Our last divorce was over two years ago. We have had zero contact in the last two years until lately. We use his parents as our go between with exchanging our daughter and that has been working well. I had a really hard time with my divorce and I felt like my life was over. I was horribly depressed and I feel like we did not have any closure.
I still love him with all my heart and I don’t think that will ever go away. I started dating someone new over a year ago but have never been able to love him or feel any desire to marry him or even live together. I recently found out I am pregnant with his child. This still does not make me want him any more. Plus he gets annoyed with my daughter and has strong opinions on how I should raise her and this is a huge red flag for me not to be with him for my daughter’s sake.
Well, in the past month or so my ex and I have started dealing with each other to exchange our daughter. He has also been giving me money (which neither of us pay child support). I asked him why he was being so nice and he said he just wants my daughter and I to have a good time. I saw him over the weekend when he picked up my daughter and she tried to get us to hug each other, we just laughed it off. Later that night she called me and asked if I could come over to his place to hang out with them because she missed me. He apparently gave her consent to call me.
All the feelings I have been working so hard at keeping to myself this whole time are flooding to the surface and I do not know what to do!! You don’t know how bad I wanted to drop everything and go to his house that night. I am in a hard situation as I am pregnant with another man’s child yet I have no desire to make any commitment to my boyfriend. I really want to just end things and be single. I think I want to be single in hopes that my ex will try and get me back. I would love to be one happy family with my ex and my kids. My daughter is so unhappy about my pregnancy and does not like my boyfriend. She has been trying hard to get me and my ex back together.
Help!! I have no idea how to handle this situation!!
First of all, I want to say that I admire you for reaching out. This situation cannot be easy – I can imagine that you feel a hell of a lot of pressure to make the ‘right choice’. After all, so many people’s lives will be affected by what you decide to do. That is a big responsibility and it’s not making this predicament any easier.
Let’s begin by exploring a few things:
You mentioned that you never got closure from your divorce.
- In what ways do you think that this feeling is affecting your situation right now?
- If you were to have closure, how would it change things for you?
- What would closure look like in this situation?
- Could you be confusing a need for closure with a need for another chance at a relationship with your ex?
- Is it possible that this absence of closure with your ex is affecting your ability to feel open and safe with your current boyfriend?
You mentioned feeling flooded with loving feelings for your ex. I can imagine how tricky it is – here is a man you share both a past and a daughter with. In an ideal world you would all be together as one big happy family. I’m sure that the pull toward that idea is strong, especially with the thought of how happy your daughter will be. But adult relationships are more complicated than that, and your daughter will be happiest in a stable, loving, and safe family situation. Perhaps this is a reunited family, or any other family constellation that is right for you and her.
If you were to re-start a relationship with your ex, what do you think would be different this time around that would create a different outcome than before? And why now? What’s different about right now (other than him being nice again) that makes this the right time? Would your feelings be different if you weren’t pregnant with your boyfriend’s child?
Is there a chance that your dissatisfaction in your current relationship is motivating you to turn to your ex? If so, what could be another solution to these challenges with your current boyfriend other than reaching for another relationship?
Knowing what’s ‘the right thing to do’ has to do with removing distractions (pressures, fears) and getting in touch with your gut. Here is what I suggest:
- Sit quietly and connect with your body by taking a few deep breaths.
- Gently notice everything in there. The stress, confusion, pull, fear…All that stuff!
- Now, bring your attention gently to the layer underneath all that. Imagine that all the stresses were the waves in the ocean- turbulent, fierce, and influenced by the wind. The layer underneath is different. It is the deep ocean – calm, undisturbed, tranquil. Connect with that place inside you.
- Gently ask it for guidance.
- Listen to what it says
- Do what it says (this may be the hardest part)
Lastly, here is one more tool for you: Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). It is an incredibly useful tool for calming down and processing feelings. Open this link and watch the video while following the instruction. Focus on the feeling of ‘Not knowing what to do’. And use the following words when tapping on the ‘karate chop point’ : “Even though I don’t know what to do in this situation and it’s making me feel ___________ I know that we will all be okay, no matter what my decision will be.”
I hope this helps.