General Dating Questions/HELP!

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QUESTION: Hello Denis, My name is Aaron I'm a 31 years of age and I have a four year old daughter who is my world. Here is my issue me and my ex where together for six years she fell pregnant and 7 months later I left, I was desperately unhappy at the time but not emotionally mature enough to communicate with my partner and decided leaving would make me a better father.

This created obvious anger from my ex that coupled with the fact her father had died 6 months previous and I was not there to support her at this difficult time,I was a jackass I know that now

From our break up we concentrated on building an amicable relationship for the sake of our daughter, I see her regularly and have never missed a maintenance payment, ny daughter and I have a loving and fantastic relationship and honestly hand on heart I'm a great father.

Recently my ex revealed that she had been seeing someone on and off for the last three years, turns out he had a partner of 13 years at the time and was basically playing them Both. That said he was not all bad he supported her when I did not emotionally for one. They have reached an impasse where he has finally left his partner to be with my ex, but weekend after weekend they argue and don't speak and he decided to basically treat her poorly then apologise and the cycle continues.

When this has happened my ex has turned to me for support and I've given it to her, through this we have grown closer and I started to develop strong feelings for her, she explained all that I did to hurt her and I listened, then he appears back on the scene you get the picture.

She has feelings for him she has told me this, and unfairly I told her that I had started to develop feelings for her, this resulted in a torrent from her about our breakup and rightly so but also she added she was now confused, but I'm a very different person and man to the one I was before

I know now what I did not know then that this is the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with and the thought of not being able to do that kills me, I have not slept or eaten much in the last three days and read every self help guide I can think of.

What I'm saying is is there any chance do I stand and fight for her and show her the man I've become or do I accept my failings, kick myself for the rest of my days about it and genuinely fall into a state of despair

Kind Regards

Aaron

ANSWER: Hello Aaron!

First, a quick aside: your story shows an important truth to human nature. We work very hard to label people as "good" or "bad" because making such binary judgments makes things easier on us. However, the fact is; nobody is either "bad" or "good". We are all a mixture of both and working to see that (rather than to default to the binary choice) is a sign of maturity.

Sorry to digress...

You made a mistake and hurt her feelings. I got that. Since then, you've apologized and tried to make up for it. You know what you did wrong, you've worked to change those things and are now on a different path.

This is the time to STOP beating yourself up for it!

Men (far more often than women) believe that the only way to make up for past wrongs is to spend the rest of their lives atoning for them. Nothing could be further from the truth. Further, women often take advantage of this knowledge - just as your girlfriend is now.

In effect, she's punishing you for hurting her feelings and holding this over your head. She's also punishing you and indirectly telling you to "man up" by doing this.

Aaron, there comes a time to stop apologizing and to get back to leading the ship. You're apparently doing what you need to do; you've made the changes you need to make, and now you're on the path to be the man you want to be.

Further, let's face it - she's not without guilt here either! She was seeing this guy while you and she were together! Doesn't she have any responsibility here? You both fucked up - this isn't just about you.

I've purposefully left the most important part to the end. The real (and frankly, only) question is: what's best for your daughter? Regardless of the problems you and mom have had and all the other drama and petty squabbling, this is ultimately about her.

What's best for her is to have the two people in her lives closely connected and working together as a team for her best benefit - her best chance. Nothing else in this story is as important. Your girlfriend needs to see this too. If you and she have gotten things worked out and are back on track, then she needs to dump the other guy and move forward with you for the ultimate benefit of your little girl.

So, stop apologizing. Stop paying penance to the mistake. Stop letting your girlfriend use this as a way to punish you (she's not your mother).

START moving this forward. Have a plan. Have a vision of the future that involves the three of you. Ignore any outside confusion and get crystal clear on where you're going. Then, go there. Lead your damned ship already and stop being led by things that have no place in the world you are building.

Then, think about the story you'll tell your daughter when she's old enough to understand: two children "made her" but two adults got their shit together, worked through the problems, grew up and made things work - all because of the love they shared for her.

That little girl has one damned, bright future.

Regards...

Dr. Dennis W. Neder
CEO/Executive Producer
~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.
BAM! Productions
Remington Publications
323.638.4145
http://beingaman.com
Producers: "BAM! TV" and “Love and Sex”
Publishers: "Being a Man in a Woman's World I, II & III”


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Firstly, Thankyou for all you're words and Help

Secondly and this is rather important my ex partner is just that at present my ex,and I may have led some confusion but she did not cheat on me with this other guy.

Basically timeline wise It goes me and her together Six Years, She Fell Pregnant, Daughter Born, 3 months later her Dad Died, At 7 Months after Daughter I left, New Guy on scene Approx 3-4 months after hope that clears some things up and apologies, My and my ex have been broken up for Nearly Four years now

Regards Aaron

ANSWER: Hello again Aaron!

Thanks for clarifying. Yes, that was not clear to me.

It makes no difference in my advice however. Apologies are over. Time to move forward.

Regards...

Dr. Dennis W. Neder
CEO/Executive Producer
~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.
BAM! Productions
Remington Publications
323.638.4145
http://beingaman.com
Producers: "BAM! TV" and “Love and Sex”
Publishers: "Being a Man in a Woman's World I, II & III”

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hello There Denis, Thankyou once again for your words of wisdom, I Threw the dice and told my ex I wanted her back, I told her I saw a future with her and it would take work from us both, I actually used the line I want to be the captain of this ship and steer it towards a brighter future for our family.

This left her in a point of confusion over her feelings that left me agonising over her decision, well that decision came and it was along the lines of I'm not with this other guy but I do have strong feelings for him he wants to be with me but I know he's no good for me, my ex will always follow her heart she always has, she told me what a great person I'am now how I would be good for her and that obviously our daughter would benefit from that. She told me she will always care for me hugely and hopes we can be friends like we have been but ultimately she doesn't feel as she should about me the being in love with me  

I responded with thankyou for you're honesty, but friends is not something I wish to do, that all our contact will know be limited to just our daughter that is it. I had to take time off work because it feels very much like I have lost my family I can't say that I'm not clinging to the idea of getting her back and I really do miss her terribly

I'm at a point now where I do not know whether to stick ot twist, do I fight and tell her if I'm good for her and our daughter and it's what I want I'm going to fight and fight and fight, or do I twist accept her decision process the pain and move on (whilst secretly hoping that this period of limited contact will make her see what she is missing with me)  which really isn't moving on at all

Regards Aaron

Answer
Hey Aaron!

You've taken a very important first step here, but you put all the power back into her lap. That's the problem.

When she tells you all this stuff about the other guy, you should brush it off. She's asking you (in "womanese") to convince her. You don't want to do that either by the way.

Instead, treat any resistance as the non-issue it is. If you take the wheel of your ship and redirect it only to then hand it back to her, you aren't going to get very far.

Instead, TELL HER what's going to happen! "You're going to dump this guy - he's not right for you and you know it...then we're going to start things back up as of right now...."

No ambiguity here. Be clear on what you want and where you're going - and then go there. Don't ask for approval, don't seek her counsel, don't ask her if she's ok with it - just do the damned thing! Steer your damned ship.

Regards...

Dr. Dennis W. Neder
CEO/Executive Producer
~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.
BAM! Productions
Remington Publications
323.638.4145
http://beingaman.com
Producers: "BAM! TV" and “Love and Sex”
Publishers: "Being a Man in a Woman's World I, II & III”

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Dr. Dennis W. Neder

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I'm able to answer any sort of question related to the approach, meeting people, dating, sex, relationships, break-ups, non-legal marriage and divorce questions, and anything in between. I've helped over 30,000 people with their individual issues. IMPORTANT: Please, PLEASE don't ask me, "what was he thinking..." or "why did he say..." types of questions! I DO NOT READ MINDS! There are 1,001 reasons why someone does what they do, says what they say or thinks what they think. If you *REALLY* want to know what they were thinking, saying or why they were acting that way - go ask them! Be sure to check out my FAQ's on my website at: http://beingaman.com. You can email me directly at: dwneder@beingaman.com.

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I am the author of the books "Being a Man in a Woman`s World I & II" and "1001 Places and Techniques to Meet Great Women" and 11 others. I`ve spent the last 20 years studying the art and science of every aspect of relationships, and have answered over 30,000 letters from readers all over the world. My main focus is men`s relationships with women, but I also have many female readers and answer questions for them regularly as well.

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Doctor of Philosophy

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