WILL the 3rd TIME be a CHARM?
DR. GILDA CARLE
“Ask Dr. Gilda” Advice Column
Courtesy of Match.com’s Happen Magazine
As her second failed marriage draws to a close, one woman wonders if her latest beau — a man 20 years her junior! — can deal with her baggage to become Husband #3. I explain that her new relationship is doomed—and it’s not because of the age discrepancy . . .
Dear Dr. Gilda,
I am separated from my second husband. My first husband told me he was gay. I jumped into this second marriage too soon after that, and now, 11 years later, I am tired of being lonely. Granted, I didn't really know him when we tied the knot, but I tried to make it work during all this time. I've been pretty miserable, playing a role in which I was not comfortable. So now I think I am in love with a 25-year-old man, 20 years my junior. I have five children. Can this ever work?
Dear Always Running,
The answer to your question is in your sign-off name! A moving target never gets hit — or finds love. So how can you be in a new relationship if you're always running? Trying to explore love with a third man before you've washed yourself clean of the past two just doesn't work… and all this man-juggling, too, with five kids? While you're concerned over the age discrepancy you and your new beau share, what's more important is to delve into the red flags you ignored before you entered both of your marriages. The goal here is to prevent you from entering into another disastrous relationship.
A client of mine, Alice, had been going out with Fred for a month when she saw him blow up at the wait staff in every restaurant they frequented. She excused each outburst as an isolated incident that occurred after a stressful day. But as their romance continued, she noticed that he had a very short fuse whenever he didn't get his way. After he turned on her for something inconsequential, Alice became concerned and set up some online counseling sessions with me. We discussed the impact of this Gilda-Gram: "'Anger' is just a 'D' away from 'Danger.'" When she asked Fred to get help with anger management, he said he didn't need it. It had been a turbulent eight months, and despite loving him deeply, Alice knew she had to leave.
Even when you think you know someone well, spending plenty of time together often reveals surprises you would never have suspected. Thus, it is imperative to deal with each issue as it arises before it has the chance to gather momentum and explode out of control. How does a single person go about deriving this crucial emotional information from a prospective partner? Ask plenty of questions and take your time to see how that person behaves in different settings. As my Gilda-Gram cautions, "Courtship time is your antidote to divorce."
Instead of looking for a replacement for each husband, Always Running, your goal should have been then (and should certainly be now) to take many breaths between different mates. You question whether your romance with this new man can "ever work." The answer is "No" — not because of your age difference, but because . . .
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I’m also anxious to hear YOUR advice to “Always Running” --so please let me know!!
Happy July 4th, Everyone!!
DR. GILDA CARLE (Ph.D.) is an internationally known psychotherapist, relationship educator, and management consultant. She is Match.com’s “ASK DR. GILDA” advice columnist. She is also known as the Country Music Doctor, with her “Country Cures.” She is a motivational speaker, professor of psychology & communications, the author of the well-known “Don’t Bet on the Prince!,” a test question on “Jeopardy,” AND NOW IN ITS SECOND EDITION, 99 Prescriptions for Fidelity, How to Win When Your Mate Cheats, and many more. She was the therapist in HBO's Emmy Award winner, "Telling Nicholas," featured on Oprah, where she guided a family to tell their 7-year-old that his mom died in the World Trade Center bombing. DR. GILDA is the Love Doc advisor for the off-Broadway show, “Miss Abigail’s Guide to Dating, Mating, & Marriage!” She is currently developing her own TV show. Visit www.DrGilda.com and get her Instant Advice!