Dear Mouthy Housewives,
I am going through a divorce, and it was a mutual decision at first. Then, however, he changed his mind and now says that he will do whatever it takes to win back my affections. He started going to anger management class, being super nice to me all the time, making an effort to come over and help with the kids, and buying stuff for the house without being asked. (He doesn’t live here but we are keeping it casual for the kids so he’s over often.) He texts me saying things like, “Have a fantastic day!” and has just been generally really awesome.
Before the split, he was always a huge ass, so this is very alternate-universe for me. I am intrigued by the change I see in him, but cautious. In the past he has “changed” for the better for a short time and then gone right back to his old ways, and I don’t want to play the fool again when I finally mustered up the strength to walk away!
Then there’s this other thing.
I met another guy. He’s older than me, and he’s so perfect and amazing in every way. It’s just casual, as he is technically married still as well. I’m falling hard for him and can see us having a wonderful future together some day, and I’m not looking for anything full time or super serious right now so it’s convenient. He’s everything I want in a partner, everything I thought my husband would be when we first got married.
I’m so stuck and confused – my husband is making an effort, and I did make vows to him, but this guy is a dream come true. How do I decide what to do?!
Stuck in the Middle
Dear Stuck in the Middle,
Well, hot damn girl. Sounds to me like your problem is the kind of problem to have, if you know what I’m saying. (And what I’m saying, is, I guess you’re not into threesomes?) But really, you appear to have two fine (ish) young men before you, begging for your affections, and as I sit here folding my husband’s socks while he takes a his SECOND motherloving nap of the day, I’m GREEN with envy, I tell you.
If this were the 19th Century, I’d suggest that you have these two suitors duel for your love. Or maybe they jousted? Whatever it was, it was probably super sexy and romantic, but also didn’t come with the potential of landing your behind in the slammer for negligent manslaughter.
So, for a more modern and practical solution, you could consult a psychic or one of those Magic 8 Balls. Or, you could do some hard work and serious thinking and sort this all out. I think you have some really tough questions to answer for yourself, and no one can really tell you what you need to do. (That said, I think you need to dump the new guy regardless, and here’s why:)
1. If you’re just ending a serious relationship–and in fact, are still in the process of ending it–you’re not in a good position to start something new. And if your almost-ex was as bad as you say, nearly ANYONE is going to seem like a real charmer in comparison, even this “technically still married” stud. You need some space and perspective and you won’t be getting that wedged between two men. (Metaphorically, of course. Ahem.)
2. I’ve never been divorced, but it seems to me that your hesitancy may be a sign that you haven’t exhausted all your options with your husband. Have you tried marriage counseling? I’m not saying you should get back together with him, but I do think you should be absolutely certain that you’re ready to move on before you do so. Seeing a therapist individually or as a couple will save you from beating yourself up further down the road or accidentally having sex with him or something after the divorce is finalized. (It happens on the Real Housewives!)
3. Take care of yourself. (And, according to my therapist, this does not mean “eat a bunch of Ben & Jerry’s and watch marathon TV,” but what does she know anyway?) Do some soul searching or yoga or whatever, and decide what’s going to be best for you, rather than going with what feels fun or good at the moment.
(Though, if you’ve already bought the Ben & Jerry’s, just send it over to The Mouthy Housewives clubhouse and we’ll totally take care of that for you. Because we’re here to help.)
All the best,