“My relation with my ex was dead because he was never available for me in person or over phone… The feel is being repeated.”

Sharing an email.

“He said he believes in giving quality time rather than quantity time to the family. I kept quiet but my mind does not stop thinking here.”

I am a fan of your blog and postings/suggestions. Thanks and I am really grateful for the same as it helped me to align my thoughts to a great extent in past.

My background in brief. I am 31 year old and average looking woman working for past few years. I earn around 30k and have been leading a contented life. I do not have a father and it has been my mother and me living in a decent area with a home of our own.

I was married at 26 and was in 6 months old dead relationship from minute one. I can say confidently that I have tried everything to make the relationship work but this man wanted to live a bachelor’s life without any sort of attachment and responsibility and wanted a marriage for society and name sake. This suffocated me and I came out of it without being touched or questioned by this man. I mentally came out in a year’s time and legally in 2010.

Since then, I did not have guts and trust to look out for new relationship. I have my own fears of getting in to trap and believing wrong people. Now I have been speaking to this guy who is 34 and has been introduced by a commonly known person to our families. I had my own fears and reservations to commit myself to a man who smokes, drinks and has non veg (I am a vegetarian). I never considered getting in to a relationship with a man who has a kid (but living separately) as I feel I may not be capable of handling the situations which I may come across in future. This guy has applied for divorce on mutual consent and is waiting for the hearing soon.

I decided to speak to this guy initially over phone and say no to the alliance as I did not want to say straight NO to the person who introduced me to him. He is a 75 year old wise man who is a well wisher to me and my mother.

To my surprise, I spoke to this guy over phone for around 2 hours on first instance and a few details were exchanged. He seemed to be a decent guy with an unhealthy marriage which he has tolerated for 8 long years and has a 7 year old kid (boy). I sympathize the plight of this kid as he is suffering and missing his father and his grandparents. He also admitted that he smokes (not chain smoker and smokes when needs to think too much), drinks (social drinking) and has discontinued having Non veg. He sounded convincing that he will keep these habits in control.

Going by what this man has told, his wife seems to be very focused on her priorities w.r.t her career and her property.  She earns around 12 lakh PA and feels secure with money and decent property in her control. According to him, she has problem with his lifestyle, his spending habits and his parents who are aged and need moral support currently. He says that he did not have emotional support from her and looks like she has not made him feel that he is needed. He says that he earning more than her and in a good position at one of the leading companies in India would make time and initiate some efforts to improve the relationship but she on other hand did not care about it. He says that she was influenced by her mother majorly but had few good qualities of her own. To me, this guy looks transparent with his thoughts and sensitive towards family values. He is good, trust worthy but I feel this relationship will have its own set of challenges in it as other relationships have. I don’t want to get trapped again… That’s my fear.

As a person, he says that he liked me because I appear to be tolerant enough to listen to what he has been saying (which his wife did not do). He says that I appear to be contented with what I have and will not rule his head later on. He also says that my family values make him feel comfortable. Beyond this, I do not see him making any serious efforts to know me better evidently.

I have been trying to unveil the next layer of this man to know what I can contribute and have in store to make this relationship going. I am NOT really looking for a big sophisticated lifestyle but to be frank I am looking to continue life in a secure close knit family life where there is prominence given to contentment and wisdom along with personal growth and accomplishments to add meaning to life. I am very needy emotionally. I cannot handle long distance or a controlled relationship. I have fair clarity on what I do not want but I am kind of flexible in adjusting on aspects which can add meaning and value to my life in a long term..

The point of concern is that we spoke to each other for at least an hour on daily basis regarding his past, expectation, job insecurities etc. I was putting across many questions to which he could answer me in detail. He showed enough patience to answer me in detail which has helped me find this man worth trusting. My Idea was to know and understand the next layer of thought in this man as I was convinced to some extent of taking this ahead in spite his habits and a child.

He said that his child (who will be staying with his mother) would be in his mind and he will do whatever is needed for him but will see to it that he stays committed to me as well. I was okay with this as I would consider him to be selfish and irresponsible if at all he said that he has moved on completely…

In mean while he said that he is interested and happy to take this relationship ahead and also admitted that it has been so far good between us. And we decided that we will not be meeting in person or talking so frequently over phone until his paper work is completed legally as he said that his wife has been a bit fickle minded in past regarding her decisions but he is not interested in reconsidering to unite again with her. This did put me back to square one but I decided to wait until the hearing before putting myself out of it completely and I have communicated this to him as well…

So this actually has uncertainty but I have decided to meanwhile know more about him and utilize this time if at all things go fine legally. In the meanwhile, he says that he is workaholic and works for extended hours when he is on project which usually lasts for long duration. It’s been 10 days since he has got in to a new project and we have not spoken properly. I am confused now if I am over analyzing or am I unable to digest the fact that this is how my life in future will be with him.

My relation with my ex was dead because he was never available for me in person or over phone…The feel is being repeated again now in this case but I cannot react as we are not in a relationship. But I am concerned how I should be looking at it because it is a different person with new situation and background and reason. There are positives and negatives in this man as well.

He is good at communication but is not making efforts to know me evidently. I am afraid if he is taking me for granted due to my average looks or not so great salary and career aspirations. He seems to be family oriented man who had strong need for family and talks responsibly. He has the ability to listen, understand and empathize with points of view. But I have a strong feel that he is looking forward to prove himself in front of his friends and colleagues. Not that I am great treasure but I understand that he has his own insecurities with respect to his past. And this time he wants to show that he has got someone on whom he has control. I don’t want to be taken for granted.

I sometimes wonder if I am over analyzing and making things complicated for myself. He is due for promotions and I have a feeling that he will be more busy and unavailable for me. When I asked how we would handle this situation, he said that I believe in giving quality time than giving quantity time to the family. I kept quiet but my mind does not stop thinking here. If we have a kid, he/she will not be able to differentiate between quality and quantity. So, whatever time I would get in future, will have to be shared between the kid and myself. I know I am thinking too much but I have been in a relation where my husband did not want to spend time and he escaped. This time, the person seems to be interested but due to his work pressure, he will have to struggle to give time to family in between his constant traveling. I am finding it difficult to say NO at once as he is nice person. But I do not want to see myself trapped in a relationship without my husband by my side most of the time as well. I know, being in this industry I will have to make adjustments but if it goes beyond a certain extent, it will be difficult for me.

Can you please let me know if I am worrying for no reason or is there any better way to sort out and align myself to this need of situation which I am more or less sure to encounter. Please let me know how do I address this to him without making him feel offended.

* * *

As of now.. what I understand is, this man is extremely busy at work , is unable to have adequate sleep and disturbed but has been trying to bring in required change in himself (with regards to his temperament) but I have a feeling that it is not really enough to start a relationship with me (where emotional security is my priority requirement). It’s like I have to respond when he calls but otherwise, I don’t find it easy to call him when I feel like speaking to him.

* * *

This mail might appear very stupid and filled with anxiety but can you please think of anyway I can resolve this and take a better decision…

Related Posts:

Is your relationship healthy?

Do men care less and women care more in relationships?

“He wants divorce. She wants to know what wrong she did to be treated this way, why he chose her, but repents his decision immediately after marriage.”

“Her husband has told her she can leave if she wishes, she does not have a steady income of her own.”

53 thoughts on ““My relation with my ex was dead because he was never available for me in person or over phone… The feel is being repeated.”

  1. Dear LW

    Please don’t ignore your intuition and gut feeling. Did you see the red flags? Don’t camouflage them with doubt. This is not overanalyzing, it is real.

    First of all this man has no business going on looking when he is not legally divorced. Even after separation he should take some time to clear hid thought process before jumping into another relationship.i don’t know why you don’t see his blaming his wife a problem. You only know his side of story. And frankly it reeks of male entitlement. Wife is financially and emotionally secure and that is a problem for him. According to him his parents need moral support but her mother is the problematic influence on his wife. That would put me off. Also if he has such less time which he would divide between his son and you you can calculate the tit bits you will get. You deserve more. Why do want to disrupt your peaceful life with his problems. I mean its not that you are in love with him. You are being lead to be entangled in this mess by the so called 75 year old man. I doubt his wisdom. Setting up a married man. Please listen to your gut feeling. Its important.

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    • I agree with every word above – lots of red flags – I see this person feels “entitled” without actually taking any responsibility on himself for his wife and kid. Frankly more than his kid, I feel his parents will consume more of his time and energy. Its a symbiotic relationship – parents feel comforted with his attention and he feels cared for like a baby by his parents – and you will be wondering once again what you did to deserve being the third wheel in the marriage!
      To be in a relationship means to be able to giver, he should be ready to give you what you need rather than giving you what he can spare.

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  2. You want random strangers on the internet to green light your relationship (if you can call it that) with this man–you’re trying to ease your anxiety by doing so.

    There’s no guarantee that this relationship will work out, just as there’s no guarantee that this relationship will not work out. The only thing you can do is date him for a while and decide yourself. When I say for a while, I mean a year at the very minimum.

    I think your view of relationships and marriage is really childish and naive at best, very, very silly at worst. You cannot judge a person’s character by ‘drinking, smoking, and eating non-veg’–that’s such a ridiculous attitude. You’re thinking of marrying someone who you can’t even call on the phone easily? I mean, come on. You’re 31, not 15.

    If you want to take some responsibility for yourself, I’d suggest you seek personal therapy with a professional. Figure out your own interests and hobbies. Meet people in person instead of trying to communicate on the phone.Date. Be the independent 31 year old woman you want to be. Don’t think about marriage immediately–give it time.

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    • I can see where the LW’s attitude of analysing a prospective significant other half based on ‘smoking,drinking,non veg’ comes from – her ‘wise’ elders.Indian parents guage a guy’s character by those three habits.If a guy doesnt smoke, drink, and in some cases, is a vegetarian and earns a decent salary, he is considered a good catch.Afterall, the girl is asked, what more do you need?
      Compatibility, personality etc are alien concepts. Sad.

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    • Yes therapy is good idea. LW had mentioned she is needy. She needs to work on these issues before she jumps on to a relationship. Work on your self esteem,discover more about yourself, travel, read, basically find things that make you truly happy. Only then think of relationships where you feel loved and respected.

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    • I think it’s the LW was seeking the advice of IHM and regular commenters on this site whose perspectives and judgement readers trust, not that of ‘random strangers’.

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      • @Jeanne–regardless of how often people comment here, we are still strangers to this LW. There’s no way we can give other than give it time or be wary of the red flags. The best chances she has at getting good advice is to talk to people she knows like her friends etc (not 75 year old supposedly wise men) or to seek professional help (which I think she should do regardless). I sort of see this as avoiding taking responsibility for oneself.

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        • If people stopped airing their doubts and questions on the internet to random strangers, the whole of the blog world would collapse. Blogs are a place to discuss things. When a blog gains the reputation of being overall sensible, people start asking for thoughts, opinions. I’m sure that’s all the LW is looking for – thoughts and opinions – ‘not ‘a green light or a guarantee that the relationship will work’.

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        • I do agree that people should air their doubts/issues online on blogs like these. However, with this particular LW, I feel like she’s formed a habit of not taking charge or responsibility of her life. The commenters on the blog will take the place of the supposedly wise 75 year old man.

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        • I think the previous post is sort of misunderstanding what Kay is saying, though I get where that’s coming from. She isnt criticising the fact that the LW wants advice from random strangers. Yes, we are all random strangers, whether or not IHM’s community is close-knit or not, and from what the LW has said, this sounds like too many red flags. We can only point them out to her. And the point is that the LW does have instincts that are warning her. Kay’s advice was pretty solid: date, be happy, make friends, get some therapy, and then everything else can come naturally.

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  3. Also this man is all about himself. His wife doesn’t make him feel needed. She doesn’t support him with his parents. He is an insecure and self centered person. He is happy that you could listen to him but he has made no effort to know you as a person as long as you don’t rule his head. Sorry but I had an immediate dislike for this person from your description.

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    • Dear LW,
      I was about to write these exact same lines in my comment but I did not, as purple sheep has already done so.–‘Self centered, Insecure.’
      And please, stop labelling yourself as somebody with average looks.Afterall, beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.

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    • Well, that’s typical of divorced women. As a divorced woman who was on Shaadi.com for two years, I did not encounter a single divorced man who didn’t shift the blame on to his wife or her family.

      For me personally, an inability to take ANY responsibility for relationship failure is a gigantic red flag. It tells me how the man will deal with relationship issues in future relationship.

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    • Yup, he seems to think he has been cheated of his rightful dues and priveleges as a husband.
      A fair-minded and balanced person would typically react to something as traumatic as divorce by looking within and doing some soul-searching on the part they played in the break-up.

      This man appears to have spent no time introspecting, no time trying to learn valuable life lessons from his divorce.

      Divorce is as psychologically traumatic as is the death of a spouse. People need to heal from it without jumping head-first into another relationship.

      LW, as a divorced woman myself, I would suggest that you first and foremost focus on your own well-being.

      Focus on your own needs, your career, your dreams and your goals. Focus on emotional healing and financial self-sufficiency.

      This man has sensed that you are emotionally vulnerable and fragile. He is using your neediness to assuage his own insecurities.

      He seems to be very self-absorbed. That’s why he has shown no interest in getting to know you better. Big red flag.

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  4. One more suggestion by me. Stop doing favours to people like the wise 75 year old man and this about to be divorced very much married man. You don’t owe anybody a thing. Just don’t go along things because you can’t say no. Marriage is not a favour or charity you dole out to kind people. You know your criteria, stick to it. Learn to say no loud and clear. Believe me its liberating.

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  5. First rule of any kind of dating/relationship, both the people should be single. Legally he is still married.

    You are young and financially independent but emotionally dependent. if you cannot be happy and content with who you are, no man will be able to give it to you.

    Work on yourself first, build your self esteem and then a relationship will happen on its own. Don’t go looking for it. You need to learn to love and accept yourself first. Believe that you deserve the best and learn to say No.

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  6. He seems like a mess. Stay away from him. Youve been through a bad relationship. You dont need another one. Look for a more positive person who likes you for who you are, is unattached, and is commited to spending time and making the relationship work.

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  7. He doesn’t sound like a very nice person to me. Main Reason: Dishing the dirt on ex accompanied by ‘i like you because you are not like that’ card. Experience (not personal ones) tells never trust a person who bitches about the X in the initial phase.
    Another thing- hes not divorced yet. Normal people take (need) time to get over a separation and sort out the priorities before jumping to the next relationship. In this case he cannot even wait until the divorce actually happened.
    I think you’re feeling pressurized (by others or by yourself or both) to get married because you’re 31 & a divorcee. I know because I am going through the same phase. After a while its difficult to say no and you start wondering if there’s something wrong with you. Sometimes in my weaker moments I feel I should just say YES and get it done with. I usually come to blogs like these and talk to like-minded people just to reassure myself that im doing absolutely right.
    And please, dont underestimate your instinct. I have never known it to be wrong about anything yet.

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  8. I dont think either of you should go ahead with this.Sorry for being so frank and honest.You and this guy are being nice to one another in a friendly manner and nothing more.

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  9. ” He says that he earning more than her and in a good position”

    It feels to me as though this man felt like he was entitled to her time and emotions, simply because he had a better position than her, and hence, the time she spends at the office (at the expense of him), was time wasted. He admits that he himself is a workaholic, but has issues when his wife chooses to prioritize her job and her property over him. He proclaims freely that he believes in “quality not quantity”, when it comes to spending time with family, but seemingly has had issues in the past with his wife about the exact same issue. This is quite hypocritical, don’t you think?

    Also, he claims that she left him because she had issues with his life-style. But in the same breath, he criticizes her own priorities and life-style and expects her to change in order to suit him. Again, quite hypocritical.

    “she has not made him feel that he is needed.”

    It is not her responsibility to continually foster his need to have his existence reaffirmed. The same goes for you. Both of you seem to believe that your self-worth comes from other people. He believes that his wife should have made him feel needed. You admit to being needy in relationships and unable to function if someone doesn’t fulfill that need.

    This kind of attitude in a relationship is not healthy. Your self-worth comes from you. You define why you exist. You should not need your significant other to reaffirm your reason for existence. You exist because you do, and that is the start and end of that. If you continue to rely on another person to “give you a reason for existing”, well, what happens when that person leaves tomorrow? You have to have the emotional strength to stand by yourself. Otherwise, people like the one you’re talking to will most definitely attempt to take advantage of you.

    Also, this beautiful gem of a sentence, “he said that I believe in giving quality time than giving quantity time to the family”, is absolute and utter BS. In a family, time is quality. I’m sorry, but it’s the truth, and you said it perfectly yourself. I remember my parents taking me to the pet store after my tuition classes much more vividly than the time they took me to that expensive restaurant for “quality” time. Why? Because them taking me to the pet store happened every week. The expensive restaurant, while quality, only lasted two hours.

    Going by what you’ve written, I honestly don’t think that you are ready for another relationship. Neither is he. Both of you have significant issues to work out, before you can embark on a healthy relationship again. You need to work on your own self-esteem. You need to gain confidence. You need to learn to become emotionally self-sufficient. These are things that you simply cannot enter a relationship without. I would suggest that you work on these issues first before trying to meet and become involved with someone else.

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  10. Please go for it. By that, I mean explore the relationship with an open mind. If you like this guy (it seems like you had that initial “click”, we often do when we least expect it), that’s a good reason to pursue it further and know more. Give it a few more months and really get to know him, spend time with him doing things you both like, travel, etc. and enjoy life. During this time, you will learn each others’ priorities, personalities, and be able to judge if he’s the one for you before taking the next step. Leave the elder man and family out of it. Don’t think of his qualities as ‘faults’, in fact they are not red flags at all, they are a mark of total honesty on his part.

    Also you need some self confidence yourself, I really liked your idea of what you want your life to be like: “I am looking to continue life in a secure close knit family life where there is prominence given to contentment and wisdom along with personal growth and accomplishments to add meaning to life.”
    Do not let anything stand in the way of getting that!

    If you let yourself be bogged down by his previous marital status or why his past relationship went wrong, then you are coming in the way of a possibly good future together. He is being more than upfront about his situation and also preparing you realistically for his demanding job – given that he is going through a divorce he wants to make sure that he clearly expresses even what may end up being non-issues, to make sure the same problems do not happen again. Keep in mind that because of both your divorces, you both tend to approach this relationship with a bit of over-analysis and trepidation.

    The stigma attached to dating a separated man is almost as bad as the stigma attached to divorce. We need to get past it. When two people decide that their marriage is over, and are actively pursuing legally ending it, society still seems to rooting for that same marriage. We need to encourage the people involved to move forward into healthier relationships and follow their hearts. Of course, it is wise to wait until the papers are through, as you are doing, before committing to anything. But it seems like you need the time anyway, to get to know him better.

    So while continuing to be realistic as you are, please do see the positives as well, explore this relationship and get to know him well in a relationship before contemplating marriage. I wish you the very best.

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    • I do agree with the above response from Guest !!!

      Dear LW – Life & Times ( Blog Name ), just understand meaning of it.
      There are certain challenges which occurs during a stages like this. Don’t get panic, just be connected to the same person for atleast one years ( Hope you are not in hurry to get married ). within this one year of time, you both need to be open minded and explore doubts both way. Ask this man the same questions, check what does he answer, be open. And then take a firm decision from your heart. Exclude elders in your family and relation this time.

      This man is very honest to you and honestly, every honest person has good emotions for whom they love truly.

      Best of luck.

      Rahul

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    • //Don’t think of his qualities as ‘faults’, in fact they are not red flags at all, they are a mark of total honesty on his part.//
      Can you elaborate which qualities? That he blames his wife for being secure in her career though he himself has no qualms about being a workaholic. That his parents need him but her mother is a disruptive influence on their marriage. Forget her, is he even being honest with himself?

      //If you let yourself be bogged down by his previous marital status or why his past relationship went wrong, then you are coming in the way of a possibly good future together.//
      What you are advising her is to sweep important issues under the carpet. It is not healthy and always come back to bite you. Its best to confront and resolve them first before moving forward. And not just his but her own past relationship as well. That’s the only way to own responsibility, learn, forgive and move forward for healthy relationships.

      //The stigma attached to dating a separated man is almost as bad as the stigma attached to divorce. We need to get past it. When two people decide that their marriage is over, and are actively pursuing legally ending it, society still seems to rooting for that same marriage. We need to encourage the people involved to move forward into healthier relationships and follow their hearts//
      Nobody is rooting for his old marriage. Yes we need to encourage people to move forward but that does mean jump into the next relationship before spending time and effort in introspection, taking responsibility, learning, forgiving and healing. By all means follow your heart but no need to leave your brain and mind out of it.

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      • Purple sheep,

        “Forget her, is he even being honest with himself?”
        Yes i agree , lets forget her, let’s focus on him and the LW.

        “What you are advising her is to sweep important issues under the carpet. It is not healthy and always come back to bite you. Its best to confront and resolve them first before moving forward.”
        Not at all – It seems like the letter writer is not sweeping important issues under the carpet, and that they talk about these things for hours.
        I agree with ‘confront and resolve them before moving forward’. I was merely suggesting that she give him a chance, rather than dismiss him because of his past.

        “Nobody is rooting for his old marriage. Yes we need to encourage people to move forward but that does mean jump into the next relationship before spending time and effort in introspection, taking responsibility, learning, forgiving and healing. By all means follow your heart but no need to leave your brain and mind out of it.”
        It sounds like people are rooting for his old marriage commitment to be honored and fulfilled to the last drop. ‘being with a married man’, ‘his commitment’, ties in to the sacred sanctity of marriage concept. While that is true of active marriages, the ones that are headed towards divorce do not deserve this exalted status, and the sooner everyone involved realizes that, the easier for them to heal. When people are going through this, the last thing they need is guilt and a critical eye to judge their every move. In fact, unfortunately, the LW and her partner seem to be thinking only with their heads and not with their hearts. The last thing that’s advisable is for them to settle on this relationship because its practical. I was trying to suggest that they follow their hearts, do things that makes them happy together, enjoy each other’s company, experience that joy in a new relationship and take it from there – but if that is not present, or if she finds he doesn’t treat her right, then there is really no point in going on.

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        • Sometimes, divorce cases drag on for years in Indian courts and it’s extremely unfair on the man’s part to expect the LW to wait it out indefinitely when he clearly lacks the patience to formally end his current relationship before embarking on a new one.

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    • “Don’t think of his qualities as ‘faults’, in fact they are not red flags at all,”

      Really? Having hypocritical beliefs about what he is allowed to do, but what is wife wasn’t allowed to do isn’t a red flag? Demanding that people need to make him feel needed in order to feel validated about himself isn’t a red flag? The LW’s instinct that he is only using her to prove a point isn’t a red flag? Do you honestly think that these things constitute a healthy relationship?

      “they are a mark of total honesty on his part.”

      Well, perhaps. But regardless of the honesty, they are bad qualities to have. Is he going to change in the near future? What good is being honest about yourself, if you don’t use that honesty to work towards self-improvement? Nothing from what the LW has said indicates that he wants to change at all. Rather, he just seems to be telling her these things with the belief that honesty will bail him out of having bad habits. It won’t. People need to stop believing that honesty redeems everything. I can be honest about being a shoplifter and turn myself in, but that’s all for nothing if I dodge my jail time and continue to shoplift. What use is that honesty, except as a deterrent?

      “The stigma attached to dating a separated man”

      It’s not about dating a separated man that’s bad. It’s dating a man who has seemingly not done his homework and refused to be introspective about anything regarding his role in why the marriage ended. Instead, he has only spoken of his ex-wife and how she did not live up to his expectations. This is a problem. An honest person would be an introspective person, who would also be willing to talk about WHY he didn’t want to give up his eating habits for his wife, but somehow expected her to augment her career and priorities for him. Rather, he’s only talked about his ex, what she did, what her own faults were, and nothing else. The stigma is not attached to dating a separated man. The stigma is attached to dating someone who refuses to spare a thought about his own actions and how they play a role in things.

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      • Hey purple sheep and A,
        Thanks for the comments, this is my first time commenting on this blog.
        I am curious as to why everyone’s judging the man solely on his past marriage and ex-wife story ? Often when people get divorced they have suffered through years in a bad relationship that has brought out the worst in them. Let’s look at how he is doing with the letter writer rather than with the ex-wife. Of course we would hear only his views of the past relationship and of course it went bad since they are no longer together, and he may be bitter when thinking about it. I would personally have no interest in hearing the views of the guy’s ex , since it is him I’m dating not her. Should we continue to hold him to his past mistakes with a person that he clearly did not get along with, or give him a chance and take this at face value based on how he treats the letter writer?

        The person’s behavior with the LW did not trigger any apparent red flags, his working late, drinking , non-veg etc were non issues in my opinion (well, the working late part may need to be revisited). There are some negatives, sure, such as him being hesitant to get to know her better ‘evidently’ , but I would not call these red flags. It’s not on the same scale as chauvinistic or controlling behavior. I thought it was progressive that she is dating a guy with a kid and they seem to have worked out a mutually agreeable arrangement for all.

        Regarding dating a separated man/woman, why should we go by the textbook rule of 1 year or 2 years or whatever? Isn’t the person in question the best judge of when he/she is ready to move on? Why waste one precious year of your life, when you have gone through all the soul searching and turmoil and finally decided you are ready (and have even met a wonderful woman), just because the counsellor says so? Is it the price to pay for having been divorced?

        My views above are assuming mature, respectful men and women, who are interested in knowing the person and exploring a relationship. I personally know of two men in the above category (although not Indian, and not looking for direct marriage but for an understanding partner which later led to marriage). If this discussion is about jumping into arranged marriage with the man in question, I would advise against it. But I would also advise against jumping into arranged marriage with anybody, it’s so much nicer when you get to know a person and experience all the joys of a wonderful relationship.

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        • Well, in my experience, most people who seek out relationships even before they are divorced are really in denial mode.

          I have met a few divorced men who disowned any responsibility for the failure of their marriage and attributed it’s failure solely to their wives not being “understanding” and “adjustable”.

          If you cannot find happiness and contentment being by yourself, chances are that you won’t find it in a relationship either.

          Off topic, I didn’t know women could be “adjustable”, rather like bra straps.

          Like

      • Quite the opposite Danita🙂, I am an indian woman who firmly believes in gender equality, currently in a live-in interracial relationship and it is great! Not that it matters to this discussion at all.
        I was trying to get people to be open to this discussion, without having prejudices or biases. In this case, people were assuming he is at fault for his failed marriage, assuming male entitlement and lack of commitment, assuming that just because his wife had a career that she was right (a career should be a normal thing, not an achievement) and that he is incapable of being emotionally ready for a relationship if his final divorce papers aren’t through. Sorry if those things did not jump out at me from the post, but I may not be accustomed to the stereotypical indian male . I rather saw that the letter writer was a bit insecure in herself. I was trying to suggest to the letter writer to be open to this man, and get to know who he really is.

        Like

        • Well, I think a lot of us unconsciously assumed that the man was a stereotypical Indian male who was unwilling to step up to the plate and own his part in the failure of the relationship.

          That’s something only the LW will know

          Like

    • I feel that the advice above makes sense. There is no such thing as perfect match made in heaven. All relationships are ultimately compromises. It is up to an individual to decide what they can and can’t do with. Just because he does not ‘ask questions’ about you, do not assume disinterest. Volunteer information about yourself, if he cuts you mid sentence, or seems uninterested, run

      Like

  11. I am a 33 year old divorce who has seen many divorces in life .. Also been in 2-3 affairs so let me break this into points .

    1. Many men start looking for a wife to marry without even initiating divorce process . I personally know of 3-4 cases where man first secured a person who will marry him and then apply for divorce.It’s a very BIG RED FLAG .
    2. My ex and his mom told everyone that I was a bitch giving priority to my job over him , so is this guy saying . In both cases , wife was earning less than guy and still he is insecure . At the same time , he is not interested in giving you time when he is busy .. Double standards anyone !!! so his stance is clear , you as woman can work but not have career as your focus , while he being a man will focus on career and you will get whatever time he can spare .And to such people going out twice a month for dinner , couple of movies and 2 holidays a year and few visits with gifts to in laws is spending quality time . Make sure you both have same understanding of quality time.
    3. what you need is love and romance and excitement of a new relationship . few minutes a day talk is very much acceptable and I am sure he can take time during commuting to and from work , during coffee or smoke breaks . Point is if he wants to he can make time . At the same time as a very busy professional myself , I can tell you i get irritated if I get third call in a day from same person when i have clearly said I am busy . we are no teenagers and we need to understand work pressures . There are times in projects where you forget to have meals.
    4. From my experience so far 90 percent of people are nice or appear nice as long as you don’t have to live under same roof for rest of your life . check compatibility on things that matter to you .
    5. Are you considering meeting other people ?? I would say go ahead and explore your options. Meet people and talk to people who excite you and who want to know you.

    And above all take your time , talk about your feelings freely and precisely . If you cannot communicate now , chances of an open communication later will be less and which is never good for any relationship . sometimes , matters are not as big as we make them . May be you are not sure where your relationship is with him but its an important matter for you so speak about it .

    Good luck .

    Like

  12. ‘A’ has said some valid points. The hard truth is both yourself as well as this person are not prepared for a marriage. You are blaming your ex. He is blaming his ex. if any marriage fails, both the persons are equally responsible. I can accept any partner leaving a relationship if his/her partner drinks and gambles a lot or is physically abusive or is impotent. Whatever be the other reasons whether it is telling ‘the partner wanted to lead a bachelor’s life’ or ‘wife seems to be focused on her career and property’ etc. are cases in which the person who says these points also has some issues in a marriage. This is because any marriage is a system in which if the marriage fails both the persons in one way or the other has contributed to the failure of the marriage.

    If you really want to marry again, you have to see what mistakes you had done in your marriage. In which way, you could have done better to be more loving to your partner? You say, your partner was not available to you. The question is are you available to yourself or present to yourself. You say you are emotionally needy. This itself could be red flag from you. When you are emotionally needy, you are not prepared for marriage and if you are that way, your ex could have felt choked by you and so would not have been comfortable with you.

    .The first priority for you is to work on yourself to be more available to yourself, present to yourself and be with yourself. And train to be caring, compassionate, gentle, tender and understanding to yourself. Only then you will attract healthy individual. Neither does the man who blames his wife telling she is focused on career etc. etc. seems to be a healthy individual and I can’t say he did enough homework to save his marriage. Is he able to say how could he have done differently in the marriage which failed for him? He too could have understood her and done his bit to help her in what she wanted. His marriage could not have failed without any defects in him.

    Cheers and Good Luck to you, .

    . .

    Like

  13. You are judging a person by whether he smokes, drinks and what he eats!!! Really??!!! Don’t you think you are highly prejudiced? It’s a childish way to judge a person, not to mention highly discriminating against all those nice people who smoke, drink and eat meat! You also sound way too needy to be in a solid relationship. No one can run around after you their whole lives, and if you are not happy with yourself, no one can make you happy. You need to find your happiness in other ways and then start thinking about a life partner.

    As for this man, the very fact that he is criticising his ex-wife for having a career should tell you all you need to know about him. And him mentioning that his ex had problems with him providing moral support to his parents translates to something quite different than you understood. Frankly, I would advise you to run away from any Indian man who talks about ‘family values’. It doesn’t mean in real life what it means in a dictionary. If he has told you he is a workaholic, it means he works a lot. It should be very clear to you that he will not have enough time to suit your neediness. No man likes having a woman hanging on his sleeve all day, even if he isn’t a workaholic.

    As for future marriage prospects, don’t judge people by what they eat. Spend time with him, travel, do some enjoyable stuff together, spend time with his family and friends and invite him around to spend time with your family and friends (without all formality). Reach an intimate level of relationship with him before you decide to commit. You will know in time

    And finally, ditch the 75 year old unwise man, who seems to be a moron. You don’t owe him anything. People who are forcing marriage on you are not well-wishers, they are just out to have some fun at your expense.

    Like

    • I agree that there are some red flags here and that she really needs to spend time learning about his character and his values, but I disagree slightly on the food, smoking and drinking position. I don’t think that there is anything wrong with any smoking, drinking or dietary preferences. People should do what they like with their bodies and they should not have to answer to anyone about those preferences. However, I think its fine to prefer that your boyfriend/girlfriend or spouse not smoke or drink or eat meat if that is something that is important to your value system. I don’t think that is necessarily prejudicial. This is someone you are planning to live with for a long time and disagreements about these things (which are everyday things) can lead to problems down the road and should be discussed before any relationship becomes too serious. For example, I would not be ok with my boyfriend smoking, especially on a daily basis. That doesn’t mean I’m going to date a smoker and try to stop him from smoking. Doing that would be grossly unfair to him. It means that when I’m deciding whether to date someone, one factor I may look at is whether his smoking is something I can live with for the long run or whether its better not to become serious with him in the first place.

      THe bigger problem here is that the writer does not know what she wants or what her priorities are for the relationship. What values does she want this person to have? What habits does she want a potential partner to have? What does she want out of the relationship? Maybe once she figures out what she wants in a potential partner and what her priorities are in any relationship, she’ll have an easier time figuring out whether any guy she meets is worth pursuing.

      Like

      • I agree with all that you have said. But the LW is actually judging the person by his eating habits while not really trying to find out what kind of person he is and whether they could be compatible. She is actually basing her entire judgement of the man on stupid things like this. That is irrational prejudice. I too would not like a boyfriend who smokes, but if everything else clicks, it is a small thing to overlook. I did not get the feeling that this was about what she prefers, but what kind of person such a habit makes that man. And that is wrong.

        Like

        • I differ from your viewpoint on these matters.
          I feel that in the indian context , whether a person smokes/drinks matters when it comes to relationships . Even more so when the partner in a nonsmoker/drinker.
          And yes, I feel that this should be a consideration especially in the context of arranged marriages.
          I have no problem with smoking/drinking as such ( free will etc. etc. ) , but these are possible markers of potentially abusive/unpleasent personality in the INDIAN CONTEXT ( No , I don’t think nonsmokers/non-alcoholics can’t be abusive/unpleasent )
          But in the indian context, alcohol can be a trigger for potential abuse/unpleasentness.
          Also , in a society such as ours, where alcohol/cigarette use is frowned upon, it opens up the possibility of the person being a nonconformer( this can be both good/bad, ), which again is not everbody’s cup of tea.
          As for the food part… did it even occur to you guys that some people might not just like seen dead meat eaten? I have personally seen a guy who feels nauseous when he see’s non veg food being eaten( I admit though…it was pretty shocking!)… though on a more daily basis , i have rarely seen food habits being a big deal in relationships.

          Like

        • @Shekhar,

          I don’t know. I hate the idea of putting dead animals in your stomach and I simply would not do it. I try to spread the idea of ethical eating, but at the same time, I cannot and will not force anyone to change their habits. I have lived in a relationship with a guy who smoked and ate non-veg, and frankly, that was no problem at all. My point basically was that the LW should leave these things by the side and concentrate on developing a relationship. She would not know how she feels about his eating habits until she has eaten a few meals with him in different circumstances. But I agree with you about the arranged marriage bit.

          Like

        • Shekhar Sharma, I cannot agree with you at all when you say that drinking and smoking could be markers of potentially abusive/unpleasant personalities, even if you’re just referring to an Indian context! That is a grossly unfair statement, and a wild generalisation. If we’re talking about an alcoholic, then yes, there are layers within layers. Smoking is a disgusting habit and bad for you, but it certainly doesn’t draw inferences about the kind of person you are! I speak as someone who does both, in an Indian context.

          Like

  14. Oh dear I read the entire post again. There are so many things which are out of place and screaming for attention I am not even sure I can write them down here. My earlier comment was just the tip of the iceberg.

    First LW is scared of relationships and clearly not ready for it but at the same time looking for one. She is only talking about commitment and relationship and not meeting new people, dating without commitment.
    //Since then, I did not have guts and trust to look out for new relationship. I have my own fears of getting in to trap and believing wrong people//
    Dear you don’t look out for relationships. I don’t know how anybody can look out for relationships. You look out to meet people, maybe date them(at times with no strings attached). And then if you both feel inclined and happy together it leads to relationship. You don’t seem to be looking at the initial stages and enjoy that. You are only worried about the last stage.

    //I decided to speak to this guy initially over phone and say no to the alliance as I did not want to say straight NO to the person who introduced me to him. He is a 75 year old wise man who is a well wisher to me and my mother.//
    A NO is not rude. You CAN say no to a 75 year well wisher. It is not your responsibility to appease every well wisher. You can be polite and still refuse.

    //I sympathize the plight of this kid as he is suffering and missing his father and his grandparents//
    The child is with his mother so why is he suffering? Is he implying she is a bad mother influenced by another interfering mother(wife’s mother).and he and his parents are angels. In that case why has he agreed to give mother the custody.why is the child not with him? I am sorry but if he is such a good father why is he not giving time to his child to come around to his parents separation and then move on to the next relationship so that the child doesn’t get two shocks at one time. Why is he even spending time looking for partners when he should be reassuring his child.

    //And we decided that we will not be meeting in person or talking so frequently over phone until his paper work is completed legally//
    Again you are jumping the gun. You have not even met this person and thinking of relationship. You missed the entire process that comes in between and using words like commitment and relationship. At one point you are wary of it and in the same breath you seem desperate enough.

    //My relation with my ex was dead because he was never available for me in person or over phone…The feel is being repeated again now in this case but I cannot react as we are not in a relationship. But I am concerned how I should be looking at it because it is a different person with new situation and background and reason. There are positives and negatives in this man as well.//
    The feel is is being repeated because you have not sorted out your issues like lack of love for yourself. Till you don’t address these issues you will keep attracting similar people and situations. Yes their situation and conditions might be different but what you will get out of this will be same isn’t it. Life keeps getting us in same situations if we don’t learn our lessons.the biggest lesson is to love yourself.

    Like

  15. He is in a relationship ( MARRIAGE) a legally bound relationship. That itself should put a stop to all this talking of marriage. HE is NOT available ( YET) .
    Sorry consider me old fashioned or of the old decade or a prude, I’m not a big fan of marriages, to me it’s apiece of paper but Im a big fan of commitment. By being married he is still committed to the relationship.

    End of story, he needs to get a divorce first before starting to line up the next candidate, this is not a job search where one lines up the next job and then resigns.

    Imagine if his wife started talking to future husband candidates before the divorce, I shudder to think what all she’ll be called…..

    Once he’s done, you need to pa attention to his attitude, parental care situation, his responsibility to his child and go from there, his smoking,and non-veg habits should not even be a concern at this time.

    Like

    • Imagine if his wife started talking to future husband candidates before the divorce, I shudder to think what all she’ll be called…..

      Exactly.. He shud b called all those for seeing girls when he’s not even sure if hes getting a divorce.

      Like

    • I’m not talking about this particular guy, cos I think he’s all wrong.
      But in general, since the divorce process takes about 2 years or so in India, and sometimes longer, I don’t see why a person cannot emotionally move on and start dating again.

      Like

  16. This sound very much like how I H would be explaining his divorce status to women he wants to marry. He is least interested in u, all he cares is proving to the world that his wife is a loser which is why she left him. If the wife was all that bad, why did he have a kid with her? If I were u, I would run.

    Regards,
    Danita.

    Like

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  18. First of all, whatever he tells you about his ex-wife is HIS view of her. It may not actually be true. His problem is that she is a career woman? And yet, he says he is a workaholic. So his problem with his ex-wife is the same character “flaw” he has himself? Double-standards much?

    Also, I really think you need to get some therapy done. You are clearly still suffering from the ill-effects of your previous marriage. Until you get therapy done, you won’t be able to figure out if you are holding back from a relationship cos of your issues regarding trust or whatever fears you are harboring, or if it’s cos the guy in question actually is not right for you.

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  19. Hello LW,
    First, I’m going to echo sentiments presented here already about smoking, drinking and eating non-veg. Here’s how it worked from my partner and me. He smoked. I didn’t. We both drink. I eat non-veg. He doesn’t. We are both from the same caste. What I told him was that I dislike smoking, especially the smell, NOT the smoker. I didn’t ask him to quit. I told him it makes me very uncomfortable (I am allergic to cigg smoke). On his own, he quit before we started living together. My dad smokes; I think it’s poor self control. He’s a fabulous parent/ father. We don’t make non-veg at home, but I order it when we go out to eat. Point is, the things you have mentioned are habits. If they are really deal breakers, you shouldn’t be talking to this person. If they are not, you shouldn’t stereotype their personality based on these traits. Actually, do you know that most alcohol is vegetarian – ingredients are usually barley, rice fruits, etc which are acted upon by yeast (the same stuff in bread)? There simply is no correlation between character, drinking and eating non-veg.
    Second, you have been burnt. It would be wise to think thorough your next relationship, and the ups and downs you feel are natural in this process. It’s important that you are clear about what is acceptable and what is not. If you are emotionally needy, and need your partner to be available by phone, email, physically as much as possible – fine. I think it’s good to know something like this about oneself. You should also make your requirement crystal clear with your partner. Don’t assume that they should understand this from your behaviour or tone. Sit down with them and discuss it bit by bit, incident by incident. If they don’t agree, try to see if this is something you want to compromise on. If you consistently feel that this is just too important for you, stick to your guns and don’t listen to what elders/society etc say. A common mistake is to assume that our loved ones should understand us, intuitively. Breaking news, they seldom do. You have to clearly state what you want like “I want you to pick up the phone whenever I call you” or “I need my partner to be home for dinner every night at 8pm”, “I know you are busy, but I want to hear your voice every few hours”. Be very clear about what you want and what is absolutely not acceptable.
    Third, don’t judge this person with the lens of his previous broken marriage. Ask what he is willing to do to accommodate you? And comparisons I think are just bad. Would you like to live out your life, being judged on a standard set by another person? Don’t fall into the trap of making assumptions about him based on what he is telling you about his previous marriage. File away the information but ask yourself how this really affects you and then decide how important it is to evaluate it in respect to his character.

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  20. LW, I feel you have to place more importance on compatibility rather than conventional views of what a marriage should look like and how a partner should behave, which is what I see when you talk of his eating, drinking and so called love for the family. Within so many days itself he is making it clear that he will be emotionally distant, don’t ignore that gut feeling. Secondly, what you describe of your first relationship about the man not being available, it sounds a little like emotional abuse. You do need supportive friends and a therapist probably and no parents and 75 year old family friends are of little help, because they will take your side completely and might prevent you from the introspection you need to figure out if you were really needy or just in a relationship that undermined your self esteem. Having said that I also agree with others who seem to say that your idea of relationships is a little naive, it does seem that you have a black and white view of things. Remember most relationships are not as simple as a movie script of romance and happily ever after.

    I do agree with people who say there are red flags about the guy and this is not because of just his anger towards his ex. Sometimes anger towards the ex lasts longer than we anticipate but that is not the sole reason for why there are red flags. First it seems like he is moving on too fast just to show that he can and to prove to his wife and others. Secondly, his whole talk about quality vs quantity seems to be setting the stage where if at the LW ever needs his time, he can say that he already told her in advance that he doesnt believe in quantity, another manipulation that will lead the LW to probably think she is needy and average and that she needs to earn the spouse’s attention. The LW needs a therapist and a good set of friends to understand that you don’t need to be special to earn a relationship, you just need to be yourself and be with someone who likes you for who you are. What you are calling honesty LW to me seems like setting the stage for what he will and won’t do in the relationship and how if you are to earn his love and respect you have to be nothing like his ex. That is not a good ground. You do need LW to witness relationships of more people your age rather than rely on conventional wisdom or those of elders. If you are working and earning decently, focus on finding yourself before you find another partner. Sorry to others if this post is somewhat rambling because this word ‘needy’ triggers certain memories for me🙂

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