Dating After Divorce For Women Over 40 #4

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Dating Secret tip # 4 You Cannot Change a Man or Fix Him

I made this mistake twice in both my previous marriages. I truly believed “love conquers all”, so I thought everything would be alright. And when it wasn't, I still hung in there for way too long, thinking "I probably just need to give him more time".

After my first divorce, I dated only a couple of times and they were one-offs. I could tell the guys were not for me. So I devoted my energies to caring for my children, building my career and doing tertiary studies. Life was hectic, but did get a little easier as the kids got older.

Then I met someone I sort of knew. You know what it's like when family and friends have someone they think would be suitable for you? The thing is, living with or marrying someone is different than knowing someone as a friend. I know friends and family have the best intentions but please do not fall into the trap I did with the next marriage.

After 10 years of being on my own, with the kids becoming more and more independent, I was getting a little lonely. Life was not as hectic so the avoidance, resistance and denial radar had lowered. Enter Tim (not his real name). He was my sister in laws' brother. I had met Tim on the odd occasion over the years, so I had some knowledge of his personal history.

He bought a house 5 minutes walking distance from my place. My family kept selling him to me, telling me what a great guy he was. (Your family and friends want to see you happy and in love but that doesn’t mean they know who or what is best for you.) What harm could there be if you popped over just to say hello, they’d say? Tim was in his late 40s at that time and had never been married and had no children.

We dated for one year, became engaged and lived together for 3 years… and were married for just 5 months. You see, Tim had two problems I thought I could deal with - he drank too much alcohol and was a confirmed bachelor.

Tim knew early in our dating relationship that marriage was the only way I would live with him. So he popped the question. You know how we get busy in our lives and at that time we were building our dream home. Well, 12 months to the day after the engagement he still had never spoken about getting married. I know now, that he thought the engagement was a satisfactory token and I wouldn’t pursue it any further. Boy, did he not know me that well. So I asked him, “When are we getting married.”
He said: “Ok, well, what about in 2 years?”
I wasn’t really happy about that as we weren’t that young and I thought sooner rather than later would be better. I couldn’t see why we needed to wait that long.

In the 3 years we’d lived together prior to the wedding there had been some ugly alcohol related incidents where Tim was concerned. Excessive drinking was becoming a problem and 2 incidents in particular caused me to insist he seek counseling or I’d leave him. On both occasions he never gave up alcohol.  He said he’d learnt to manage his alcohol intake with the aid of a counselor. That’s despite the fact that he was diagnosed as an alcoholic. Clearly he was in denial. But for the next 12 months he did manage to control his drinking in the lead up to the wedding.

But after our wedding, Tim’s alcohol control went by the wayside. Five months into our marriage there was another incident, worse than the previous two. This one was more frightening and verging towards a more physical, violent tendency. This being the third incident, I told him 3 strikes and you’re out and I left him. It was at that time he promised he would go to AA and give up drinking.

He also told me that he had never loved a woman as much as me. I believed him. But the love he had for me was not enough. I knew I deserved and needed more love than he was capable of giving me.  I never returned to the marriage.

At least something good came out of it the disastrous marriage. Because it was the catalyst for me turning the corner… for realizing I deserved the best and I could have it all effortlessly. Relationships didn’t have to be  a struggle.  Hardship, pain, and sorrow didn’t have to be part of my world any longer.

It was these life experiences combined with all the empowering, life-chaning things that I was learning in my counseling courses, that allowed me to develop and discover the breakthrough secrets to find and date my dream man. I’m delighted to have the opportunity to share them with you.

You know that saying “leopards don’t change there spots”? So true, so find the leopard with the spots you don’t need to fix or change.

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