You've seen celebrity clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake, author of The Single Married Woman: True Stories of Why Women Feel All Alone in Their Marriages, keep the Braxton sisters calm on the hit show Braxton Family Values. Now it's your turn to sit in her chair...
Q: I have been dating my ex-husband for about three months now and things are good. We divorced six years ago because of his lack of financial stability, lack of communication skills and some other things. To fast forward, things with him have now changed. He is financially stable and communicates better. There was never any animosity between the two of us and we remained close friends after divorcing. He has always loved me dearly; this I know. I still cared about him as well throughout that time.
Now that we have begun dating again, he has professed his undying love for me in texts, in telephone conversations and on Facebook. He has asked if I thought that we would ever marry again, and I said I don’t know. We haven’t even discussed being exclusive with one another. (Even though I haven’t dated anyone else, his assumption of exclusivity is there.) I do love him, but I’m not in love with him the way he is with me.
Here’s my problem: I’m overwhelmed with his feelings, his talk about marriage, and by him calling my family his in-laws and making statements like “I wish I was home with my family.”
He is one of the good ones any woman would love to love. I am just not there yet, and I feel he is trying to push me to get there. It’s starting to push me away. I do not want to hurt him, but how can I approach this subject of him slowing down and letting him know I’m just ready yet without making him feel hurt.
Overwhelmed With Too Much, Too Soon
I am sure you are “overwhelmed with too much, too soon.” It is great to know that you and your ex-husband managed to maintain a civil relationship without animosity throughout a divorce. It is even better to know that six years later, you have remained close friends and are even dating again. This would sound like the making of a true love story if you both felt the same way about each other. You are right; the problem is that you are overwhelmed with his feelings, his talk about marriage, calling your family his in-laws and making statements like “I wish I was home with my family.”
It is wonderful that he cares and loves you, but what is his rush? You have been back together for only three months and he is laying it on hot and heavy. This makes him seem a bit suspicious to me. Do not become blinded by his persistence and forget that there is a reason that he is your "ex-husband ". While his financial situation may have improved, his ability to understand and sense your feelings may not have. You are smart enough to know when you feel pushed too hard too fast.
He needs to know that he is risking pushing you away. You have to be brutally honest with yourself and communicate your feelings to him. It is time for the two of you to have a heart to heart conversation. I would suggest that you let him know that you are flattered but overwhelmed by his feelings and his desire to remarry. It is likely that a lot has happened in both of your lives in the past six years. Taking your time with dating one another will allow you to see the changes and determine if you want to deal with them. There are things I am certain you will like about him and there may be other things you despise. Slowing things down will give you a chance to sort things out and honestly decide if you want another round of marriage with him. Trust yourself and realize that you have the right to chose and you do not have to accept being the chosen one. -- Dr Sherry
Email us your questions for Dr. Sherry now and be sure to include "Ask Dr. Sherry" in the subject line.