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…
Dear Dr. Sherry,
I am a single mother of two boys. Their father and I spilt after he realized he didn’t want to get married (hindsight) while I was pregnant with our second son. I found out a few months later that he had gotten someone else pregnant. (Our children are six months apart.) He is now in a new relationship and it’s not with the other child’s mother. He often says he’s unhappy in his relationship and wants to reconcile. I constantly tell him “no.” There are many layers to why I refuse, however, I still get upset knowing that he is in another relationship. While I am cordial with the new girlfriend and include her in the events of the children we have together, why do I still have an underlying level of hostility toward him? I am in a place of moving on and not interested in reconciling, but I still am annoyed with him. Am I overlooking something?
Are you overlooking something? Yes! That something is a ton of emotional baggage. You are still in love with this man despite how much he has disrespected and hurt you. It took him getting you and another woman pregnant at the same time for you to realize that he did not want to marry you. Really?! After walking out on you and entering another relationship, you are actually listening to him long enough for him to express being unhappy in his current relationship and ask you to reconcile? Not only do you entertain his conversations, you include his new girlfriend in events with your children. What is wrong with this picture?
Your desperate efforts to hold on to him by listening to his crap and involving his girlfriend while telling yourself that you don’t want him back is what is wrong. You have a “love- hate” relationship with your ex. While you still love him, you are angry and resent how he has treated you. Although you say you are ready to move on, I do not buy that at all. If you were really ready to move on, you would have been gone and would not give him the time of day. You must stop and unpack your emotional baggage. There is a reason you are willing to deal with your ex on any level. Other than issues with your children, there is no reason for a conversation with him. This is really about you and how you feel about yourself. I suggest that you seek therapy to work though these issues and unpack your emotional baggage now. You deserve more, but you must want more first! — Dr. Sherry
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