You’ve seen celebrity clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake, author of The Single Married Woman: True Stories of Why Women Feel 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…
Hi Dr. Sherry,
My nearly 15-year-marriage had been bad for as long as I’ve been married. A year ago I finally had enough and filed for a divorce. I put off dating because I needed to do some self examination and figure out why I stayed in a bad marriage so long when I clearly wasn’t happy. My spirit was so broken that I literally stopped living. I gave up all the things that I loved to do, I forgot how to be me. Fast forward a year, my life is on track now and I welcome each new day. A friend of mine came back in my life and we’ve spent hours at a time talking on the phone over the last year. 28 years ago, we were actually engaged. I broke it off and we went our own separate ways but I never forgt about him. This man was the love of my life and he has never been far from my thoughts. Though a lot can change over time, our conversations seemed like they picked up right where they left off all those years ago. Like me, he’s gone through some issues in life, a failed marriage, and other issues like a drinking problem but he’s now one year sober and has his life back on track. He’s the kindest, most supportive man you could ever want. He’s told me that he’s in love with me and I have feelings for him as well. We met up once for conversation and I decided that I wasn’t ready to take it to the next level. I want intimacy and I want a man in my life but I also want continue growing so that my spirit is finally fulfilled. He doesn’t understand how talking on the phone can be enough for me. He’s kind of pulled back because he doesn’t trust me. He’s never had a women tell him that they don’t want sex but that’s not all from him–I want intimacy. I want to take my time and figure things out as we go and I don’t think we’re not ready for that yet. I don’t want him to think he’s not good enough for me, because he is. I’ve watched him grow and completely turn his life around. I am so proud of him but he doesn’t get it. How can I make him see how much I love him and good things will come in time?
Congratulations on doing something about your unhappiness and taking control of your life! You are very smart to stop and do a self-examination of your life after filing for divorce. Many women fail to do this and find themselves repeating the same mistakes and wondering why they can’t find happiness. I am glad your life is back on track. The key is going to be keeping it on track. That is an ongoing process of understanding who you are and what you want in life in general and in a relationship in particular. Please make sure to start by finalizing your divorce before entertaining a new relationship. Sometimes old relationships can reemerge and succeed. But remember, there was a reason it didn’t work out the first time. It is easy to get caught up in the positive lane of memory lane and forget that there is a lane that runs in the opposite direction. Your ex could be the greatest person on earth but is he the right person for you at this time? He seems to be moving fast to be in a sexual relationship with you. This and the fact that he doesn’t “trust” you because you prefer intimacy over sex at this time are major red flags. This places you on the defense trying to explain yourself and convincing him that you want him and can be trusted. Is this the position you really want to be placed in? You may want to put on your running shoes just in case you decide to make a fast exit from him. You left a marriage where you spent 15 years being unhappy. Give yourself time to develop a relationship on your on terms. Otherwise, you find yourself in another unfulfilled relationship. You deserve happiness and should not settle for anything or anyone less than what you truly desire. –Dr. Sherry
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