Time: The Enemy
I'm not having a crisis. Just acknowledging Maca's frustration (unspoken at the moment, previous quite loudly complained about).
He works 40-60 hours a week as a rule of thumb.
It's an hour drive each way.
So that alone knocks out 50-70 hours a week.
Sleep, He generally goes to bed about 11 and has to hit the road by 6 (he gets up JUST in time to leave). That's 35 more hours M-F. On weekends he tends to sleep in til closer to 10. So another 22 hours.
From a 168 hour week, he's already down to having only 41-61 hours left.
For the sake of conversation we'll take out an hour each day for bathing/grooming, an hour a day for eating and an hour a day for household chores, cleaning, maintenance etc. Obviously, sometimes it's more sometimes less, but that's a good simple starting point.
That leaves him with 20-40 hours a week to socialize.
With me or anyone else.
M-F evenings of course the kids are dying to see him, especially our 5 year old. If he wants to see her at all before she goes to bed at 8, there's not time available to "go out" M-Th until after she goes to bed, which would mean going out between 8-11pm. But, most people aren't really available at those times for a "meeting new people" social time AND there isn't SHIT open around here at those times on those days.
Weekends are more open. But, if he wants to go camping, fishing, hunting or do any house maintenance, those are shoved into Saturday and Sundays...
He's struggling because, he is interested in meeting other women and looking at a more serious girlfriend.
But, because its so damn hard to MEET anyone in light of his family responsibilities;
he tends to jump in too fast and too far as soon as he meets anyone.
A huge "omg, this may never come again" feeling takes over and combined with NRE... the sparks become wild fires. This deadly combination of NRE and a sense of desperation has resulted in boundaries being broken and hearts being broken and him feeling like "FUCK IT".
This last go around.... really did a doozy on his heart.
It blew up badly with me in January.
It then blew up with her in Feb.
They haven't seen each other except for her to bitch him out in June and last week sent him a goodbye song.
He's hurt and angry (but not talking about it).
He knows where it went wrong (I think).
But, that doesn't change the reality of our schedule.
SOOOOOOOOOOOO-(sorry this was so long)
I know that there are people out there who manage this.
1) How do you schedule in a social time for going out regularly (so you have the opportunity to meet other potential)?
2) When you meet a potential how do you then fit in a date time? How often?
One of the technical complications that has arisen, is that with all 3 of the women he's dated, our youngest became attached and when the relationships ended-she's devastated and doesn't understand.
So, I've put down a boundary that the kids not be involved with potentials until either a solid friendship has been established or a solid relationship. Which means, he can't go out and meet people or go on a date with a potential with the kids in tow.
I will keep the kids (or GG will). That's not an issue. But, it is an issue if it's too frequent because the kids want him. Not because I won't let him go, but he doesn't want to neglect his relationship with the kids either..
Time management is so much easier when all the kids are in their teens. Knowing your limits and being able to tell people up front helps. With some of the stuff I'm currently involved with, I have to say "Look I have kids and a job, they come first - ALWAYS! My time and involvement will revolve around their schedule, which could severely limit my time commitment." I think keeping everyone effected informed of my limitations makes it less stressful for me and others aren't so pushy when I have to back out or decline something.
Right now we're kind of a slave to baseball and have to rely on other people to make everything work. The kids won't always be this little and they won't always demand so much of our time. They will however, resent it until they die if we don't make time for them when they need it (my dad still resents his parent, who are now dead). There are definite advantages to sending them to spend a week or two with Grandma and/or summer camp.
I feel for you both. Time constraints are really hard.
So, from what I understand... M-F is limited and there's not a lot going on in your area after 8pm?
Then weekends are free, but obviously packed with leisure and home activities?
It's a shame that you've had problems in the past with the NRE burst.
If this helps, this is our general proposed schedule (my GF being the most active one):
M-F = GF has one night of quality time with me, one night with hubby
Weekend = GF has one date with her other boy, one day for the family
We have a three year old (my GF, myself and her hubby in the same household).
We do not introduce her to any secondary partners. If she ever did meet them, it would be a one-off, very irregular occurrence.
It would take us a very long time to do so - at least 6 months. We also do not have secondary partners in our home: we visit at their home. We feel that it's too much confusion for her. Of course, that could change over time - we're just starting to explore having long term secondaries.
I have a couple of suggestions... I don't know if this will help:
> Can you take any of the extra housework to give hubby more time to establish something more carefully? Or is this not possible?
> Can hubby cut down his activities at the weekend to have dates?
> Could you arrange for hubby to have one night out M-F?
I would definitely say that with your time constraints, once a week should be enough for extra dating. Twice a week *maybe*, just to weed out the potentials, for a month.
Another option is for him to consider putting extra dating on hold for the time being... or to look for something a lot more casual.
The idea of having a serious partner on top of all of this sounds quite heavy. Not saying he shouldn't (do you have a second partner?) ... but he does need to consider his polysaturation point carefully.
Yes, I have another partner.
We're a long-term V.
Maca (husband), myself, and GG (my boyfriend).
We live together. Two kids out of the house already, two still at home ages 12, 5. And I have our 1 year old grandson a few days a week.
I don't work-so I pretty much handle all of the household "normal chores" like cleaning. GG does much of the cooking and back up cleaning.
But, due to a neck injury, anything over 5 lbs, I can't lift and I can't do anything that requires heavy labor. However, for hte most part our 12 year old kicks butt with helping me ensure that GG and Maca are MOSTLY free for their time off work.
I am willing (as is GG) to keep the kids ANY day of the week so Maca can go out. That isn't an issue at all. Finding a "babysitter" is a breeze because one of us is always here AND the 5 year old goes to bed at 8pm every night and once she's in bed, even if we weren't here, the 12 year old is more than capable of handling her and knows how to contact any of several neighbors if he needed to.
The issue (as I see it);
is that Maca really wants a relationship.
But, he doesn't like to take the time away from us to go meet people.
So, for example, with the last one, they met online (actually he met all of them online).
They talked for a few months-then met in person.
But, as soon as they met in person, they were ready to start hanging out daily, making out and wanting to take it to a full sexual relationship as well as doing joint family activities.
However, neither GG or I was remotely ready to start spending all of our family time with this new lady and her kid-we didn't know a thing about them. I went over to her place a couple times (it was awkward anytime Maca was there). We met a few times in public with Maca as well. Again, anytime he was present, it was awkward.
The primary awkwardness was because they were much more intimate than she and I. I don't mean sexually here, there's no interest in a combined lover. I just mean level of depth in conversations, comfort-ability etc. They'd been talking for months-I didn't know a thing about her.
To exacerbate the issue, while GG and I are both much more socially outgoing than Maca; we both are slower to open up. Maca will meet a person he chooses to say more than "hello" to, a couple times a year. GG and I talk to anyone. But, as soon as it goes past hello, Maca is engaged in a serious relationship. Whereas for GG and I both-it takes months of talking and socializing with someone before we consider them a FRIEND.
Maca feels like I'm pulling a double standard, because I have GG already, so there is no "need to date" or "get to know anyone". Plus, I have always had a rule, that a person has to become a friend before I will even CONSIDER dating them. Before I consider dating them, they already know my whole family well. (I have known Maca for 24 years, we've been a couple for 14 & I've known GG 19 years and we've been together functionally for roughly 9 years).
FOR ME if I were considering a new lover, it would be someone who was already a friend of the family and every date would be a family oriented activity until we got to romantic interludes and those would be scheduled as time permitted. Which is much how it works with GG. We live together, but our "alone" times are rare. We almost ALWAYS have the kids with us when we go out. Which is fine. We both like it that way.
But-Maca isn't that way. He doesn't see how he can do that because for him once a person is a friend-they aren't a potential lover. So that means, meeting them outside of the family and getting to know them away from the family and dating them away from the family. THEN on top of that, he see's sex as part of the "deciding if we can be a couple" criteria.
For me, sex is a long way down the road after we've committed for life.
But, for him, that means he wants to be able to "explore sexually" to decide if there is a connection.
All of this comes to a head, because he's wanting to explore sexually with people he hasn't spent much time with-because time simply isn't available-and then it turns out that they've shared this sexual intimacy before there was time to establish that there was any compatibility with OUR LIFE and THEIR LIFE. (so far, every time it's proven completely INCOMPATIBLE).
This makes me more leery of meeting them. I don't give a rip if he wants to go find a play partner and make a regular date to go see them. But, I don't want any part of it.
THUS he feels like he's screwed because he can't get to the point of finding and building a long term relationship without losing significant time with the family.
He's prefer that he be free to take the kids (especially the little one) to hang out (which is what he did with the last lady-as her daughter was the same age) and socialize in a family setting, so he can build the relationship without giving up the time.
That would be FINE if the relationship being built were going at the pace of all those participating in the activities (ie you're building a friendship if anyone there is still GETTING TO KNOW them-not a romance, which is after everyone is comfortable).
But, when they're rushing headlong into lust and NRE before they have time to get to know the operations of family relationships-it's destructive for anyone else (especially the 5 year old) to be around. Because, the perception of seeing daddy kissing this woman, is that she's part of our family. But, if that person is actually just someone he's "testing out if there is a connection" then she's gone a few weeks later.. the 5 year old is left baffled, confused and pissed off (she's quite tempermental).
It's been a 18months since the second woman and she was only around a handful of days. The 5 year old STILL asks about her in tears because she doesn't understand why she didn't come back to play.
As the one at home with the kids all day-it's FUCKING EXHAUSTING to try to repeatedly explain to her that these "good friends" are really just acquaintances (a word she has no comprehension of anyway).
BUT-even though my TOP priority is my kids and thus I set my foot down. I still feel sympathetic to Maca's plight.
The "solution" would be easy if I were in his shoes. But, I'm a different person than he is and I can't see a solution at all for the situation he's in-with his personality and preferences combined with the existing responsibilities.
In my opinion-dating when you already have a family (whether just a child or another partner doesn't matter) has to be done wholly differently than if you are a single person with no kids.
His methodology of dating works if you are single with no kids.
But, it doesn't work with kids or with other partners.
I had my oldest at 16, so I never really got the chance to "date" as a single person with no kids. Thus, my ideas of dating always have taken into account the child's needs. That makes it a bit easier to consider the other partners. I always did have to go a bit slower in order to be sure I wasn't dragging someone into my daughters life who was only going to disappear shortly thereafter.
In fact my 3exes all keep close contact with my daughter today (she's 20) even though the last of those relationships for me ended 14 years ago. Because I was careful about not introducing anyone that wasn't committed to their relationship and impact upon HER regardless of their dating relationship with ME.
My heart goes out to you and Maca. It's a really frustrating situation.
May I ask whether it's the emotional intimacy or sexual intimacy that's most important to Maca? Is there a way to balance personal interaction, say maybe once every week or every other week with something like writing or talking on the phone in order to satisfy the need for emotional intimacy?
My partner and I are both workaholics and because I work in theatre we end up having a week or two of 60-80 hours so I don't always get to see my partner. It was this way when he was a close friend, before anything romantic had even been discussed. Those weeks we focus on our communication through text messages, phone calls and letter writing. It forces us to put the brakes on the physical side of the relationship and just enjoy the emotional aspects. When we were both experiencing NRE this was a good pause because it allowed things to settle when they were getting too intense.
Hope this helps in some sense.
Would it be possible for Maca to rearrange his work schedule and have four longer days in order to get one more full day off? Do you think that would even help at all?
That is one of the reasons the NRE is such a nightmare. Because NRE hits and it's EVERY DAY he "needs" to see the person. But, that means not spending time with the family and then HE gets insecure and pissy over feeling replaced by GG in his role in the family. No fault of GG's or mine.
Really-I think the sensible commitment for him to make would be once a week face to face and stick to text/phone the rest of the week, for a few months. But, I'm not a physical touch person. I'm quality time. So I can't really say that would actually function for him.
But, then today something came up at work. He should have been off work and heading home by 5 or 5:30 at the latest. However, it's 7pm and he JUST headed home-so by the time he gets here, it will be after 8 and he won't have seen anyone.
That's not an EVERY WEEK issue. But, its frequent enough to frustrate him (and one of the reasons he's really supportive of me finishing school).
Unfortunately, I really don't think there is an answer unless he deals with the emotional drive in him that makes a relationship HAVE to go so fast from meet to sex &/or the issue that makes it HAVE to be physical time in order to matter &/or the insecurity that drives him to feel he MUST be here more than GG or he will be "replaced".
I recognize that at this point, really, it's all a him thing. He's gotta decide what he's willing to change to make it work-or it won't work.
But, I still have my own emotions regarding it.
1) I feel sympathy for him.
2) I don't want to get blamed anymore for his not having another relationship just becuase I don't become close to them as quickly as he/they want.
Ironically-NOT ONE TIME has ANY of these women reached out to me to invite me to coffee or whatever. In every case, it was me who did that.
But, it's still me that gets labeled the hypocrite, possessive and in the last case "psycho" because I don't want to have them around for every family get together when I don't know them.
I don't know if this was already suggested (there was lots of text and I will go read it later, because it's an interesting topic)
Any chance he can look for somebody to date who is where his job is? If it's OK for him to have overnights at some point, that might be sensible, he could get right to a meeting/date after work. Early on it could mean getting home very late, but with the happy dating feelings it might not be too much of a problem. If it got serious and he could spend a night every week or two, then he'd be close to work in the morning and he wouldn't feel so rushed that day so perhaps he'd have a bit more energy the rest of the week.
It might make him feel like he had extra time with the new partner (that he wouldn't have if they were right by you guys, he wouldn't be extra tired from work + commute) so wouldn't feel the crush to see them as frequently with the NRE craze. It might not have such a stress effect on the home life if it was either Sundays/work nights that he was that far away.
Don't know how the kids would be affected by it, but if it wasn't too often, that might be a helpful way for him to have his cake and eat it too, while taking a bit of stress off the dating/commute issue.
What are his hobbies, outside interests ? How much time and energy are directed at those activities.
When my wife floated the idea of opening up our marriage my very first thought was ..."hows that going to work with the crazy schedules we both have. I don't have time to do the stuff I'm suppose to do now.....date are you kidding ???" Turns out she wasn't really thinking about my schedule just her own :p.....unless of course it would have had some impacted her's.
So now with her effectively gone one would think I'd have time, energy, and desire to date...not really... things just shifted. It is what it is ...I'm not upset or frustrated about that ... not YET:D
One could argue it's all energy management or investment.....time is just the delivery system.
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