Alright, my dear and favorite message board…I’ve a question to ask the teeming masses, and it may be a bit long. A bit of history first: Around two years ago, I caught my ex-wife cheating on me, unrepentant entirely, and she refused to work on things. It was a big, painful debacle, and long story short, we went our separate ways. Since then, I’ve been living with my parents, helping take care of my dad, who has terminal cancer. Recently, however, an opportunity has come up where I can get a place of my own, while still being close enough to take care of my parents. On to the relationship portion.
Shortly after things went south with my ex, I met a really wonderful girl. To be honest, at first she was a “revenge” relationship - I was really hurting and wanted to show my ex that I could find someone else too. Oddly, she was in the same boat, having just been walked out on by her ex-husband. I was clearly not in the right mind or place to do so, and despite the fact that this girl and I are an excellent fit in many ways, I repeatedly flipped out about commitment stuff while we were dating, so it was a constant on again and off again relationship. Around a year ago, though, I found that it didn’t scare me as badly any more, and we have been in a solid, steadily dating relationship since.
Combined, we have 4 kids between us (two of mine, two of hers. I have part time custody of mine and she has full custody of hers) and they all get along great. They really do seem to love each other and together we get on like one big happy family. Everything is and has been smooth for quite a while despite a number of personal and financial hardships we’ve faced over the last year and a half. We are now talking about moving in together… slowly over the next 6 months to a year.
We have discussed two possibilities, on which I’d like your advice.
One is keeping all our belongings seperate and having duplicates of many items so if we end (like our past relationships did) then we are better prepared than we were in the past. The starting over thing is a real bitch, so we would be protecting ourselves should we find out that, well as we get along now, we can’t stand living together. This is the way I lean.
The other option is that when we decide to commit then we go into it planning forever, no safety nets. We just set our minds to there being no chance of an end… making it as hard as possible for us to leave (so that we work hard to make it work despite challenges). No walls up, fully vunerable and committed. This is the way she leans.
What is your advice on the best plan of attack? Not just for safety in case of breakup but all around…what is likely the best bet for keeping our relationship solid and healthy as we head forward?