So, I’m in the enviable position of dating someone I really like, who seems to really like me in return. I’m in the unenviable position of being this person’s first relationship after a divorce, which happened about a year ago. We’ve been dating for 5 months now.
I think neither one of us is particularly clear as to how these things should go. He has a 5-year-old son and he and his ex-wife want to maintain as much of a family life for the guy as possible- they often have family breakfasts and dinners, attend tee-ball together, etc. I think it’s great that they’re working together as parents, and his dedication as a parent is one of the things that appealed to me early on.
The dates he schedules with me work around his parenting schedule with his ex-wife.
The problem with this is how excluded I feel from what is really the “main” part of his life. His ex-wife doesn’t know he’s seeing someone. His parents don’t know he’s seeing someone- they asked if he was dating and he told them that he’s a hermit, he never goes out (I overheard this phone conversation). I haven’t met the child. There are nuclear family pictures everywhere- birthdays and dinners and people smiling on couches.
It’s starting to become uncomfortable, starting to hurt. I’m not jealous per se, but I don’t think I’ve ever dated someone where something to which they’re so dedicated has been so completely closed-off to me. And I feel as though his failure to bring this together means he’s not entirely serious about our relationship. I feel as though I’m a mistress, that this person is still functionally married, and that I’m just filling in, on the side. I wonder how an affair with a married man would be, and I imagine that this is exactly how it would feel. Sans guilt.
But I also understand that it’s a tricky situation for him and I don’t want to push anything. I’m OK taking things slow if I know that we’re going somewhere. But I’m not sure what to expect after this amount of time.
Can I have opinions from people who have done this? Am I being unreasonable?