Interact with lover on regular basis before committing
By Cheryl Lavin September 7, 2013 9:42PM
Updated: September 10, 2013 10:10AM
Greg was the divorced teacher with custody of his kids. He dated only every other weekend when his ex-wife had the children. He’s currently dating a woman and thinking of marrying her. That made some of you wonder . . .
MARLENE: Is he getting serious about a woman he doesn’t know that well? It’s not just a matter of the total length of time you’ve known somebody, but whether you’ve known them day in and day out.
Many personal problems, such as anger issues, can be controlled on an every-other-weekend basis. Before he ties the knot, he needs to start seeing her on a day-to-day basis.
I’ll admit my concerns come from my own experience. I married a man I’d been in a long-distance relationship with for two years. Before marriage, we dated about every other weekend. I thought I knew him really well after two whole years.
After we got married, to my surprise, I found out he had all kinds of anger issues that I hadn’t seen at all. We got divorced. Looking back on where it all went wrong, I came to the conclusion it was because I’d only seen him on a very limited basis. He was able to control his bad temper for two days at a time, but not all the time.
WESLEY: All kinds of bad habits and secrets can be kept if you only see someone every other weekend — job-hopping, apartment-hopping, anger issues, mental health problems, substance abuse, secret families, multiple lovers, criminal activity. The list goes on and on.
You must see anyone you are seriously considering a commitment with on a consistent basis for a long period of time, especially if you have kids.
Some of you wondered why Greg didn’t hire a baby-sitter so he could go out more often.
ALICE: I have an acquaintance whose ex-husband used the fact that she had to work on a Saturday once every three months against her in a custody battle. The guy was truly an unfit father although not abusive or neglectful in the legal sense. He didn’t particularly want more custody, but he was a spiteful jerk, and he did everything in his power to make the divorce miserable and financially draining for her.
He claimed that since she would have to hire a baby-sitter for a full day on Saturdays, even if only four times a year, she could not have an 80/20 custody split as she wished. It had to be 50/50. He gave in finally (he never really wanted custody), but only after he ran her into the ground financially. Who knows? Greg might have a similar ex.
REESE: Having dated a divorced daddy who always put his child first, I can tell you that 1) I respected him greatly for his devotion to his daughter and 2) it totally wrecked our sex life.
Greg can’t have his cake and eat it, too. Women need love and attention, and expecting them to be content with every other weekend dating is not realistic or even kind.
Did you get an unpleasant surprise after you married? Send your tale, along with your questions, problems and rants to email@example.com. And check out my new website askcheryl.net.