Getting wife to start dating again
Dating while separated, but not divorced is a tricky subject.
On one hand, it’s natural to want to find companionship and move on from your marriage.
I also believed I owed it to my potential dates to be as honest with myself as possible.
They’d be taking their cues from my words and actions, opening up to me, and — if all went well — believing in a future with me that only existed if I was truly ready. For nearly 20 years, I hadn’t gone on a single romantic date with anyone other than my wife, and now I was seeing someone else.
The longer I date, the less guilty I feel — the more natural it seems. I accept that I could have done things differently, and apply myself to the future.
She was and is an important part of my life and the lives of my children. There are other things to think about — other milestones to address: Meeting the kids, meeting the parents, all of those potential wonderful terrifying moments of new relationships. This reboot of my “dating days” comes easier with the knowledge that Leslie herself wanted me to find someone after she was gone, and had told me so before the end.
Those words brought me pain then, instead of the comfort I find in them now.
We never made it a point to find a sitter so we could take time for us. Leslie left behind a better man than the one she married.
There was always tomorrow, or later, or after the kids were older. Later was now, and I’d become more of a caregiver than husband to her in the last months of her life. She changed me in so many positive ways, and I’m so grateful for that.
The guilt wasn’t because I wasn’t ready, it was because by not dating, I hadn’t yet dealt with how it would make me feel.