By Alecia Rice
Q: I’ve been seeing a woman to whom I’m very attracted, but she’s fearful about getting into a relationship after her husband cheated on her years ago. I’d like to get more involved, but I’m wondering if I’m wasting my time. Do you have any advice? — Gentleman-in-Waiting
A: Dear Gentleman-in-Waiting,
These days, relationships seem to move along at extraordinary speeds. Dating and courtship seem to have fallen by the wayside. Sometimes sex comes far too soon, which can distort and color our perspective on what’s happening between ourselves and the other person. This distortion can muddy the waters, breed a lack of clarity and create unconscious projections.
We each have our own pace at which we heal. I understand why her fear looms large, because such betrayals blindside us. It upsets our equilibrium which often causes us to personalize it, questioning our worth, looks, what we did wrong, and more. We need proper time to contemplate, so we can sort through the fragments of our shattered lives, process what we’ve been through and figure out the roles we played in that relationship. This enables us to be personally accountable while coming to an understanding of which faults should be left at the feet of the adulterous partner. Just because someone cheated on us does not mean that our imperfections forced them into that act.
Even once emotional agony recedes, new companions can unexpectedly trigger old relationship dynamics, which need to be realized and worked through, and that can take some time and patience. If this woman means a lot to you, I’d recommend that you tell her—without pressure—why she feels so special to you, what your thoughts and feelings are, and where you’d like to be with her eventually. Create a safe space for her to honestly share her thoughts and fears so you can genuinely understand the nuances of what she’s struggling with to gain your own clarity. Hopefully, she’s clear and feels secure enough to authentically share, so you can ascertain the potential obstacles ahead and whether you’re willing to walk beside her for a bit.
It can be difficult to find a mate who’s a really good match and when we do, sometimes we need to exercise patience and be discerning. Over time, if we know ourselves well, our mind and body will signal if it’s taking too long, because internal stress will begin building. If we’re staying in good communication, we should have a sense of how things are flowing, and whether we wish to continue on. When we feel we can’t wait any longer, we can be honest so the other can decide whether they can shift things up to keep us close, or whether they’re still not ready. In case of the latter, hopefully, the journey deepened between us enough to continue on with a friendship built on commonalities, trust, and good communication, because those are rare gems.
My counsel for dating is to slow down. We should get to know each other before entering into intimacy, so that we can truly know and trust who we’re connecting with. When we finally enter into those relationships, we’ll better know that person and have much more of a bond, instead of basing those relationships strictly on looks, lust or status.
Q: I’m a stay-at-home mom who has to ask my husband for money to do special things. It makes me feel bad about myself and resentful towards him. Do you have any suggestions? — “Husband-May-I?”
A: Dear “Husband-May-I?”,
Most wives would dislike the thought of having to approach their husbands to ask for money to spend a weekend with their girlfriends or buy something special. This sets up unbalanced roles similar to parent and child, which can affect spousal intimacy. Since we all have differing viewpoints as to the value of experiences and purchases, when possible, both spouses should have their own small stash of mad money independent of the family budget.
I suggest you discuss this with your husband. He probably hasn’t even considered what this feels like, because he’s not the one in the situation. You should have control of some of your own money which would allow you to make decisions on how to spend it, without him deciding whether it’s a valid way for you to spend money. See if you both can agree upon a monthly stipend that allows you to spend it or save it up according to what feels right to you.
Bringing balance to this situation will make you a content, more independent feeling wife, which will serve him well in many ways, both known and unknown.
Alecia Rice integrates higher concepts with wisdom to bring forth balance, perspective, and clarity. She’s a personal advisor, speaker, and gatherer of women. For perspective on life issues, you’re invited to text questions and comments to 681-321-1109. Discussions continue at Ask Alecia on Facebook.