“I love helping people to build happy and healthy relationships”
Gold Coast & Sydney
    • 26 AUG 14
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    28 July 2016

    I have been separated for many years and a few months ago I looked up the internet and re-connected with my first girlfriend whom I met at school. She was my first love and she is now a widow.

    We have since met each other and our mutual families and we are both very excited to have reconnected and believe we could have a great life together.

    There is one huge problem and that is my children who are 12 and 14, live with their mother on the Gold Coast, and this lady and her family live in New Zealand.
    Unfortunately, she is not prepared to move here. The sacrifice has to come from me. The work I do can be done anywhere, but I have to make a decision to leave my children to take up with her family.

    This decision is a painful one for me, but how often do you meet someone who is perfect for you in every way? I know I am asking a tough question, but I would like some advice from an unbiased person, because I am hearing a lot of negative advice from family and friends.

    Can you please tell me what affect this move may have on my children and my relationship with them?

    Answer:

    I agree, this is a tough one, and I think deep down you know my answer. If you have a close relationship with your children, of course they will be affected by your decision to move away from them and live in another country. Irrespective of age, when we lose anything we love, we all go through a grieving process and your children will experience grief when you go away.

    From their perspective they will not understand why you would choose to go with a ‘stranger’ rather than stay with flesh and blood. For some time they will be angry with you for abandoning them and they will also experience sadness.

    They have already experienced the loss of the family unit when you and your wife split up, this will be a second loss for them. While you are excited over finding love again, my hunch is that you too will experience the same grief when you are away from them.

    Having said all of that, children are resilient and over time they may come to accept what life has dished out for them. Hopefully, they will learn to adapt to visiting their Dad in school holidays in New Zealand, and this can add another dimension to their lives.

    Another option is, you can fly back to the Coast in between holidays and see them as often as you can afford to do this and so you can still maintain quality time when you are together.

    My last suggestion, is do the reverse, stay on the Coast, date your ex girlfriend over Skype for the next few years until your children are old enough to understand and accept the situation.

    You can fly over as many times as you can afford to see her, and fly her to the GC to see you and your children too. This way your children will get to know her and not see her as a threat.

    I have been married for 13 years and have four children. In all honesty I have never had that passionate “in love” feeling with my wife. I love her but I am not in love with her.

    She is a lovely person, very good wife and exceptional mother but I have never felt that sexual “spark” with her. I married her believing that we have a lot in common and that we would have a comfortable life together.

    Unfortunately, I recently experienced the spark that has been missing in my life with someone that I work with and had an affair with her. I didn’t want to have a long term relationship with this person, but recklessly pursued her and did stupid things without thinking of the consequences. My recklessness led to my wife finding out about it and her being hurt beyond my imagination. She is devastated, and even tried to kill herself.

    I can’t believe that my selfish actions have caused so much pain. My children have also been affected. My wife initially said she wanted a divorce, but now she is saying that she is prepared to stay with me for the sake of the children.

    I am now very confused. I have ended the affair, I feel very guilty and remorseful, but in truth, having had a taste of passion and great sex, I am not sure that I can honestly say I will never do it again. Right now I am prepared to give her the lip service that I know she wants to hear, but my dilemma is whether I should be honest with her and tell the truth about our relationship and my fears for the future.

    Deep down I don’t want to do it again and break her heart. I love my children very much and don’t want to split up the family. I can’t imagine not being with them on a daily basis. Am I being fair to her and myself being in a relationship where I don’t love her 100%.

    Answer:

    You are the only person who can answer that question. You have to weigh up what life would be like for yourself living within a family unit with someone you say you have never experienced a sexual spark with but does have many other wonderful qualities, to being a separated man. You don’t have to fear losing your children as men are now able to share custody if they choose to do this.

    However, you say you love you children and the thought of not seeing them daily is unbearable. This is a fact of separation and the fall-out for most children is quite traumatic. Having said that, the spark that you talk about which is missing between you and your wife, will probably never be there. It is not a fallacy, there is such a thing as chemistry between two people and it is either there or it isn’t.

    An interesting piece of research has found that the best marriages and the most long lasting and successful ones today, are between couples who have arranged marriages.
    These couples rarely have the spark you are talking about, but come together because they have the same family values, commitment to marriage, children, and share many of the same interests.

    Conversely, there are many marriages where the spark is there initially but do not survive because the only attraction has been the spark and it eventually peters off to nothing because the couples have nothing else in common.

    I know this is a very big decision for you, and while one of your options is to tell your wife how you feel, another option is to ask her to see a sex therapist with you so that you can look at what you can both do to enhance and improve what you have together right now. This can be achieved.

    The sexual spark may never be there, but that does not have to stop you from enjoying a good, satisfying and passionate sex life with your wife.

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Ruth Simons
Suite 4, The Professional Centre, 189 Ashmore Road Gold Coast, Queensland QLD 4217
16 Vernon Street, Bondi Junction Sydney, New South Wales NSW 2022
+61 755 972 222 URL of Map
Ruth Simons | Psychologist & Clinical Psychotherapist Ruth Simons psychologist, clinical psychotherapist, relationship counselling, sex therapy, anxiety treatment without medication psychologist, psychotherapist, anxiety, depression, counselling, sexual therapy, relationship counselling, separation counselling, blended families, communication skills 2018 Ruth Simons