Wanting to make the best choices for both of us

by Erika
(United States)

I have been spending time with someone for about 6 months now. He and I started out as friends, hiking, coffee talk, social media messaging, and so on. At the time we met, he was living with his wife and two children. He and his wife were estranged and they were sharing a house, but not bedrooms. She had moved back in with the children after a 4 year separation, when they decided to try it again in the interests of the children. Two years later, they were still not making it work. So four months ago, she got her own place. They decided to wait until the new year (now) to start the divorce.

She is somewhat aware that he is seeing me, but they do not communicate well, and certainly not about me. She is a divorce attorney, very successful and very busy and so the divorce discussion is being put off longer and longer.

He wants to have a mediator. He is afraid he will not get enough time with the children and wants to make sure their shared assets are fairly managed. She, being a divorce attorney, thinks she can work on the contract and then they discuss the changes he wants.

In the meantime, I cannot meet his parents, children, etc. It is awkward to be at his house if the neighbors are out, etc. While we both should have waited until the actual legal divorce, we didn't and that is how it is now. I regret this somewhat, because I feel I am selling myself short by being part of something a little on the down-low. On the other hand, I want to respect her and the children's peace of mind and do not feel any need to place myself in the middle (or even the periphery) of their lives. I try to be patient.

However, emotionally I want him to be more proactive about moving the divorce along. He complains that she does not communicate well and it makes him stressed. She rejected the mediator suggestion and he let it go. He says she is very busy right now and will be better able to talk about things in three weeks or so.

My quandary is this: He and I both made the choice to become more involved than friends when we knew what we would be getting ourselves into. But I am wondering if I should put some physical and emotional distance between he and I until this has passed. I have stress from my mother's chronic illness in my life right now. I am caring for her and it is a lot. I can't really take a lot more. I mean, I don't even know if we will pull through for the long run, so who am I to push him?! Then again, we cannot know until we have a healthy venue to be ourselves.

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