Did I Make The Same Mistake All Over Again?

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Hi Meredith,

I went through a very messy divorce from my first wife a few years ago. At the time, it made sense to process it all by diving head first into work, taking opportunities to travel, and doing things I was not able to do during an almost 15-year marriage. I was broken but somewhat excited for the new possibilities in life.

While on the road, I met a woman I clicked with – something I hadn’t felt in ages. Long story short, she dropped her entire life to relocate with me, and within a year of my divorce we were married. You might imagine how this went over with most family and friends. Shortly after, we welcomed a baby. Life has essentially repeated itself – just with a completely different person.

Recently I have started to think about the last few years, my behavior, and choices I made. Were reactions to my decisions valid? Would I have even chosen this person/path if I wasn’t so hurt? Do I even explore these questions professionally and potentially risk hurting more people? Or is this just one of those things we carry in life; a choice we made?

– Retrospective


Explore it professionally, but not with the intention of hurting anyone. Seek therapy to figure out how to celebrate a life you did choose for yourself.

You picked this second partner for a many reasons. Yes, the decision might have been fueled by past experiences and discomfort with being alone, but you also clicked with this woman – big time. You “hadn’t felt that in ages.” The issue isn’t whether you have a connection with her (clearly you do), it’s more about how to cope with change, and how to better manage your expectations for this long-term relationship. It’s not going to be super exciting with anyone forever. This woman’s big jump into your life – and the addition of a baby – makes this a very different relationship than the one you started with her, but the baseline feelings are still present and relevant. Talk, in therapy, about how to remember that.

We all have good reason to second-guess our choices. I could ask whether I avoid marriage because my parents were divorced. I could spend all day wondering whether the company I keep has everything to do with bad experiences from years ago. But … I don’t know how useful it is to dwell, as long as I’m happy. That’s the big question – whether you can be content with what you have.

Maybe you started this relationship too quickly, but it’s also possible you were super into this person, still are, but have a little whiplash from so much movement.

Don’t avoid therapy because you fear saying the wrong thing out loud. The more you say (in a safe place), the better all of this might feel over time.

– Meredith

Readers? What about these second thoughts?

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