I wouldn't post this here except from everything I've experienced on this board I believe y'all are godly women that will give me input I can trust. So, my situation is that I've been basically single for 6 yrs when my ex-husband walked out the first time. He finally followed through on the divorce, & we've been divorced 4 yrs. I had him living in the home until November 2011 & had tried desperately to save our marriage before finally just coming to a place of acceptance over the months since November. In the last few months, I've opened myself to the idea of moving on...dating, remarrying. I've never been a dater & had 2 long-term relationships prior to marrying my ex. Ok, so that's the background. I met a man through work that asked me out. We talked on the phone a couple weeks before we met for dinner largely b/c he's a single dad who has his girls frequently, & I have mine pretty much all the time unless I'm working & neither of us thinks it is appropriate to introduce them unless there is a stable relationship. So, forward to now...he is incredibly kind, thoughtful, gentlemanly, interesting to talk to, we have similar backgrounds in our marriages (repeatedly cheated on, irresponsible spouses who are not very present for the children, etc.) & very similar values...I feel very connected emotionally & intellectually to him. He is also respectful of the fact that I want to wait for marriage to be physically intimate. Now...the problem (or maybe not...this is why I want advice)...I'm not physically attracted to him & am unsure if that really matters. I'm not a person that is generally gaga over guys & their looks & probably was only immediately like that about my first boyfriend. I usually grow to the point of feeling that attraction. I'm also not someone with a major interest in being physical intimacy but have no problem meeting a husband's needs as long as I'm respected & have my other needs met (well, willing even if that isn't the case b/c believe God calls me to that for a husband). I guess my concern is that I would describe him as the least attractive guy I've dated. We have talked about a serious relationship, marriage (we are older & don't see a need to drag things out for the sake of social norms if we feel comfortable that it is right). I'm not unattracted to the point I would not be able to be physically intimate I don't think but just that lack of fluttery excitement at him holding my hand, giving me a kiss, etc...kinda just a neutral feeling. Ok, I think I covered the relevant info. My questions: have any of you experienced this great connection except the physical attraction & gone on to a successful marriage? and Would this lack of physical attraction be something that would make a successful marriage impossible? Any other thoughts, advice? I don't want to drag things out b/c I'm so connected in other ways only to find out that the physical is of major importance. I pray about this but am struggling in my prayer life r/t the things I've been through so am trying to get work on that.
Completely OT: Need input on relationship(13 posts) (8 voices)
I wasn't attracted to my dh at first either, but did reach that point before seriously dating (and we met and married within a years time....older and knew what we wanted!) But I probably wouldn't rush things, given the stats on second marriages. I'm not an overly touchy/physical person and this is most men's #1 need and I think it could make marriage pretty difficult if there wasn't physical attraction at some point. Not that somebody needs to be attractive by worldly standards. In my single days I knew a short, balding engineer that my VERY attractive friend was dating....he had a super personality, neat Christian guy:) I think if it's meant to be God can definitely cause those feelings to come as you get to know him better! Gina
Just wanted to chime in :-) I was totally not attracted to my husband when we met. Not that there was a thing wrong with him physically, but he was just the total opposite of what I was attracted to. I delayed getting to know him because of it! But, there was something about him as a person that I loved so much that superceeded the rest. Now 11 years later, we have our issues now and again like any marriage, but not once has it ever been based on looks. I love him for who he is to me and to our daughters. I do agree with Gina that I wouldn'r rush just because it is a second marriage and there are children involved, but if you have found someone who could love you truly and deeply your whole life and love your children as their own, who you can have good conversations with and lots of laughter, that is what really matters in my humble opinion. :-)
I think rushing would be a mistake .. maybe.. only God knows that for sure. I can say I was not overly attracted to my dh when we meet but he did everything else I could ever want and need in a husband for me. But by the time I was married to him I was totally head over heels in love, in love of all of him. Like others said he was not the drop dead gorgeous type but he is very very nice to look at and he's only gotten better by the years! Wouldn't trade hiim for the world.
I'm glad that you have found someone that you are so comfortable with! I think that the physical part will work itself out if this is the man whom God has chosen for you.
I understand the caution of wanting to wait when there are kids involved. But, I also know, sometimes when you know, you know. I am a group of Mom's/Step-Mom's, and there are people there who won't date at all until their kids are grown, and there are those who dated/married their husband within the year. I am my husband's second wife (this is my first marriage). We waited 3 years from the date we met to the time we married, and that was only because I was 18 when we met, and my parents wanted me to wait. I would have married him within the year. Only you can know what is best for your family.
Have your kids met yet? Have you all met each other's kids? This can be a huge thing in second marriages; how your kids get a long, differing parenting styles, etc. How involved are each of your exes? From experience, this is a huge thing. I would stronlgy, strongly encourage you to find resources about blended families, step-parenting, etc. I would also try to encourage you to find some support from other women. I am part of an online group that is made up of Mom's and Step-Mom's, there to help each other try to see the other side of things. You have to be careful about these, because many times you can go to a step-mom support group, and if all there is is step-mom's it can get a little one sided, ykwim? I would also really encourage some counseling before you get married with someone who deals with blended family situations. That's one things I wish we had done. We did premarital counseling, but I think that the requirements should be much different for people who are blending families! Also, there will be issues that arise in your marriage (as with any marriage!), but they will probably be more specirfic to 2nd marriages, and I am a strong believer that counseling is great for you personally and your marriage at any point in time, and especially in these situations, and you should not be hesitant about going!
Sorry if this was on the long side :) This is kind of my soap box, so to speak...lol.
Thanks so much for all the input & revealing a bit of your lives, experiences! I've been reading but unable to post from my phone for whatever reason so just now able to respond. It is reassuring to know so many of you felt this way & went on to successful marriages. Looking back at my marriage, I realize how messed up it was though I enjoyed spending time with him...that couldn't override the constant infedility, manipulation, lying & total lack of having a partner in anything. I think that I didn't listen to God when I married him. I was 24 & kinda clueless about how the problems I had already experienced with him would pan out in a marriage, but the wedding was planned so what was I to do lol...I know better now & have 2 little girls that deserve me to heed any signs of concern instead of just me being at risk. Meagan, I'd love info on that support group if it's something open to me. We have talked about pre-marital counseling. I'm actually a professional counselor myself so of course think it is very important to do real pre-marital counseling not just a meeting with the pastor before getting married. We met at a park yesterday with the kids & just introduced each other as friends...it was outrageously hot & everyone was miserable & not interacting so left & went to Chick-fil-A where they had an absolute blast together! I'm so up & down with my feelings (part of this is my hormones at this time of month so trying not to do anything based on how I'm feeling right now) with thinking everything is good & the attraction issue will work itself out if this is God's plan for us then thinking that things are over, there is no way it will work...it sure can stink being a woman lol. He can be a little nerdy too but that doesn't really matter b/c I can be quite a nerd myself lol. It has been so long since I've dated anyone...married at 24 & am 39 now so hard to really remember how I felt in the early dating stages but know I had the same thoughts about "nerdiness" at times with the other guys & probably none of them are truly nerdy by wordly standards just those moments u see or hear them do/say something lol. Idk...just the ups & downs of trying to figure out whether u r a good match. I just know that he has so many great qualities that a bit a nerdiness & not being Mr Hottie should not be a deciding factor so waiting to see if this part will work itself out or if it is a signal that something more isn't right for us as a couple.
First I want to commend you on your handling of the situation. I was once in a similar situation, though I wasn't married. I was in a long term relationship, we had 2 daughters and the relationship was all around bad for all involved, we almost married but I cancelled the wedding even though invites were sent and locations were paid for - it was the craziest and best thing I ever did.
I was a single mom for a short while and I know some women - especially those who are immature - can be so involved with finding a man that they introduce their children to a slew of potential suitors and I have just never thought that was right. I also never really dated and my girls' dad was the only man they had ever been around or seen me with, so I was very careful when I began talking to a man who expressed interest in me. I think introducing the man you are talking to to your children in a friendly, casual way was smart. Then it won't be like "SURPRISE, I am getting married to this guy, this is Joe!"
My now husband and I had what many would call a short relationship and engagement lol But it was definitely right. He's a great husband and father to my girls and we have a daughter together too now.
To get back to your original question though, I find it kind of crazy how so many women date men they aren't initially attracted too but the same is rarely true of men dating women. My advice, and I speak from experience, is to go for it with the guy who has all those awesome qualities and it is likely you will start to see him as beautiful. I thought my hubby was just nice looking at first and now I am as crazy about him physically as I am about his personality and qualities. On the flip side, as shallow as it may sound lol, I would not recommend dating someone who you literally can't stand the thought of being intimate with or worse introduing to people or being seen with in public. I once read that it was okay to stop seeing someone because you can't imagine going to the movies with them and having others hear their embarassing laugh lol That may sound extreme but I have dated a couple people I felt embarassed of, I'm ashamed to say it, but there was just no potential for the growth of attraction in those cases. It sounds like there is for your situation though, so I pray for the best for you and your daughters!
Delkroemer- your post makes me laugh! I completely agree with what you have said. I'm not embarrassed of him for sure I work 12 hour shifts on weekends so my parents keep my girls until I get home Sunday evening, which allows me some time to see him when I get off on Saturday evening. Anyway...I saw him last night, & he is so incredibly sweet & respectful of me...& the attraction is developing! I'm not scared of a short "courtship" in that my parents have been married 45yrs (I think lol)...they met at Thanksgiving & married March 10th. Of course I know they had/have their struggles as is typical in any marriage but nonetheless, they've made it. I'm not seeking perfection in a marriage but loyalty, dedication to working through things & committment to God's intentions for marriage. I wish I wasn't divorced, that my marriage had been restored but my ex is not saved, & he chose to leave so I believe God is rebuilding in me what was broken by my years with my ex & restoring to me the years the "locusts" have taken. I'm hopeful for the first time in a long while that He truly has a good plan for me b/c for so long I only focused on my ex getting saved & returning to the marriage, which wound up stealing from me spiritually. I'm so thankful to all of you for your insights, your sharing, your kindness, your gentleness & your godly character that has allowed me to open up & receive some "mentoring" even though I'm sure some of you are younger & might not technically qualify as being the "older" women of the Church to teach & mentor me...you do so regularly, which is more than I've found in the churches I've been in over the years (which has largely meant being ignored or outcast b/c I was married but no kids- years of infertility before adopting our oldest- & then b/c I was separated/divorced). I'm getting teary-eyed b/c I wish I had in-person what I see from all of you here...though I do have an awesome & godly best friend . So, thank you!
WARNING: Adult, physical relationship in marriage material discussed below. If this makes you uncomfortable, please skip this post.
I have no experience like yours, Betsy, but a comment you made in the OP nudged me a little... well, at least to the point of posting. If I have misunderstood you, please forgive me. My heart kind of aches a bit when I hear/ read comments similar to yours because, well, I'll explain myself a bit more in a minute.
Anyway, you said, "I'm also not someone with a major interest in being physical intimacy but have no problem meeting a husband's needs as long as I'm respected & have my other needs met (well, willing even if that isn't the case b/c believe God calls me to that for a husband)." I know your concern is about the physical attraction, or rather, the lack thereof, but I would suggest that you think about the above in a different manner NOW, before marriage. Thinking that you are only meeting your husbands needs and will get your needs met in other ways *may* be a recipe for disaster - mentally - in regard to a sexual relationship with *any* future husband. I would venture to say, without knowing more than you have written, that since your ex-husband was unfaithful numerous times, it boils down to being quite self-involved/ selfish/ self-centered - however you want to say it. Since this was likely the case, he was likely not as interested in meeting your needs during horizontal fellowship as he was in having you meet his needs. Just like any area of marriage, we are to be servants of the other in that we need to care as much, or maybe more, about the needs of the other. I think it's important for us, as women to not only expect to serve, respect, and physically love a future husband but also to expect to *be* respected, loved, and served in your marriage bed.
I could go on and on, since this is an area that I've had to adjust my thinking from something akin to your comment to a more balanced idea... ie - I went from duty to God and husband to thanking God for the physicalness of our marriage bed. The sad part is that it took me about 16 years to move from one mode of thinking to the other. And while dh was always loving and gracious to me during that time, he's more fulfilled and so am I in our marriage bed than I ever realized was possible. Respect is a big, huge, enormously important thing for men, but, it seems as though the marriage bed is a close second for many men.
OK, stepping down from this little soap box and hoping I didn't upset or offend others - especially you, Betsy. Praying that God will make the direction you are to take with this relationship abundantly clear.
I'm not at all offended : ) I definitely appreciate the input. I do think I largely already think as you're saying but may not voice it well lol. Thus far in life I've not been a person who thinks much about physical intimacy therefore would rarely initiate it. I can say that I definitely was not respected in any way in my marriage nor had my needs met (help around the home, spending time together, being able to talk & work together to meet goals as a couple, not living in constant debt b/c of his spending & lack of working, etc.) a majority of the time...well, sometimes if I had a fit about it but rarely if I just let it go or never said anything in the first place. So, that I'm sure I had an impact on my desire for physical intimacy as it does with most women I know. Who knows what that will be like with a man that actually respects me & desires to meet my needs not just in the bedroom but in the ways that excite a woman...go clean that kitchen hunny lol! I do see what you're saying about tweaking the thinking some & will continue thinking about how I need to adjust mine. I know my thinking overall has been damaged by my ex-husband yet it is amazing to me how easily I have been able to trust this guy & just openly ask him if something concerns me. I had learned to search for evidence or try to trap my ex b/c he very rarely told the truth about anything...even as simple as, "did you pick up milk?" could get a "yes" then a long story to explain why the milk isn't then in the fridge or acting like it must've been stolen from our fridge b/c he knows he bought it & put it there. Anyway...so what I'm saying is "God is Good!" He is allowing so many things that I experienced in my marriage that could easily become an issue in this relationship (even if the guy isn't doing anything wrong) to not even really come into my thinking about him. Thank you for your sage advice, & it will be well considered plus we intend to go through significant pre-marital counseling if we do head the route of marriage...looking that way : )
I again want to thank all of you for your willingness to share your experiences & advice. God has completely transformed my feelings in the last week & now I'm not only emotionally & intellectually attracted to this man but physically attracted as well! And in a way I've never felt attracted to any of my ex-boyfriends or ex-husband. I'm amazed...every concern that pops up (not necessarily ones that make me wonder if it will work but just things I think maybe need to be discussed) God seems to bring to this man's heart/mind before I say anything so he brings it up, we discuss it & figure out what to do. It's sad but I had no idea a relationship could be like this...actually discussing, working through, coming to agreement. Idk...just needed to share b/c I'm in awe of God working in my life...it has been a VERY rough 6 yrs with my ex (not to mention the 9 yrs we were married prior to his walking out that I now realize were completely unhealthy), & there have been many times I thought I'd never see the fruition of God's promises, that I'd always feel broken, damaged spiritually, emotionally then yesterday I began to realize He is healing me, restoring me & bringing to my life what He promised but I couldn't see b/c I had my own ideas of what it meant to heal & restore (saving my ex & bringing him home to me, our children). I'll update on the wedding plans later lol!
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