ASK COLETTE: “Madly in Love, But the Cat Has to Go!”
Here, intuitive coach Colette-Baron Reid on recovering from a failed marriage – and the pitfalls of falling for a new man too soon
I met “Brad” two months ago and I just know he’s the one! We had a whirlwind courtship and we are so taken with each other, it’s amazing! Before him I was married for 25 years to an awful, awful man and have finally been divorced for 10 months now. I can’t imagine being alone and face the stigma that goes with it at my age, and I want Brad in my life. The problem is he has a cat. I am allergic to cats and he won’t give up his pet for me. I can’t spend time at his house. What do we do? – Avoiding a Catastrophe
Dear Avoiding a Catastrophe,
Wow, it sounds like you have been having a lot of fun these last two months – how exciting! It must feel good to have the attention of someone and have someone to think about while you recover from your divorce.
That’s what you are doing, isn’t it? Recovering from a recent divorce? Didn’t you say he was an “awful, awful man?” I want you to read carefully the message to me as you said a lot in it that I want to encourage you to take a look at.
Twenty-five years is a long time to be in a committed relationship with someone who you feel has victimized you. I invite you to consider this carefully. Have you made peace with all that has occurred? Bet the answer is no. It takes time to work through the grieving process – is eight months enough time before falling for a new man? I doubt it, although people do it all the time.
Who am I to tell you that you’re not over your ex yet? Well, my dear, you wrote to me so I’ll give you my opinion per your request! I don’t know if you’ve done a lot of self-awareness work during the grieving process or if you’ve used distractions to avoid being alone.
My initial belief is you have not fully processed the death of a significant part of your life. You haven’t had enough time to be peaceful, mindful and happy being on your own. I’ll admit there is a lot of societal pressure to be part of a couple – to feel good about yourself and for others to view you as worthy of being loved by someone else.
Is that the “stigma” you’re referring to? Being single is not the same as being unloved or unworthy. Being single doesn’t even mean you are alone…it may just feel lonely during a breakup because your routine and habits are different and uncomfortable. Having been married before, you already know marriage doesn’t guarantee you won’t feel lonely…you know I’m right about that!!! So don’t use another relationship to avoid feelings of loneliness. Accept it, work through it and learn to love time with yourself.
Now let’s talk about Brad! In your own words, this two-month courtship has been “a whirlwind.” Although it sounds romantic, is it realistic to expect he is the one when you’ve probably only seen the ‘honeymoon’ side of each other so far?
Two months is a very short time – too short to commit the rest of your life to someone and definitely too short to ask someone to get rid of their furry family member for you. OMG! … if my husband told me to choose between him or my fur-babies, I’d be devastated – not only because I would have to choose, but because he was giving me an ultimatum. How could I be with a man who would tear my heart apart like that?
Before you demand the unimaginable or he starts looking into hypoallergenic room purifiers and quartering off dander-free zones of his house for you, take a step back. Don’t make any rash decisions or demands. Take it slowly and in the meantime, seek help with grieving the loss of your marriage, dealing with your anger, and set aside time to enjoy your own company while you learn more about Brad.
With love and blessings,
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