Red Responds: Back to Jersey On Her Terms

Dear Red,

Thank you (in advance) and I think you are great.

I have recently moved back to California after a bitter divorce. I have been here for four months and still feel as I don’t belong here anymore — even my job situation has been on hold. I am a Registered Nurse in a high demand specialty where jobs are a dime a dozen, but it seems as if my life is at a standstill.

I would love to return to New Jersey but on my terms. My ex husband does not want the children. He only wants to see them 4 times a year. I have just gone through a situation with both my children that has made me realize my children need the love and protection of their father.

I also left behind a love interest. We did not speak for several months due to gossip. Women who I thought were my friends were rearranging stories and purposely trying to sabatoge my relationship with him. They were successful but only for a while. We finally reconnected and have sorted out most of the gossip. I truly love this man but I don’t know how he feels about me and my life still has no direction.

Will my ex ever want a to see the children more? Does this man really care? When will my life get on track?

Thank you,

Dear Jasmin,

Thank you so much for your kind words. I really do appreciate it!

While your children need love and support, spending time with bio dad may not be the best thing for them. Your ex does love the kids, but he’s really not prepared to raise them. He doesn’t want to alienate them or have them completely removed from his life, but seeing them four times a year is about all that he can handle at present. It doesn’t seem to matter where you are living. If you choose to move back to New Jersey, make that decision after taking your ex out of the equation. The major responsibility of raising the kids is on you, regardless of how close or how far away their father is. Forcing him to spend time with the kids is a mistake for your children’s mental and emotional health. Not being able to see dad because of whatever reason you designate is much easier on them than dad not wanting them around when they are there. It’s about quality of time, not quantity. With infrequent visitations, your ex is much more involved with the kids, and they can all enjoy each other for that time.

If I were you, I would make sure that he and children talk by phone weekly or every other week just to reaffirm his presence in their lives. He can find twenty minutes for a call. Explain to him that it will help the kids with some of their anxiety and abandonment issues.

Unless something changes with your ex and his life, it seems that he will fade away as your kids age rather than become more actively involved. What may seem hurtful or painful now with the relationship between your kids and their father is more of a blessing in disguise than anything else. Not to worry, though; I do see that there is a positive male role model around your kids. While he may not be the creator of your children, he definitely has the fatherly influence around them (that’s what I meant by “bio dad.”)

Looking at romance, you need to keep sorting through the mess that was left behind with the gentleman who has your heart. He definitely has feelings for you. Keep up the communication and the two of you will become much closer than you are now, and even closer than you were in the past. It’s going to take some time — a no-pressure approach is required with this guy. But it does look like a declaration of love is in the offing some March of 2007.

As far as your career goes, have your resume redone professionally. It seems like you are getting passed by. While having a resume professionally done can seem like an expensive option to re-say the same things, it is effective. While I don’t see you jumping on this option, when you do, you will be negotiating salary and employment terms within four weeks of sending out the revised version of you. Heck, woman – pick a state. You are going to have offers from several areas, either coming from an internet posting or resume blasting service.

It’s time for you to let go of the frustrations of the past that are causing depression in the present. It’s not a lack of direction that encompasses you, it is a fresh start. I know you feel like you’ve been beating your head against the wall. We all go through these periods in life, they are part recovery and part lesson. Knowing that doesn’t make the process stink any less, but it does bring us closer to that light at the end of the tunnel. I see that light shining for you. If you let yourself, so will you.

Brightest Blessings,
Ext. 9226

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