Pinings — Advice by Sherry Hughes

Newly Single Mother...

Hi Sherry,

Iím a 33-year-old newly single mother. Actually not single, but recently separated from a man who is not my sonís father.

I have been a single mother for 15 years. Throughout my adult years I have had several relationships, some long-term, some very short. Iíd always said that I would never get married, and I managed to walk out on four engagements, which today I know was the right choice for me.

Two years ago I met a man who is 13 years older than me. He was single, a bit of a player and I fell madly in love quickly. I pursued him and in no time he returned the feelings. From September to December we played around, then on Jan. 1 (Happy New Year!) he told me that he loved me for the first time. Thatís when things got really serious. Then on Feb. 14, we moved in together, and on Feb. 26, we got married in a very private, personal wedding.

My son and my husband never really got to know each other until the day came for us to live together. They seemed to have started off on the wrong foot. No matter how I tried, it never seemed to get any better. Thinking back now I think the only one who did try was me! My son left six months later and went to live with his father. I stayed and tried to make my marriage work. After a year, it was still too difficult to be the mother I knew how to be and be a wife. So my husband and I separated in July (this year).

Now after two months of separation, I want him back. My son is living with me once again, doing better than ever, and my husband wants to make it work as well. We are not living together yet ó we plan to take our time and try to work things out, but he is a truck driver and only home for a day here and there, so the opportunity for us all to spend time together and work things out is very little and I find that very frustrating. How can we work things out when thereís no time together? My son and my husband are finding a new respect for each other, the nit picking has eased up and now here I sit patiently waiting for the time to see if this is actually workable.

I find it very confusing. Should I wait and see? Is it possible for things to change or am I fooling myself? My son will be gone when he finishes high school. He wants to move away to go to college, and Iím sure he will. Then Iíll be alone, and I really wonder about it all.

Iíve been told Iím commitment phobic because I donít stick it out and try harder to make it work. I know at times I run, but am I running for legitimate reasons?

- Sherri K

Dear Sherri,

I donít see the issue the same way you do; it doesnít seem to me that you are phobic about commitment. But you are a bit impatient for things to change, and these things take time. You had a whirlwind ďcourtshipĒ and marriage. Then you discovered the things that couples discover when they take time to know each other.

It sounds as if everything is in place now; your son is home, your husband wants to work things out ó so why not wait and see what comes? Thatís where your real work will begin.

These things happen the way they are supposed to, not the way we necessarily want them to. You say your husband is a good man, a good husband ó and those men are hard to find. Stick it out and be patient. At the very least, you owe it to your marriage to see if it can work this time. I think, too, that itís smart to wait before he moves in. Try dating, try some outings with all three of you, try some long phone conversations. Take your time. If itís meant to be, it will all work out.

Sherry Hughes welcomes letters from readers. Contact her via e-mail at

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