Name: Shenanigans | Location: East Coast , USA |Question: A recent post prompted me to write. I understand that all of us need to be honest with ourselves about what we have to offer in relationship and our “value” on the market. I’d love to get some feedback on this and see if others have experienced the same.
Divorced guys with decent jobs seem to have a VERY inflated idea of their value, and seem rather dismissive of woman who actually have it more together than they do. Many divorced guys have told me, in one way or another, that they consider themselves a pretty good “catch”. Here’s a basic rundown of who they generally are: mid to late 40’s, salary in the the low to mid 100k range, one or more kids, paying alimony, child support and possibly college, an ex who is some way either emotionally or financially dependent. Dating such a person means: being financially independent yourself so you can split costs or reciprocate in the same dollar range, because he does not have the money to treat you (his generosity flows elsewhere, though you are sleeping with him); either not being integrated with his kids/family, or if you are, enduring their hostility; putting up with the intrusions of the ex; listening to what a great “lifestyle” he had with the ex, which must be maintained for her sake and the kids'; having his caretaking go to the ex or the kids (if he’s fixing the ex’s washer, he certainly doesn’t feel like helping out with yours). They make huge alimony payments so the ex can take her boyfriend out to dinner, while making sure you have paid your turn on the overpriced dinner go-round, though you probably don’t earn as much.
I find these men feel entitled to an attractive, sexually satisying, financially independent, emotionally available woman to whom they owe very little. Is it some kind of convoluted payback for the years they “put up with” a bad marriage? I don’t really understand.
I’ve actually considered my value as a partner and have made
decisions to better my position. I have a good job, spend under my means and have no debt but a mortgage, am building my retirement. I have a daughter who is young and I make sure her needs are met emotionally, but I feel it is reasonable to have a romantic partner in my life and I don’t feel guilty about it. It means balancing things in a fair way so that I have something to give a partner. What I have found is that my desire to be generous has really receded when I see what these entitled divorced guys have to offer. I sometimes wonder– why would I take one of them on?
Have others had similar experiences? |Age: 42
As we get older, the list of concessions we need to make in relationships grow. Now, I’m not saying that you should settle for a guy who would fix his ex’s washing machine but refuse to fix yours. That’s just douchey. But you have to realize that if a man is divorced and has kids, you bet he’s paying out the ass because he’s likely the one who left in the first place. Divorce is a woman’s game. It just is. Especially if there are children involved. So, yeah, you’re going to find a large number of men in your desired age range who are now like men coming back from war. They are burnt out, broken down and broke. They’re not the man they used to be pre-divorce. Some are bitter, most are disiilusioned. If you know of any divorce lawyers or men who are divorced, ask them what they went through.
Those men might very well be “a catch” to certain women. They’re just not a catch to you. Many other women would understand why they might tend to a broken washer (he’s doing it for the kids more than the wife) or why their kids might be less than welcoming. You seem to want a divorced man who’s interested in raising someone else’s child, who had an amicable divorce, who still believes in marriage, who’s ex wife is out of the picture despite sharing children with him and who wasn’t taken to the cleaners. Good luck with that.
We’re 40+. The men we date are way, way past the “men pay for everything” phase. They’ve done that. If they’re divorced and paying out the ass, then you bet they’re looking to get involved with a woman who is self-sufficent because he can’t afford to pay for a wife and a girlfriend. Nor do they want to find themselves in another position where they marry a woman who is financially dependant on him. And since there are children involved, those kids will always come first. You could always choose to date only divorced men who don’t have kids or men who have never been married. But, with age comes baggage. We all have it.
You have to understand that if we were all baggage free, then most of us wouldn’t be single/divorced in our forties. (Some, as we’ve discussed, are in their forties and single by choice.) It’s great that you have your life together, but don’t make the mistake that so many women make. Don’t take the characteristics that you feel make you such a great catch and assume that men hold them at an equal or higher value. They don’t. Especially if they’re coming out of a brutal divorce. At that point, they just want someone who isn’t nagging them or after their money.