Advice: Ask Alma

Advice: Ask Alma

Alma says that there are huge differences between each stage of marriage, separation and divorce.
Alma says that there are huge differences between each stage of marriage, separation and divorce.

By Alma Gill
NNPA Columnist

Hi Alma –

I’m divorcing my husband of 24 years. (The ink is just about dry) We have been apart for the last 3 years. I’m new to dating again. I’ve been with my new guy for 2 years. We met on eHarmony. He’s amazing inside & out and I love him. I’m 47. My guy is 46. He is divorced. He has been divorced for 2.5 years. He was apart from his ex for 3 years before the divorce was final. So he’s been single for 5.5 years.

I believe in marriage and I do want to get married again. How long should I date him? What’s enough time to give a man to pop the question?

– Elizabeth

Hi Elizabeth –

You’re not quite free! Until the ink dries you’re still legally married, pretty woman.
TBT you have yet to join the squad of single sisterhood and trust me when I say, there are huge differences between each stage of marriage, separation and divorce. All three phases has its own umbrella of uncertainties.

Like me, you married young. You’ve spent a large part of your life with one fella, exercising the commonality of compromise. This explains your comfort in cohabitation, longing for togetherness, and an extended view for two. Ain’t nothing wrong with that – but wait, for goodness sake and let’s pull up for a minute to reevaluate.

What if you take more time to center and focus on you? Figure out your likes and dislikes independently, without the consideration of another. Have you taken a vacation alone? Sign up for a class you’ve always wanted to try or learn a new language. Use this time to be good to yourself. Your first marriage ended in divorce, that doesn’t mean you’re lacking, unlovable or incomplete.

Okay, you’ve met a new guy, that’s cool. Allow him to come to the conclusion of marriage on his own, not meet a demand or ultimatum. I understand it’s been two years, but there’s no set limit to how long a great relationship should last before marriage, that’s a personal choice. You and I both know that marriage doesn’t make a relationship better nor does it complete who you are as a woman. You’ve had 25 years of practicing to be a good wife, live and love yourself unmarried for a few more years to come. You said dating’s still new to you, and if that’s the case, this isn’t the time to remarry. If and or when that time rolls around, you won’t need to Ask Alma, you and he will know, that you know that you know. And oh what a joy it will be!

Alma Gill’s newsroom experience spans more than 25 years, including various roles at USA Today, Newsday and the Washington Post. Email questions to: alwaysaskalma@gmail.com. Follow her on Facebook at “Ask Alma” and Twitter @almaaskalma.