Hi, I'm Dr. Laura Schlessinger and welcome to our YouTube channel where I get to answer your questions. This one's from Todd:
"I was married for 11 years, and my ex-wife and I have 2 wonderful kids. I am scared to death to let another marriage fail.
I was unhappy from day one. [That's a great start.] We had some great times, but all in all it was a very unhealthy marriage. When the time comes to start looking for a new relationship, I want that woman to be a companion and my best friend first -- things I was missing the first time.
I'm afraid that I'm going to settle for someone who makes me feel good but doesn't fit everything I need them to be, and another failure will be in my future.. I guess I'm a little gun-shy. Any suggestions for me as I start this new chapter in my life?"
[Dog barks in the background] (Okay, the children are playing.)
Here are my suggestions: #1, you said you were unhappy in the first place, so you didn't choose wisely. Perfect marriages come from 2 simple phrases - choose wisely, treat kindly. That's really all that's required, which means you make a choice in a person that you've spent a lot of time getting to know.
In your case "getting to feel good about yourself"...how about no sex for 9 months? It will give a gestation period for a friendship to actually be there where you two value each other on all sorts of levels and not get distracted by the [takes a deep breath] passion. So 9 months, no sex, doing things, seeing each other's families, talking about everything from money to kids, to sex to vacations and holidays, to dreams, to fears, to everything. How about you actually become good friends?
You'll always know if there's that attraction there but you're not going to act out on it except for hugging, kissing and putting your arm around her in the movie theater. So just make sure you're not in places where "things" could come to "things". And that way, I think you'll be able to make a better choice.
Now, a very important thing for me to add... "I was married for 11 years, and my ex-wife and I have 2 wonderful kids." So I'm assuming they're minors. None of this dating nonsense takes place while your kids are minors. Every bit of money, time, effort and emotion needs to be spent on these children who may be wonderful to you but they're destroyed inside their own lives. You have no moral standing for messing with them more. So please, until they're grown, up and out - nada. [Makes cutting motion to neck, meaning "None/nothing".] You can read The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage by Dr. Laura Schlessinger. I heard it's a very useful book.
I'm Dr. Laura Schlessinger. Until next time on our YouTube channel.