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Is this Real or Am I on the Rebound?

Dear Philippa,

Finally after several separations and ongoing physical abuse to me, and then recently my daughter, my husband and I are getting a divorce. We have had a mutual friend though all this. He was there for me and now we have become romantically involved. I just don't know where this is going to go. Am I just on the rebound?

�Claire, St Paul, MN


Dear Claire,

Its interesting that when we say someone is rebounding from something it means they're coming back positively from some struggle. Let's focus on that aspect of rebounding for a while because I want you to recognize that you are coming out of what sounds like a pretty tough time. Feel proud that you had the strength to get out. It was you and your love for your daughter that helped you get out.

I want you to focus on self-empowerment because it will give you a different perspective on this new relationship. If you see yourself as a needy, wounded bird that this guy saved, then you are perpetuating your sense of being a victim. And you don't want a relationship with someone who sees that his role is to rescue you because you are a victim. That's just the other side of the coin where there was an abuser who needed a victim.

Of course this is probably the wrong time to be involved with someone. You are an astute woman and you know this or you wouldn't be asking me the question.

You know that you are vulnerable right now. Vulnerability is an attractive quality because most men want to be protective. It's understandable that you want to enjoy some positive male attention. With what you've been through you deserve it.

But are you ready to jump into this relationship with both feet? You know you are not. Can you just enjoy a romantic friendship and not expect any more? I also wonder how all this is affecting your daughter�I can tell you care a great deal about her. Are you sending her the message that you have to have a man in your life in order to survive?

I can't tell you what to do. You have the answers inside of yourself. Remember that you are strong woman, a wise woman, and a woman who is building a healthy new life. Then ask yourself what you really want for yourself and your daughter? Maybe you need a complete change, a chance to start anew somewhere else. Most of all you need new supportive friends and a chance to achieve the life you were meant to have. I know that when you focus on how strong you are becoming you and your daughter will be able to have all the happiness you deserve.



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