Great(ish) Expectations

Advice From A Random Stranger

Advice: Separation Anxiety

I hope you can help 🙂

6 months ago I met the man of my dreams, everything fell into place perfectly and he treated me like a Goddess! 3 months later we moved in together and since then things have got progressively worse and I fear it may be because I am too “accessible” for him now, and he now sees insecurities I have which were not present before we moved in together.

My dilemma started when his soon-to-be-ex-wife (they have been seperated for a year) started contacting him again, begging for another chance. He handled it well and told her he would never go back to her and that he was inlove with me. Her attempts seemed to die down, her communication with him turned a bit ugly infact (asserting financial rights as his “wife”, although they do not have children). Any communication he had with her regarding the divorce he would forward to me as to not cause issues in our relationship, which I appreciated.

The other day however, I was sitting with him while he was busy on his laptop and an email came through from the dreaded ex. I then saw a whole thread of emails which I insisted on reading. There was nothing suggestive about the emails but he was the one initiating personal conversation about how she broke her ankle and asking about her moving in with her “new boyfriend” to which she responded that it was not true. We fought, he stormed out of the house and I looked at the internet history on his laptop…there it was in clear plain view for me to see…he had done a number of facebook searches on her. When confronted with this information he said he was curious and told me not to treat him like a “child”. He also admitted to still loving her, but that he was no longer “inlove” with her. It’s not been the same since. I am crazy with jealousy everytime she contacts him even though he assures me that he does not want to be with her. Friends assure me that it’s normal to still care for someone if you were with them for 11 years, but it still doesn’t wash well with me.

Our fights have become more frequent and ugly. I find playing “mysterious” or “hard-to-get” initially works but I can’t keep it up, it’s difficult when you live together!

We had another fight last night and after he went to sleep I wrote a long letter telling him how recent events have affected the way I feel. He woke me up with a “have you stopped fighting with me” line this morning but didn’t bother reading the letter I gave to him. He left for work, and left it lying on the bed. Unread.

He was wildy romantic, sweet, generous and loving before all of this. He used to speak about marrying me, growing old with me and now he never speaks about our future. What do I need to change / do to ensure we can get back to where we were?

Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated!!

The other day I was listening to the radio, and a woman was asking a question for her friend. Her “friend” recently became very involved with a man in a short period of time (5 weeks to be exact). He pursued her from the beginning, saying that he could see marrying her one day, and that he wanted to spend all of his time with her. They spent almost every free moment they had together in those short five weeks. Then she dropped a bomb– The “L bomb”. She told him she loved him, and never heard from him again, and wanted to know why? (Maybe his cell phone dropped while he was white water rafting and he lost all his contacts?)

Why do I bring this up as if it has anything to do with your situation, you ask? Well let me start by saying I am not comparing a 5 week relationship to a 6 month relationship, and I am also not saying that your relationship is anything like this one. I am  going somewhere with this though, I promise.

Sometimes it is common for men, who have recently ended a relationship to jump into a new one, and move very fast… at first. This is because they want to quickly re-create old memories with a new partner, so as to alleviate some of the heartache of the lost human connection. One year may seem like ample time to get over someone, but relative to the eleven years he was married- one year is barely enough time to pick up the pieces.

Once he jumps into a new relationship feet first, he starts to get cold feet. It doesn’t necessarily mean the end, or even that its a bad thing. It really depends on him, and his feelings (or lack thereof) for his wife. This is where I suggest you step back, and breath. Don’t avoid him, give him the silent treatment, or cold shoulder. Instead, turn your focus inward, and worry about yourself. Try something new on your own, without his knowledge, and just simply forget to mention it to him. He will ask where you’re going, and you’ll say, “Just heading  out to __________” with a level of nonchalance that suggests you’ve always done nude yoga. Men respond when they see you taking care of you, and they respond when they realize they have not been included into this new and interesting part of yourself.

If he doesn’t take an interest, or remains despondent, then I’d say its time to cut your losses and move on. He may have feelings for his wife, and he may not. That is a judgement call that only you can make. Remember that you have only known this guy six months, which is not enough time to really know anyone.

I think he may just be scared to jump into a new relationship, and has realized that he’s done just that. Can you blame him? He spent a decade of his life married to a woman he once thought he would “grow old with.” Sound familiar? Maybe he heard himself saying those things to you, and realized it was too soon. It doesn’t necessarily mean he wants to break up, but maybe there needs to be less emphasis on the future, and more emphasis on the now. Believe it or not you are still in the getting to know you phase of your relationship.

My last point is this: A separated man does not a divorced man make. He may very well have feelings for his wife. He may not know how he feels (most men don’t). Getting involved with a separated man is complicated- but here you are. You have feelings and rights too, and you need to figure this out. If you believe him when he says he doesn’t have feelings for her, then give it time and see what happens. You can only do the best you can with the information you have. Either way, it seems like you have a good head on your shoulders and I think you will be fine! Thanks for writing, I hope you find my vague advice at least vaguely helpful! 🙂

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This entry was posted on November 25, 2011 by in Advice, Relationships.

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