Jay’s question comes from the comment section of this post here, entitled “7 things to know about loving your ex after a break-up.”
I’ve been in a basically unfulfilling relationship for 11 years with a woman several years my senior . She is a very good and wonderful person and I really love and care for her but we have little in terms of common interests and there is no attraction, passion or intimacy between us.
That being said, nearly 4 years ago, another woman who is …. in an unhappy marriage/relationship of about the same length as mine….. We became inseparable best friends and basically had an affair relationship that lasted 3 years. Despite the situation, I felt like she was the best thing that ever happened to me (at the time) and was like a dream come true.
This woman’s behavior started to gradually change after the 2nd year – mainly the intimacy started to wane….. I really started noticing more significant changes in her behavior about 1 year ago – we weren’t spending as much time together….. She told me that “our relationship changed”……… I was totally crushed. Devastated. I felt like I lost my best friend, true companion, partner, & lover.
We’ve barely spoken to each other this year at all …. Since then she has appeared unannounced a couple of times at a location where she knew I would be ….. including a recent attempt to contact me just last week….. I know she is seeing someone else now so I question her reasoning for contacting me …… I have tried to move on and get this all out of my system….
Meanwhile I’ve come clean with the woman I’ve been with for 11 years (I hid/was untruthful about the affair earlier on). …. Its just pretty “blah” and I’m I’m not very happy like this. I miss my best friend (and I’m sure she wouldn’t mind being friends still) but I can’t be “just friends”…..
Thank you for writing and sharing your experience. I’m sure many people can relate to different parts of your story: falling for someone outside a relationship, a break-up, an ex who reaches out and causes confusion.
Before replying, I had to think your situation over carefully because there are two parts to it. I’ll talk about your break-up grief first.
You probably already know that you are not alone in your break-up experience. People meet each other, fall in love, become less intimate, and break-up every single day. Yet when it happens to us, it sucks. It hurts. It is horrible.
You pulled away for good reason: you felt hurt by this woman. Now, she’s reaching out to contact you, but she’s in a new relationship…. and it seems strange, eh? If she truly wanted to be with you, why didn’t she contact you before she found a new man? In this case, Jay, trust your intuition. Listen to what your gut is telling you.
Let’s move on to the part where you are actually in an 11-year relationship while you get over this break-up.
The question that is the most obvious to ask is, “Why are you still in this relationship when you were so into another woman?” Brace yourself, Jay. I’m going to throw some theories at you, about you.
1. You secretly believe that you are undesirable. This is the reason you easily fell for this “other” woman, whom you likely saw as more attractive than you & your current partner.
This is why you’re staying with your current partner in a “blah” 11-yr relationship: You believe nobody really wants you.
2. You are scared of change and being alone. Breaking up with your partner would mean facing the scary unknown future.
3. You are staying in this “blah” relationship because it was once wonderful and fulfilling. BUT, you’ve forgotten how wonderful it was because it’s been so long and you don’t communicate anymore.
4. You are scared of taking a risk and fully pursuing what you want. It is easier to fall in love when you’re dating someone else because you have a “back up plan.”
I hope you take a moment to think about these theories. I’d bet not one of them is 100% true, but all of them are a little bit true. Before you deny anything (the beauty of the internet is I don’t hear your reaction), I hope you think about everything first.
To me, this is the real heart of the issue. We do things for a reason. I used to know someone who ONLY ever fell for married men. When they worked through their own personal baggage, they stopped even noticing the married ones. Your choice to stay in a “meh” relationship means that you will never have the opportunity to fully dedicate yourself to an “amazing” one.
Bottom Line? Most amazing women will never give you a chance because you’re attached. That is, unfortunately for you, what makes them in part so amazing: their respect for people’s boundaries.
I hope you’ll take this time to ask yourself: What do I really want? Is what I am doing matching what i really want?
This is NOT about this one girl; there are a billion women in the world. This question is about what you are looking for in your lifetime — to fear change? To commit yourself fully?
Love is waiting for you, whether it is with the one you haven’t met yet, or the one you’re with. But only you know the answer to that.
Blessings to you,