Amy asks:My situation involves a married man (my high school sweetheart) and an affair. Three years ago we ‘reconnected’ after 40 years. Both of us it seemed, were in unfulfilling marriages and we had a 2 year affair. The contact physically was brief…a 3-4 hour drive for both of us, 2 hours in a sleazy hotel and then return to our homes. Even in high school this boy was never really ‘there’ for me. He made up some lame excuse not to take me to my senior prom…after he’d promised he’d go. He generally treated me poorly even then, not calling for weeks and weeks at a time, etc.My question is this: He decided it was too risky to continue our relationship, so he called it off last year. Then I caved and started e-mailing him and he returned the emails. We were almost ready to get back together (!!!) when he told me that he was seeing another woman (also an out of town woman….someone from his past).
He wants me to go along with this situation, that is…he’s still married, has this other woman AND he wants to see me. We’ve been through all the yo-yo patterns you’ve described. Now he’s telling me that for the sake of my happiness I should have this physical relationship with him, regardless of other things in his life.
We’re down to occasional e-mails at this point, all of them VERY neutral, and barely saying anything. The last time I asked to talk to him over the phone, (I don’t like having our whole relationship over some keystrokes), he told me he’d already said everything and nothing had changed. I feel like we’re back in high school. He won’t choose one or the other of us, or so he tells me. Does this sound like a man in love?
NML says: You are not in high school so I suggest you graduate to reality. It’s been forty years and this guy started out a using, disappointing chump, and is still a…using, disappointing chump.
This isn’t a man in love or in anything. He’s non committal all the way from his cheating to the way he has to have not just one, but two out of of town women to play around with. All of his behaviour is screaming ‘I’m not interested in you, I’m just using you’ and I must say that I fail to see what is so attractive about this guy that has a history of letting you down. This guy is an assclown!
Road trips, sleazy hotels and a lot of emails bouncing back and forth do not a relationship make – in fact, it sounds like a long winded, long distance booty call without too much thrill.
You need to cut off this guy and turn your attentions to why you are pursuing him because he has shown you time and time again that he is a disappointment and that he has nothing to offer. From the moment that he not only had no intentions of being anything more than a booty call and then told you that he was with someone else, it was time to bail. He doesn’t love any of you and he is only interested in fulfilling himself and massaging his own ego. The fact that he has told you that you should be with him for the sake of your own happiness is not only incredibly egotistical but actually shows how he truly sees you – as the woman who will be interested no matter how little he has to offer. He doesn’t think you respect or love yourself enough to tell him to take a run and jump and believes that you would be happy with this.
You have gone from an unfulfilled marriage to an unfulfilled, mediocre, arrangement.
He has stated the terms and that is all he has to offer. It’s not love, it’s not a relationship; it’s a crumb that he is throwing you. If you accept it, it means he can sleep with whoever he wants, never phone you, disappear, sleep with you when it suits, and continue to treat you in this despicable manner.
If you don’t accept it, you’ll be treating yourself with love, rejecting his behaviour, and cutting him off.
The choice is yours.
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