Our relationship started on a very shaky grounds. When we met we were both in relationships – mine wasn’t serious and I ended it immediately. He, however, was living with a woman who he’d been with for (I forget but maybe 5-8 years) and whom he had a son with. Had I met him now I’d have backed off but I was 16 and admit that I didn’t much think of the other woman – he told me that the relationship was practically over anyway, that they were always splitting up. So I believed him when he said that he had split up with her. He in fact had just told her that he wanted to get his own place for a while, but didn’t end the relationship. We moved in togehter; he went away almost every night to say goodnight to his son – me feeling like a homewrecker never questioned that. She turned up one day and the truth came out. Both she and I were devastated – I told him it was over. He begged me not to leave. We had (and still have) a very strong, profound spiritual connection so I stayed. He told me how his son had problems and that his commonlaw wife had major depression and he couldn’t bring himself to leave them so, in my naive young way, I agreed to him staying with her until she was strong enough to be without him – telling myself that we were soulmates and this was just how it was fated to be. Five years passed with me living behind closed curtains for the first half of them – and even then it only ended because the poor woman found out about us. Luckily she was strong enough … Very strong enough to deal with it. I have huge regret – not just because I disrespected myself but also because I disrespected her (although I did think of her, and feel so much guilt the whole time, I was always assured this was the best was to do things – I still belive that he genuinely thought that it was, his intentions were to not hurt her).
“Not every woman will go after a man who “goes to the mountain like a lion” to paraphrase DJ (from another discussion). ” ____________ More importantly, I’m famous! Kidding, and always enjoy reading you, Kal, but I can’t take credit for that. Steve actually coined the mountain lion term. I just took it to extreme. I spent a marriage like yours. It sucked. Steve asked what price we’d pay? I paid a big one, walked away, lost a business, home, everything…but I’m happy now, and what got me through that was the fact that I was confident in myself, that… Read more »
Our instincts can often tell us first when a relationship just isn't working — but we don't always trust that voice, says couples therapist Susan Pease Gadoua, co-author of The New I Do: Reshaping Marriage for Skeptics, Realists and Rebels. "We often ignore our gut instincts because that voice is very quiet and calm, unlike the internal voice in our heads that thrives on high drama." We're trained to trust logic in many areas of life, so when a niggling feeling ("Am I really still in love with this person?") presents itself, it's hard to pay attention to it because there aren't any hard facts or rational reasoning. Drill down on that initial instinct and ask yourself more specific questions. If you find your responses are things like, "I don't feel safe to express myself, I don't feel respected and haven't felt happy in a long time," that's a sign that things have gone awry — and you shouldn't ignore it. "The truth doesn't go away simply because we don't want it to be there; that voice stays in the background and weighs on you," says Gadoua. "Getting quiet within is key to being able to hear instincts. And like a muscle, the more you trust your gut, the easier it becomes to decipher that voice — which comes from your heart — from the voice in your head."
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