Red Responds: She Tried to End it On Five Occasions

Dear Red,

I have been involved with someone for the last three years. We met and fell in love when we were both married to other partners. Shortly after the start of my affair, I ended my marriage of ten years and broke up with my new partner. I wanted to make sure that I was making the right decision to leave my marriage – and not doing it simply because I fell in love with someone else.

It was a very devastating break-up with both men. I felt very guilty for breaking up my marriage and family and selfishly, I was heartbroken to lose the man for whom I had risked it all. After some time, I ended up back with the second man – who was still married. Since then, we have always shared a very deep friendship and bond.

We live 3000 miles apart, but we both go out of our way to talk to each other everyday and see each other often. He has always told me that he could never leave his family and I have always understood that choice. I never asked for more than what we had because I really did not feel the need to get married or solidify our relationship beyond what is was… comfortable, fun, exciting and a great friendship. We could spend eight hours straight on the phone up to two or three times a week.

I have always known our relationship is without integrity and it has been really bothering me. I tried to end it on five occasions. The weird thing is that he won’t let it end. He has now told his wife that he is leaving; this time he is mentally ready. Something in my gut tells me that he is not ready because he does not know what it is like to be without her. I want to spend the rest of my life with him, and deep down, I know he loves me and wants to be with me, but I don’t know if I should trust that is what he really wants?

I need some clarity. I’m too involved to see clearly anymore.


Dear Liz,

I’m sitting here trying to figure out what scares you more; the feeling of responsibility for his choices or acknowledging in yourself that you really have wanted this relationship to be more traditional. I’m thinking it’s the latter.

Back in the day, you did what you had to do. You did it for a chance of happiness, you did it to discover who you are and what you are really made of. Now, it’s your boyfriend’s turn. The man is rather tired of living in two worlds: one that is a lie (wife), the other that may be an illusion (you).

He wants to hold on to you. And, he is going to go through the whole gauntlet of emotions and guilt over his marriage situation. It is going to be a hard and confusing time for him, which will spill over on to you. The bottom line is, even though you may not have clearly voiced it, he is trying to give you what you want: a chance for a clean future. That’s a lot of pressure on you.

As far as his marriage goes, being without his wife is going to be a difficult transition for him. But he is not in love with the woman, and hasn’t been. So while there may be some back and forth going on there, I don’t see him tucking his tail between his legs and staying married because it’s less of a hassle factor.

At times you will need to be his strength, and at other times, you will need to give him space. His journey has started, and he’s not going to turn back now. It’s going to be tough for you, but you are strong enough to endure. So is this relationship. I’m not going to feed you some happy crap about, “he’s leaving her, and you two will be riding off into the sunset…” No, it’s more real than that. There are a lot of adjustments ahead for the both of you.

Here’s some clarity for you: by your own admission and attempted action, you’ve been trying to end this relationship. That, right there, is the “worst” thing that could happen. You end the relationship, he could possibly stay with his wife, you move on with your life. That was your plan, right? But now, because he is taking steps that can solidify your future with him, you fear it.

You fear it because it is outside of your control. You must wait and see, experience life from day to day and be at risk. This is the core of your being unsettled — not whether or not he really wants to build a life with you. It’s just that right now, it’s going to unfold, and you aren’t the one in the driver’s seat. I know it’s a tough place to be; but it is your turn. Ever hear that saying about “what goes around, comes around?”

You guys honestly love each other. Trust in that. Everything he has done and will be doing, he is doing for himself — that you can also trust. The only thing you are doing by second-guessing this man is creating unrest for yourself. There really is no point.

Brightest Blessings,
Ext. 9226

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