Red Responds: He Helped Her Believe in Love

Torn Between Two Lovers in Toronto writes:

My situation is this: I’ve recently returned to the West, after spending close to a year traveling. While on this journey, I met a wonderful man much younger than I. We became friends, and since I was traveling alone, his family asked me to live with them. We became lovers, and he began assisting me and traveling with me, as part of my work. Then we married – although here in the West, it would only count as being engaged.

Sadly, because of our stringent laws, it could be years before he can immigrate here. Despite his young years, he has helped me believe in love, and trust in a man again, where the emotional abuse, and infidelity I experienced from the men in my previous relationships contributed to the erosion of that faith. No one has treated me with as much love, respect, kindness, patience, and sacrifice, as he has in this short time we’ve been together. His family loves me, and I love them very much. He is an old soul, and we feel emotionally and spiritually connected, as if we were once twins.

Problem is, I still feel a very strong connection to an ex-lover of mine. Upon my return back home I fessed up to him, figuring I had to deal with the elephant in the room. Despite his moving on to other relationships since we stopped seeing each other, he also feels a very strong connection to me.

I am literally torn in two: A part of me believes the ex-lover and I are meant to be together… I have visions of our future life together… yet, I am in a new relationship, and I have a very deep loyalty and love for my fiancee, and I want to help him achieve his dreams. I can’t imagine doing anything to hurt him and his family. I am also fearful for his safety, as he lives in a country torn by war. I am scared that if I don’t help him get out, he will pay with his life.

I want to do the right thing… and yet, I know that whatever I decide, someone will be hurt, and I will feel like a traitor. Please help me with this decision.

Dear Torn,


You already know the answers in your heart, you just don’t like them.


Your fiancé taught you how to love again, and that is a gift to be cherished. Breaking up with him doesn’t make you a traitor – it makes you a realist. It would be nice if life were simple and laws were just – then you two could have the opportunity to unite and see just how far this relationship could go. But, I do not see him coming to join you, no matter how badly you wish it were so.


Even though he does love you, he also loves his family, his culture and his land. Dangerous as it may be, this is the life he knows. Coming to be with you seems to be a fantasy that each of you share, but neither one of you are sharing the personal sacrifices you would be shouldering. These sacrifices would eventually build into resentments, and your relationship would suffer. Even though there is a connection of souls and spirits, this union wasn’t meant to span eternity.


Your tears of worry are mixed with guilt, because you know your future is not with him. Even though this union has taught you how to live, and love, again – his life is not your responsibility. With or without your intervention, he will die when it is his time, and not a moment before. When that is, I really can’t say… maybe because there are some things we’re simply not supposed to know.


The visions you have about a life with your ex are likely to lead you down a painful path, because now is still not the time. Each of you finds love and comfort in the other, but neither of you are ready to completely surrender into what this relationship could be, as both of you are caught up in how you want it to be.


A clouded head and conflicted heart is certainly not a fun experience. My advice? Take a step back and allow your head to clear. Sometimes it isn’t about what is intrinsically right or wrong, but more about learning what is, and how to uphold, what is right for you.

Good luck,
Ext. 9226

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