Q: I guess I’m too old to have a broken heart, but I do! I left my partner of 10 years due to his infidelity. I had forgiven him what seems to be several times. However, this time was different.
He was having a conversation with someone on the phone, and the tone of the conversation indicated he was speaking with someone he had great feelings for.
I wasn’t shocked by his answers when I questioned him about it a few days later. He finally admitted he had met this guy and they had been having sex for over a year. Inside my heart were tears of pain and relief. The pain I’m sure you understand. The relief was that I had gained the fortitude to leave. This is where the house comes into play.
Yes, we purchased an old home together. When I left, I didn’t care about the house or anything. I moved all my things out and told him to do what he wanted with the house. If it went into foreclosure I would file bankruptcy and start my life over.
It’s been about two and a half months now. He is paying all the bills that we once shared, and we are trying to see this as a separation. We agreed we would take this year and date to rekindle our relationship. However, the guy he had been cheating with is still in the picture. My ex tells me that they are just friends now. You see, the guy is married with three children and feels guilty for cheating on his family. I tell my ex that as long as he has anything to do with this guy, there can never be an “us” anymore.
He accuses me of being unfair as he and the guy are just friends. He keeps saying give him some time. “Bullshit,” I scream at him. Based on this, I am going to see a lawyer to see if any of my money can be recouped and my name taken off the mortgage. In the meantime, I am still in love with him. It was 10 years we lived, loved and traveled together. I’m 46, hurting and in a bad place. I stupidly still yearn for him and have tearfully tried to convince him that we have too much to just let this go.
A few of your intuitive words would be welcome at this time. I’m sure you can piece together any missing pieces. Let me know if you can’t, and I’ll answer any questions.
Living With A Bleeding Heart
A: You have said that you have been in the position of having to “forgive” your ex “several times” before this last infidelity. I can certainly understand your pain from this time and all the other times, but it doesn’t seem like he is very sensitive to your feelings and how these infidelities affect you, or what staying friends with this guy feels like to you. I also don’t hear from you that he has learned anything and has made a new commitment to not straying anymore. (I’m assuming that you have had a mutual agreement of monogamy in your relationship.) Given all that, I think you are setting yourself up – if you go back – for more pain down the road. Maybe it is better to get through the loss and pain now and move on with your life, as hard as that is.
On the other hand, if he is willing to go into couples counseling with you, then I think you should consider trying that. However, you will need to see that he truly deals with his issues and is committed to making changes. My guess is that there are also other issues in your relationship that need to be addressed as well – by both of you. I’m all for trying to save relationships when two people are committed to the process of changing things, but it never works if it is a one-sided effort.