She’s made all the mistakes, so you don’t have to…Ask Erin is a weekly advice column, in which Erin answers your burning questions about anything at all.
I’m feeling used.
I met a wonderful man four years ago who wound up asking me out. We've been together ever since. He is gentle, very intelligent, funny, a considerate lover, attentive, ambitious.
Oh, and did I mention, he is married.
He has been "leaving" pretty much since the day we met, and I've addressed my feelings and thoughts about this with him. But he always seems to be able to sway me.
Once we separated (his attempt) and it lasted a week! He has told me that he doesn't want to "hurt" her, but doesn't love her, hasn't for some time, and that they are more roommates than husband and wife. I happen to know others who are friends with them and they concur that there is nothing there.
I am at a loss for words as to how to take a stand on this. Ultimatums are not my style, nor effective anyway. We communicate openly and easily, however this topic has gone round a few times and I feel now as though I'd be nagging him to leave.
I just want to have our relationship validated; I am tired of hiding and being alone on long weekends, etc. I do love him and he has said the same to me; and we have so many things in common. It all seems so unfair.
I was married for 15 years (divorced four years ago) and don't remember ever having felt so right with anyone before. We are not spring chickens (both in our mid 40s), so it would be wonderful to share something special for the remaining years.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Alright, I want to highlight some things you mentioned.
“He has been ‘leaving’ pretty much since the day we met.”
The day you met was FOUR YEARS ago.
If someone told you for four years that they were going to take out the trash, but never did — you’d have one stinky stinky house. You know what I’m saying?
Actions. Actions are what reveal character.
Yes, he may love you, yes he may be afraid of “hurting her” (AKA he doesn’t want to feel the guilt of being the bad guy), yes he may want to leave — but none of that matters, because he has done nothing to remedy the situation.
“I am tired of hiding and being alone on long weekends, etc.”
There’s an adage, often heard in 12-step groups, that a person will finally change once they’re “sick and tired of being sick and tired.” Much like him, you are saying what you want and don’t want, but doing little to change things. In order to change things, you must act.
And by act, I mean leave.
Get out. This situation has gone on long enough. As you said, you two “are not spring chickens.” Allow yourself the time and space to find someone who ACTUALLY CAN “share something special with you for the remaining years.”
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