Q I met Sean a year and a half ago in a crowd of 50,000 people. We struck up a conversation and really hit it off. He gave me his number, which I forgot. I thought about tracking him down, but figured if it was meant to be we would meet again. Three weeks later I got a phone call from him, and we have been together ever since, until about a month ago.
I left my friends and my life that I was used to. Everything was fantastic, we were in love, we thought we were going to get married. We just mentioned it a few times, but it wasn’t really a topic of conversation. Anyway, something changed in Sean two months ago.
He didn’t cheat that I know of, but in a week’s time he broke up with me, demoted himself from a high ranked position at his job, and became depressed. He went to the doctor and is doing better now, but I am confused. How can everything be so great and all of a sudden he changes his mind about everything in his life?
He still likes to have sex and hang out with me sometimes, but doesn’t have any interest in getting back together. I need to stop showing interest in him, I think, and get on with my life, but I am having a hard time doing this. Why is he acting this way, and is there any way we will be together again?
A Jessica, most people never find out the true why behind another's actions. Everyone wants the imaginary "closure," but the closure they want is to have what they want. That is why almost no one gets closure.
As a psychological concept, closure doesn’t work. When a relationship ends, people don’t want to learn why, they want to learn why not. They want to fix it. But if a man used a woman for sex, how will learning the truth give her closure? If a woman never loved the man, how can that truth give him closure?
You are not in a relationship with Sean, but he is having sex with you. He sounds like somebody with a plan for himself. Friendship sex is not in your best interest. You need to stop having sex with him and move on. Asking why only traps you.
Wayne & Tamara
Q I am in a very loving relationship with a man. From the first day we met we promised each other we would always be honest and open. This means we are extremely passionate and loving with each other.
We trust each other 100 percent, and for once in our lives, have a partner we know feels exactly the same. Despite all this, I am cautious emotionally. Because of bad experiences, I put up an emotional barrier and don’t love him to the same degree he displays love for me.
Last night I went to a party and met up with an ex-boyfriend. This is someone I loved, and I was extremely upset when we broke up. I find it hard to separate myself from him. Because I’ve only known him romantically, I find it hard to view him in a platonic way.
My ex-boyfriend asked if he could stay on my couch, because I live close-by. I obliged, and we ended up chatting on my bed. We began to kiss, and about 10 minutes later my partner knocked on the front door, which was open, and walked in on us. He is now absolutely distraught.
I can’t explain what happened. I know the words “I don’t know” are childish. I’ve been thinking a lot about this and feel I wasn’t ready to jump into such a huge, meaningful relationship so soon after my ex. I don’t see my ex romantically anymore, so I want him out of my life for playing a part in the horrible thing I’ve done.
My current partner first told me it was over, then changed his mind. He wants to give me another chance, but he is worried. I feel like I did this to destroy what we had, because it was easier than feeling the awful emotional barrier within me. I hate myself for it. It made me realize how much I am in love with this man and how deeply I care for him.
I don’t expect my partner to take me back and forgive me, just like that. I want the chance to show him how much I really do love him, and to regain the trust I lost, no matter how long it takes.
A Lori, people say “I don’t know” because they are unwilling to face a truth. They know the truth will make them look bad or create a dilemma. When your ex asked if he could spend the night on your couch, what was the first thought that went through your head? He wants me back. A woman in love with another would have said, absolutely not.
Why isn’t the answer that simple? Your new boyfriend may be nice, but you don’t love him. The emotional barrier between you is that thing about your ex which you find appealing. From your ex-boyfriend’s point of view, this was simply what the law calls a crime of opportunity. He thought he might get lucky, and he almost did.
The worst thing that can happen now is you struggle to prove yourself to your new boyfriend and he goes along with it. Then your relationship will go somewhere bad, like marriage. When you stay with someone you shouldn’t be with, wrongness builds upon wrongness until there is no easy way out.
Wayne once knew a beefy, plainspoken man in his 50s named Bud. Bud and his wife had been married 35 years. Once at a party, while his wife was outside on the lawn, someone asked Bud where she was. He replied, “She’s gamboling on the green.”
Gamboling is a poetic word to describe lambs and puppies at play, but it hardly fits a woman well into middle age. But for Bud the fascination his wife held for him was a constant daily presence. That’s what love is. It is not something you seek to prove or talk yourself into.
Wayne & Tamara
Invade – to enter as if to take possession, to intrude upon.