• Quote of the Day
    "The only normal people are the ones you don't know very well."
    Alfred Adler, posted by David Baxter

db2kp

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Long, long story.....

Married for almost 15yrs, 2 children, 1 girl, now 19, and son that is 14.
I was divorced in 2000, after my husband discovered my affair, and the man that I wasn't willing to let go. I continued to see this married man until I gave him an ultimatum in Aug 2002. If he didn't leave his spouse and children, as he said he would, I would stop seeing him forever. He didn't leave and I stopped seeing him, forever.
Friends fixed me up with a guy and I was in heaven. He was wonderful. A gentleman, fun, interesting, intelligent, witty... And, he also had one problem. A common law wife that still shared the rent with him. Their relationship was over but they were still living under the same roof, sharing the bills. Everyone assured me that it wasn't a problem, and it really hasn't been a huge issue, not to say, it doesn't bother me.

J wanted to get engaged after 3 months of dating. Just getting out of the relationship with the married man, and not knowing all there was to know about J, I said that we should wait. Around Thanksgiving my 82 yr old mom started to get sick. Over the next 6 months, she went down-hill and passed away in April. That all put a strain on our relationship, since I was either with my children or at the hospital. No time for a relationship. J wasn't happy. But, he hung in there.
After mom passed away, J thought that we should go to couple's therapy. I went for us and for him.
In May, my house was up for sale, and my daughter was graduating from HS in June. The house sold, and was 10 days away from closing. I found a townhouse to rent, we moved everything, and the closing fell through, and I had to move back in my house again, loosing my deposit.
Then at the end of June, I lost my job, company car, expense account, and a good part of my self esteem. Still going to therapy, I was in tears after every visit. Re-living everything that had happened to me in the last 6-8 months. All of the homework that we needed to do, he would do on the way to the appt. The therapy wasn't working...I told J that I wanted to take a break.


J's background with common-law wife: met her in school while she was here studying from Japan. She's Japanese. No friends. Just had him.
The relationship worked well. He kept her, and she stayed at home, and went to school.
After she graduated, she got a job, made friends, and stayed at work until 8pm. Then gradually started going out with new found friends after work. Relationship crumbled.

We're back in therapy again. Here are the reasons that he feels that we need to go to therapy.

Doesn't like how I act when I'm around my friends.
I drink socially, he doesn't drink anymore.
Doesn't like to go to functions where there is drinking.
Doesn't want me to go out with people from work for dinner afterwards or lunch with a male co-worker, even if another female is present.
Of course, he doesn't trust me.
Feels he will be the next, R, (my ex-husband's name).
Can't understand why some men that I'm close with, will tell sexual things/jokes to me. Why do I allow that? (I don't have a problem with it)
When we were dating for a while, he didn't like it that my friends called me alot, and knew what we were doing, etc.... after that my friends stopped calling me. I had to call them when he wasn't at my house.
He doesn't want me to go out with my friends. ("your putting yourself in a bad situation")
He wants me to work on a huge project that he's involved with, (after he's done working all day). He's renovating a large building and turning into a storage warehouse. The project is about 20-25min away from my home. He'd like for me to bring lunch, dinner, help out with some of the physical labor, and do the bookwork. (that's how I can show him that I love him)
All I want to do is screw-off instead of working on his project.

My issues are:
Doesn't have time for our relationship anymore.
Doesn't tell me he loves me unless I say it first. ( he says that he shows me by helping me out with my house, or by moving my furniture when I had to move)
I can't do anything right.
I sit at home and do nothing until he calls (when I used to have a very active lifestyle). If I do leave to go visit friends, he gets upset with me.
Says things that he doesn't really mean, then gets mad("Go ahead and go to dinner with your friends")because I should have known what he truly meant.

I could go on and on even more than I already have....but I won't unless asked.
The psycologist said that he fills his life up with responsibilities so that he doesn't have to be intimate. He shows signs of having trouble with intimacy.
He wants me to give up alot to be in this relationship, and he's not having to change his life too much.
He is very insecure.
She also said that she doesn't think that we can continue therapy since he's not following through with her suggestions. (not doing his homework again)

There you have it.....any suggestions.
I'm in love with this man, and would like for it to work, but am feeling defeated, lonely and depressed.

D
 

David Baxter

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db2kp said:
I'm in love with this man, and would like for it to work, but am feeling defeated, lonely and depressed.
Actually, you're not in love with this man.

You're in love with the man you think he could be if he wasn't so possessive and insecure, put more effort into your relationship and into "fixing" it, demonstrated that he loves you as opposed to demonstrating that he wants to monopolize you, etc., etc.

The bottom line is this: At the moment, he is going through the motions of couples counselling, presumably to get you "off his back" or because he is hoping it will turn out that you are the problem or because he's hoping that somehow just turning up will be enough to fix whatever is wrong, none of which is going to happen of course. If he is unwilling or unable to make some changes and to put as much effort into doing so as he puts into other things in his life, I think you'll have to accept that nothing much is going to change. Then you have to ask yourself: If this is the way this relationship is going to be for the rest of my life, do you believe you can be content with it? If the answer to that question is "no", then you have two choices: (1) give up now, leave, and look for a relationship that will be what you need, or (2) give him an ultimatum: make counselling and our relationship a priority or let it go.

Remember: As long as you are in a "wrong" relationship (and accept or tolerate that), you cannot find or create a "right" one.
 

db2kp

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Your response is to the point...thank you.

"he is hoping it will turn out that you are the problem or because he's hoping that somehow just turning up will be enough to fix whatever is wrong"
The above quote is what I've been feeling all along at these latest counciling sessions. Each time we go, it's all about what I did "wrong" this week. I even joked with the psychologist about it. She of course said that's not how she looks at it. After we're done with the session, I am so depressed and upset that all I do is cry. And, oddly enough, he's refreshed and thought it went well.
So, about 2weeks ago, J couldn't go to an appt, and I thought I'd go alone. The psychologist agreed and said that she'd like to see me alone. At that visit she opened up about her thoughts on our relationship. I have to give up too much to be in it. When I left, I thought of how I would end the relationship. He has agreed several times that perhaps we should both go our own ways, but doesn't want to.
I'm 44 and don't know how to diplomatically end this relationship.
Does that sound dumb, or pathetic? I just don't know.
 

David Baxter

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db2kp said:
I'm 44 and don't know how to diplomatically end this relationship. Does that sound dumb, or pathetic?
Neither dumb nor pathetic -- it's never an easy thing to contemplate ending a relationship, even if you are the one who is making the decision to do so. Once you decide it's something that you need to do, all you can do really is grit your teeth and do it. As for how to do it diplomatically, it might be easier to just aim for "directly and honestly", not to be confused with "brutal honesty". Let him know that you are not happy with the relationship and are at a point where you don't realistically see it changing in a way which makes you feel happier about it, that sometimes the best thing is to recognize that a relationship isn't working and leave without blame. In truth, once you have decided that you need to leave a relationship, there is nothing to be gained by debating about who is or is not at fault (although you may need to do that on your own for yhour own sense of understanding and closure).
 

db2kp

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Great points. Thank you.
I've received more information in your two posts than going to counciling for over a two months.

He tends to debate everything to death, so for me not to get into it with him will be a difficult task. He sucks the life out of me with his debating. I feel so drained afterwards. I agree that there is nothing to be gained by debating about who's right or wrong,....just move forward. However, I do believe that he will keep the discussion going. I will have to use alot of stick-to-it-tiveness to get through it.
 

db2kp

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Update

Here's an update on my situation.

I met up with a guy that I used to date, that I hadn't seen in over 3 years. We had some catching up to do. He is in a steady 4 yr relationship now and very content. I was happy for him.
One week when J and I were not speaking to each other, I ran into the old friend, C. I suggested that he stop by on his way home and we have drink and chat. We sat across the room from each other, and basically played catch up. About two hrs later, I get a phone call, and it's J. He's dropping off a lawnmower that was getting repaired at his cousin's business. When he called, he was in front of my house.
Long story short, I managed to calm J down, and get C out of the house without a problem.

J thought that something was going on, since he knows that I had a relationship with C. However, this made J come to his senses.
He has focused on the positive aspects of our relationship, and is really working at it. He is the man that I met 2 yrs ago.

J still has a huge trust issue and has asked that I not continue a friendly relationship with C anymore.

I hope that we can keep moving forward, and that he will continue to be the man that I fell in love with.

Feedback?
 

David Baxter

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Sometimes people do change -- if I didn't believe that to be true, I'd find a different profession. I hope that J's motivation to work on the relationship, based obviously on his worry about losing you to C, isn't merely a momentary thing and that he uses this to make some real changes in himself and his attitudes. However, there is still this which worries me:

db2kp said:
J still has a huge trust issue and has asked that I not continue a friendly relationship with C anymore.
That still smacks of jealousy and control issues. I hope he addresses this in counselling too or you can count on additional problems down the road...
 

db2kp

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David,

Do you think (as I do) that it is unfair of him to ask me to not speak to a certain individual?

He thinks about my old relationship with C, alot. He gets upset about it.

I was never in love with C, that's why I am still friends with him.
The men that I dated and was in love with...well, it's hard to even look at some of them, let alone be friends with them.

I'm concerned with the trust issue. And, I have never been unfaithful during the time we've been together. It's my past that bothers him.
 

David Baxter

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db2kp said:
Do you think (as I do) that it is unfair of him to ask me to not speak to a certain individual?
Yes. His jealousy / lack of trust / insecurity is obviously an issue for the two of you to resolve if you are going to stay together but you really don't resolve it by forbidding your partner to see certain people.
 

TM

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I'm concerned with the trust issue. And, I have never been unfaithful during the time we've been together. It's my past that bothers him.

I'm a married woman. I have two very good online friends who are both males. Yes, my husband certainly did go through periods of intense jealousy.

I found the most important aspect of maintaining opposite sex friendships while married is respect for all parties. You respect your friend, so you don't make any promises you can't keep. You respect your partner, so you don't break any promises you've made.

Nor do you run your partner down to your friends, or run their partners down to them. Of course you can share details of your lives, but you do so with the knowledge that you're talking about the person that you/they love and have chosen to commit to. Only a cad would treat his or her friend's committed partner with anything less than consideration and basic respect. And only a cad would permit an environment to flourish where his or her friends can freely insult their partner. My friends know that my husband and I have occasionally had some difficult moments, but they also know that he's human too, that I can be difficult to be with at times, and that I love the man dearly. They wouldn't dream of insulting him, although they may, gently, from time to time, side with me when I'm feeling hurt by something that has occurred in my marriage. Then they wish me well in successfully resolving it.

You don't hide things from your partner, although you do allow that there is a difference between secrecy and privacy. If you feel there's something you must hide from your partner, that's usually a pretty good indication that something is askew in the relationship -- either something you're doing, something he's doing, or something you're doing together.

You also respect that your partner's fear feels very real to them when it arises, so you respect his emotional space without taking responsibility for it. Ultimately, it's their task to work through the fear and anxiety, but it's your task to not betray their efforts by being proven a liar.

Opposite sex friendships are not easy to maintain, particularly if one or both of you are married. I think what's reassured my husband the most has been the longevity of my friendships. Both of them are of several years duration and in that time, there have not been a flurry of secretive phone calls; there have not been unexplained absences, separate vacations, or extravagant or inappropriate gifts, etc. There has been a period of sustained support, but supporting one another through difficult times is what friends do. That's why they're friends.

I care very deeply for both of those people. They know that I love them and my husband knows that I love them too. I'm not willing to hide my friendships from him because my friends are part of who I am. If he was to insist that I give them up, he'd have to have one heck of a very, very good reason. Because my friends are so important to me, I make sure that I'm not the one who gives that reason to him.

Here's a link you might enjoy related to opposite sex friendships: Opposite Sex Friendships and Marital Jealousy
 

db2kp

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I think that it might be easier for him to accept if I didn't have a relationship with this man, C, during part of my marriage.

Really, all that I ask is to stop and speak to the man for a few minutes when I see him. J would like it if I just said, Hi! and keep walking.

There is a guy that I'm still friends with that i used to work with. That friendship doesn't bother J. He doesn't like it too much, but, hasn't said too much about it.

I've never cheated, or gone behind his back while we've been seeing each other. He has that little voice in his head that tells him to be "on-guard" because of my past history with my ex-husband.
 

db2kp

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From my first post:

Married for almost 15yrs, 2 children, 1 girl, now 19, and son that is 14.
I was divorced in 2000, after my husband discovered my affair, and the man that I wasn't willing to let go. I continued to see this married man until I gave him an ultimatum in Aug 2002. If he didn't leave his spouse and children, as he said he would, I would stop seeing him forever. He didn't leave and I stopped seeing him, forever.
Friends fixed me up with a guy and I was in heaven. He was wonderful. A gentleman, fun, interesting, intelligent, witty... And, he also had one problem. A common law wife that still shared the rent with him. Their relationship was over but they were still living under the same roof, sharing the bills. Everyone assured me that it wasn't a problem, and it really hasn't been a huge issue, not to say, it doesn't bother me.


Well I just found out last week that they were married in the mid 90's so that she could stay in the country. They met while she was in the U.S. going to school.
I was never told that they were married. He told me that it was no big deal~ that it was just so that she could stay here and work here~it was a small event~blah, blah, blah, ~what difference does it make?~nothing's changed.....
We've been seeing each other for over 2yrs!? He has never told me that they had a marriage license/certificate, nothing!
I didn't want to be involved with a married man again, and now here I am!
And, she still lives in the house with him.
Common law marriage, to me, didn't mean as much.
This has just knocked my socks off.
I don't know who knows that he got married besides his family. Now I feel like I'm looking over my shoulder.

I just can't believe this.
I'm so upset and a bit depressed about the whole thing.
Last week, I discussed it with him and asked Why? why didn't he tell me.
Then I told him that he needed to act on getting a divorce.

I just don't know what to do now.

D
 

David Baxter

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So to add to his jealousy, possessiveness, distrust, you now have dishonesty. He's still living with his wife but pressuring you to get engaged? Something is wrong with this picture...

What did he say when you told him he had to act on the divorce?
 

db2kp

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David,
When I told him to move on getting a divorce, I seriously think that the man saw $$$ (dollar signs) and that was it.
I thought that the house was his....well, not if they're married. So, start moving on the divorce and if needed put the house up for sale.
All along I thought that she was just staying there to help with the rent, and other utilities, and it was somewhere to live. This allowed him to keep this house that he couldn't afford on his own. And, I couldn't move in, because I don't make enough money.

Now, I know why she's there. Back home in her country, her parents live in seperate quarters. Her mom has the downstairs and her dad has the upstairs. So, living in seperate bedrooms and sharing the rent is not out of the ordinary for her.
Within the last few months she has been looking for a new job overseas, since calls have been coming in from recruiters. Also, she has been going back home quite a bit. Usually she only goes home for Thanksgiving or Christmas, and this time she went home for both.
Who knows, maybe she's leaving?

I think he'll drag his feet with the divorce, because of his financial freedom. It would put a huge damper on his lifestyle.

d
 

db2kp

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Because of this, I feel like such a loser, a rung out, old, dish rag.
Yuck.
 

David Baxter

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There's no reason for you to feel that way. All you did was trust him. He's the one who betrayed that trust. That makes him a loser in my eyes, not you.

He may well have lost you. All you have lost is a man who lied to you. It seems to me he has lost a lot more than you.
 

db2kp

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I feel worse today than yesterday, than the day before.
Really, I didn't think that was possible.

He dances around the subject, and after I suggested seeing a psychologist, he told me that he thought it was a good idea. But after thinking about it, what is a psychologist going to do for me? He is the one that needs to call an attorney and get a divorce.

What do you think David?
 

David Baxter

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Normally, I'd suggest that it might help for you to see a psychologist together. If nothing else, that might help to validate your feelings for both of you and to confront his behavior. However, I think you've already tried that and J really wasn't engaging in the process.

It may still help you to see your therapist but frankly I think it may be time for you to tell J to stay away until he is no longer married to or residing with his wife --- and that at that point you will decide whether you want to continue the relationship. It seems to me that J has to prove himself and that you need to take a firm stand and give him an ultimatum: No more games, no more debates, no more lies, no more promises... No more words at all in fact - "Do or don't do", as Yoda said in Star Wars.
 

db2kp

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David,

That was my thought also.

If I let it go on, it will appear that I am condoning (spelling?) his behavior. I basically have gone this far, without knowing about the marriage, so he's probably wondering why this is such a big deal. And, since he "swears" that he mentioned this whole thing, which he never did....I think that I would remember that.

This is like dealing with a child in many ways.

Do you think that I shouldn't be making a big deal out of the marriage? All along I was semi-okay with the idea that they lived together and were common-law married. And, it's really not changing their relationship. Now, knowing that he's been married all along, well, it's a huge issue for me. I just wish that I would have had this info because I would have NEVER got involved with a married man again.
One time, I mentioned to him, in the first few weeks of dating, that I would never get involved with a married man again, and made a big deal out of it. All the lies and not being first in the man's life....and here I am.
Also, we were introduced by mutual friends. I recently went to my girlfriend and asked her if she knew that he was married. She told me that they had heard that once, but considered it a rumor and dimissed it.

Now, I wish that I had more info going into this relationship.

You've been a great help David, thanks.

I may call my therapist and schedule to see her.
 
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