Hi Reality Chick. I hope you might be able to help me clear my head. If this was a friend asking the same questions I’d probably shake them! Long story short (and a pathetic one at that) at the grand age of 45 I was pursued by my very average married boss who wooed me and made me feel like the only woman on earth. I was in a relationship of 7 years with a lovely man and it was comfortable but the sex side had died and although we got on great we were more like friends (and even in our early days he was not one for compliments or lovey dovy stuff).
My boss however love-bombed me and gave me everything that was missing in my relationship, and it was mutual. We fell in love and I broke it off several times as he was married with kids and I could not live with the guilt. I’d never cheated before and had in fact only two lovers up until that point. Last time we parted it lasted a couple of months and he broke down and cried, telling me he was leaving his family, wanted to marry me and for us to be together immediately. In a whirlwind, I agreed and within two weeks we’d left our partners and moved in together, leaving a trail of destruction behind us. (Neither of us told our partners it was for someone else.)
Despite the pain and guilt we felt, the first week of setting up home I felt like the luckiest woman alive. I had a man who adored me, who was great company and we were made for one another in the bedroom. Then the bomb went off. After just one week he became distant and cold. I put it down to the strain of leaving his family even though he still took his teenager kids to school daily and saw them at weekends. His life didn’t change too much but I moved miles away from my family and friends. In the end I questioned him and he said it just didn’t feel the same and he didn’t know if I was what he wanted? We lasted 32 days! In total, the on-off affair lasted 18 months.
To say I was devastated is an understatement. I moved out and just felt it was karma for me being so horrible for cheating and breaking up a family. The difficulty is now working with him, I’ve asked for zero contact unless work-related. He hates the fact I want nothing to do with him and I hope to leave and get a new job. My question now is the real reason I’ve emailed. I know I’ve made the biggest mistake of my life. I miss my boyfriend and he has invited me over for dinner, l which I gratefully accepted. We’ve been out for day trips and never ever do we discuss why I left – it’s like we never split and I can see all the reasons why I love him. I do remind myself though why I cheated in the first place: lack of attention, affection, and love and intimacy.
I want him back but it needs to be discussed and we’re both rubbish at communicating. I also don’t trust myself as don’t really know what I am thinking and question whether it’s because I’m lonely. I don’t think I am, but don’t like living alone and I miss planning stuff with my boyfriend – and I miss our cats as that was our little family. Can you help me please? I’m old enough to know better, but don’t want to screw up and hurt him again if does want or have me back? I feel panicky in case something bad happens to him and I never got the chance to put it right? Help! Thanks.
Right, so – you craved more than you were getting from your relationship and made an questionable choice in going after it. But going back to your ex now? Nuh-uh. I’m not saying you couldn’t resurrect things, but after getting just a taste of what you were missing, would you want to? The security of coming home to someone at night and sharing a couple of cats with them isn’t enough. (You can always get another cat.)
I’m not saying we should chase the fairytale at all costs, mind you – relationships need to endure through the mundane, the inevitable hard times and sexual ebbs and flows. But it sounds like your relationship with your ex had run its course – or you just weren’t compatible to begin with. So while of course you’re grasping desperately for the familiar, just sit with these awkward feelings awhile. You don’t want to spend your days with someone who doesn’t want sex or can take or leave affection. Someone you can’t share your true feelings with. You want to be with a guy who gets you. You want the great sex, good conversation, feeling adored, but with someone who’s free to give it (unlike your boss). We all want that. But sometimes we have to go through shit times and lonely times to get it.
If I’m right, please stop torturing your ex with the confusing day trips and the mixed messages. Stop torturing yourself with what if’s and worries about him falling under a bus. You’ve got to move forward now. Try to heal, create an environment that feels like home and work hard at putting this whole palaver with your boss behind you (I agree a new job is a great idea). I promise you, in six months you’ll be glad, so glad, that you didn’t go back to your ex because you were scared and lonely and unsure of the future. You’ll no doubt be in a whole new headspace and probably really happy about it (and if not, feel free to come back and give me a right bollocking.) Good luck.
Love, reality chick