This is true for every person. We all deserve happy, healthy relationships.
This is true for every person. We all deserve happy, healthy relationships.
“I would love to…but”
Promises vs. Plans – Many times married men say these things. Phrases that include the words above are merely promises, not plans. They give us hope that things will happen that we are hoping for. Learning to recognize this would save us many wasted days in relationships that are not going where we want or need. Here is an example of something he might say…
I wish so badly I could be with you right. I would love to spend my future with you. I promise that this time next year we will be together. One day this will all be behind us. I wish I could do that now, but I can’t right now. I want to do that for you, for us so that we can truly be together. That’s what I want.
I can’t – This really means “I won’t” Don’t be confused…this man is not taking responsibility for their own decisions or actions. They are saying, “I have not made the decision yet to really be with you.”
I wish – This man is saying, “I am not willing to do what is necessary to be with you at this time.”
One day…however -He is saying, “I am giving you hope for a possible future with me, so you will hang in there.”
I promise -what he is really saying, “I have to give you something to keep you hanging in there and on the hook.”
I would love to…but -He probably would love to, but there is no way he is going to risk what he has going on in his life for you.
Plans are different than promises.
When men are making plans:
They ask questions about what you want, how you want to do it, if it will work for you, etc…
They are doing things in their lives to make it possible for you to be together.
They are making arrangements to separate from their spouses.
They are talking to their spouse about how to get divorced.
They are seeing attorneys.
They are moving out of the house.
They are being open and honest.
They are using words like this…I will do that, I will be there, etc…
They are there when you need them.
They are in the process of doing what is necessary to be your partner.
They aren’t making you a secret. They are introducing you to family and friends. You are a part of their life, you aren’t living the shadows.
Men who are making promises aren’t making plans. Plans to see you aren’t the same as plans to be with you. Promises of a future aren’t the same as plans for a future.
Start looking at their actions and not their words. Men who really want to be with you, will be with you if you allow them to. They aren’t making excuses for their absence. A wise woman once said to me…If a man wants to be with you he will move mountains to be with you. This is true. They will. I have seen it happen.
If you aren’t with an “I can” “I will” or “a mountain moving man” chances are you are being led on. For me…I want a mountain mover!
If you have been looking for a door, maybe it is time to start looking for a window…
Recently, some things have happened to make me rethink my situation (living arrangement) all pretty stressful stuff. It has made me re-evaluate a lot of things. What I really want is someone who shows up in my life, not just when things are great, but when they aren’t too. W has been pretty much absent. A few texts, one phone call that I couldn’t take, but he hasn’t even called again to discuss it with me. I think it has all sizzled out. So, the need for a conversation or an exit plan has pretty much been decided for me. He has chosen his path without words, but with his actions. I am doing okay. I don’t feel the need to have a conversation or make an exit. He came into my life like a lion, but he is leaving it like a lamb. Everything has its purpose and season.
I feel good as I embark on my new beginnings. I have done my grief work and said my piece, made my arguments over the last few months. With that, I feel that I have closure. It happened for me once I started looking at his actions, instead of listening to his words. He has such pretty words, and he gives me complete acceptance, but at the end of day…I am just a mere sliver of his life. I want the whole pie! And I deserve to have the whole pie!!!
Life for me will always have a part of him, because he led me on a path I had been indecisive before, but he made me see things in a different light. Everything for a reason, everything in its time. But I want more than to be the other woman, I want to be the only woman. I can have it, and I will have it…but not with W. I can love our moments, I can appreciate the season he was in my life…and I can move on. I’m doing it!
I’m hoping my journey as the OW stops here, but I also know that life has a funny way of laughing at us. Right now I feel good and focused. Let’s see what tomorrow brings!
Great blog! I agree, allowing oneself to be vulnerable can at times be painful. At what point is it abusive? Something for me to ponder.
For whatever reason, we seem to have this funny idea that love is supposed to be bliss or that when we get married we’ve somehow achieved a state of “happily-ever-after.”
Well, that’s just not true. Love is actually quite painful.
In fact, if you’re doing it right, love, marriage, and family will be the most painful things you’ll ever experience. Not because they’re bad things, but because to love at all means to open yourselves up to vulnerability and pain. And to love someone completely—as you do in marriage—is to put your whole heart on the line.
True love will be painful. True love should be painful.
To be clear, when I say that true love should be painful I am not referring to abusive, obsessive, or co-dependent relationships; those relationships are predicated upon selfishness and will inevitably produce a pain that’s destructive and detrimental.
No, the “painful love” to…
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I read an article today in Psychology Today titled “7 Reasons Most People are Afraid of Love.” I found the beginning of the article interesting. They said the time between Jan 1st and Feb 13th is the highest break-up time and also the highest for divorce filings. I suppose that seems right. People get through the holidays and thus into a guilt-free time to break up before Valentine’s Day.
As I sit and play the waiting game like so many OW I am trying to keep myself occupied in other areas, but I can’t help but to wonder what are the catalysts that finally push people to leave unhappy relationships? In every divorce I have ever known there seems to be a third person involved. This is almost always true for couples who are serious, but haven’t taken marriage vows yet as well.
W seems so content to keep doing what we have been doing. He doesn’t seem to me that he feels any urgency or pressure at all to end his marriage, or to commit to his marriage. I feel the need to do something or I will be stuck in the situation indefinitely. He needs a catalyst, and even if that isn’t enough at least I will be in position to move on. As I see it here are my options…
contact his wife – This I absolutely will not do. I don’t think that would benefit anyone- her, him, their children, or me. Having been on the receiving end of having the OW call me, I think this is unnecessarily cruel for everybody involved. So scratch that one. I know that a lot of women in my shoes have negative feelings towards the wife or feel jealous. I am jealous, because she has the life position with W I want, but I do respect her and care about her feelings. This is why I want some resolution. I think keeping her in a marriage like this is not right to her, whether she is aware or not. I have said many times to W, if he wants to stay married to her, he needs to stop messing around on her and put the effort in and make his marriage healthy and happy. If not, then leave so she can find a man that will give her that. I know she is a good person, in spite of what some might think I do feel guilt and remorse for my part in any pain I am causing or could cause her, and I do wish her well. I also don’t want to get his children involved in this, which I think would be a strong possibility if she found out. Give him an ultimatum – Do I really want to be in a relationship where I end up with him only because he felt he didn’t have a choice? Do ultimatums ever really work in the end? Would I be ready to deal with the rejection if he didn’t choose me? I don’t see this option as a win for me. So scratch this one. Have an assertive talk – Have a conversation where I let him know my needs aren’t being met, his family’s needs aren’t being met, his wife’s needs aren’t being met. Explain how he needs to make some tough decisions and quickly. I have done this already. He bought the book I recommended to help him make these decisions and he got half way through it, and then he put it down. I think he is just content with the life he has right now. For him, he doesn’t see a need to do anything. So, we scratch this one too.
Pick a leave date and then stick with it – Have one more conversation explaining that I just can’t continue in this relationship the way that it is now. Then pick a date where I am out if he hasn’t done anything to move forward with me, I will assume he wants to still be in his marriage. Right now I am tossing around the date of February 1st. I have had that date in my head for a couple of months now. Probably because of the reasons the article gave. We are past the holidays and I feel like if there is going to be a time of year to do something, now is as good as any. I don’t see any benefit in dragging this relationship out if it isn’t going anywhere, and our risk of being caught only increases.
I’m still thinking on it, but I know I need a resolution and my options are limited. This one will pull me out of this never-ending-revolving door and allow me to move on and be with somebody who is available, if he is not willing to leave his marriage to pursue a relationship with me. But, how do I do it? Do I just leave without saying anything? Do I give an explanation? Do I keep it short and simple? Do I do it in person? No, not in person. I don’t think I would be strong enough to leave him if I did it in person. Any advice from anyone who has done this would be greatly appreciated.
Oh, here is the link to the article I mentioned earlier in Psychology Today 7 Reasons Most People are Afraid of Love
It has been almost a year since the fateful day that I met W. We first met through a computer site. Our first meeting was a chance one, and our first communication were exchanges made via written form. It took me all of 10 minutes of innocent chatting with W to figure out he was different and he made me feel different.
Within days I was telling family and friends that God was working in my life and had been blessed me with a wonderful man. I had never said that about another man before. In fact, I had kind of given up on God, let alone feeling his presence in my life, but when I met W it was like I could feel God smiling down and blessing me. I didn’t know he was married at that time (it would be couple of months before I knew that truth), and we had yet to meet in person, but nonetheless I was in love, he was in love. I felt the connection instantly, and he felt it too. It was spontaneous and combustible. It would be a month before I would meet him in person. I really didn’t know what he would look like, honestly I am not sure it would have mattered much. I was in love, for probably the first time in my life. That first meeting was amazing. I couldn’t believe my luck when this gorgeous man walked through the door. I had to ask my girlfriend (she was waiting with me until he got there) if he was attractive. I was so in love with him already I wasn’t sure I was being objective with how handsome I thought he was. She assured me he was good looking, it wouldn’t have mattered what she said though honestly, he was beautiful to me.
After all the broken relationships and my failed marriage, it finally made sense as to why it hadn’t worked out with those other men…I was meant for him and he for me We were already finishing each other’s sentences, laughing at our inside jokes, talking in “twin language.” The energy and affection between us was/is palpable. People tell us how cute we were together. We are the gross couple that people hate…You know the ones that always sit next to each other at the table, are constantly touching, can’t stop staring at each other, that are always smiling and laughing with each other, the ones you say “Geez, get a room! Will you?”…That’s us…then and still today. We are the couple you love to hate. Those early days and months were spent in constant communication. We seemed inseparable, even though we were separated by miles most of the time.
When I met W I was going through my own personal crisis. Actually, it was that crisis that led me to him, unintentionally. Over the next couple of months he guided me and helped me navigate my way to a healthier place. He was supportive, attentive and helped me to make decisions that I had needed to make for a long time. Within a few short weeks we were best friends. I know it sounds weird, but we have all met strangers that impact our life from time to time. That was W. He was a stranger that made an impression on me, but it was more than that. It was chemistry that I haven’t experienced ever before in my life. It was/is like friendship on fire!
Within a couple of months I was dealt a blow…I found out he was married. My beautiful W didn’t belong to me, he belonged to another woman. Finding out he was married, well not only married but had lied about many things (the things that would have led me to discover he was married) felt like the worst sucker punch in the world. It was worse than the time my fiance’s ex girlfriend called me to inform she had been seeing and sleeping my fiance during our entire relationship. It was worse than having to listen to all the torrid details from her about her affair with my fiance. It was worse than anything I had been through up until that point. After my experience of being cheated on, I never thought I would be in my shoes. But life rarely deals us the hand we think we deserve or want.
In my past relationships I would have walked away at the news that he is married, but he was different. We were different. I agonized over what to do for days, weeks, months. I was torn. I could tell he was hurting. I could see his pain. It is difficult to turn your back on someone you love so deeply in their time of need. It was difficult for me to conceive of a life without him in it. To walk away from him would have felt the equivalent of clawing open my own chest and ripping my heart out. The sting of betrayal doesn’t always mean you turn off the emotions of love. This is why so many spouses stay after they discover their spouse is having an affair. Betrayed spouses hang on to hope that they can save their marriages. Why? They are vested in their marriages and they still love them. This is also the case for many women who find out that their new boyfriend, the man they are in love with is married. The betrayal is just as real as it is for the wife.
After counsel with many of friends and family members, I realized that W was a good person. A person who felt trapped, who had done a bad thing…He was still a good person. I have several girlfriends and a couple of family members who have had affairs, left their marriages, and are now happily married. They wouldn’t dream of cheating on their current spouses. These friends and family members talked me through why he would do what he did. It was with their support I was able to forgive him, and understand his transgressions, but I didn’t want to continue to be the other woman. I wanted him to live with integrity. I wanted to live with integrity. I asked him to either commit to his marriage and let me be, or to leave her and allow her to move on to find someone who loves her and wants a life with her. I told him this wasn’t fair to any of us…him, her, or me. He needed to make a decision. After some time, he told me he had decided to leave his marriage.
W lives over 3 hours from me. The majority of our relationship has been via phone. I have only been to his town once. The times we are physically together are a halfway point or where I live. All of my family and friends are aware of him and our relationship. When he is here he attends family functions with me, we meet up with my friends, we go out like any other couple. If you are wondering if all of my family and friends are aware he is married and of his situation, the answer is yes. Many of them have questioned his intentions with me. He always says he is leaving and intends to be with me. When we are together we live our life in the open, we don’t live in the shadows. We only live in the shadows when we aren’t together.
He has yet to leave his marriage, and with each passing day I begin to believe he isn’t leaving his marriage. I used to think we were different, but recent events have led me to believe we are might be just another statistic. He has never said he isn’t leaving. In fact, he maintains that he is. However, his actions are suggesting otherwise. As long as I hope, I will remain with him. I hope I have an answer soon. Walking away will be so hard, but living in the shadows as the other woman indefinitely will be harder. My prayer is that there is some movement forward and soon. I need a resolution. My prayer is for peace for all involved and soon.
So, I was able to spend a 24 hour period with W. We met up and I was so happy to see him, to smell him, to touch him…Just writing this brings tears to my eyes.
The problem is…I hate leaving. I hate saying goodbye. It’s not necessarily the goodbye part. I’m not clingy like that. It is just that my soul craves him so much. The days between our meetings are so lonely. I do things, see people…I have an active social life, but my soul is lonely. I crave that special someone in my life. My soul craves a relationship. A relationship with him. I could have a relationship. I get offers frequently from men, but I want him. I choose to take myself out of the dating pool. I am the only single one of my friends. I watch them with their marriages, their relationships and I am jealous that they get to have time and a life with the person they love. I get pieces of him. I am not the primary relationship, or the secondary, or even the third…I am not sure where I lie in the equation, but I know it is at best fourth. There is the wife, the children, the career, etc…All of those must come before me.
It is hard to love somebody this much and be able to give them your everything, and know that you get the remanents of their life. To know you are an expendable part of their life, and they are front and center in yours.
Every moment spent together, every phone call, every text is a stolen moment.
While our time together is so magical, so special, so meaningful and fun, the looming emotions of saying goodbye and the distance I know that will come between us is heart wrenching. It takes me days sometimes to find my bearings in the loneliness of my mind after coming down from such a high of being his one and only…even if for only a day.
I plaster a smile on my face and try to be cheerful, but inside I feel like my heart is always breaking. No matter how precious our time is together, I know that he is not mine. I know that if push comes to shove I will more than likely not be his choice. To love somebody and know that they are the only choice you could logically consider, and yet know that you are not theirs is heart breaking. To want someone so very much and know that there is nothing you could do to make them yours can break you in two.
I have come to realize that I love him. I mean love him, like I have never loved human being. I love our relationship dynamics: how we interact with each other, how playful we are together, how much fun we have together, the common interests we share. However, I hate our relationship. I hate spending so much time alone. I hate waiting for him to call, to text, to create time in his life for me. I hate sneaking and what we are doing to his wife and family. He has to take time away from his children in order to carve out time for me. I hate that it makes him feel as if he is being pulled in two directions. I hate how it makes me feel as a woman and a person. I hate feeling small and accepting less than I deserve. But the two are inseparable. To have him, I must accept my fate as the other woman. I hate that.
So, yes, I had time with him. Yes, it was magical. Yes, he touched my soul and heart and melted me under his touch. And for a 24 hour period he was mine. And just as soon, as he was mine, he was gone again. Back to being the husband of another woman. Back to a life that I am not part of. Away from me. As the miles begin to separate us once more I remove myself from front and center to stand in the shadows of his life once more. This is my fate as long as I allow myself to be his other woman.
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