Cheater is best left be­hind

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - PAUSE & PLAY - El­lie Tesher

Q - I started dat­ing my ex while she was sep­a­rated. Our chem­istry and con­nec­tion were amaz­ing.

Her hus­band was ver­bally and emo­tion­ally abu­sive. She also had a very rough child­hood that in­cluded trau­matic ex­pe­ri­ences and a dys­func­tional fam­ily.

We quickly be­came very close. I was emo­tion­ally in­vested with her.

Yet, af­ter a while, we broke up and she re­turned to her hus­band.

We kept con­tact via so­cial me­dia. I re­al­ized how much I loved her and felt she was my soul mate.

She re­cip­ro­cated the same feel­ing, say­ing that she’d ask for a divorce.

This af­fair lasted over three years. I knew it was wrong but I hung in be­cause of my feel­ings for her.

Re­cently, I started re­gret­ting that I was in a cheat­ing af­fair. I ex­pressed that, and asked if she felt this was wrong.

I said that I’ve been wait­ing for her to start her divorce and asked when she’d be­gin.

She said that she has low self-es­teem and no self-worth be­cause of her life ex­pe­ri­ences and so­cial sta­tus.

I re­as­sured her that I’d share my life with her but I wanted her to stop the cheat­ing and get sep­a­rated.

I’ve changed my whole life for her and now she’s said that be­cause her hus­band is ill, things are dif­fer­ent be­tween them and she isn’t con­sid­er­ing divorce.

Maybe af­ter 15-plus years with him, along with their hav­ing two kids, she’s been con­di­tioned to think it’s okay to be that way.

I said I couldn’t con­tinue like this and don’t un­der­stand why she’d rather con­tinue cheat­ing.

Now I re­gret that I lost the love of my life. I can’t be­lieve she wouldn’t value the love we had enough to do the right thing.

How can I get over her when every­thing around me re­minds me of us?

Dis­traught Ex-Lover

A - You see this story as a lost great love. I see it as this woman hav­ing played you far too long.

She may’ve once had the will to sep­a­rate but then she re­turned to her abu­sive hus­band and stayed with him.

She opted for an il­licit af­fair with you, and de­cided it’d never become any­thing more.

Some might say she was too scared to start over or risk los­ing her chil­dren. That’s pos­si­ble, but lead­ing you on for three years was dis­hon­est and emo­tion­ally cruel.

You proved your loy­alty and sin­cer­ity. She only proved will­ing­ness to take ad­van­tage of your deep feel­ings.

It’s hard to ac­cept now, but she did you a favour. There’s no healthy fu­ture with a per­son who keeps play­ing both sides.

Move on and don’t look back.

Q - Last year, my fam­ily and I spot­ted an ice-cream store with a lineup out the door.

I only wanted a cof­fee so walked to the cash reg­is­ter, past the peo­ple at the counter.

In be­tween cus­tomers, I asked for a cof­fee, paid, and left.

My teenagers were mor­ti­fied that I avoided the lineup, and called my ac­tions rude.

Should I have en­tered the line with the other cus­tomers to wait to ask for a cof­fee?

Un­cer­tain

A - I know you’d like me to note how ef­fi­ciently you ob­tained your cof­fee with lit­tle de­lay to the wait­ing cus­tomers. And I can em­pathize with im­pa­tience, which I some­times feel my­self.

How­ever, you were rude. We teach chil­dren to not butt in. But you did.

The par­ents wait­ing in line with their kids surely found you rude.

It wasn’t a great ex­am­ple for your teens. Tell them so and apol­o­gize.

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