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Mail. We Get Mail on Confusion and Priority

Posted Sep 29 2011 2:35pm

This was a mail received 2 years ago but the authors of some recent emails might benefit from this.
Hi Susan
I keep coming back to your website and comments on what Love is and isnt. It has helped me to keep grounded and to check in with my emotions. I had a relationship for 1.5 years with a man who was not divorced who told me in the beginning that he was. I found this situation impossible as it felt like he had his feet in ‘two canoes’ and he finally put in the divorce papers and then blamed me. The relationship ended last August due to the fact that I felt emotionaly unsafe and I had the feeling he was a player and was developing a relationship with someone else towards the end of our relationship. He texted me at 3.30am in the morning to ask me to call him which I did and the relationship actually ended over the phone. I was devastated by this and felt completely disrespected.

In late December I met a lovely man through a friend, and he was/is a really nice person HOWEVER he was out of a marriage of 30 years which devastated him 3.5 years ago, and then about a year later had a relationship with a woman for 1 year which she ended. They have remained friends, but he still has ‘unresolved’ feelings about her and her daughter of 11 years.

2 weeks ago, I stated to him that I could not continue the relationship when I felt so hidden, he had not told her about me, she has become a taboo topic for us and he is still uncertain of his feelings towards her, altho says he loves me. We agreed that we would not see each other until he had sorted this out and told her about his relationship with me.. since then he has been texting me and saying he misses and loves me, but this feels like chocolate topping without substance as he hasn’t stated any actions.

Finally the other day I called him and asked him where he is at and he is saying that the issue is not just about telling her about me, its about the feelings underlying this person, and just to tell her would be a ‘bandaid fix’. He has been in the police force for 32 years and is uncertain of his future as he is going to be leaving and I guess that is scary. He said he had signed the divorce papers this week, and he is getting support. This has left me hanging and waiting to hear from him.

I have become so anxious about the situation and have been trying to manage myself best I can.

What do you suggest in this situation? Is this a procrastination, should I set a time boundary, leave it alone, give up the relationship?

Thank you for your comments.

Honestly, I would say run the other way. This guy has no idea what he is doing or who he is doing it with. He is the walking wounded and you’ve decided to hitch your wagon to his star and now you are zig zagging through time and space. Cut the ties…cut the wagon loose and let him go carooming off into a black hole.

You are number 3 on the list. NUMBER 3. Here at GPYP we insist on being number one. We want to be number one. We deserve to be number one. Number two is not good enough unless we are proceeding directly to number one (apologies to Monty Python).

My advice (since you asked for it) is to go NC Will you be able to rekindle this down the line? Don’t know. It sounds like he has very strong feelings for number two and is still tangled up in disengaging from number one. And do you want to be the person on the shelf? Do you want the person who isn’t even acknowledged as part of his life and then you take a more distant role waiting for him to suddenly figure out his mind?

And once again I caution readers to not say how lovely a person is and then go on to describe incredibly non-lovely behavior. Even if it’s true that he’s a lovely person outside this little triad, he sucks as a person when dealing with it. He had no business getting involved with you when number 1 and 2 were still so unresolved. From jump it was not fair to you, but he did it anyway. Not lovely.

Do you want to be number 3? Your choice.

In any situation there are only 3 options: Accept it, change it or leave.

My money’s on leave.

My question would we why are you waiting around for these bananaheads to get de-bananaheaded when you know that they don’t. The first was a horror show but in many respects you own that. You chose accept and went along for the horror ride of the century. Why are you attracted to men who cannot or will not commit? What is YOUR issue with commitment? Where does it come from? What are you trying to win over here.

And for all my readers, NEVER EVER EVER look at your phone in the middle of the night. SHUT IT DOWN. No one should be accepting texts in the middle of the night. There used to be a civility code of never calling anyone after 11 pm unless it’s an emergency and that code should still exist. Anyone who is sending or receiving texts in the middle of the night needs some boundaries and some civility. STOP DOING IT. If you don’t do it in the course of your relationship, you can’t be broken up by a 3 am text.

You can’t be “disrespected” by a 3 am text if you’re not reading a 3 am text. Yes, that is very disrespectful and no one in their right mind would ever call or text me at 3 am unless someone is in the Emergency Room. That is THE only time I would allow it. You can’t get respect unless you demand it. And having boundaries with your phone and phone availability hours is a self-respect thing.

Learn to leave the phone OFF when you’re sleeping. If you can’t detach from your phone during waking hours (which is an issue), at least detach from it when you are sleeping! Jeez. And put in the EMERGENCY rule for cell phones and texts messages: DO NOT CALL OR TEXT ME AFTER 11 PM UNLESS IT’S AN EMERGENCY!!!!! If you can’t institute that simple rule in your life then you need to look at that issue too.

You get what you put up with. It’s time to decide that you aren’t putting up with this craziness any more.

Ignore his texts. Ignore his confusion. Ignore his refusal to come public with your relationship (what are you? The mistress!!!! fer goodness sakes, if it was a wife of 30 years I could sorta understand it. No one wants to hit the long-time wife with the new gf right away [unless you're my ex] but this isn’t about that. It’s about NOT TELLING THE EX GIRLFRIEND ABOUT YOU!!! THAT IS CRAZY!!!)

This is about the post – marriage girlfriend who he seems very attached to. You are a distant third and he probably comes to you when he is feeling lonely and / or not that valued by her

I would say buh bye or get real cozy “I don’t f’ing know” since that is going to be the status for a long, long time.

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