I'm a woman, 29, academically accomplished, financially secure, and well traveled.
I’m told I’m attractive and I have a good, close-knit, educated family.
I finished high school and went to England alone to study at university at 17, when I had no experience with men.
Immediately, I met a fellow student from a totally different background, culture, and religion. I fell in love.
By second year, we'd moved in together. We travelled, I visited his family, and he visited mine repeatedly over five years together.
The relationship was volatile because he cheated on me. I tried to leave him numerous times, but I couldn't.
When we graduated, as international students we each had to go back to our home countries.
We promised each other that we'd get engaged and married in the next year or two. We visited each other often.
On his last visit, he again stayed at my family home but was different with my family and me. Days after he left, he changed his relationship status to being engaged to a girl from his background.
I was heartbroken, was diagnosed with anxiety and depression, and got treated for it.
For eight years since, I've tried to move on through therapy and counseling, to no avail.
I went on many dates and tried to feel an emotional and sexual connection with a number of men, but I failed miserably.
I ended up finding flaws in them despite knowing I'm very flawed myself. Also, I still compare every man to my ex, though I'm well aware that he was a very bad person in many ways.
I haven't been attracted to anyone, so I haven't had a sexual relationship with anyone I dated.
A year ago, I gave up dating altogether, though I do want to find a good partner who’ll treat me right and respect me. I also want to have kids.
How do people move on and build new relationships after breaking up with someone? Why can they do it and I can't? I still feel the pain, as if all of this happened yesterday.
One step at a time - that’s how some people move on, and what you seemingly tried to do after your breakup, though all the while holding back.
With so many years gone by, you now need to purposefully set a course for yourself that’s about how you want to live your life in a fulfilled way.
That isn’t the same as just hoping for a relationship and having kids.
Being educated, financially secure, and well-travelled, you apparently work at something that you enjoy. I’m hoping it provides you with colleagues, friendships and opportunities to meet new people whom you also enjoy.
Instead of looking for “dates,” look for connections – people who share similar interests in the arts, for example, or some with whom you like to do sports, discuss politics, etc.
Focus on individuals, not on potential date material. Stop comparing, see their own merits.
This change in focus will provide you with a set of acquaintances/friends who enrich your life whether there’s a romantic interest or not.
If you stay open – rather than convinced that it’s not possible for you - there’s a stronger possibility that your hopes for a partner in life will be realized.
But if you keep convincing yourself that it’s not possible for you, it’s a choice, not a life sentence.
With a changed, open attitude, a renewed approach to counselling will benefit you.
I’m 29, the stay-at-home mother of a pre-school child.
My husband, 34, has a demanding job and works late. Sometimes he gets to read a story to our daughter but more often she’s already asleep.
Also, my husband is regularly “too tired” for intimacy with me.
We sometimes go a month before having sex, then it’s over quickly to meet his needs but not mine.
How do I get my husband to spend time making love with me, and to see how much time he’s missing with his child?
Frustrated and Lonely
Re-define this marriage with each telling the other your goals as a couple and as parents.
Sounds too academic? Unfortunately, the alternative is to stay silent, then periodically complain, and blame the other for expecting too much, or not understanding.
However, it IS possible to raise children, share responsibilities AND enjoy lovemaking if the will is there.
If not, insist on a different conversation about why.
Tip of the day:
Deep disappointments hang on indefinitely if you close the door to trying a new approach.