She’s married but says she no longer loves her husband. They still live together.
I’ve been seeing her for nine months.
I suggested she see a marriage counsellor. Her husband went too.
She said he could see nothing wrong in the marriage, he was happy the way things were.
She did the housework, the cooking and anything else, but no sex.
For us, it's been an on-off relationship. She keeps telling me she wants to be with me.
She has two sons in their 30s who aren’t happy about things, even after she’s told them that she and their dad are finished.
She keeps telling her husband that she’ll divorce him and even told him she was seeing me.
She decided to sell the house, unknown to him. She split the proceeds, purchased one for herself, and picked out one she thought that he’d like.
He went along with everything, even let her have whatever things she wanted.
Her sons are in their 30’s. One lives with his dad, the other on his own. He’s told her that if she keeps seeing me he won't visit her again.
She told him to give me a chance, get to know me, and see that things are over between her and his dad.
She’s always afraid to go out for dinner with me, because if her ex’s friends see us together and tell him, it’ll upset him.
I’ve told her that she has to decide, but she’s still afraid to upset the rest of the family. Her brothers know about me. I’ve even had a drink with them.
She says they know how unhappy she’s been with her ex for a long time and that they say she should’ve left him long ago.
I’ve told her it's over between us until she makes up her mind, which she keeps changing. Sometimes she’s told her sons where we’re going for dinner and it's upset them, worrying their dad finds out.
We’re not school kids who must hide. I once again told her to decide.
I care about her, but I won't keep giving her chance over chance.
Tired of the Uncertainty
You may become her “transition” man, if she keeps pulling the strings on this relationship.
For you, it’s been a nine-month courtship that’s out of your control. For her, however, it’s a major life change.
She reached the point of disengaging from a partner of 30-plus years, and a home where they raised two sons. She introduced you to closest family.
But she hasn’t made a full break emotionally because of guilt feelings which may hang around and affect her a long time yet.
That’s not unusual after a long marriage. Yet she obviously cares for you, wants things to work out, but at a slow pace which she’s now controlling (plus occasionally changing her mind).
Yes, it’s time for you to take a firm stand. Assure her that you understand her pangs of conscience, but you can’t live with uncertainty because of them.
Say that you’ll respect her sons’ feelings, and you’ll be courteous to her ex when necessary.
But it’s either a GO between you two, or you’ll have to end it.
She’ll move forward eventually, partly because you’ve been there for her, in “transition.”
But you can become partners if you state your limits, while respecting her feelings about those still important to her.
FEEDBACK Regarding Confused and Heartbroken ( April 20):
Reader – “You suggested that "even the mean description he used about her – a ‘psycho’ – shows that he doesn’t want her; he wants you and the relationship you two built."
“However, in my experience with a cheater, he similarly said nasty things about the woman he slept with.
“I believe it was an attempt to remove all responsibility from his actions and lay the blame for what happened on the woman, while trying to convince me that he thought she was undesirable.
Unless this guy takes full responsibility for his cheating, I’d be hesitant to trust him going forward.
“I think this is a perspective worth the letter-writer considering.”
Ellie – Your personal experience is a warning to this woman as she deals with her boyfriend’s insistence that it was a one-time mistake to sleep with a co-worker who hounded him (or so he said).
Tip of the day:
If you don’t set limits on a lover’s relationship controls, you’ll end up as the “transition” person instead of the partner.