I’m a man, 38, who’d been in a pleasant but frustrating long-distance relationship for several years, when I met someone else through my work.
The instant attraction and excitement I felt for the new woman made the other relationship, with our inability to travel to each other ever since last March, pale by comparison.
I immediately told that person that, though I still cared for her as a wonderful person, I was sorry but had to move on due to an unexpected situation of having been “lovestruck.”
She said she was disappointed but cared about my happiness, and so she understood.
My new romance took off like an explosion. She fascinated me with her many facets - ambitious, smart, lively, passionate, and fun.
Though we worked for different branches of our company, we practically lived together from the start, except for when she visited her health-compromised mother on her own.
But it turned out that “ambitious” was her driving quality. And it included cheating and lying.
I found out through gossip that she’d been having an affair with the top boss, risking both her mother and me to COVID-19 exposure.
Confronted, she initially denied it and acted like the wounded party.
One month later, she’s been texting abject apologies, saying that he wooed her with false promises of business promotions and partnerships that turned her head.
She’s promised she’ll never cheat on me again, that she loves me and is deeply sorry.
I’ve read your opinion answering others’ issues regarding cheating, that a couple can get past an affair if they still share a strong love, discuss openly why the infidelity occurred, and get counselling together to understand why it happened.
Do I, and this woman have that chance?
Sorry, but No. Her ambition was greater than any love and consideration for you (or for anyone else, including her mother).
She’s a user, seeking the bigger chance, higher salary, greater public profile. The likelihood of company gossip reaching you didn’t matter, so long as she climbed higher on the success ladder.
I’m betting she’ll cheat again, which is why it shouldn’t be you who’s the fall guy again.
If this reality is too much for you to accept, contact a professional counsellor requesting several online meetings, to discuss the signs and differences between instant passion and enduring, trusting, respectful love.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding the letter-writer who fears that his ex-wife’s possible personality disorder may have a genetic link to his adult kids’ estrangement from him (August 15):
Reader – “I’m a mother who believes that my adult daughter has borderline personality disorder though, to my knowledge, she was never diagnosed.
“She still maintains, and has throughout her life, that everything’s been my fault. And she cannot understand why, because she’s such a model person.
“Luckily (I think) the children she’s raised as a single mom adore her.
“But they’ve bought into everything she’s told them about me and her father. I struggled with whether or not to continue to send money and gifts for birthdays, etc.
“As the kids reached college age, I hoped to have relationships with them independent of her. But I now see that’s not going to happen while they’re all back living in her house.
“My daughter tells them I’m trying to buy their affections. I’m not. Your column advice to that father, to keep trying periodically to reach out to them and, “if they need you, they will respond,” sets my mind at ease.”
Reader #2 – “Please let the husband whose ex-wife is thought to have a severe personality disorder, know about a book called Change Your Brain Change Your Life by Daniel G. Amen, MD.
“He’s a neuropsychiatrist who writes about SPECT - which is single-photon emission computed tomography - i.e. a scan or imaging test that can show areas of trauma, and how blood flows to tissues and organs.
“When a person sees their scan and understands that their condition doesn’t make them a bad person, but instead they may have a treatable medical condition, it can relieve their guilt and make them more accepting of getting proper treatment.”
Ellie - According to the respected Mayo Clinic’s website, the most common uses of SPECT are to help diagnose or monitor brain disorders, heart problems and bone disorders.
Readers can find out more about this tool for use in complex diagnoses, through medical websites. Discuss with your doctor.
Tip of the day:
When love instantly hits you over the head, look closely at who’s wielding the blow.