Following is one woman’s story, responding to The Other Woman who asked for help “moving on.” It’s among many offerings from readers (Feb. 6):
“I’m 53. After three difficult years, I’m finding peace and happiness again.
“I married young. Although a good person at heart, he was self-centered, struggled with alcohol, had depression and anxiety issues, but wouldn’t do anything about them.
“After our son left for university, I was lonely and disappointed with my marriage
“I started an extramarital affair with a much younger, married man.
“His wife was much older - their passion and common interests were long gone.
“Our times together over two years were torrid, we fell in love.
“My young lover was intensely jealous of my husband, and demanded that I stop sleeping with him, even threatening to kill himself.
“We talked about him leaving his wife and us being together. But, he didn’t have the courage to be honest with anyone, me included.
“I finally realized that we only got together when he didn’t have something else going on with family.
“I no longer loved my husband and couldn’t face the rest of my life with him. When I told him I was leaving, only then did he seek counselling.
“Therapy made him aware of his failings in the marriage. We’ve maintained a civilized but distant friendship, for our son’s sake.
“However, my son was blindsided by my leaving. He was angry, disappointed, but accepted the separation.
“The same day I left my comfortable home of 20 years, I ended my affair.
“I started a new job, with much less pay. That same month, my mother was diagnosed with cancer, involving surgeries, complications, and radiation.
“Because I had no financial support from my ex, I worked three jobs. Days off, I took care of my mother.
“My self-esteem dropped. I became quite isolated. My new job wasn’t challenging. I didn’t make friends at work.
“I grieved the loss of my married man, alternately missing him, was furious at him, yearned for him physically, and missed our mutual affection.
“I’ve never grieved the end of my marriage, only that it upset my son.
“I had no money or time for counselling.
“But I saw people a lot worse off than me.
“A previous friendship grew with a man who’d retired. We started hiking and skiing together regularly, which kept him busy and fit, and got me out of my darkness.
“Our son graduated from university.
“I did start seeing a new man, soon after my move. We met through a shared activity that we both love. He’s divorced, alone for three years before we met.
“The first six months of our relationship was largely a comfortable, physical thing, and enjoying our shared passion for hiking.
“We did initially talk about our past loves, but we both learned that it’s far better to look forward than back.
“And better to try to do the opposite of what we used to do.
“Friendship over two years has bloomed into love. It’s a very positive relationship, maybe the first one I’ve ever had.
“My self esteem returned, I got another job, well-paying, better hours, more responsibility and challenging.
“To The Other Woman: Get to know yourself – your strengths and weakness. It’s uncomfortable to feel lonely, but it doesn’t last.
“Also, helping others helps you.
“Even only a few positive moves revives self-esteem: Working hard, exercising, having something to care for, even if it’s just a rescue cat.
I’m a bisexual teen who's just gotten over the fact that my girl-crush has a new girlfriend.
I've just gotten over her only to find out that I'm falling for her girlfriend! Yikes! What do I do?!
Take a deep breath, count to eight, then breathe out.
Teenage emotions can create an internal whirlwind, from what seems to be countless possibilities in sight.
It’s an important time to realize that there are only so many people with whom you can be real and appreciated, at one time.
Trying to pursue many crushes within a short time will give the general impression that you’re a player, and affect your ability to make a connection when you care a lot.
Better to not rush from one emotional binge to another. Both girls could turn against you.
Stay friends with people you’ve liked, when it’s possible. And don’t try to move in on their next crushes.
Tip of the day:
Reader’s moving-on lesson: Self-Esteem is a work in progress. Don’t give up.