Direct Answers - Oct. 14
One Way Streets
October 14, 2021
I am 35 and the father of two children who live with me.
Shortly after I divorced, I became involved with a woman I had known for a long time. Erin is the mother of one of my daughter’s friends. Two years ago she told me she was leaving her husband. I was surprised and happy. There was a mutual attraction between us.
This is where the roller coaster ride began. She left her husband, and I asked her out. She said because she didn’t have a separation agreement we could go out with the kids. For basically a year, that is how we did it.
I fell very deeply in love with her. I have never felt so connected to another person in my life. She was guarded in her feelings, but I always felt she loved me, too. I wrote her love letters and bought her presents. Her friends were happy I was in her life after a bad ten-year marriage to an alcoholic.
For six months her husband didn’t care. Then he begged, pleaded, and threatened to get her back. I knew she didn’t love him, but the children were the center of her life. This was the card he played. One week before the divorce, she moved back with her husband. The fear of having her children half time was more than she could bear.
There was so much between us, then it was all gone. I came to accept that I had lost her and life would go on, but I really had no interest in other women.
Erin and I talked from time to time, mostly about kid stuff. I knew the leopard wouldn’t change his spots. Not surprisingly, now she’s filing for divorce again.
Once again I am losing sleep at night. Sometimes she acts like she wants to be around me, other times she doesn’t. There is a lot going on in her life right now. I know she feels overwhelmed, and another man is not what she needs.
I love this woman with all my heart, but mostly it has brought me heartache. I know she has feelings for me, and she likes the fact I am so attracted to her.
I want her more than anything. Your advice would mean a lot to me.
Ned, a relationship is an interplay back and forth between two people. The level and quality of their exchange determines whether they are acquaintance, friend, best friend, lover, or mate.
You say your connection to Erin is stronger than what you have experienced before. This says more about you than about her. You intensely want a relationship. Yet in your own words, you tell us Erin is guarded in her feelings and sometimes doesn’t want you around. You don’t say that she loves you, but that she loves that you love her.
The connection is incomplete. The driving force behind your desire for her is the desire to have someone to share your life with. For this unique relationship, it must be like no other—better, stronger, deeper, higher. Most importantly, it must flow in both directions.
You have made your feelings known, and after all this time, you are still guessing what her feelings are. Her actions don’t confirm your guesses. If you seek to elicit a proclamation of love from her, you will force her into a decision, but a decision is not the same as a connection. Whatever decision she makes will be based on her circumstances, not on her true feelings for you.
You may wait her out and get the decision you want, based on the difficulty of her situation or on your tenacity, but that won’t mean you have the kind of connection that can last a lifetime.
You yearn for someone who has the same intensity of emotion for you that you have for them. Don’t accept anything less.
Wayne & Tamara
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