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Been There, Done That

Fourteen years ago I was divorced from my second wife, her idea. I'll call her Kay. But I never lost my love for her. She married again and had two children. We always remained friends, however, my new wife could not relate to that, so contact via any manner was limited.

Kay divorced again about four years ago, and my wife just passed away recently. Kay sent her condolences and that has led to a meeting for coffee shortly. First, I feel guilty because my wife's passing is not even a month old, and my heart is buzzing for Kay. Second, my heart tells me I could live with Kay for the rest of my life, but my intellect tells me I would be a fool to now raise the two kids of the man she left me for.

I feel if I ever commit myself to Kay, I may regret the children, and our relationship would be ruined. I also feel if I don't commit myself to Kay, I may regret losing the woman I never stopped loving.


Keith, a friend of ours is a superb horsewoman. A few years ago she acquired a stunningly beautiful, gray Paso Fino horse. She knew he had been mishandled and abused by a string of previous owners. This horse had the characteristic gait of the Paso Fino. When he walked slowly forward, his hooves beat the ground in a perfect four-beat rhythm like the rapid roll of a drum.

Our friend saw the potential in this horse, but no matter how much she worked with him, she could not make him achieve that potential. She experienced one more thing. This was a dangerous animal. A less accomplished rider might have been seriously injured. Finally, she had to admit the horse's flaws and let him go.

In your imagination, there is something about Kay that allows you to deny the reality of her actions. You wooed Kay, you were engaged to Kay, you legally married Kay, and she left you for another man. You might call her children the children of another man, but they are her children. They came out of her body. The children are completely innocent.

Until you can get this turned around in your head, you need to consider whether to even meet Kay. The term that describes what you are doing is displacement. It means transferring emotion from the original object to a more acceptable substitute. The loathing you feel for Kay's children is the loathing and anger you feel toward Kay for leaving you.

Put the blame where it belongs. It doesn't belong to the children, it belongs to Kay. Kay is looking out for Kay. Like our friend with the Paso Fino, you need to admit Kay's flaws and let her go.

Wayne & Tamara

He Loves Me Not

Me and my boyfriend recently split up. It was amicable, but he turned nasty, said he hated me and erased me from his phone. Then he decided he would like to be friends. To make matters worse, he keeps telling me he misses me and still loves me. I feel like he's messing with my head. Is there any advice you can give me to either get him back or move on? I feel like he's playing games.


Alice, your ex-boyfriend has you pulling petals from a daisy. With the first you say, "He loves me." With the second you say, "He loves me not." He has you wondering which answer the final petal will yield. He has you playing games.

With true love, the flower isn't destroyed. All the petals are intact. But when someone makes you play this game, know that the final petal always is, "He loves me not." Accept the answer and move on.

Wayne & Tamara

Wayne & Tamara are the authors of Cheating in a Nutshell and The Young Woman’s Guide to Older Men—available from Amazon, Apple, and booksellers everywhere.


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