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  • #97220
    Maria Mango
    Participant

    Hi all,

    I’ve written before about my relationship with an older man. It was a positive experience up until I moved away to college and things got really strained between us. Long story short he pulled away and I was terribly confused by his behavior. Maybe its because I’m so young that I didn’t read the signs right but for the last few months he’s been holding me at arm’s length.

    He explained this as “needing space to process” the fact that I would be moving away to Florida and I understood that our physically relationship was over more or less because we agreed that we both wanted different things in life. However we stayed in each other’s lives, seeing each other about once a week and acting very much like boyfriend and girlfriend when together. We talked everyday twice a day at least. He wanted to be supportive of me while I finished school and was very proud that I got a job right out of school.

    But the problem is he’s been dating someone since before Christmas. He never once told me that or even hinted that he had feelings for anyone else. I wish he had because these last few months I’ve been so confused about his behavior and I’m still really attached to him emotionally. I did something dumb and went over to his house last night unannounced and found them together. I have such mixed feelings about this. Even though I was calm and agreed that our relationship was over, something still doesn’t sit right with me. I feel like I was led on and that he was being really unfair not to have told me the truth. I do really care about him and would have been just fine if he had said, two months ago, that he was interested in someone else instead of sneaking around behind my back.

    I know this is a hard lesson in learning to let go. I understand that he was pulling away from me so I should have just ended it months ago but it hurt too much to just cut it off. Now I feel like the dumbest person in the world because I let it get to the point that I felt like I needed to do something foolish. I care about this guy so much and I just feel like he’s treating me like I’m so much nothing to him any more. It’s just shattering. Hopefully I can learn a powerful lesson from this but right now I’m just stunned and hopelessly sad.

    Thanks for listening.

    -M

    #97240
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Maria:

    Your thread in October last year, Death of a Relationship was about this older man, 30 years older, I believe. At the time your relationship with him was in limbo, not here not there. You kept close contact since, getting together and talking on the phone, exchanging emotional intimacy although not sexual intimacy. Am I correct so far? And it was only last night that you found out that he has been dating, having sexual intimacy with another woman since December of last year…?

    But he didn’t tell you, for two whole months of dating the other woman, he didn’t tell you.

    What do you make of it?

    What am I making of it, having the limited information I have… these are my thoughts and let me know where I am correct and where I am not and maybe you can answer a few questions:

    You are 26 but you feel that you are even younger… and being with him does make you feel younger, younger than 26. You liked that. If so, why?

    Is it that you are afraid to grow up, to catch up with being 26 and move forward into adulthood? Is it that you hold on to him with the passion of wanting to hold on to the way should have been when you were a child: safe and comfortable and forever good, happily-ever-after?

    While he… he was willing to provide this young woman in his life that very comfort, being a cross between father and lover. And when the sex stopped, he went on with the fatherly role and had his sexual needs met elsewhere…

    Is this the dynamic, do you think?

    anita

    #97253
    Maria Mango
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Thanks for responding!

    I understand his getting his needs met by someone else but why not tell me and save both of us the hardship?

    At one point maybe I did revel in the fact that he was protective and wanted to take care of me, but over the last two years I realized how much I didn’t want that. i will admit I began pushing him away at the point I realized that, but I guess I didn’t know how to reconcile our relationship into a friendship and I held on emotionally. I counted on him like one would a family member and now i see that
    was unfair on my part because he was feeling obligated to me while wanting to move on with this other woman.

    I have absolutely no idea what to do from here. I’m so confused and hurt but not surprised. I guess I made the decision back when I decided I wanted different things from life than to be taken care of by him so I can’t be mad. I love him and I feel like I pushed away my best friend.

    #97285
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Maria:

    You referred to him in the last two words as “best friend”. I think you did get confused, and maybe he did too, about the nature of your relationship: father/ daughter, lovers, no-sex-boyfriend-girlfriend, best friends…what…?

    Maybe not having any contact with him, that is ending any and all relationship with him will give you the clarity you need: you will no longer be confused by what he is to you and what you are to him.

    anita

    #97300
    Maria Mango
    Participant

    Anita,

    I think you are absolutely right, it’s probably for the best not to have contact. Some clarity will maybe help me move forward.

    Thanks,

    Maria

    #97331
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Maria:

    You are welcome and as you do move forward, please post again, anytime!

    anita

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