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Dr. Michael
Dr. Michael, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2177
Experience:  Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
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Was in a 10 year relationship with a co worker, she was married,

Customer Question

Was in a 10 year relationship with a co worker, she was married, it seemed like she was pulling away these past few months. Come to find out she had contacted a former lover from her past. Her husband found out and kicked her out. She has not even talk to me once she said it would drive the guy she with crazy. I still have feelings and am so depressed, can`t sleep How do I waked up.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Karyn Jones replied 4 years ago.
Hello, I believe I can help you with this...but first I want to say how much I feel for you in this by way of the feelings you are left with to try and deal with whats happened after this10 year relationship.
It sounds to me as though the woman involved is carrying a lot of emotional baggage from one relationship to another at the expense of not only her former lover but in particular you...The sad thing about her dissolving the relationship you had, is the very fact that she did not talk to you about her feelings and what was going on for her..this is no easy thing to accept by all means, particularly if she is now considering the affect it will have upon her present lover/relationship...and not the affect its having on you.

I would like to invite you to reflect a bit more on your own feelings for a moment :the grief hurt /disappointment/ anger/ bewilderment and many more..that will be associated with your depression through the loss of your relationship.
If you evaluate further your feelings and the thoughts that you might have with great honesty, what are they based on (1) the issue of her not telling you (2) her going back to her former lover or (3) or thinking that you weren't good enough for her/ ?
This might tell you more whats really going on for you inside ..so that you can pinpoint it and deal with the outcome better emotionally.

You also need a chance to then 'express' to her exactly how you feel about things..) if you can't do this with her..then wring them out in the form of a letter can be very freeing and therapeutic ..for you...but you will need to get them out in the open..
you might even wish to actually send the letter to her so that she knows of the hurt that she has caused you.If you decide not to send it but burn it then that's ok to ..the release will still be very freeing for you.
There is no easy solution to what you are feeling at the moment accept to experience what you are going through..& accept your feelings ( because they are all very real) work through them and' with' them ) this takes time.. if you shut them down they will continue to resurface and prevent future healing until you accept them and whats happened ..
You might well need to see a very empathetic/understanding therapist/counsellor in your local area just to talk about it and perhaps seek medication with regards XXXXX XXXXX depression just to help you up and over this very difficult time.
I hope that my response has been helpful to you..please accept it if you have no further queries.
My thoughts are with you in this.
blessings
Karen
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

What she did can`t be understood, by me. So you think I am in need of anti depresents. I can`t understand how see sent an email that the former boyfriend would be pist. He is going through a devorice himself.

Expert:  Karyn Jones replied 4 years ago.
thanks for your reply...to be honest I don't think she understands herself either, so can totally understand why you don't know her understand reasons for doing what she has done and not telling you. You do deserve much more than an email from her.
Her reasons for sending an email and handling it this way may be varied .perhaps she just.doesn't have the courage to face you,or it would expose her own underlying issues/problems ( which she is obviously not ready to do) and or now has another distraction from her issues in her life (her former lover)

It also sounds to me though, that she has been game playing with your feelings and those prior in her life and then opts out altogether..and it seems that she also has a long term problem with commitment...that is to her previous marriage partner..to you and with her former lover ( who as you say is going through a divorce himself and so will also be facing his own emotional dilemmas)..there is definely a pattern of consistency with regards XXXXX XXXXX of her relationships and what seems to be a compulsive need for 'being in relationship' even if they failed before ( previous lover) and its to do with her own personal baggage..and it 'will' unfortunately happen many times until she faces the undealt with issues in her life.

It seems also that she has chosen not to talk to you of her reasons for splinting up, and so the only other option you have is to work with the feelings/ try to understand them and any thoughts that come with them ..by way of letting it all out in a constructive way with yourself ( writing a letter)..or talking them through with a therapist if you choose to do this ..someone who is outside of any emotional entanglement. Presently though, you are going through a natural process of denial ...and so this ls a very turbulent & difficult time for you
If you aren't sleeping well and your depression continues as you work
through this very stressful time,..hopefully opting for professional assisstancel taking ant-depressants is another option (short term)..to assist in your healing process.
I hope this has helped clarity the issues more & the choices involved.
Best wishes
Karen

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Karen, I understand but her needing money, and living with him and his sister is the strange part. How can she accept money but not be able to comunicate. Her husband has cut her off from all accounts. And she fled after he saw all the out of state calls. I had been rude to her for a while because she seemed like she was pushing me away. I am torn because she could be stuck with no way out. Am i just plan stupid. I think I am supposed to help so things get better and she can put things back together or I should distance myself and try to forget.
Expert:  Karyn Jones replied 4 years ago.
I truly feel for you in this situation...no you aren't stupid..what I do believe though is that she is accountable/responsible for her own actions and it sounds like you have often stepped in to rescue her in in the past..she will not be made to feel accountable/not grow if you help her and so she will continue down this self destructive road..the only way she will free herself from this is by her knowing that you won't be bailing her out.
Relationship is about two people coming together in a way that is whole/and each person being 'complete' in themselves ... thus ones relationship embraces this ..by way of mutual respect/love/ and a healthy support for each other allowing for each other to grow..this is not happening in this one...
Distance yourself from it or you will go down with the sinking ship..and save yourself from any further heartache .. try to forget ..the pain does subside and there is hope and new life at the other end.
Expert:  Karyn Jones replied 4 years ago.
This will give you an idea of whats happening in your relationship before you choose what to do... Resuer-victim-persecutor- its called ' A Drama Triangle ' and you have been in all 3 positions in this relationship ...until in you end you feel discounted this is the 'pay off'..the only way out of it is by stepping off it and not playing the game..
hard but its the only way ...
I hope this clarifies your position further..
blessings
Karen
Expert:  Karyn Jones replied 4 years ago.
Hello, just to follow up in the I hope my response..had given you more insight into your relationship..please don't hesitate to reply..if you are satisfied with it please don't forget to accept it..and my thoughts are with you through this difficult time.
blessings
Karen
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Still,doesn`t make any sense that someone can be so callis with another person, why can`t I just move on, who in the hell does she think she is ? I want to look her in the face and tell her that my head is so screwed up and thanks for this. I am feeling to much like I lost a support system.
Expert:  Karyn Jones replied 4 years ago.
Is there another support person( s) that you can work with..someone that you aren't emotionally involved with ?
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 4 years ago.
Hello. I believe I can be of help to you with this issue.

I have a few hypotheses I'd like to check out with you about this and actually, they are things I'd like you to comment on, much as you would a question.

First, you are obviously perplexed by her behavior toward you at this time. You realized at some point that she seemed to be "pulling away" from you and you reacted with anger and hurt feelings at some point; but then you discovered that she wasn't merely 'pulling away', she was transferring her affections to an old boyfriend. So, you've discovered that you've experienced a relationship in which your lover initially strayed from her husband to be with you, and now has likely elected to stray from you to be with yet a 3rd guy (former boyfriend) (?) Am I interpreting all of this correctly?

She is now living with the former boyfriend and his sister, having been kicked out by her husband, is that correct (?). And, if he is providing her with 'room and board', with other amenities, would it not seem rational to you that she would not want to risk losing her current 'safety net' situation by upsetting this guy in the event he discovered that she was two-timing him (you) AND was still married to her actual husband. If you were the boyfriend and you found out there was was yet a third guy in her life, wouldn't you be tempted to kick her out (as her husband did). So, if these facts are accurate, the botXXXXX XXXXXne is that logically, you are liability to her right now. She wants to have nothing to do with you because your existence could disrupt what she has going right now.

I want to pause here before I make any further assumptions about any situational facts. I hope you will respond to what I've written point by point, as accurately as you can.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
You are 100% on track please finish you thoughts
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 4 years ago.
It has been awhile since I first reviewed your situation. My main thought was that, no matter what she expressed to you in terms of love, caring, etc., this woman probably has some significant personality disorder characteristics that would make it difficult or impossible for you (or anyone) to sustain a high quality, long-term relationship. She has a pretty strong track record of moving from partner to partner, extracting caring, affection and physical resources, and then moving on. It isn't clear why she moves on; it could be she becomes bored, or she perceives someone else has something more to offer her in the moment. I get the impression of someone who is fairly impulsive and has some narcissistic personality traits.

Though you are surprised, perplexed, disappointed, and perhaps, even a bit angry at her, the cold, hard fact is that you are a liability to her right now. Her immediate interests for self-comfort are actually best met through staying with her ex boyfriend for the time being If her ex-boyfriend had any notion that she was involved with you at this particular time, he might well send her packing. Since she knows she has a pretty "sweet deal" right now---free place to stay, someone pampering her, probably happy to have her back, why would she "rock the boat" by having any involvement with you?

Now, if something happens to the sweet deal she has right now, living with her ex-boyfriend e.g., they have a big fight and he kicks her out, you would then be the logical person to turn to because she would suspect she could then apologize to you, and sweet talk you into supporting her emotionally and perhaps, even physically (e.g., can I stay with you for awhile because I have no place to live---my husband still doesn't want me back). So, unfortunately, I would strongly suspect that this woman has had, and will continue to have, unstable relationships with men and it was merely "your turn" recently.

Let me obtain your reaction to what I've written. What does it mean to you?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Your right, but the main problem is 10 plus years with someone in you life its not easy. She has children and thats the problem to how cold can she be. I can`t believe she is that cold. How in the world do I even care, it all doesnt make sense. I wish I could kill that part of my life so it wouldn`t matter. She took he facebook page down because of him what a wierd situation.
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 4 years ago.
Unfortunately, you invested 10 years in a relationship that could never be monogamous and solely YOURS. You acted as if, and treated her as if, you had a monogamous relationship. But the reality was she wasn't living a committed, monogamous relationship with you in return. She actually was living a polygamous relationship with you for 10 years.

I'm curious to hear what you fantasied your relationship with this woman would have been like in say, another 5 or 10 years. Would you have been perfectly content being exclusively dedicated to her, while she was living parallel lives (her husband and kids, and then you)? I suspect that at some point you would have wanted a relationship that was exclusive and monogamous----both ways; someone you perhaps would have had kids of your own with? Were you fantasizing that she would eventually end up in an exclusive relationship with you?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I didn`t want to see her children be broken up they are now 18 and 21, we talked at night due to her husband working the late shift. I was happy with that because my wife and I were breaking up and she became close. Hard to have support from someone and then find out she was nothing you thought. I wasn`t ready to take on two familes so now its perfect but she choose to lie about going on a trip with her girlfriend, and went to meet up with him. I feel bad for her husband, and kids but i also feel like a dumb ass. Love is so strange.
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 4 years ago.
One of the serious limitations of having an affair with someone who is married is that you really only get to see part of their personality and how they actually run their personal life. Even though you talked to her and saw her intimately, you really never experienced first hand what she is like, day in and day out e.g., coping with parenting, conflicts one has with a partner, etc. What you saw was part of her life----literally, a filtered view of her---though your relationship-as-refuge from her literal daily life. You may not see it this way, but if you stop and think about it, the two of you never really had to confront all of the day-to-day problems normal couples have, in real time. You experienced her personal world second hand to some extent, through her verbal reports and maybe to some degree what you experienced with her at work. So, don't be too hard on yourself for being foolish, because your experience with her was similar to that of seeing her through a telescope, when normally, an open-above-board relationship that doesn't need to be hidden gets viewed with binoculars.

So, I think you can genuinely and sincerely XXXXX XXXXX over and over that you didn't really know this woman---you couldn't have really known this woman because you never experienced a truly normal relationship with her i.e., sharing first hand all of the demands of real time positive and negative life events. You sort of saw her world the way she wanted you to see it because it was just about entirely based on what she told you about it.

It is hard for me to know what to tell you about how to cope with your disappointment. Ten years is a very large chunk of your life. Certainly, you dare not ever again agree to have a relationship in which you learn about a person in such a "filtered" manner. You deserve a totally first-hand, real relationship in which you live and share problems and joys in real time, in the actual situations in which they occur. I wish you the very best.



I hope this information is helpful to you.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Well its been several week and she left a message through her friend that I shouldn`t contact her and her relationship with him means everthing to her. So i have stopped trying to understand her . Why are people so dishonest it makes no sense.
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 4 years ago.
I'm sorry that you are experiencing such a disappointing turn in your life. What just happened to you gets repeated thousands of times each day i.e., a woman or man maintains a relationship in addition to their spouse for months or years. Then, when 'push comes to shove' so to speak, they almost invariablly return to their marriage and break of the accessory relationship.

I wonder if your lover was so much being dishonest with you as agreeing to live out an unrealistic relationship which wasn't monogamous. This, I'm sure is what you probably held out hope for in the back of your mind is it not? My view of it is that she was about as dishonest with herself as she was dishonest with you. Where are you at emotionally right now?
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 4 years ago.
My roster of customers shows that the question you wrote is timed out. However, let me know if you are still interested in a dialog about this. Just respond to this particular post.

If you have no more questions, please hit the Accept button as this is the only way I receive credit for this question
Dr. Michael, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2177
Experience: Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
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