I am in my fifties and was in a relationship for five years with a woman that was a narcissist. During that period, she broke up with me about twenty times and treated me horribly, but I kept letting her come back. Finally, I was able to end the relationship, and several months later met a woman whom I fell in love with.
Three months into that new relationship, my former partner begged me to see a counselor with her to resolve our issues. I was very conflicted at the time - and still loved the former partner as well - even though I knew she was bad for me. I felt however, that because this other relationship was new, I owed my former partner the chance to see if we could work things out. We did
go to a counselor twice, and as I predicted, it was useless, since my former partner was not willing to examine her problems. At that point, I was unwilling to continue any counseling.
In the meantime, my relationship with the new woman - who was in love with me - continued. I did not want to destroy the new relationship by taking a break, though I still felt a lot of guilt over the breakup after five years. While the new woman was out of town, unplanned, the former partner called in asked to have a friendly drink. I turned her down three times, she was very persistent (just meet as friends, I am dating other guys) and I finally agreed to meet. I had no intention of going back to her. However, she tried to seduce me when I took her home. I left - with nothing happening.
Later, my new girlfriend learned about the meeting, read emails the I had sent to the former partner (she used my code to get into the phone) ... In those emails I had told the former partner that I loved her, and that I missed her. I just felt so guilty about hurting her. The emails were surreal, in the sense that they expressed my pain over the loss of the relationship (e.g., I am in X today and was just thinking of you because we had gone there togehter). But, while the emotions were still there, I knew it was over for me at least. However, I never called my former partner or ever attempted to meet with her at any time while I was with my new girlfriend. I turned her down on every occasion in which she contacted me - but that one.
Over 18 months, the total time I spent with the former partner was around four hours, and no sex was involved. Nevertheless, my new girlfriend broke up with me and we did not communicate for two months other than my repeated attempts to contact her by email and apologize. I also spent a lot of time in counseling trying to figure out what happened that allowed me to be sucked into the narcissitic relationship.
My new girlfriend and I have gottent back together, but she cannot seem to get over the "infedility". I have not seen or heard from the former partner in 9 months, and I assumed she has moved on. I really love this new girlfriend and have made it clear that I would like to spend my life with her (I have been divorced once). It has now been over a year since we met. However, she cannot get over the betrayal. I have apologized profusly, and made it abundently clear that I just was having trouble ending the former relationship - there was no intention of meeting with the former partner or getting back. I rejected every attempt from her other than the one I mentioned. However, my new girlfriend cannot get over the pain of having read those emails.
Now, she has decided that she can never get over the breach of trust. I have offered to go to counseling... I have made it very clear that I love her a great deal. Nevertheless, she wants to consistently is negative about the relationship - even though we have a lot of fun together. We have had some miscommunications which led to us/me being angry over small matters, and not talking for a short period. I have offered to change, and get a lot of communications coaching to address any concerns. I think my reaction stems from the experience with my former partner who routinely ordered me out of the house ove inconsequential matters, and would lead to us not talking for a period of time - until she came back to me.
I feel that I was very assuring with the new girlfriend - and wanted her to know my level of committment. But, i am not sure what to do now. I keep telling her that I really did make a choice to be with her, that I could have gone back to the former partner, but always chose her. There is no sexual infedility, the only problems resulted from my guilt over ending the former relationship. Otherwise, I am very loyal.
Is it over - what is the answer? In my view, relationships like she and I have are hard to find - and I would never have offered to marry her if I was not committed. But, we can't seem to get past the events of November. My own psychiatrist said it was not a good idea to discuss it since it revisted the pain - but we spent six hours on the phone last night.