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Cathy, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1436
Experience:  Ms, MS.Ed., thirty years clinical practice
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I had been with my boyfriend for 8 years (this had started

Customer Question

I had been with my boyfriend for 8 years (this had started while i was still married but living with my husband as a friend for our daughters sake) I had always told my boyfriend i would leave home and move in with him when my daughter was 16. 2 months before she turned 16 he broke up with me as he said he no longer felt the same. Over time however he has told me that it was to do with the fact he wanted a normal relationship and couldn't cope with the pain anymore. he says he still loves me. Since the break up 6 months ago he has called me everyday and texted(often several times) we go to the pictures, still go to parties together etc. we had not had a physical relationship at all for 6 months until 2 weeks ago. After we had sex he wanted to cuddle and spend all day on the sofa etc. I am not sure how best to progress as I very much want to be with him. When talking the other day about things he said we should just not over think things. when i talked to him about wanting to re marry and have a baby he said well the first thing you need to do is get an actual divorce. I am not sure if that was a hint or him telling me not to make the same mistake with someone else. I am very unhappy and really need some advice. We never argue, we are best friends, we have the same aspirations, we laugh together, are very sexually attracted to each other.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Cathy replied 4 years ago.

Hi Tilly and thanks for writing to JA


I am sorry to hear about your situation. That said, I have seen the same exact scenario many times over. As soon as the time approached when you were willing to make a significant change in your status as goes your relationship with your lover, he got cold feet and backed off your agreement. This is quite common indeed especially in long term arrangements such as yours.


You see in some ways your lover has had the best of both worlds. You were there for him for the "fun" parts of an intimate relationship and yet not the "messy" parts that we all commit to when we engage in a more committed relationship. Were this dynamic to change there would be more demands on him to engage with you in matters that are not as easy and enjoyable as that you have shared over the past eight years.


Without knowing you both and knowing much more detail about you, your marriage and your lover and his life it would be impossible for any of us here to advise you in any appropriate way. Since you are considering making such a drastic change in your life have you considered seeing a therapist for some brief treatment to help on this?

Let me know what you think and how I can best help you further on this?

Warm regards


Customer: replied 4 years ago.
The problem in our case seems to have been the opposite, he has always begged me to leave and if anything it was me who was getting the best of both worlds. He wants children etc and said he just couldn't take the pain anymore. He said he felt like the dirty little secret and i was never going to leave my husband
(I was but only in the time scale i had given). We broke up just before his brothers wedding which was abroad and clashed with my daughters birthday so I wouldn't go with him. As I said we have seen each other almost every weekend and spoken everyday since and sex was not part of that, when that finally happened it was me who pushed for it.
Expert:  Cathy replied 4 years ago.

You know I can only tell you what I have learned from over thirty years experience in this type of situation.


Certainly since I do not know you or him I cannot say for sure that what you are reporting is not what happened at least on the face of things, but I am not convinced of what you are saying. Yes I am sure it does seem as if it were he who had the best of both worlds and that he begged you to leave your husband, but then again, he left before the deadline.


I am pretty sure that in many situations in life things are not as they seem. I think he is telling you that he left because he could not take the pain anymore. However, this does not, as an impartial observer ring true for me. I think he is telling you this to make you feel bad. That said, I would be hard pressed, were I he, to understand why your daughter's birthday could not have been celebrated at another time so you could have attended the wedding with him?


You see if you were not able to rearrange the celebration for your daughters birthday to accompany him on a very important family function then he might very well have decided enough is enough.


I think there is more to this situation and I am not sure it can fully be explored in a forum like JustAnswer, but I would more likely lean to 1: He was not as invested as he "seemed" to be or 2: He took your unwillingness to accommodate his plans for his brothers wedding as the last straw. He might have thought that if you were unwilling to make a simple schedule change for him your future together was not as bright as he had previously thought.


Now whatever the reason the outcome is as it is, I do know one thing for certain. That is that people do exactly what they wish to do no matter what they might say otherwise. Often times people do not mean what they say and rarely do they say what they mean.


I caution you that this sounds like a very unstable situation, no matter how compatible you might be and that once free of your marriage you are very likely to find a very different dynamic operating than you have for all the years you were involved with him outside of your marriage. Be careful on this.

Warm wishes and best regards XXXXX XXXXX I hope it all works out.


Edited by Cathy on 12/3/2010 at 11:49 AM EST

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