Dear Dr. Love,I have been reading your advice for some time now and would like your feedback on my situation.I was married for 11 years to a very successful man who was a workaholic. He also was very controlling, emotionally distant and quite a bit older than me. What seemed exciting at first, the posh parties, traveling the world was great but unrealisitic once we had children. Though I still attended many things with my husband it was never enough and in time, he was rarely home except for weekends. We went for counseling and I realized in time that I never really loved him but loved the lifestyle.Because I began to build an independent life without him (since he was rarely around) I began an intense affair with a handsome, intelligent man that I had befriended. He also was married. We have been on-again, off-again lovers for the past year and a half. My problem is that after we are close (emotionally or physically intimate) he withdraws from me for extended periods of time. He will call to talk to me weekly, and will always mention getting together, but half of the time we don’t get together because he backs out only to call me again and ask if he can see me. Though the sex is very good, many of our times together have been non-sexual.Though I am separated from my husband, (I did not separate because of the lover) I am not ready for a committed relationship with anyone at this point. Yet, I love this man and value our together times. I am not sure why he withdraws so frequently. He has told me he feels terribly guilted, is torn but wants to be with me. Any suggestions?Confused and hurt
You really were seduced and then abandoned. I have no doubt that this man conveyed all kinds of good intentions to you and I am sure he gave you good reason to assume that he wanted to try again. His started up with someone else must have been such a terrible blow for you. I am sorry that you are suffering.I can’t begin to guess what went on in this man’s head. He certainly did treat you like an object that he used and discarded. We can’t ever know what his problem is, but we can use this experience to help you learn something about yourself and–hopefully–protect you in the future.The first thing you need to learn from this situation is that you can’t assume anything. Everything needs to be put into words. If you had asked him before you spent the week together if he was planning to resume your relationship or only interested in a week of fun, you could have made an informed decision.I sense that your wishes get in the way of your reason. You very much wanted this man and I think that you threw caution to the wind. In the future, you will need to be mindful of your tendency to put blinders on and avoid gathering facts that might dash your deepest wishes.