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What just happened here?
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mikeydell posted:
I am a retired male aged 59. My 4 month relationship with a 55 year old woman - who has now been divorced for 2 months after a legal separation of 2 years, ended abruptly last week. After getting 2 phone calls from her ex - one in my presence stating "he was lonely", then telling me "he said all the right things" after the second call 2 days later and asking me what to do (I told her to follow her heart and "you know how I feel about you") then meeting with him and their grown children she texted me that our relationship was over, she had to follow her heart and hoped I understood. She told me she had packed some items of mine to send me and requested her keys back ASAP.

We originally met online, talked and then met in public and discovered we liked each other and had things in common. She is a registered nurse in my state. I learned that she had tried suicide twice as a young girl - her mother was very strict with her and her sisters and she always felt unloved and unappreciated. Her dad was always working - law and politics. Her parents divorced in her teens and her dad remarried into a family of 7, she moved in with him. She has to be on medication for her depression due to the suicide attempts. Also, she recently went on anti-anxiety meds because she said she never felt so happy in her life and she felt like she was going to die. I went with her to the psychologist that day. She also suffered from bulimia at some point in her life and she suffers from SAD.

In her first year of marriage she went for counseling and was told to get out of the marriage ASAP - her husband was a narcissist and would never change. She left the marriage before do to his alcoholism but went back for the sake of her 2 daughters and she even attended Al Anon with him in hopes of fixing the marriage. When she put her foot down about his drinking he left and demanded the divorce. She discovered that he was at a recent New Years party and was drunk, she was upset and told one daughter about it; her daughter stuck up for the dad. Her close friends and some family members (her dad was one) that I met told me they do not like her ex for the way he's treated her through the years. I am probably leaving out things but that's the gist of it.

During this relationship we endured her moving out of her home of 30 years, her being without a permanent home for 6 weeks, the affects of hurricane Sandy, the death of her mother, her permanent relocation and purchases of a new car and new furniture and situational depression re all of the above. Between all of this we did make time for church, recreation and caring, loving and robust intimacy life. She was very happy I know, but I believe overwhelmed by all of the affection I gave to her.

I am concerned that she is going back to this man because of pressure from him and her 2 daughters and not love. I believe he is jealous of her happiness and is taking advantage of her being naive and insecure. She told me he was a very charming talker and very manipulative. I worry that she is making a very poor choice as she alluded that she knows she is chasing a dream and hoping for a miracle on this venture. I realize that it could be an ego thing on my part, but I truly am concerned for her and he mental well being.

Did/do I ever stand a chance with this woman? What else could I do/ have done? What could/should I expect? I told her that I am here if/when she ever needs me and that I love her. Is it love or pity on both of our parts? I was married for 30 years and I've been single for the last 6 and I have 2 children in their 30's. I've dated others and I am not desperate in that area of my life and I am not looking for completion (we had that discussion earlier in the relationship).

What now?
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mikeydell responded:
A few facts that I forgot to mention earlier: she had dated other men before we met and told one who called recently that she wasn't interested anymore. She was involved with a divorce support group before we met and she told me that there was no need for her to continue going to the meetings because she had found me. Recently an in-law visited her while I was there and told her how sloppy her new place looked (she had just moved in and there were some boxes piled neatly in the corner of her living room). Later on she told me she didn't feel sexy because of those earlier remarks. When I reassured her it wasn't true she felt better about herself.

A few days before her ex first called she had sent me several texts about the "joy she felt", how her life was changed and how blessed she felt because of me being in her life. On that call I mentioned earlier where I was present I heard her tell her ex that she was "now in a loving, caring relationship with a wonderful guy", told him to "get a girlfriend" when he told her he was lonely but later asked him "why did you leave me." She recently told me of a coworker who got remarried after a 5 year divorce from an abusive alcoholic — she was told that this man had made a 180 degree change ergo the remarriage. She asked, "isn't that wonderful" and then asked me my opinion.

In our last texts she told me she knew why I was in her life and that I would always hold a special place in her heart. It feels like a switch was thrown inside of her because of the sudden and abrupt change in her feelings toward me and her ex.

I am really looking for answers to benefit my mental health as all of this seems so surreal.

Thanks!
 
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mikeydell replied to mikeydell's response:
I got a phone call from the ex-GF recently. She told me reluctantly that she agreed to meet with her ex and when they did he apologized for everything he ever did and all the pain he caused her. She told him that if he had waited just 30 days longer then everything would've forever been different between them - she wolud've told him to get lost. She said her family and all of her friends disagree with her actions due to the man's past with her, but she said she has to give the man she was married to for 30 years one more chance. She mentioned that her kids told her to "just take it slow this time, we know how dad can get".

She told me that I set the bar really high and she will accept nothing less from her ex. She said that I will always have a special place in her heart and that it was solely her decision to end our relationship as abruptly as she did. I voiced my concerns about her going back to the man and reminded her of all the bad things she said he had done to her but both her mind and her gut were made up. She said she doesn't want me to pick up the pieces should it not work out this time as she has her support group and to get on with my life. None the less, I told her where she can find me should she ever have a change of heart.


I have found that for every door that closes a window opens and I will not be holding my breath waiting for this lady.



End of story!



Thanks for listening.

 
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displaced83 replied to mikeydell's response:
It sounds like you are in a very tough situation! For me, once I take the steps to end a relationship, there is no going back. While there may be good qualities to the person, and there may have been good times, if things got bad enough that I even considered leaving, I'm gone. I really hope that she hasn't set herself up for failure, and for missing out on what sounds like a very good and healthy relationship with you. I am glad to hear you aren't going to wait around for her. You deserve to be happy as well, and it honestly sounds like she has many unresolved issues in her life. I wish you good luck with everything!
 
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displaced83 replied to mikeydell's response:
As for 'what happened here', if I had to guess, it sounds like she didn't really know that she wanted to leave him. After being with someone for as long as she was, and having him treat her the way he did, it could be that she's come to expect this kind of treatment. He is what is familiar. You, while it seems you treated her much better than he did, are unfamiliar. With all of her emotional problems, it sounds like she needed some stability in her life, and that is what he is. It might not be good stability or the stability she deserves, but unfortunately that is for her to decide. All you can do is wish her the best, and go out and find something good for yourself!
 
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rohvannyn replied to displaced83's response:
I agree with Displaced. It also sounds to me that "the devil she knew" might have been preferable to the new and frightening world of being cared for and loved. Sometimes real kindness can feel suffocating or smothering to those who are not used to it, and it can be terrifying. I'm very glad you aren't waiting around for her.
Roh

'Your focus determines your reality.' --QGJ
 
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mikeydell replied to rohvannyn's response:
displaced83 and Rohvannyn I would like to thank you for sharing your thoughts. It's reassuring to know that there are people who feel, under the circumstances I presented, that there was nothing else that could have been done to prevent this - I also realize that this is solely my side of the story. I have heard your sentiments echoed by several other people and I've even been chastised by a few for not ending the relationship on my own and sooner.

She truly is a very caring, compassionate and lovely person; while I know it is over between us and that I will survive to love another day, I am very deeply concerned for her none the less.
Mike
 
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mikeydell replied to rohvannyn's response:
displaced83 and Rohvannyn I would like to thank you for sharing your thoughts. It's reassuring to know that there are people who feel, under the circumstances I presented, that there was nothing else that could have been done to prevent this - I also realize that this is solely my side of the story. I have heard your sentiments echoed by several other people and I've even been chastised by a few for not ending the relationship on my own and sooner.

She truly is a very caring, compassionate and lovely person; while I know it is over between us and that I will survive to love another day, I am still very deeply concerned for her none the less.

Mike
 
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mikeydell replied to mikeydell's response:
Sorry for the duplicate posts!

Mike
 
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cocom814 replied to mikeydell's response:
Mike,

I think this is a case where she underestimated how much time it takes to heal from a split. There's nothing more that you could have done, you sound like you were very supportive and caring for her but all the while she was with you, she wasn't fully healed from her past relationship.

Judging by what you you wrote in your post, do you typically attract yourself to people that have a lot of drama/baggage? I'm wondering if that is a common pattern?

If you can, try to take this experience as a learning experience of what you want and do not want in a future relationship. Try not to let this get you down but keep yourself busy doing activities you enjoy and be open to any new opportunities.
 
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mikeydell replied to cocom814's response:
The answer to your question cocom814 is an emphatic yes!

I've dated 3 women in the last year and a half. The first was a widow of 30 years who I met through a mutual friend. Bottom line, she was lonely and I was her rebound from an earlier failed relationship. She also needed a companion until she went back to work. Oh, and she was still in love with her late husband - she told me that she could never love me like she loved him. We parted ways when she went back to work.

The next one I found on a popular online dating site. We lived nearby and found that we had some friends in common. A red flag went up as soon as she told me it was a good thing I kissed her on our second date because if I hadn't there wouldn't have been a third. She also wanted as much sex as possible because she had to make up for lost time — married for 30 years to an abusive man. She had dated one other guy before me for about two years and that didn't work out. This was a mutual breakup due to our incompatibility.

This last one was from that same dating site. During our early dates she only mentioned her ex a few times. As time went on she opened up about her life in general and everything came out in the wash — it didn't matter to me as it was all under control, or so it seemed and I was hooked. So, here's a woman who runs from the arms of her Knight in Shinning Armour (her words) into those of her narcissistic, alcoholic and abusive (her words too) ex because she has to give the man she was wed to for 30 years a 3rd chance.

The moral here is that you really don't know a person until you really know that person. I could write a book!


I would make a great bartender if I could only mix drinks!

Mike
 
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An_248371 replied to mikeydell's response:
Do you ask the people you date about their previous partners? I remember when I was with my ex he talked about his ex a lot and that bothered me because I was with him and it only gave me more info about her and a greater chance for me to compare myself to that chick. If you do ask, I would strongly suggest you didn't.

How are you putting yourself out there? Do you have a good friend that could review your profile and offer suggestions on how you could improve it?

Have you heard of Events and Adventures? Does that sound like something you would be interested in trying?
 
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mikeydell replied to An_248371's response:
An_248371 when I am on a date and we're just talking I will listen and pay attention to what she has to say — I believe that's important at any stage of a relationship. Talking about one's ex never makes me feel intimidated, threatened or uncomfortable because I am secure in who I am and besides, everyone has some baggage. However, if that ex is a gun collector/owner, mobster, LEO, military or ex military, etc., I need to know all about it! If the talk becomes excessive, or gets out of hand then I will bring it to her attention and discuss whether or not she's really ready for dating. By the way, I do not and never will date a married woman. Period! Amen! So, knowing and learning certain things about a person early on are very important and that cuts both ways.

I don't like to delve into anyone's past. Usually when we've been going out for a while and we're comfortable with each other we open up about our lives and mention things without having to be prodded. That was the case with my last relationship, the only problem was that she wasn't totally honest with herself or me about her feelings for the ex. Does she really love the guy, or does she just need him to stay connected to her past? That's the $64,000 question! Towards the end of our relationship she started to exhibit red flags and looking back now without my rose colored glasses on I can see them vividly. As beautiful of a person as she is, she has a lot of unresolved issues. It's sad to say, but both of them do!

As far as my profile goes I took it down as I am no longer on that site — I felt there wasn't a need for it anymore when I met her. When it was up I was contacted by several women that said they liked what they read and how it was written.


I intend to take it easy with dating for a while. I must reassess my needs and my wants and adjust my life accordingly. Over the last 18 months I've learned a lot about myself with the gist of it coming in these last 4 months alone. I feel as if I had lived a lifetime with that woman, especially with all that we braved and experienced together.


Thanks for your reply.

Mike
 
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dfromspencer replied to mikeydell's response:
I am so happy to hear that you are so happy! Yes, sometimes its best we just move on. This is all her loss, as far as i can tell from the story. And what a story! You could right a book, if you wanted to!!! Yes, thats a hint! LOL!!!

Good luck, in whatever you do!!!

Dennis
LIVE LONG, LOVE WELL!!!
 
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cocom814 replied to mikeydell's response:
I must say you have a good sense of humor and that is a major plus on your side. You seem to have a good positive attitude about this especially for learning from this and adjusting accordingly. Good for you and keep it up.


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