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Dr. Becker-Phelps...can you offer any insight?
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ChiRunnerGirl posted:
I have written here a couple of times. looking for some advice/insight. I was dating a man for 5 months. We got along great on all levels. He was divorced for the past 4 years. Prior to that he was in a marriage for at least 10 years, maybe longer, where a year or so into it, his wife did not have sex or any time of intimacy with him. Hey stayed in the marriage and helped raise her two grandchildren (they are now high school/college age). As he tells it. They led separate personal lives yet continued to act as a family where the children were concerned. I asked him if they acted as if they were happy and their marriage was normal to outside friends and family. He said no. Over the years he wanted to work on the relationship, she did not. He was faithful and did not cheat on her. She had a history , before marrying him, of having affairs with married men and she had abusive relationships in her past.She now tells him she was never unfaithful to him. Yet during the marriage she would tell him that if she was seeing someone...he would never know it.
Flash forward 15 years. He met me. This is the first time in all of these years he met someone he was serious about. He was taking steps to tell her that he was not going to be around as much anymore...as he has been for the children who are now getting older. She tells him that she wants him back. The fact that he is with someone else is the catalyst for that. She has made a mistake these past 15 years and wants him back. She has had a chemical imbalance that she feels is under control. And she will do anything to get him back. He went back to her. He said he doesn't know if he likes her as a person. He doesn't now if he can feel passionate or close or trusting of her since they had none of that for the past 15 years or so. He remembers many years ago when they were much younger and first dating that they had a good time. He told her that he loved me...that I was someone important to him. But he feels he needs to try things again with her.
I know that I need to just let him go...which I have...yet I am still dealing with it emotionally. I have no contact with him. But, I wonder if it can even be successful...even with counseling . They have a long history, they have the grandchildren who are not almost adults, they have business interests together. yet they have not been intimate for over 12 plus years. Not even had a pleasant, friendly relationship. Yet he seems to think that she can change...and be the person she was 15 or 20 years ago. That is what she told him.That she is the same person that she was.
I care very deeply about him. And I know this is something that he has to do. But I wonder, is it even possible for that situation to work. He spend his early 40's early 50.s not having any intimacy. Now he is almost 60...and I wonder if he will spend the last years of his life in counseling trying to make something work.
He said that he loved everything about what he and I had...yet he wondering if his long bad history with her was worth more than the short time he and I had known each other.
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Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD responded:
From what you share here, I can tell that this must be extremely emotional for you. I think that the greatest insight I have for you is one that you already have. He is now committing himself to try to make his marriage work. People in positions like yours generally do best when they let the other person go and let themselves move on, too. There is generally a period of mourning -- including denial, sadness, anger, etc. But people who take the steps to help themselves through this in a healthy way do things like work to reconnect with themselves, re-prioritize their lives, find meaning in other relationships and activities. It could be that he can't make his marriage work and will eventually come looking for you - but are you willing to take the risk of waiting for this to find that it won't happen? If it does happen and you have worked to move on, you can always decide at that point whether you still want to be with him.

I also suggest that you repost this as a general question for others to respond to. There are many people in this community who have wonderful insights and relevant experiences that I think they would be willing to share.
 
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ChiRunnerGirl replied to Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD's response:
Thank you for your response Dr. You are right. It is very emotional for me, I am grieving. But I am trying to move on. I am not waiting for him to come back and I am conscious of the fact that I have to really mean that and not just tell myself that. It is just a very difficult situation. I have been thinking of getting counseling myself. Can you suggest a specific type of therapist that I may want to seek out?
Thank you again.
 
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fcl replied to priyanka741's response:
I think you'd have to be a special kind of desperate if you thought an astrologer could solve your problem.

Save your money and invest it in couples counselling instead.
There's nothing inherently dirty about sex, but if you try real hard and use your imagination you can overcome that.


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