If you look through my activity history, you may find I've struggled with overattachment, low confidence/self worth and overall unhealthy relationship habits. Since then (four years ago) I have taken an interest in psychology and self improvement. I'm still young (24f), but through therapy and further education, I've come a long way.
Now, for the content you came for:
Four years ago, I met Brad (name changed for privacy). It was an instant connection. I was able to communicate with him effortlessly. He brought me peace, comfort and security when I was with him - not to mention the chemistry between us. The 11 year age gap scared him though. He was an up and coming business owner, afraid that our small town would paint the relationship in a bad light and affect his years of hard work. Although hurt, I respected his wishes, and did my best to move on.
Since then, I have refused to enter a relationship with someone who didn't make me feel the way he did. (Spoiler alert: no one has.) So, over the last few years I've focused on myself and improving myself, both as an individual and as a mother. I feel very confident in who I am now, makes a world of a difference in choosing who is worth my time and who isn't. So, imagine my surprise when Brad messages me asking if we could meet and catch up, he wanted to apologize for how he handled things years ago and express how he's been kicking himself since.
Being who I am, I was skeptical. Part of me wanted the opportunity to put an end to the fantasy of him I had built in my head years ago, and part of me knew that when I saw him I'd be in trouble. So, when we met, I stood my ground. Even though I was just as drawn to him in that moment as I was four years ago. He makes me feel... respected, heard, understood and desired. Over these past few years, I've come to realize how rare those feelings are. The connection we have feels powerful and unreasonable. Unbreakable, however naïve and ridiculous that sounds, even to me.
But here's the kicker - he's in a relationship now, with two young children.
It's been a month, I can't get him out of my head. And I know he struggles with the same. I respect his relationship, but my feelings seem to have a mind of their own. Essentially, I've come to be involved in an emotional affair, playing the role of the "mistress". We steal moments together, just to be near one another feels good. I don't morally feel good about it, I know his girlfriend is a good person who does NOT deserve to be cheated on. No one deserves that.
He fears that if he leaves her, he'll lose time with his children. He loves them more than anything else, and I get that, of course. I'm not a monster, but I am in a conundrum. I suppose I don't necessarily need advice. I know what I SHOULD do. I know I should leave and make him figure it out himself, but that seems impossible now. Just wanted to get this mess off my chest.
Thanks for listening.