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after 27 years it's over?


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I am a male 60 who is going through a final end to a common law marriage. We have been living apart, and together again briefly and then apart again. I guess I did not love enough to keep it going. There were allways power struggles and we were a lot different from each other. We stayed together even there were many difficulties. We were apart again,we sold the house and went our separate ways. We tried to be friends but that was to difficult for me, hearing about her life and what she was doing, so I broke off communication and she later agreed it was for the best. I decided to find some else, and met someone online who I am to meet soon. She found out about this through her son whom I had told about this. She then started emailing me and telephone calls. I have become involved with another. She listed all my faults and my behaviour that told her I didn't love her. and then she told me she loved me. I still have feelings for her but believe that I will not change nor will she to make this old relationship workeable. I have a lot of guilt about my failure and find it hard to face this final end, and have shed many tears. I woke up early with this icy cold burning sensation in my heart feeling the finality of losing her. And there is the heart of my new girlfriend who knows about my ex contacting me and feeling scared she might lose me. Although I may even feel love for my ex, I am not going back but this also is very painfull. And I know she is hurting a lot also, her last email was so sad, describing my loss of a real true love for me. Her timing to tell me this was after months apart and when she heard I had found some else. I don't hate her even though she ran me into the ground and I don't want her to suffer. But I also feel the loss. Perhaps I should stay single. I feel a little numb.

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Twenty seven years is a long time and although your relationship was rocky, you two were still together for many many years. It is natural for you to feel sadness and pain. It sounds to me that you are not ready for a relationship. From what you wrote, it doesn't sound like you have met this new person yet, it has just been online. How long have you known her? I think it is better to end this new relationship at this point. You are not ready to get into another relationship because you are still hurting from your previous one. You are rebounding. The new person may be disappointed but in the long run it would be better for her because your feelings are still too tied up with your ex. You need to spend time alone, join groups, do things and start healing. Only once you are more or less healed will you be better able to embark on a new relationship.

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I think you need to decide what you want. And that is not always as easy as it appears.


Try to detach yourself from your emotions and let your rational part of your brain look at them dispassionately. Ask yourself some questions and from there decide what your course of actions should be. Such as:


  • Are you happier out of the relationship or are you more unhappy since you left it? And then ask yourself why you answered as you did.
  • Is the new relationship a reaction to the old one or can it stand on it's own?
  • Whom do you love the most and why?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years - and do you have a plan on how to get there?

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Thanks for helping me to see what is happening. I have been happier on my own than in the former relationship; and looking at it, it is better for my ex and myself to not be together. I feel that to restart will not work; I can't change myself to make it work. And neither should my ex compromise. This relationship with my ex was started on the rebound from previous failed marriages for us both. She was a faithfull well mannered lady but we did not have many interests in common except a few. Also I found her too powerfull for me and there were many clashes. She turned vegetarian later and could never really find suitable places to eat at. I liked motorcycles, boats and fishing, she did not. We had a hard time agreeing on basic things like color schemes. We slept in separate bedrooms for several years; I admit this was my doing. I don't blame her and will take the blame for the demise of this relationship.


When I met this next girl, I was not considering getting back with the ex and I was feeling quite stable and enjoying my summer. I have discussed everything with this new girl and we have many interests in common. I have booked a flight to go see her and hope to see if there is a real connection there. My ex was happy enough when I was single, it was this latest event that got to her. Honestly I don't know if I am ready for another full time relationship but miss having a lover and a companion. This is a very good person I have met and will hope I can assess our potential together before going to far. The hardest part will be to resist sleeping together because we are both very attracted to each other. We have spent extensive time together on yahoo messenger. It would be a better beginning if I can resist this and get to know her when we meet, and not have this further intimacy until we have our eyes open to our future. I have no doubts about the physical aspect but want to think about the future outcome and commitment involved.

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