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1 year after I had affair, she left me for her boss. Help!


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Hi all. I could really use some good advice.


I am a 32 year old male and have been in a relationship for a year and a half with a woman aged 28 (29 next month) which is very important to me. After having several girlfriends and even a wife (no kids) I can say this is the first time I found someone I really love, I completely trust and admire her, I would like to marry her and have kids.


But things have been difficult for us. I came into the relationship being afraid of commitment, afraid of getting into a relationship and suffering it's end. I guess this probably comes from my family history, my parents both divorced and remarried several times. We have both witnessed our parents having a bad time with their relationships, so we seem to be always looking for the perfect person.


Last year, at this same time of year, we were somewhat distanced and depressed and I got very insecure and cheated on her with an ex girlfriend and coworker. My main reason for being insecure had to do with her being a very independent, dominating woman, who did not seem to need me at all and she was planning on travelling to another country and did not seem to care she would be leaving me behind. She found out about the affair, not from me but from this girl who one day just knocked the door to my apartment and told her the whole story. It was awful, we broke up for a month and I undertook therapy, which was a great thing to do for me. She was and continues to be in therapy.


When we got back together, we started having a very dependant relationship, and it seems we not able to totally rebuild trust. In the last few months we traveled and practically lived together and had nice times but we also got into criticism wars often and we could stubbornly disagree and get angry about the most stupid things. I tried really hard to please her, maybe too hard, I think. I dedicated so much energy to our relationship, that I neglected my job and got laid off, not that I cared to much, she had even asked me to quit and I was ready to do it. I left the city to come live near her and actually lived at her place in a practical sense. She had difficulty trusting me and I was often afraid she would leave me, I felt as if she was always keeping me on the edge, to see if I was perfect enough, loving enough, secure enough, etc. Of course that did not help me feel more secure.


In the last month she found a job and I criticized her for not committing more to our relationship and spending too much time working. She was always talking about how cool the job was and how she enjoyed working with her boss. She worked many many hours (more than 10 a day sometimes) and was really very tired, and she neglected stuff that I know is dear to her. This guy seemed to value her professionally and offered her lots of money not too leave.


Because of her job and my activities, we were not seeing each other much. In a way the situation was similar to when I cheated on her exactly 1 year ago. I think perhaps she unconsciously (or consciously) feared I will cheat on her again.


Three week ago she broke up with me, at first she said there was nobody else but a few days later she admitted that she had strong feelings for her boss. Just a week after breaking up with me, they were already spending nights together and petting at her apartment. I was devastated.


I am currently unemployed and living at my mother's and this guy is older and very successful. Sometimes me and her had a hard time getting along lately but whenever we would try to take time to breathe or even break up we ended getting back together again like nothing had happened, but there was nobody else. Now it is different. She seems really into this guy, she says she doesn't miss me much and I feel that something is very wrong. She has not been able to tell me what it is that she needs so much and that I cannot provide.


The guy has been divorced for a year and has two daughters which her cares very much about, he is a great dad and that I guess is very important to her. He is a safe bet where I am not, and she may be feeling that it is time to make a decision for the sake of convention, having kids and all that stuff.


Last week she came to my place, brought most of my stuff. We both cried a little and hugged and I kissed her on the forehead. She was not defensive and I was not manipulative. She tried to explain to me that she loves me but is not in love, and that she doesn't know what will happen with the other guy but wants to give it a try, that she cannot explain what it is that she needs in him, but the fact that he has two daughters and they are important to him is something she admires. She says she feels his being a generous guy makes her want to be generous too. She mentioned the fact that the daughters would always be number 1 and she could only be number 2, and this is not easy for her. She asked why I had not put away the photo of her that I keep next to my bed, I answered that I just did not want to do that yet. For some reason that made her cry. I gave her the poem and the picture and told her she could count on me if she needed me.


I really love her and miss her very much. I think she is making a big mistake. I believe she is in a very vulnerable moment and her boss might be using her. I could really use some advice. I have this wild hope that it is about getting even and that she will come back to me in a while, when the initial thrill wears off and she starts missing me. I feel that my life is empty without her in it.


I think if I can get my act together, get a job, an apartment somewhere and... well have my place in the world, and assuming that things with the OM run down... then we have a chance. I guess they must run down because she loved me and I was important to her and this guy is not much like me at all. So, my hope is that the moment will come when I can pop into the scene and re-present my self, so to say.


A few questions:


(1) how can I build and express to her a basis for commitment in my current state? We have no joint family to which I can commit.


(2) what about honesty and openness, how can I fulfil or even attempt to express my capacity for being truthful now that we are not together?


Also, I would like you to share any thoughts on this thing about being number 2 respect to the OM daughter's. If she feels that it can be a problem but at the same time admires him for it, how can I translate that into a need I can fulfill? She already knows that I love her very much and that to me she is totally number 1, but that is not enough. What she admires is that OM can have number two and at the same time commit to number 1. Does this sound a little complicated?


I miss her so much... and I cannot express all this to her because she will just feel suffocated. I know I did well today taking it easy with her but I would so much like to call her and tell her I miss her unbearably, I need her conversation, her affection, I need to have sex with her and I need us to cook together and fall asleep watching a good movie on TV. I am so sad! Please forgive me if I bore with all this...


A few hours after she came last week I called her and said it had been great to see her, and that I would like to meet her later in the day before she leaves town tonight. She said she could not. I feel so stupid! Why can I not just let her be... I keep fantasizing that she will want me back... that she just does not have the nerve to say breaking up was a mistake... I just cannot believe she is actually petting with somebody else and that's enough to replace me.


A friend who lived a similar experience asked why can I not just let go, this friend recalls feeling hurt and missing the person who left but also feeling relief, because the relationship had been so bad anyway. The thing is, I did not feel any relief at all, I have this gut feeling that she still loves me and that we will get back together somehow. Yesterday she made it clear that she will continue to date her boss but she also said that separating from me has been "hard" on her. So this feeds my hope and makes it harder for me to let go.


Next week she will be moving to the city (she is spending the whole week there anyway) and will rent an apartment for herself. She is not living with her boss (although she spends almost all day with him since they work together, and the office is connected to his house), she is living at a friend's.


An important lesson for me has been to realize I criticized her and asked her to change for my needs, but I did not ask myself or her what I could do to make things better for her and us. Another lesson is that I should have been more present, gone to her new office and met her boss... of course she never asked me to go. Also, I did too much and did not ask her for more, she took it all for granted, I cooked for her, bought all the food even though I was running out of money, went shopping for bras (a big issue for her), followed her to Europe, wrote her a song, and I never asked her for little everyday kind of things. I asked her to 'commit', but I did not even tell her what I meant by that.


I think after the affair, therapy and growth, I actually learned to commit, and committed more than I ever had before in my life. However, she did not. She did stay with me for a long time and did her best, but fear overcame love. I believe she is still searching for Mr. Perfect and has found someone who values her professionally, sexually and personally, is a great boss, a successful, trustable authority, almost like the father she never had, idealization at work. The current situation is comfortable for her, a sort of oasis from our relationship. Right now *she* does not have to make any commitment, he is the boss, he is an "in control" guy, he takes care of everything and she can just work and have some company if she needs it...


Idealization usually wears out, I know from experience. So while it follows it's course, I will set my life on a better course and if she comes back it's be great, and if she doesn't it's ok too. This I can think, but I still mourn for her, miss her, feel desperate and angry that somebody else is with her... I guess feeling takes a little more time than thinking...


I need to have a plan. More questions come to mind:


(1) how long will it take for the relationship with the new person to run down it's initial thrill?


(2) after breaking up, when is contact good and when was it not good? what kind of contact?


(3) is it good/bad idea to call or mail saying that I still love her, that I need her, that I cannot believe that she doesn't miss me, that she can come back whenever she wants etc.?


Not that I believe too much in it, but a few days ago I had a lady read tarot cards for me and she says my girlfriend will be back. Great news! I'll concentrate on my plan though. Whatever the cards say, if she comes back and finds me still unemployed and living at my mother's she won't go the extra mile to rebuild our relationship.


I feel I have to show my commitment, I have to be there for her. I have half a mind to call her next week and ask if she wants me to help her put her stuff in boxes and things like that... I am sure the OM will probably not be able to help her because he spends most of the weekends with his daughters. Of course, he will be there all week to help her settle in to her new apartment.


This is the last weekend that my SO will be spending at the apartment we shared. I feel so sad! It is like this weekend is in someway a point of no return, the things we shared, the places where we sat, the windows and doors, the mornings and evening and nights together, all the traces will be gone. I feel so bad not being able to do a thing, not even knowing if she is respecting "us" this last weekend, for all I know she could be spending her time with her boss under the sheets I washed, eating the food I bought, using my hoover to clean the carpet. I was so high on hope this afternoon and tonight I feel so sad, so hurt. If anybody is reading this, please pray for us.


Well, Thank You very much for your time and please excuse me for this long post. Some advice it would be very very cool.






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Today the strangest thing has happened. I passed by the apartment we shared (which she has not left yet) and was about to ring the bell when she stepped out. She even smiled when she saw me. Well, I spoke with her for a few minutes, and I realized how much I care for her, how much I miss her, but also how much I don't really want her back immediately. I mean, sure I love her, but she is so 'lost'. She says she does miss "things" but that she does not miss *me*. When I mentioned today the fact that I was worried because she was dating her boss she laughed hysterically and said "he isn't my boss anymore", because she now has a new supervisor, but the 'boss' is still the guy who owns the whole thing so it really makes no difference. I also mentioned that she dumped me and started dating him immediately and she said it wasn't so fast, it was like she just doesn't get it, living in another kind of world or something. She also mentioned that she really likes the guy, likes the way he treats his employees, his clients, her (of course) and his daughters (strange since she has not met them). Anyway, I kind of felt sorry for her and this has helped me let go. She was so defensive... so I even told her that I was not 'chasing' her to come back, that I would not have her back just as simple as that, that I was just worried and missed her. Well, perhaps I blew it... but somehow I feel better now. She seemed in a hurry so I asked her to call me when/if she wanted to talk, and wished her luck.


So now my plan is to just not contact her anymore unless it is really important, send a note fron time to time saying she can count on me and rebuilding my life. Any suggestions?

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Begin your new life today, if you are destined to be with your girlfriend it will happen when you least expect it.


(1) how can I build and express to her a basis for commitment in my current state? We have no joint family to which I can commit.


You cannot commit to someone who does not want to commit to you. period.


(2) what about honesty and openness, how can I fulfil or even attempt to express my capacity for being truthful now that we are not together?


You can express your truthfulness all you want, but if the other person is not listening what good is it?


how long will it take for the relationship with the new person to run down it's initial thrill?


I don't know, it sounds like you cheated on your girlfriend after you had been together for 1/2 a year. [Year and a half relationship... cheated on her last year at this time of year]


after breaking up, when is contact good and when was it not good? what kind of contact?


After breaking up, initially no contact is best. How do you expect her to miss you if you are constantly "passing by her apartment"? When you move out and get a new phone number, call her to let her know.


is it good/bad idea to call or mail saying that I still love her, that I need her, that I cannot believe that she doesn't miss me, that she can come back whenever she wants etc.?


BAD IDEA. You sound like a stalker. If I was her and you started doing that to me... 2 words, Restraining Order.


I think if I can get my act together, get a job, an apartment somewhere and... well have my place in the world...


Now you are talking! Stop feeling sorry for yourself, get out of your parent's house, get a job and throw yourself into it. What have you always wanted to do? Now is your chance to start a career from the ground up, take advantage of it! If you have to start at the lowest position, throw all your energy into it and work your way up the ladder.


If the two of you are destined to be together it will happen when you least expect it! If you sit in the basement staring at the phone it will never ring, so get out there and start your new life!

Edited by kamurj
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Hi DrunkenMistake,


Thank You very much for your sound advice. I read your thread and it seems to me that you have a very positive relationship and things will work out for you two. You also got some very good advice. Nothing I can add. I think you are doing fine.

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  • 8 months later...

Well, I'm probably not the one to be giving you advice, I'm in the middle of a pretty big mess myself. I would like to say one thing though. The part where you talked about getting out on your own, getting a job. that is the best thing you can do right now. Don't do it because it might help you get beck with her, do it for your own confidence. Get out there and find your independance. Sitting around without a job can lead to some serious depression. You've been around long enough to know that time will heal all wounds, the sooner you get on with your life the better. If she does come back, you won't depend on her for anything. Best of luck in your situation...

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