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Ten Years Ago We Parted

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I have never been to this forum, have never needed to. I come now to ask for opinions because I can honestly ask no one that I know for advice. The short story is:


I was with my first true love for almost ten years. We had very unique circumstances that brought and kept us together. We were very tightly bound and I have never felt that with anyone else. No one has loved or known me as he did.


We broke up ten years ago, because of many reasons. It was actually beneficial for us both that that happened and as painful as it was then, I can really see it now. We were no longer so young and we had changed. I see now that we both have had such personal growth in the time apart I have looked for him over that time we were apart with no success and I have been in other relationships along the way.


I am now in a 3 year relationship with some one that does truly love me, but prior to this contact I was starting to question why I was still in it. I have deeply considered this and it is true and is not caused by the new dialogue.


He found me online and sent me an email a week ago. The emotions that I have been feeling as we email back and forth in this short time are so... so strong. Almost ten years together and then ten years apart, it is now 20 years since we frist met and fell in love. We were young when it started and jaded when it ended.


He is married, very recently. He said he looked for me before he did it but couldn't find me. I am in serious turmoil over the entire situation and because everyone i know also knows my partner, so I can not discuss it with them.


I can not stop thinking about the past, and what could have been...what could still be. And I feel, because of some things he has said, he feels the same. I am very afraid of these feelings.


What do you think? I am looking for help because i am at a total loss and no one to turn to for advice.

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Awakenings....someone posted this on another thread..and it sounds like it fits your situation.




In your life, you'll make note of a lot of people. Ones with whom you shared something special, ones who will always mean something. There's the one you first kissed, the one you first loved, the one you lost your virginity to, the one you put on a pedestal, the one you're with... and the one that got away.


Who is the one that got away? I guess it's that person, with whom everything was great, everything was perfect, but the timing was just wrong. There was no fault in the person, there was no flaw in the chemistry, but the cards just didn't fall the right way, I suppose.


I believe in the fact that ending up with someone, finding a longtime partner that is, does not lie merely in the other person. I can actually argue that an equal part, or maybe even the greater part, has to do with the matter of timing. It has to do with you being ready to settle down and commit to someone in a way that goes beyond the little niceties of giddy romance.


How often have you gone through it without even realizing it? When you're not ready to commit in that mature manner, it doesn't matter who you're with, it just doesn't work. Small problems become big, inconsequential,they become deal breakers simply because you're not ready and it shows. It's not that you and the person you're with are no good, it just that it's not yet right, and little things become the flashpoint of that fact.


Then one day you're ready. You really are. And when this happens you'll be ready to settle down with someone. He or she may not be the most perfect. They might not be the brightest star of romance to ever have burned in your life, but it'll work because you're ready. It will work because it's the right time and you'll make it work. And it'll make sense, it really will. So that day comes when you're finally making sense of things, and you find yourself to be a different person. Things are different, your approach is different, and you finally understand who you are and what you want. And you've become ready because the time has truly arrived. And mind you, there's no telling when this day will come. Hopefully you're single but you could be in a long-term relationship, you could be married with three kids. It doesn't matter. All you know is that you've changed, and for some reason, the one that got away is the first person you think about. You'll think about them because

you'll wonder, "What if they were here today?" You'll wonder, "What if we were together now, with me as I am and not as I was?" That's what the one that got away is, the biggest "What if?" you'll have in your life.


If you're married, you'll just have to accept the fact that the one that got away, got away. Believe me, no matter how fairy tale you think your marriage is, this can happen to the best of us. But hopefully you're mature enough to realize that you're already with the one you're with and this is just another test of your commitment. One which will just strengthen your marriage when you get past it. Sure, you'll think about him/her every so often, but it's alright. It's never nice to live with a "might have been," but it happens. Maybe the one that got away is the one who's already married. In which case it's the same thing. You just have to accept and know that your memories of that person will probably bring a nice little smile to your lips in the future when you're old and gray and reminiscing. But if neither of that is the case, then it's different.


What do you do if it's not yet too late? Simple...find him, find her. Because the very existence of a "one that got aw

ay" means that you'll always wonder what if you got that one.

Ask him out to coffee, ask her out to a movie, it doesn't matter if you've dropped in from out of nowhere. You'd be surprised, you just might be "the one that got away" as well for the person who is your "the one that got away." You might drop in from out of nowhere and it won't make a difference. If the timing is finally right, it'll all just fall into place somehow and you know. I'm thinking, it would be a great feeling in the end, to be able to say to someone, "Hey you, you're the one that ALMOST got away."


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I guess my advise is more practical, although I really liked that post, ladybug. I can understand that this is really worrying you. Remember, this relationship was in the past, and you will never know what it would be like now. In our memories, we tend to over-romanticize the person we were with, because, and this is especially true in case of long-term gaps, they remember us of who we were in the past.


I think you should be very careful with your long-ago-love. For starters, he's married and you are in a relationship. You will have to reconsider this relationship if you notice the feelings of the old one are overwhelming, I think. If you are happy in the present relationship, I'd try to focus on that.



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I'm concerned that, if he is married and reaching out to someone he was with 10 years ago, that he might be having some issues in his own relationship. It might be different if he were single, but i'd be a little wary since he is married.


If htings are meant to be with you two, then they need to happen on their own. I really think it is a bad idea to continue any contact given that you may still harbor feelings for each other. You could be setting yourself up for some serious trouble.


I would be afraid of my feelings if I were in the same situation. I think you have some good instinct going.

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Nice catch NJRon, and I agree. Why is he reaching out to you now that he is married? 20 years is along time and people change, look at you for example, how much have you grown and changed? It's unfortunate that fate has dealt you both a cruel hand but maybe there is a reason, closure. Maybe now that you know that he is married, you can focus on your own life and relationships. You certainly cannot be considering getting involved with him? That's a real bad idea as I'm sure you know. What would that say about you, what would that say about you? Let your feelings go now that you know that someone else has his heart and cease all contact.



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I do appreciate ladybugs response but it is not necessarily relevant to my situation as beautiful as it is. If only.


Ilse: the relationship i am in now is one that i have been questioning for several months, this doubt is something that started before he contacted me. And, while I care for the person I am with I am not very happy and I was not sure if I should be there - before the reunion. That being said, it is possible if I had not heard from long lost, then things might just continue on with my present partner. In addition to the new feelings I have about the past I really have to decide about the present. I understand that you may think (and it is a serious possiblity) that I would make that decision based on the new feelings stirred up. I will not make any decisions about my current relationship right now, as it is obviously a very emotional time.


NJRon: Of course.. this is the response that I know in my heart. Although newly wed, less than a year, he was looking for me. That may not speak so well of the current situation for him. But I have to ask myself why not? Without going in to too much detail we really split almost because of circumstance beyond our control. I guess what I am trying to say is that if things that we couldn't control had been different, I believe that it is a very serious possibility that we would have been together until this day.

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I think that you are wise not to decide on the current relationship now. Do you think you will keep in touch with the old love? I'd advise you not to, but I can imagine you being drawn to him.


Difficult situation, I hope it will turn out for the best!



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"Why is he reaching out to you now that he is married?"

because he only just found me


"20 years is along time and people change, look at you for example, how much have you grown and changed? "

I have and in the ten years apart so has he. But both in the same ways.


"Maybe now that you know that he is married, you can focus on your own life and relationships. You certainly cannot be considering getting involved with him?"

We are both thankful that we are geographically far apart. We haven't even spoken, only email. And all without expectation thus far.


"What would that say about you?"

Trust me, i know what that would say about me. And I would never act upon at this point.



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"I think that you are wise not to decide on the current relationship now. Do you think you will keep in touch with the old love? I'd advise you not to, but I can imagine you being drawn to him." ilse


Of course... I can't not be drawn to him. I have been trying to read things to dissuade me: that the old memories are always sweet, first true love isn't real... But I honestly don't believe it. I have tried to remember all the horrible mean terrible times we had, and they were plenty. But alas they are much harder memories to summon.

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Here's my 2 cents. It sounds like you, for the most part, got your head on straight and that's great. However reality is reality and the man is married, to even begin to romanticize about what if's or what could happen is doing yourself a real disservice.


I find it a little strange that as a newly married man he's still searching for his old love of 20 years. It sounds like he has some deep feelings for you, but he is married and he needs to let the past lie in the past. Whatever issues may be going on in his marriage are between him and his partner, and if he's having second thoughts it's something HE needs to work out.


As for you i would cut off contact with him. I know that's a very black and white answer to a very complex situation, but it's the best thing for both of u. Maybe politely let him know that he's married and thereforeeee there can be nothing more between you guys, not even friendship. Why? well because both of you obviously have deep feelings for each other and as long as that is the case that "friendship" will only lead to trouble or heartache.


He now knows how to find you and if his marriage doesn't work out than you can pursue something further, but until that day comes he should only be in your memories.

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I'm not sure what you expect could happen, seeing as he is married, and fairly newly at this point, correct?


Your unhappy relationship as you said yourself is a separate issue... but what about his marriage?


It seems dangerous and tempting to keep touch when you are both supposed to be committed to other people, particularly him, who took vows with his wife to love and honor her forever.

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"I'm just curious...in the years after the break up, did you think about him often, even daily? Or had the memories well-subsided before you got his recent email?



No I had not forgot about him. I did, if not daily, very often think of him. His is the most influential energy of my life. I had looked for him, but was never able to find him. And, honestly I have picked relationships afterward that I knew would not hold up to the intensity that we had.

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These things that you say, I knew I would hear by virute of posting my question. I know a few things, one- if things were 'perfect' with his relationship, then he would have had no reason to seek me out. two- I *intellectualy* do not wish for him to be unhappy in his relationship, nor do I wish to *do* anything to hamper it. That being said, he has said that he will tell her of our communications. She knows all about me and he has even said that she thinks he still loves me.


How can I do what you say is right when that is the farthest thing from what I want to do?

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Gosh, if I was in your position, I would be agonizing over what to do. Ten years is a long time to have been with someone, even if that same amount of time has passed since you last saw each other.


It's got to be really messing with your head right now what to do.


You've got your current partner and his partner to think of. I know that's probably a big source of stress to you right now, because you don't want to hurt either.


I guess I can't give any specific advice at this time, other than suggest you keep posting, lol. Sometimes, just putting your feelings into words can help you clarify things and make some decisions.


The one thing that nags at me a little here is that he waited until after he was married to contact you. I just don't understand how he couldn't find you before. Why this bothers me is, in the event he actually did only look for you after he got married, his contacting you could be more of a reaction to problems he's having in his current relationship, rather than a longing all on its own to talk to you again .

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I think that you are actually understanding what I'm stuggling with. And I know what you mean about not finding me a year ago, before he was to be committed. He did try, and he explained to me how he looked and from what he told me i believe that he looked hard. We are now several thousand miles apart, so this is good for now, but not for when he was looking for me. He found me on the internet, and honestly i couldn't have been found that way any sooner than 3 or 4 months ago by my name.


I don't know what will happen next, but i will follow your suggestion and keep putting some thought into creating posts here, hopefully i will be able to make the correct decision.

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Well, i am going to update, as recommended, partly to let y'all know and as a venting venue for me. I must say that since the 2 weeks when i first got his email, we have been furiously exchanging words. I don't mean as in "angry" but so rapidly that i can't even keep track of the number of emails we have exchanged. I have spent much time in these two weeks thinking not only about him, but our time together and the decisions i have made in the relationships i have had since i was with him.


I have to say that he is honestly the most remarkable, intelligent and intense person i have ever known and i am sure that is one of the reasons i am so drawn to him still. ten years later. We are both scared. We both feel something and i know. yes i know he is married. i wouldn't ever want to change anything about who he is now. the love i felt then carries on and with it is a respect for him and his situation now.


This is possibly evoking the most intense feelings i have had, since we parted. It is truly hard. I so miss him and love our exchanges now. But... that is tempered by the fact that i know the memories of our wonderful times are so slanted. I can barely remember the horrible times - those that i know were plentiful. So. What can be learned from this whole experience of mine?


If you see an email... if you recogonise the name. If you ever wondered if anyone would ever love you the way he did....



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I honestly don't envy your situation. It's definitely gotta be one of the hardest curve balls life has ever thrown at you. On the one hand, it seems incredibly positive, but underneath that is the surefire knowledge that if this plays all the way out, some people are going to get badly hurt - let's face it, betrayed.


You must be grappling with so many feelings...excitement to be reconnected with someone who played such an important role in your life, and terrible guilt towards your current partner for emotionally cheating on him. (I'm sorry, that may not be the best term for it).


I can tell you I would probably be doing the same thing up to this point. Not saying that's right, but the tempation to at least email back and forth and share again some of that old bond would be something I couldn't resist.


But - I hope that I would ask myself some forthright questions, too:


1) Even if things were difficult with my current partner, would I be devastated if he was doing this to me?


2) Before I heard from my old love, did I honestly want to work things out with my current partner?


3) Looking at the big picture, what is it about my current partner that made me fall in love with him?


4) Looking at the big picture, what made me and my ex break up and is any of that sort of surfacing a bit in our communications? For example, if he had a tendency to not 100% commit, is this showing in the fact that he's contacting me after all these years while he's married?


5) Why is he contacting me now that he's married? If he really wanted to find me, he could have hired a private detective before he got married.


6) Am I looking at this reconnection with the ex as an answer to problems in my life I could solve on my own or with my current partner?


These are questions I would hope I could answer to myself with unflinching honesty.

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Great post Scout. With many important questions. Some of which i have already been considering in depth. Some things you mentioned, i hadn't thought of but have added them to the swirling mess going on inside already.


Right now i can't give the email exchanges up. I just don't want to. So i will keep it secret as well, for many reasons. I don't want to hurt my current partner, because i do care for him. The problems in this current relationship were there long before the ex popped up. And. I honestly don't think that i wanted to fix the current thing. But i didn't want to leave, because it is pretty much safe and comforatable. This is almost the opposite of the first relationship and perhaps why i feel so attracted to those memories. You know, all the angst and emotional fireworks of youth. Though when we parted i was nearly 30 and he was. So some of that had faded.


But to your questions... for example. If my current partner were doing the same thing, i honestly don't think that i would feel betrayed or devestated. Maybe easy to say when if it were realilty, maybe not so easy. Of course this is so hard to speculate about. And trust me i have been playing that 'if only' game in my head. Why didn't he find me before he got married? I can't answer that.


Honestly, even though this is an anonymous forum, i have a hard time discussing the really important details surrounding the ex and i... what brought us together and why we didn't make it - because there was a *very* big outside force at work. He... he is lucky, he has a therapist and i'm tempted to go talk to one myself, where i can really lay out the details and try to get some feedback.


I really appreciate your input, Scout. Very thought provoking and important.

For now, i will enjoy my emails and pics he's sent. Because of circumstances beyond my control, i lost all the photos i had of our time together... so those are true jewels... of course they bring up very intense emotions, because i haven't seen them in a decade


I'll keep ya posted of any developments.

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Right now i can't give the email exchanges up. I just don't want to. So i will keep it secret as well, for many reasons. I don't want to hurt my current partner, because i do care for him.


Hi awakenings,


I wonder if you wouldn't feel hurt if your partner was doing this to you because right now your feelings are focused more towards your ex than him. You describe the relationship as secure and comfortable, but I see no mention of love or passion towards him... is that what you want to settle for? Do you think if you felt more passionately towards him it would hurt if the shoe were on the other foot?


And what of your ex's new wife? How many people do you think would be hurt by this exchange?


Given that your current bf probably feels pretty strongly about you, my guess is that if he found out about your email exchanges with the ex, he would be hurt by it, which is why you are not telling him.


What do you think?

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Yes, Hope you are correct. The reason i won't tell my bf now is because it would hurt him and i don't want to do that. I won't do that now. I am normally not dishonest with him, but if nothing were to come of this, then it would bring him unncessary pain. It is selfish i know.


The emails that the x and i have been exchanging have barely touched on the 'present'. We are just reliving memories from then - not even discussed now, our current partners, etc. He specifically said he will not talk about her now. And to be honest, i don't want to hear about his wife... i do but i don't. I do believe that she would of course be hurt by this. He has said that he will tell her that he found me, and i believe that he will. The only thing he has said about her is that she does feel threatened by me and our relationship from the past. She believes that he still loves me. I don't envy him his duty of telling her.


My bf doesn't even know who the x is. I have never spoken of him to the bf. He wouldn't want to hear about it really i think. And i don't know of his past realtionships much at all. That is just the type of relationship we have. That is why i called it a comfortable and safe thing. We know each other by our habits, not from the inside out. I didn't want that with him, and i haven't wanted or had that intense type of relationship, since the x.


He has, the x, cut back considerably on the number of emails he is sending. The first several days, we were furiously back and forth - and now much much less. I am matching now his pace of contact, i don't want to be too intrusive of his time and attention that should, obviously, be elsewhere.


So. Who knows, maybe he was nostalgic or mad at his wife on that nite he searched for and found me, and sent me that first email. Maybe he didn't expect me to write back, or to be so open to the exchanges. Perhaps, he is regretting it now, because of the intensity of the feeling of the past and his committment that he now has. I don't know.


I do think that for me, not married, it is not the right thing to tell the bf about an email contact with someone he doesn't even know anything about. Especially contact that is just now, electronic and contained to memories of the past. If... if it were to even seem a bit like that were to change, then i would tell him. It would be hard, but i am a true believer that the worst thing you can really do to another person is to steal their time. Our time here is so short, and i would never let someone believe in something that was not a reality to me.


So. That is where i am now. But i do believe in true soulmates. I think that he was mine and that circumstances prevented it from making it a lifetime relationship. But i also know that relationships can't always be the way that ours was... most are not. Until i heard from him again, i didn't ever think that i would want that intensity again. Now i have to do some major reflection on what i really want in my future. Not regarding the x, just what i really want for myself. Not getting any younger, ya know

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