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Question
Posted by: Anonymous | 2008/08/21

Raod to nowhere??

I am a man that’ s 54 years old that got divorced in 2007 after 32 years of marriage. My wife ran off with a man that was one of my clients. They did not get married but are living together. Through the grapevine I heard that she said that the grass is not so green on the other side. Her lover were married for three times and he also had long term relationships with two other ladies, one from which an illegitimate child was born. My ex is now his number SIX .My daughter is 24 and my son is 30 years old. My son, stood by me, but my daughter sided with her mother and does not want any contact with me or her brother. She got married one month after leaving home with her mother and my wife' s lover gave her away to her husband. This almost destroyed me. Neither I nor my son knew about this marriage and we never met her husband or attended the ceremony. The planning for the wedding was all done in secrecy. My daughter and I were often in conflict because she put terrible tattoos on her body, started to smoke and were involved with drugs and satanism while still at school. She was also sexually active since the 2nd year of her high school career being just 14/15 years old. I disapproved all of this but my ex wife was never prepared to openly take sides. I think that was because my daughter knew about her affair that was going on for almost 5 years. The divorce was a terrible time in my life but I managed to stand up and I’ m facing the world again. This I got right with the support of my son and no other help. I will never take my ex wife back again although I will always say that she was a wonderful person until the panel beater came on the scene.

I love dancing and a lady friend that came to me for dance classes in 2005 started to accompany me to functions for the last 3 months. We got along very well in 2005 but were always very professional in our dealings. She is almost 5 years older than what I am. She and her ex husband are both medical doctors. She walked out of a marriage after 29 years and had to start her life over 5 years ago. She is just surviving and there is no sign or hope of a life style that is normally associated with people with her training. She is turning 59 this year and there is just not enough time left to start a practice that will generate an above average income. I am a retired senior teacher at a high school and I now own a successful business on my own premises. I do not need to be supported by a woman.

Within one month after I started seeing this lady friend, I discovered that I feel more for her as just being a dance partner. We could talk about many things and she made me feel special. A serious relationship started where even sex started to play a very important role. This woman gave me back the confidence that I for many years lacked in the bedroom. Both of us often said that we must wait and see where this will lead to.

Every Sunday evening this lady friend of mine is upset about what happened between us. She then has a feeling of guilt about our behavior. This I cannot understand as we had the most wonderful times together in and outside the bedroom. She was never forced into a sexual relationship but it developed spontaneously between us. I thought we made “ adult“  decisions. All of a sudden she said that we cannot go ahead with this as she feels too uncomfortable with it-this despite the fact that she was sexually active even before her marriage. She also told me that I was the only man she allowed in her bed for the past 10 years.

For the last five years she has a very good lady friend that stays 200 meters from her townhouse. They own property together, they attend meetings together and see each other almost on a daily basis or talk on the phone. This woman is about the only friend she has. Then there is the specialist that she assist in the theatre for the last 12 years for which she has a lot of respect and admiration. He is a married man and about to retire at the end of December 2008. This is also upsetting her and she is now exploring various ways to generate an income for the rest of her life

It seems to me that my presence was welcomed by her but now that she realizes that a relationship also bring responsibilities and obligations, she wants to back off. I feel that I also have to compete against this lady friend of hers for a place although she denies all of this. She now wants to stop with this relationship. While telling me her tears were flowing uncontrolled.

Is she suppressing her feeling for protection or is it that her lady friend’ s influence is stronger than mine.

Under the new set of rules for being just a dance partner I feel that I will then be like a library book- taken out when needed. She is also not sure whether she believes in God, she does not like traveling, visiting friends and going out to a restaurant for dinner is of no importance to her. Dancing is the only thing that matters to her. She feels quite comfortable staying home doing the daily chores, keeping herself up to date
with new medical information and being in a situation where you don’ t have to dress up.

I know that answers are not ready made for situations, but what is your opinion on this as an outsider? Should I carry on with this relationship under the new set of rules?
Thanks for your comment.
Regards

Anonymous

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Our expert says:
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What an awful series of events in your first mariage and its break-up ! Your questions are sensible ones, but we are even less well placed to answer them than you are. If yopur lady friend were open to joining you in some relationship counselling sessions, not to guarantee the relationship, but to enable both of you to better understand all that has been and is happening, you might both find the answers, to your mutual benefit, whether or not the central relationship continued. Similarly, as Maria says, the lady herself would probably benefit from individual counselling focussing on such things as her apparent low self-esteem ( which is such that she prefers to settle for what appears safe rather than reaching for more lest she be disappointed or huirt ). But she may not welcome that suggestion.
She sounds as though she has set up a comfort zone, a way of life that suits her --- contented even if not necessarily very happy, and would be reluctant to change that. If she does indeed want you now to be merely a library book, you may need to decide whether you can be content with that role, or would rather end it and continue looking for a relationship that better suits your needs.
And excellent observations, too, from jcat. She does seem to be engaged in constricting rather than expanding her opportunities and life-style

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Our users say:
Posted by: Anonymous | 2008/08/22

Thanks for the comment. That I am confused is for sure because I was not looking for " cheap"  sex with this lady. I fell in love with her and she responded although only for a short period.

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: jcat | 2008/08/21

- think I agree with Maria, the new rules are not really conducive for a real relationship.
You sound as if you have done some considerable personal growth since your marriage ended, and that you are willing and able to commit to a new relationship. Your friend, on the other hand, might have helped you with confidence etc, but sounds as though she wants to shrink her world rather than expanding it. Nothing wrong with appreciating old friends or other close relationships, but 59 - while time might be limited for building a practice from the ground up - is not too old to establish a satisfying life.
Why don' t you continue to dance with her as a partner, which seems like something you both appreciate, but rather look elsewhere for someone to share the rest of your life with, someone who shares your values as well as the other things that you enjoy?

Reply to jcat
Posted by: Anonymous | 2008/08/21

Thanks for the response. Hope to receive more comments.

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: Maria | 2008/08/21

Under the " new set of rules"  it' s not a relationship. Your library book analogy seems apt. I think this lady has very real problems with self esteem and she would benefit from some sessions with a good counseller to help her sort out what it is that she wants out of life. Should you wait around for her and see what happens? Well, you don' t seem to have that much in common, only the dancing (apart from sex). Perhaps you should also start looking around for a companion who is more compatible?

Reply to Maria

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