Hurt & Crying

by - 5:26 PM

Dear Dr. Gilda, 
After 2 years of being alone, I met a man online. We hit it off right away, and laughed and talked every day.  He told me upfront, "I'm married, so don't expect anything."  I respected him for putting it out there right away, and not leading me on. We spoke for about 2 months online, each day’s conversations getting longer and longer.  Finally, I asked if we could talk on the phone.  He gave me his work number, and I called him at lunch and we spoke there. Our conversations lengthened.  When he got home from work, we'd talk for hours.

One day we arranged to meet. Things heated up immediately, and we ended up sleeping together.  I felt terrible and guilty. He told me how unhappy he was in his marriage, which I had figured out earlier, since he spent most of his time chatting with me.

 I tried to help, telling him to seek counseling, and suggesting that he and his wife go on a romantic vacation.  He said he had been married for 12 years, since he was 20 years old.  I suggested he just leave instead of pretending.  He agreed.  At the time, I was interested in another guy, and even considered moving to be closer to him. 

This guy said he was falling in love with me.  When I told him of the possibility that I may be moving to be closer to this other man, he said he wanted a "chance." I said, "If you just want to have sex with no strings, let’s do that.”  He insisted, “No, I want to date."

While we dated, he separated from his wife, and a month before he moved out, he asked me to move in. He said, "I want you here.  I even have a space for your computer next to mine." He introduced me to his mother. We spent a great week together, and then he drove me home.

Five days later, out of the blue, he suddenly announced, "I need space.  I feel like I got out of one marriage, and now I'm in another."  That killed me.  Even worse, he said, "I knew I was going to do this." Stunned and heartbroken, I asked, "Did you ever love me?"  He seemed choked up when he answered, "Yes, that's what makes this so hard."

That was the last we ever spoke.  Why did he do this?  I'm so confused.  I never pushed for the relationship; HE did. I never asked to move in; HE insisted.  What happened?
Hurt & Crying

Dear Hurt & Crying,
You were alone for 2 years and feeling lonely.  Your vulnerability clearly showed—and was unconsciously detected by your new guy who was similarly lonely in his marriage.  You were surely not thinking straight to imagine this guy would seamlessly waltz out of his marriage and into la-la land with you.  He, too, was not thinking straight. Two lonely people who react emotionally, rather than rationally, end up tangled and in trouble. 

We attract who we are.  
If you’re unconscious, 
you’ll attract unconscious partners.

For the future, plot your desires and fulfill your own personal goals, so you won’t feel the need to react to words of love that temporarily fill a void.  It was surely a painful way to get there, but you’re wiser now. Vow that your next love will be with someone well grounded, and that it will be based on more than superficial and empty promises. 

Dr. Gilda

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