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Obligation to end well or latent feelings?
I am currently in a difficult situation whereby the person I want to spend my life with (and who dreams of a life with me), still needs to go through a proper ending of his marriage which he ended a year ago. He did not manage the separation well and avoided the grief for a long time. Now, he says he needs closure by talking through everything with his ex-wife and a psychologist, so that he can a) understand why the marriage of 13 years failed and b) to be 100% sure, there are no leftover feelings for her. He has said numerous times, and very clearly, that he has no love or longing / attraction for her anymore. But he struggles to let things go so I believe he needs to be 1000% sure there are no feelings that will return. I find that very unlikely but it worries me nonetheless. He says he needs to talk to her / spend more time with her just to be sure he has done the right thing. Obviously, that hurts a bit because every time he plans to see her, I get worried that the feelings may return. However, the reason why I highly doubt that are below and I would really like your thoughts on whether you think someone would suddenly have feelings of love for a person again if he says these things:
He says he feels no love / attraction towards her,
He does not want to engage in anything physical with her,
The trust is gone,
He thinks he may have stayed because it was comfortable,
He does not think they are too well aligned - he wants to travel and live overseas, she is very family bound,
She is an alcoholic (sobre at the moment but it has not been too long),
He says he gets angry a lot and I believe there is a fair bit of resentment in him,
He dreams of a future with me but says he cannot commit 100% until the past is done,
He wants her to understand the reasons why he left so she can have another good relationship,
He wants to use the sessions with her to understand so that he does not carry old problems into a new relationship.
He finds me extremely attractive, he dreams of travelling with me, he is thinking of travel plans for next year, we have spoken about "deal breakers" for new relationships and what would be important to us if we were together. He also spoke about cleaning and selling their house and then moving into a two bedroom unit so we could possibly move in together once he has lived alone for a while.
Based on all that, do you think there is a high likelihood or risk that he would suddenly fall back in love with his ex-wife?
Oh and I guess, I forgot one very important question...
How do I deal with this situation so that I do not go crazy over the coming weeks? He has a big session with her and the psych next week but then, they are only on a waiting list. So he said, if they cannot get more sessions, he would either go and see her (him staying at his friends) in December or her coming down to stay for a while so he can spend time with her / talk to her more. He says he finds it difficult over the phone to get clarity. I find that thought terrible because obviously I will always worry whether he develops feelings for her again.
I want to separate myself from those thoughts and just life my life hoping for the best but knowing that it is not all smooth sailing. I am struggling with the ability to come up with good strategies to do that - to stay somewhat aloof as long as I cannot be sure we will end up together as we both seem to hope. It is all in his hands and I have little control, that is very difficult for me. It is worse because we see each other at work nearly every day.
So how can I program my mind so that I simply accept the current situation and learn to live with it more or less comfortably? How can I keep up the positive hope while blacking out my own worst case scenario thoughts (that may never occur)? Do you have any good tips for me? I want to hang in there because he said he does not want to drag this out too long into 2020 (he is feeling pretty unwell because of the situation). So I want to give it my best until January 2020 before I call it quits if things have not progressed significantly. So how can I stay sane between now and January, knowing that he will need to spend time with her to be 100% sure he did the right thing and, as far as I believe, that he can satisfy his massive sense of obligation towards her (he even used that word in relation to her).
Thanks for sharing your post and for explaining in detail the situation you are facing.
I can tell you love and trust your partner and support him as gains closure on his past relationship.
You are aware enough to wonder if this intense focusing on the past may awaken any hidden feelings he has for his ex.
He wants to full understand why the marriage ended and he cares enough for his ex so she can move on. He seems to be open and willing to talk about his emotions.
ften on the forum people complain that their new spouse has not dealt with a previous marriage so the fact he is willing to go through the process seems to be very positive.
You are only human so it is natural you may have concerns even though you love and trust him.
Do you like writing things down? Maybe you can keep a small notebook and write down all the positives about your relationship and why and hoe much you and trust him.
You have to make the decision, but sometimes these things takes time so maybe if you can be a bit flexible about the time it will take. He may need more time due to things beyond his control.
I suppose support him so he feels ok to tell you how he is feeling but also set boundaries so you can manage your health if you feel overwhelmed.
These are just a few suggestions of mine.
Feel free to continue the discussion here.
you so much for your help, it really means a lot to me. Yes, I do like writing and I journal regularly but it does not always suffice to calm me down. I want to try and work actively on my mindset and how I can stay positive but I realise that is quite hard. I definitely want to support him but sometimes it is difficult because he is confused and in that state, he may say things that come across strange. He is constantly in touch with me and I believr that his heart is with me but his confusion confuses me. I do actually believe that hi heart knows what it wants but his head goes 200 miles per hour asking "did I do the right thing? Have I taken all necessary steps expected after 13 years of marriage?".
Can I ask you? Based on the actions and words he has displayed, do you find it likely that any spark will return? He has said so many times that he feels no love or attraction for her, that the times they have spent together in recent weeks were "weird" and that he has realised she could do anything and his trust would likely remain gone. Also, he said they have not compromised or communicated in their marriage and he realises this now. That sparked a conversation about how we would communicate and compromise in our future together. We communicate extremely well and very openly. And we care about each other's needs. So everything tells me that this is working a lot better than his past. He also said that he now knows what he could have and how good life could actually be. His criends have told him that he seems much happier now than in the past few years. So all that together seems like a fairly clear indicator that his marriage will remain dead. Or do you think I am missing something significant here that might shock me out of nowhere. I mean, with me in the picture and his dreams of a future with me, is it at all possible to fall back in love with someone if you have fallen out of love with them?
Thanks for your reply.
Relationships are tricky and I have enough trouble working out what I will do let alone work out what another human will do who I don't know.
I can see you are worried . I think if you trust this process is just that a process and he sees his future with you, hopefully when he has received the answers it will strengthen your relationship.
I am not sure anyone can give a 100% guarantee but as you love him and trust him will that be enough.
Have you told him what you have written here are are you being as supportive as you can?
Nothing a human does in the name of love would surprise me but you know him well , so it is really about you and how much you trust him.