I’ve been married to my husband for six years. Together for 18. He recently left me for another woman. He won’t divorce me and I feel like he’s stringing me along.
He is living with this woman but still texts me daily and tells me he loves me and will be home soon. I am so confused. He is always asking me what I am doing and who I am with. I think he is very, very confused about his feelings. He tells me he doesn’t love this girl but he needs to get what he needs, then he will be home.
I am very lost about this. I have asked for a divorce but he flat out refuses. I can’t afford one right now anyway. I do love him and would be willing to reconcile—he knows this— but he’s still with her. (Yes we still do have sex. I know I should not but I do love him.) I am a fairly attractive woman with a lot to offer.
Why can’t I let this go?
You can’t let it go because you love him and you’ve been together for close to two decades. That’s a lot of shared moments and memories, probably many of them good. That said, you’re describing a pretty dysfunctional situation, one that needs to get back on course soon.
He does seem pretty confused, and sounds as if he’s at a mid-life crossroads, trying to figure out how he wants the rest of his life to look. He’s consider two choices: Should he take the path of independence and leave his marriage, or should he recommit to you and your relationship?
This other woman represents the first path. Freedom to make his own choices. Do whatever he wants without having to think about any one else’s feelings. We doubt he’ll stay with her, especially if he’s still in love with you and still having sex with you. (We’ve seen it too many times before.) Seems like a rebound relationship, more of a reaction, rather than anything else.
The second path has a lot to do with you. If you really want him back we think you need to be more assertive. Tell him that you’re willing to work on the marriage, but that he has to leave her and come back home. We also don’t think you should be having sex with him until this is sorted out. That’s just making things more confusing. (Of course, this is your call. We understand it’s easier to say than do.)
We hate to see marriages break apart, so we hope the two of you can work this out. That said, he needs to make some decisions. He can’t have his cake and eat it too. That’s not fair to you. To him. And to this other woman.
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