Friday, June 13, 2014

Walking away from someone you love

On Life and Love after 50 newsletter

by Tom P. Blake                  June, 2014

Walking away from someone you love
Loving someone who doesn’t love you takes its toll. A woman named Cheryl is in that situation, which she describes as “an emotional roller coaster.” She contacted me this week, asking for my opinion.

Cheryl wrote, “I have been seeing a widower for two years. I love him dearly. From the start he has told me he will never marry again or live with anyone. I thought his feelings would change as time went on. But this will never happen.

“I don't want to end the relationship. I care too much to walk away from him, but I would love to have more! He always tells me that he would understand if I found someone else. That I deserve more, that he has nothing to offer me. He said it would hurt him, but he would understand! I hate when he says this to me! I would love to marry him. But I know that will never happen.

“I have not met his grown children. He told me it's to protect me in the event they were not receptive of me. I told him I don't expect them to fall all over me, but that they might be happy to see that their father has a woman that makes him happy!

“My focus is on his happiness. I need for him to show me that I am an important person in his life, and that he is proud of it!”

My response to Cheryl: “Your email describes your frustration vividly. I will comment since you asked, but his may not be what you want to hear, but it’s the reality as I see it.

“Did the widower tell you he will never marry or live with anyone again because he misses his deceased wife? Or, simply because he doesn’t want to? I ask because his being a widower may have nothing to do with his not wanting to live with or marry you.

“You felt you could change him. That’s a mistake people often make. We can’t change people, they have to change themselves.

You say you care too much to walk away. But if you don’t, you will be writing me a similar email in a year, or in the future sometime. Something has to change on your end.

Give him credit; he has been honest with you. When someone says he will understand if you find someone else, that he has nothing to offer you, he means it. But, you keep hanging on. That’s your choice.

“In two years, you haven’t met his grown children, which is a huge red flag. He’s doing that to protect you? No, he’s doing that to protect himself.

“Your focus is on his happiness. That is a major problem. Your focus needs to be on making yourself happy.

“You need for him to show you that you are important to him and that he is proud of you. That is not going to happen. He has told you that and his actions have repeatedly reaffirmed that.

“Walking away from a person one loves because the relationship isn’t evenly balanced is one of the most difficult things a person can do. But, for things to change, that’s what you have to do.

“Perhaps you should take an interim step. Take a break from seeing him. Get focused on something else. This is not game playing, or a tactic some call “shun mode.”  It’s to give him time to realize that he does care for you. 

“If you decide to walk away or take a break, be prepared to be lonely, sad, miss him and possibly lose him. But also know that you are doing so because the relationship is not providing you with what you want. Perhaps someone else will come along who will fulfill those needs, and you will look back and say, ‘I did the right thing.’”

Cheryl responded that she’s afraid of losing him if she takes action. She says he tells her that he is insecure because he is older than she. She said, “He is an extremely young 73 and I am 63. I believe age means nothing.”
I agree with Cheryl. The age difference is not the issue here. The problem is: she is making herself too available, not getting what she wants in return, and she’s putting up with it. The ball is in her court. 

Link to Finding Love After 60 website

No comments:

Post a Comment