On Life and Love after 50 newsletter
Tom P. Blake
I mentioned last week that there are two sides to every story. Today's story is an example of where I only have one side and that's how it's going to be. When you finish reading it, I think you will understand. There's no way I want to track down the married guy mentioned in it and get his side on why he allegedly cheated.
We call the woman in today's story the widow, to protect her privacy and to honor her request to not use her true name.
The widow wrote, "I read with interest the story of the woman whose match.com boyfriend had a backup plan." She felt compelled to share a story that happened to her.
She said: "Last November, I joined the SeniorsMeet.com and OKCupid dating sites. My husband of 39 years had died seven months prior and I felt I was 'ready' to look for a new relationship. My loneliness blinded me!
"I met a charming retired teacher who said he was divorced. We hit it off right away and began what I thought was a delightful romance. He said he was in the process of selling a second home 400 miles north so he was gone one to two weeks of each month. But he called me almost every day when he was away and we were very connected.
"We did a lot of things together and had laughs and great times together when he was here--the beach, movies, dinners and lunches out, shopping, it felt like I was a couple again. In February, (about three months after they met) I began seeing red flags. Inconsistent stories that indicated he was lying to me. When I would confront him about these stories, he 'didn't want to talk about them.'
"In April, I overheard him say on the phone, 'I love you sweetheart.' The very thing he said to me! I confronted him and he confessed he was married. He had lied to me all along. I was such a fool for trusting him and getting so involved with him so quickly.
"I think his plan was to charm me and have me fall for him and so when I would find out he was married, I'd continue on as his secret girlfriend once his wife had moved down here to their new home.
"I was heart-broken and it took me a few months to heal from this trauma. I was already vulnerable from losing my husband so this deception felt horrible.
"A wise widow friend said I should think of the time invested in that relationship as 'tuition' because I learned a lot and won't make the mistake of getting involved so quickly again. My advice to women is to take it slow and be careful with your heart until trust is certain."
Let's stop right there for now. What lessons can we take away from the widow's story? As she pointed out:
- Loneliness causes us to make bad choices. Sharing with someone beats being lonely, but only if there isn't a price to pay
- Don't get involved too quickly
- Establish trust
- When red flags surface, immediately get them resolved or leave
- Her friend was right, consider the experience as tuition paid. We learn by our mistakes, and we've all made them in relationships
- At least she didn't get taken for money; that would have been even worse
The widow ended her email by saying:
"I know I'll never find another man like my husband. I'll never love another man the way I loved him and no man will ever love me the way my husband did.
"You cannot replace a person. I'm not trying to do that. I just want to matter to someone who matters to me. Someone who thinks I'm special. Someone I can laugh with and do things with. Someone I can count on and he can count on me.
"I'm particular about men and most men my age have issues. I am far from perfect and I have issues too. Maybe it's a matter of what issues can people my age tolerate in one another and what issues can they not? But honesty is the basis."
And that is what all of us strive for: To matter to someone who matters to us. As Neil Diamond sang in the song, "Dry Your Eyes," from the album Beautiful Noise (1976). One of the most beautiful and captivating songs I've ever heard.
And then march forward, which the widow has done nicely.