How to Attract the Man of Your Dreams/10 year long affair

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Question
Hi there. I have a question. plz don't judge. Ok, well, I have dated this guy on an off for the past 10 years or so. we fight alot and have never been able to make it work.  but for some reason we always seem to keep coming back to each other. we can't stop. We were high school sweet hearts, since i was 15. I got married to a different guy, and we ended up still having an affair during my marriage to this other guy. we were married for 5 years. Now, my husband has left me, saying he doesn't love me any more and he has a new girlfriend. anyway. now, my high school sweetheart,ex, who i have been involved with for 10 years or so, called me the other night, and we had a nice talk. we said we missed each other. He is now married to another woman. they have been married almost a year now. i just am always trying to make sense of the relationship we have. do we both truly love eachother deep down. we can never seem to stay away from each other. we always find a way of coming back to each other. Does he love me? If he did't, why would he always keep hanging on, and hooking up with me, etc... after 10 years. just wondering why he does this. does he love me in a way, does he just have a hard time letting go, am i a booty call, and that's it. what is it. i want to know. I love him, but i'm not sure how he feels. and now that he's married, i feel guilty and i can't do anything, i don't want to hurt any one. just wondering if you have any insight on why a guy would stay so connected to his ex girlfriend for so many years? thanks. i know i sound like a terrible person.

Answer
Hi Sara!

Haha!  Don't worry.  My job isn't to judge, it's to offer as much advice and insight as possible.  Judging is a waste of time.  ;)

Although you didn't disclose this to me, I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that when you broke up, you didn't receive any closure.  Either your break up was extremely emotional or extremely sudden and unexpected, if not both.  I'm also going to guess that your relationship with him was extremely impactful, meaning that you probably had a lot of new and memorable experiences with him, for better or for worse.  I'm also going to guess that you two probably considered getting back together several times, but because of extenuating circumstances never had a chance.

Love is a tricky thing.  If it were something concrete, that we could observe or measure it would be pretty clear as to what it was.  Unfortunately, it isn't, so it can be very difficult to define or pin down.  I do agree with one notion regarding love: it may be a feeling, but it is also an action, and the feeling and action do not necessarily square up.  What I mean by this is that feeling love is not necessarily the same thing as loving.  The feeling is not enough for developing a strong and nurturing relationship.  The act of loving is also required.  I'm sorry if I'm being presumptuous here, but my guess is you and this guy have never really engaged in this action together.

Feeling love can cause you to do all sorts of things that you would not otherwise, as your rational, sane and principled self, would dare to do.  It can cause you to compromise your own values in order to satiate an ephemeral feeling, usually leaving your saner self to regret it in the future, and regret it for a long time.

Loving someone, on the other hand, means doing what is right regardless of how it feels to do it.  It means doing right by the person, rather than doing right by your own emotions.  It means doing whatever it takes so that you do not hurt the person for selfish reasons, whatever that may be.

Closure is a bitch sometimes.  Our egos demand it.  We demand to understand and solve the mysteries in our life, the unresolved problems.  It gives us a sense of control over our world and a feeling that, even if things ended badly, there was something beneficial and educational about it.  The problem is, most of these mysteries are wrapped up in the people we are involved with, and not all of them are willing to, or even know how to, give us that closure that we desire.  Most of us keep pursuing it, either mentally by ruminating over it until we find ourselves more depressed or agitated than when we started.  Some of us pursue it in a more physical sense, as you have for 10 years, clinging on to this man - probably hoping to resolve this mystery: could we have made it as a couple? - and finding yourself no closer to an answer than you were 10 years ago, and yet still determined that you will, even can, find one.  Others make healthier decisions: some of them take direct action and accept the results - like confronting the person - others learn to painfully let go, and learn to accept that some questions will remain questions forever.

Whatever you choose is up to you.  I hope that eventually you can find some closure, even if you have to provide it for yourself.

How to Attract the Man of Your Dreams

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Brian

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Any and all questions about men! I've noticed there aren't any male experts here, so if you're interested in getting a man's perspective on how to win us, just ask away!

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Knowledge of psychology, especially between the sexes. Mainly just very self-aware and socially experienced. I'm the go to guy for most of my friends, both male and female, when they can't seem to figure out the opposite sex (cuz let me tell you, they're tricky!).

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none in particular in regards to this topic.

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