Attacks of the past
Dear Annie: My boyfriend and I have been together for over 10 years. However, briefly we separated. During that time, we still talked every day, talked about our future together and how we still loved each other. We just needed to take some time apart for each of us to evaluate life and decide where we were going. One day, after a few months, he very abruptly told me that we couldn’t talk anymore. I was completely shocked, not to mention heartbroken. I asked him why, and he finally told me that he had met someone else.
After only a couple of short weeks of dating, they got married. Yes — married. During our whole relationship, he had always stated that he would never get married again because his marriage and divorce prior to our dating were horrible. I have always wanted to be married, and although it broke my heart that he didn’t want that, I loved him so much that I was willing to give up that dream.
After only a week of his being married to this new woman, he knew he had made a mistake and quickly filed for divorce. She moved out of his house, and shortly after, he and I decided we wanted to be together regardless of what had happened.
So here we are, back together. He’s divorced, and for the most part, everything is wonderful. However, after eight months, I find myself still having flashbacks, having negative thoughts and getting upset just thinking about his marriage.
I never say anything to him. I keep this to myself and just try to get over it. I just want to know: Am I ever truly going to get over it? Will I ever stop having these thoughts?
— Still Dwelling on the Past
Dear Dwelling: You say you never say anything to him. Why? Are you afraid of seeming unreasonable? You were together for 10 years and split up briefly, and he married someone after two weeks of dating her. Of course you’re uneasy. Talk to him, and see whether you two can work your way through the pain.
Then it’s time for some serious self-reflection. Be very honest with yourself: Can you forgive him or can’t you? If you can, you need to go all in. If you can’t, it’s time to set yourself free, start fresh and perhaps meet someone who values marriage as you do. Either way, you need to decide. Right now, you’re in limbo, and that’s no place to live.
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