I have been dating a man for 2 years. He is still married on paper to a woman but has not been living with her for 15 years.
He wants to move in with me. And I want him to get divorced first but, he says he can’t do it now – he doesn’t know why (guilt, money family?).
His kids are all grown in their 30’s.
He says he feels nothing for his wife at all, but they are still friends, and he does see her on some holidays, etc (without me).
He says we should move in together and go from there. He says he truly loves me but to me if he loved me he would get divorced first.
I do love him and he says he would always take care of me. But it bothers me that he is still married and I would be living with a married man. He says that if we lived together that that might give him the push that he needs to get divorced.
What are the chances of this?
Would it be a big mistake?
He has told me he would do it but he just can’t right now. I know we could be very happy together – this is the only thing we fight about, and I guess it is to a point where he might feel that I am pushing him because he said he would do it – and I guess I am afraid that if we live together that he won’t.
The way I’m understanding your question is… can you allow yourself to love this man as he is or do you have to protect yourself from getting hurt or play by certain rules.
I spend a lot of time observing people and this is what I notice a lot. We make these ridiculous rules up that don’t really exist anywhere outside of our heads. And then we make our life a battle of trying to fit into these.
Do you know those kid’s toys that have a maze encased with glass? The ones with a little ball that you have to get into a hole. This is just like we often make our lives.
Essentially we all want to love and be loved. But we make loving us an assault course. And when someone fails in jumping through every hoop, we decide they don’t love us enough. Then we have to go out and make animals into pets because so few people get the unconditional love and affection we crave.
Throughout history every culture has set out rules and laws. Legal laws, the 10 Commandments, the Bible, the Upanishads, the Torah, the Talmud and so on.
These are all just different slants on the same information. None are definitive. If they were, after thousands of years, surely the world would have all fallen in to line by now. Yet today there are more interpretations, sects and schisms than ever before.
I like what Jesus said about this…
“The Law is a living thing. It is alive in a Man’s heart. Not set in stone”.
Each law creates a problem. Life is vast and varied enough – and the law incomplete enough in it’s wisdom – that there is a circumstance where it doesn’t apply. So there is a loophole or some problem that that law creates.
And what do problems lead to… Yes, you guessed it more laws. So there are always more laws, just to patch up the errors of past laws.
But when one group says my slant is the only true one. And another disagrees, this is where barriers arise between groups. As each tries to convince the other group, the differences become more and more important. They become more important because each side makes them more important. And the dynamics are exactly the same between individuals.
In religious differences, the issue becomes one of salvation. My way is right and so you must agree or salvation isn’t possible.
In relationships, the issue becomes one of love. My way is right or you mustn’t love me enough.
So my response to your question is…
Live with him or don’t live with him.
It’s up to you. But whatever you decide, if you try to force anyone into loving you in the way you feel you should be loved… you’ll end up feeling unloved. That’s just setting yourself up for torture about how unfair life is.
You see love comes in the form that we are able to give it. None of us are perfect. Sometimes we feel better than other times. And so we can give more. We can only love as much as we have to give. And we do that in our own way.
Now when someone tries to love you in the way that they can best – at that moment – and you reject that as not being good enough. They take that as rejection. They feel like a failure. Sooner or later they give up loving you. ‘It’s just too hard. I can’t do it anymore’, they’ll say.
Love is like water. Water flows to the easiest path. Block off one route and it will go to another, perhaps in less quantity. Block it off well enough and the water will go around it.
Same with love. Let people love you in the way they are capable of and you’ll have love flowing all over you. Block it out and you’ll feel less loved. Block it out well enough and you’ll feel completely unloved.
And why do people block it out… because they are afraid if they don’t protect themselves, they’ll get hurt. So they end up hurt by protecting themselves.
Aren’t we all such strange creatures?
You just can’t control life. But you can control how you experience life.