All Woman

Wife pining for ex-boyfriend

Wayne POWELL

Monday, December 03, 2018

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Dear Counsellor,

I was dating a guy and we were very attached and had natural chemistry. I loved my boyfriend dearly and since I was his first girlfriend, he truly loved me and would do anything for me

I had to go to the UK and after two years I met someone else. I was frustrated, and he was there to help me. I eventually got married to him and we have two beautiful children.

The trouble is, I don't feel that emotional connection with him as compared to my ex-boyfriend, who eventually got married seven years after our break up. It's killing me, as I don't feel anything for my husband.

It appears that you left home leaving the gentleman behind, and subsequently you both seemed to have lost contact with each other. Being so disconnected, you both obviously moved on with your separate lives. This is the logical sequence of some couples' relationships after they are separated by whatever factors.

In your case, it was heading to another country. What is not certain is what understanding or expectations were established prior to the separation. Did you both intend to engage in a long-distance relationship? If so, how would that have played out? From all indications, nothing seems to have been established and so, as they say, “if you fail to plan then plan to fail”.

So as time passed, being in a new environment you may have gotten lonely and frustrated, as you stated, and someone in proximity reached out and the rest is history. You felt somewhat obligated to show your appreciation to this caring and considerate person who was there for you during a depressing period of your life and so you got married to him even though you did not initially feel an emotional pull towards him.

Again, this is not unusual as many relationships are formed out of necessity to fill an emotional void or to substitute for a loss in a former relationship. Sometimes people engage in rebound relationships to deal with the hurt associated with their break ups.

In your situation, because there was no closure on the former relationship even though you moved away physically your heart was still in your home town.

This dilemma will only get worse if you continue to live in the past and refuse to let go. The fact is that you are married to someone else and so is he. You have two beautiful children who need your undivided attention as they blossom into emotionally and psychologically well-adjusted human beings. This not the time to be distracted from your present marital relationship, as your partner and the relationship will suffer the consequences. How fair would it be for your husband to be short-changed due to no fault of his own? What has he done to deserve your half-hearted attention when he is only trying to be the best husband and father he can be?

What is the likelihood that both you and your ex-boyfriend will come back together again and pick up where you left off? That would be improbable but not impossible, as there are couples who have who split up and have been reunited after decades of separation.

One thing that we all fail to realise is that as time progresses our circumstances will change, and we will adjust to accommodate the changes. So the man you left behind seven years ago may have changed somewhat in terms of his attitude and behaviour as he matured and adjusted to the goings-on in his life. These changes could confuse you and make you more unhappy than you are now.

The suggestion is that you refocus your attention on your immediate family and try and give your husband the attention he deserves and requires for the relationship to grow and flourish. In the same way you can't drive a car frontward by gazing in the rearview mirror, you can't advance your marriage if you are focused on your ex-boyfriend.

Closing that door would be best for you and all concerned. Take care.

Wayne Powell is a relationship counsellor. Write to agapemft@gmail.com or powellw@seekingshalom.org . Check out his work on www.seekingshalom.org and his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MFTCounselor/.

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