Dear Annie: I’ve been in a relationship for about three years.
Both of us are estranged from our spouses. We stayed in marriages because of our children and are still married now for other reasons. We both struggled with spouses who slept around. Neither of us had a relationship outside of our marriages until now.
Before we met, my friend slept in a room in the back of their house, crying herself to sleep every night. I slept on the sofa, taking antidepressants and seeing a counselor. (I moved out three years ago.)
My friend lives overseas. We text and email constantly, with occasional phone calls and Zooms. Prior to COVID-19, we saw each other about every three or four months.
Around the time COVID-19 started, my friend’s son-in-law died, leaving behind a pregnant wife and young child. My friend and her estranged husband got together and took their daughter and her family in.
In doing so, they all became very close, and my friend reconnected with her husband. She now sleeps with him. I’m having difficulties with this. Knowing that my wife slept around was difficult for me, and I find this situation challenging, too.
I told my friend that I just want her to be happy, and if being with her husband makes her happy, I’m OK with that; I’ll go. She ignored what I had to say. We continue to text and are looking forward to seeing each other again.
She is constantly saying that she loves me and wants a future with me. And she reminds me that I’m better off being in a relationship with her now than I was before. That’s true. I was really unhappy before and have never been so happy as I am now with her.
We previously talked about a future together and had plans. Now when I ask her about that future and when we should act on it, I’m ignored. I’m not sure where to go from here.
I’ve considered looking for someone else, but I’ve never been much for dating. And I continue to deal with depression. It’s all really difficult to sort through.
I’m not sure where to go or what to do — any thoughts? — Missing My Girlfriend
Dear Missing: Where you go from here is up to you, especially because you are in a hurtful relationship right now. Your girlfriend is back with her husband and not with you. Next time she tells you that she loves you and wants a future, pay more attention to her actions and not her words.
For now, cut off communication with her while you are dealing with your own life. It is understandable that you are depressed when you thought you were in a relationship with a future. The good news is that once you realize and accept that she is not the one and that you will be better off without her, you can move on.
In moving on, continue your treatment for depression and try to see that the ball and chain of her lies are now gone and you are free to find someone who loves and accepts you. Set her free so your special someone can find you. She is out there just waiting for you to be done with your ex-girlfriend. You sound like a caring man, and I have no doubt you will find someone.
Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org.