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Read Letter

He Promised To Divorce His Wife

My dear Jil, I know what the average man will do as regards this situation is condemn you. But I have seen life. I have seen life happen. I have seen that matters of the heart don’t always proceed rationally, that things do happen. I have also seen the power of need, that emotional needs are powerful. And that these needs are not easily understood by a bystander or third party. Our needs are invariably a catalogue of our history. They are demands made by us for the shortcomings in our life. Sometimes you meet that one person who ticks all your boxes – he’s all you want, only he’s married. Sometimes needs cross, like a pair of scissors – needy single girl meets needy wonderful man in a bad marriage. These are realities of life, one we’re not always willing to acknowledge despite the facts before us.

You met the right man at the wrong time. Not that you could have met him earlier though. You were too young to meet him earlier. You can only meet him now. But I worry about a few things. I worry about the fact the relationship has been going on for years but there’s really nothing concrete on the horizon. Now, you didn’t tell me the circumstances of his marriage, or how you met. But I think I have some insight. My challenge is that he’s telling you to wait a few more years before he initiates his divorce. You’ve waited three years already. Even if he initiates the divorce today legal proceedings don’t exactly go at the speed of a bullet train in your country. The legal resolution of his marriage will take years – two, three years. Given that fact you would end up waiting for this man for almost ten years.

The problem I see is that he wants his kids to grow up before he initiates his divorce proceeding. There’s no definition to that kind of time frame. How old is “grown up”? And everything he’s doing seems to point to settling more into the marriage than leaving it. What he’s doing is pointing away from the expectations he’s giving you. Can you vouch for this man’s integrity? His integrity cannot be questionable in this kind of scenario. If he has no integrity you’re in trouble. But even if I concede integrity to him you’re still taking a huge gamble. What if things improve in his marriage and he decides not to divorce again? You’ll be left in a lurch. You’ll be in that place in which you can’t go forward and can’t go backward, like a car stuck in neutral gear on an expressway. These things happen you know. Marriage is going south and suddenly the parties realise they can work things out and want to work things out.

It’s not exactly easy getting out of a marriage. There are so many pressures and considerations – emotional, psychological, familial, economic, societal, children… And so he may not pull through on his promise to leave the marriage. The fact he’s been delaying all these years says a lot. That delay seems programmed to go for another seven years given the facts. A lady in this kind of situation waited on the man for fifteen years. By the time she quit she was forty! He never left his marriage. This man does not have the liver to leave his marriage. If he did he would have left. He’s afraid of the consequences. He doesn’t want to face them. Part of the problem may be the fact he has no rational basis for leaving the marriage. And when there’s no rational basis it’s hard to justify divorce even if the facts are valid. In fairness to him problems in a marriage sometimes defy rational explanation. Some things will not make sense to a third party, and yet they’re germane. People marry for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes under pressure, like impregnating a girl you don’t even like and her family insists on marriage. How do you say you want a divorce because you don’t like your wife!

But there’s another dimension to consider. What if something happens to him in the waiting period? What happens to your dream? Anything can happen. No one has a control of life. There are a lot of things in life that are outside our control. Indeed we’re at the mercy of the forces of life. I therefore worry about the certainty of this man’s plan for you. Do you know what will happen tomorrow?

I think you have a chance to walk away from this promissory note relationship. It’s not going to be easy though. There’s a lot of history and emotions involved. There’s the challenge of wasted years, unfulfilled expectations… It’s even tougher because the heart is a dependent organ that feeds on symbiotic relationships. You’re used to the emotional comfort this relationship provides. It fills a void. There’s the basic friendship, the secret friendship, the fact someone wants you and needs you, the fact you have a chance to give to someone emotionally, to receive proprietary affection… I understand. It’s not going to be easy to walk away. But the gap provided by his travel gives you an opportunity. You can walk away now.

But I don’t want you to now condemn yourself and go into self-recrimination. Things happen, life happens. Accept it as is. What this has done however is give you an insight into the kind of person you are. You now have an inkling of what will satisfy you in a relationship. Clearly you’re the type who’d rather date a mature man. He’s much older than you but you got along fine. You chat comfortably with him, can relate with him. That gives you idea of the kind of person to date. If a man young in age he must not be young in maturity. He must be an old soul. You may actually end up dating a divorcee or a widower. There’s that possibility because the maturity you want is more available in that spectrum. I’m not saying you should, but you seem open to those possibilities. This relationship is like a practice run.  But it clearly gives you insight into yourself. If anyone had told you you’d date a married man a few years ago you would have said, “Impossible!”

What this teaches is, we must never overestimate ourselves. We must be humble. The currents of life are strong. Some will of course condemn you and I understand where they’re coming from. But my job is not condemnation. I choose to understand your situation. Besides, I hate all that condemnatory stuff. For the most, people are projecting their own weaknesses, issues and inadequacies. The more vociferous the condemnation the higher the chances the contemnor is battling with similar issues. He or she is just projecting. People do that. That’s the structure of society by the way. There’s a lot of hypocrisy. You must reconcile yourself to that simple fact. It’s the way we are.

Neediness can drive us in certain directions, make us do things we can’t imagine. Don’t spiral into sadness. Stop condemning yourself. It’s not healthy. Don’t go about moaning your lot and drawing too many conclusions from scant facts. What has happened has happened. Move on. One day you’ll look back and chuckle at life. One day you’ll be in a position to advice a young woman faced with a similar situation. You’re in a good position to do so because you understand the human heart. You’ve been through it. The human heart is an interesting organ. And no, he didn’t deceive you. I don’t get that from the facts you presented. I just believe he lacked courage. His lack of courage produced conditionalities and kept pushing the date forward. And yes, he’ll miss you. There are things that will remind him of you. You’ll always be there somewhere, floating around in his brain. Same for you too. There will be things that will remind you of him. But time will take care of things. Time always does.

You must not be stuck in an emotional rut. Don’t make the mistake some made. They can’t find the strength to move on. They’re stuck in mud. The easiest way to move on is to determine to live your life. And to adopt the simple philosophy, life happens. Go out with your friends. Don’t cloister yourself up. Live! You’re young! Youth has a way of passing quickly. Youth is in a hurry. Don’t waste your youth pining over what could have been.

Write me again, ok? Let me know how you’re doing.

Your mentor, LA

We must never overestimate ourselves. We must be humble. The currents of life are strong. Click To Tweet The easiest way to move on is to determine to live your life. And to adopt the simple philosophy, life happens. Click To Tweet
Tags : dating a married man, Moving on, Divorce

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