Living with my ex, in love with someone else
After so many years, I've added an "amazing" category for all letters that include our favorite adjective (including today's). Now I just need to go back and tag all of the old ones with the a-word.
I'm a first-time reader but have enjoyed seeing the advice given, even if brutally honest. I'm a man in my late 30s, married for 10 years. No children, but we share pets that are like kids.
We began having problems years ago, when she had a half-affair. I say "half-affair" because I found out intimacy happened, but wasn't able to be sure about sex. That part was denied by both, but my gut tells me it happened. Nevertheless, an affair doesn't require sex. The marriage was rocky from that point forward.
We decided to give it another shot and moved to the country where she's from. For the first two years, it was OK. Third year rolls around and it got weird again, and I had a bad feeling. I discovered she was, and still is, having a different affair, for over a year. No, I've not confronted her with the proof, though I've outright asked her, and we know the answer given. We now live like roommates, even separate beds, and actually got divorced six months ago.
Recently, I've met someone who is amazing, makes me feel wonderful, and truly cares about me in every way. She's just an amazing person. There's been no sex yet, though it has gotten very close. We stopped because we didn't want to take the chance of ruining it by just jumping in bed. I'm sure you're wondering: "What's this guy's problem? He's divorced." True, but just before I met this woman, my ex-wife said she'd like to work on things again. I agreed, reluctantly. I believe she is still cheating.
The issue: I'm in a foreign country. Living on my own here would be financially difficult. We have shared pets. Admittedly, I've also grown to accept the lifestyle. Her cheating actually doesn't bother me anymore. The cold distance has become normal, as has the stress and general uneasiness. If I take the chance on my own here, perhaps I won't make it and will end up going back to my country (though I would do my best). And that would be OK if not for the woman I've been seeing.
I still have some love and concern for the ex, however, the in love feelings are long gone. I'm not sure they'd ever come back, especially given what's happened. Is it worth it to take a risk with this other woman? It's worth mentioning that I've fallen deeply for her. I realize the answer should be simple, and also realize that it's difficult to offer advice because only I know how I'm feeling, but I thought I'd open up and see what comes my way.
Start by having an honest conversation with your ex. She deserves to know that you have no real interest in working on this relationship.
Also talk to her about the recent cheating, and share your proof. She should have all of the information – because the truth will help her make some good decisions for herself.
Once that news is out, discuss the strategy for disconnecting your lives. Maybe if you find a place nearby, you could you visit the pets or share custody. Also, if this is her hometown, maybe she has friends of friends who need a roommate. Really, it's time to work together on a practical plan. Your ex might not like it, but if she knows there's no chance of reconciliation, she might want to set up a new life, too.
As for this new woman, it would be nice to give yourself some space before coupling up again, but ... it doesn't sound like you want to stop this train. If that's the case, just stay honest with her – and don't move in with her. That might seem like the perfect solution, but I promise, it isn't.
Another question to consider: Is therapy available to you where you live? Or can you get some over the phone, from back home? You've dealt with betrayals, jealousy, self-doubt, and the tension of living with an ex-partner. If you can find a way to process that with a professional, this new relationship might have a better shot.
Readers? Is it time to leave the current living situation?
"Find a roommate who is not your ex. Go for it and don't hold back with your new love." - LucilleVanPelt