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He’s Married and He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not

Question of the Week

Hi Ella,

I recently got involved with a man who had been recently separated from his marriage… we spent almost everday together for a month and connected in extremely compatable ways.  He is obviously still in a process with his wife and I’m going back and forth with how to navigate through our connection. There was a point when I said, “resolve things with her and lets connect when its more clear”, however, putting our connection on hold hasnt seemed to work either so far.  I’m so confused because my heart wants to connect with his yet his heart is still entangled with a 10 yr relationship that is on the rocks.

He still loves her and they have a child together.  His wife has been involved with another man as well.

Would approaching an open relationship with him (so he can still be with his wife) be ridiculous? ive never been in an open relationship so dont know the ropes of it.  ive never been one to be sexually casual (being with more than one person at a time) but since weve only known each other for a couple monthes, maybe its ok to stay connected and keep it open?  I have felt pain around this and wondering how to bring more peace to the situation… i welcome any and all words of wisdom you have to offer… so much gratitude,



Hi Meghan,

I can only offer my opinion and empower you to make a choice that ultimately feels good.  Check out what I’ve written about folks trapped in the clutches of aftermath matrimony in my previous post She Used to Date a Married Man.

The real gem from that article that applies to you is:

Look to your past to know where you’ve been but not who you are, who you are is a continual choice from the present moment to the next present moment. However, having dated the same prototype for about five years, I can say that unless we work on ourselves and take a good look at why we’re drawn to certain experiences/people/drama/lovers we’re bound to repeat history.

You seem to be an emotionally intelligent and sensitive being which is why you’re torn in this experience from feeling pain
to considering an open relationship to also having had a real struggle with walking away.  You’re human
and that’s beautiful but I would offer that we can get addicted to love and a person because of an often
uninvestigated attachment to emotional reaction/limerence/drama.

Pain and pleasure respond in similar ways in the brain.

Having been a real champion of love in my relationships, it’s been a rough ride being righteous in the face of really bad circumstances.  I think you made the right move in asking that he get back in touch with you when “he had resolved things with her and [to] connect when it’s more clear”. I know it’s easier said than done but if you love you, you know that that’s what’s in order.  If it’s meant to work out, he’ll show up when he’s available and in the meantime, you should (in my humble gal pal opinion) do your own thing.

Girlfriend, waiting it out is a game that is often really charged with excitement and what looks like love but
feels like a week in Las Vegas ala Hunter S. Thompson and I wonder if that hangover is really what you’re wanting
to wake up with and attempt to recover from.

Sounds like your heart strings are pulling you to move on up and out because this is not feeling good and you don’t need a Magic 8 ball to tell you “outlook not so good” either.

Use this experience as an opportunity to dig a little deeper into yourself whether that’s working with a coach like me, reading and interacting with a kick-ass transformative book (I suggest How To Break Your Addiction to A Person, Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth, Don Miguel Ruiz’s Mastery of Love) and have a person to call that you trust and can resuscitate you when you’re beyond tempted to reach out and touch this guy (not unlike an AA sponsor).

There are plenty of resources out there to support you in feeling better and in alignment with what really feels better.

You’re doing a whole lotta change to yourself to fit into a box that he’ll want to open by considering the open relationship thing.  Consider that you’re in an open relationship, you’re open to date and enjoy whoever you want and whether he ends up across the dinner table from you or not, you’ve got endless options to feel good and have what you really desire with other people who aren’t donning a wedding band.

Your truest desire (to be loved) isn’t outside of you, remind yourself of that.

What is this experience teaching you about what you believe and think you need?  I think you deserve to be with someone who’s not only available to show up in the ways you prefer (read: not still entangled with someone else) but contributes to your life and I don’t even know you.  And the fact that he has a child in the mix of his matrimonial woe cocktail is just another flag waving you away, that family needs time and space to get grounded.  You don’t want to be painted as the villain in the story, ahem, wicked step-mother much?

Connections are life changing but the romantic ones often get more weight and value than their due.
Sometimes they’re around for a moment, a season or a lifetime, we often don’t get to choose but when we
do- choose wisely.  The relationships in our life directly contribute to our well-being and health, know that.

Your scenario lends me to a saying of my mother’s (and I’ve heard it a thousand times when breaking my addiction to an unhealthy relationship): “Why keep going back to an empty well?”

Photo Courtesy of Haley Mevorach/startraksphoto.com

Circumstance may change (and even in your favor) but you can’t just sit next to your bucket, plucking flower he loves me, he loves me not petals wondering when it will get full and you’ll feel loved.

Start loving yourself and do for you what you’re wanting from others so that you start making decisions from a place of cherishing yourself.  Fill that bucket yourself!

And as for he loves me, he loves me not petal picking antics- f&%$ that!

He (and nobody else)  deems whether you’re loveable or worthy of love EVER!  It’s like thinking that because you got stuck at a red light you’re a bad person, pfffft!  Where’s the logic in that?

Sending a splash of love to your wishing well,



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  1. Another Great post, Ella:)

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