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"How to move on and stop fantasizing about someone who is now dating another?"

I am a 54 y.o. male, who just recently broke up from a almost 4 yr. relationship. I was separated 5 yrs. ago and became divorced 3 yrs. ago.

When my wife and I separated, I waited 7 months before I started dating. We both agreed on the separation and I was no longer in love with my wife. I stayed for many years because of my children and I also liked the routine of a marriage (dinner, going out with friends, etc.), but really had no feelings for my wife. Our sex life was almost non-existent and we were more like friends than anything else. There was never any real warmth or intimacy in our marriage and that was what I missed the most. I loved hand holding, kisses on the cheek for no reason and cuddling when possible.

Throughout my marriage of 23 years, I found myself constantly thinking about my first real love, who I dated for a year when I was in my early 20's. We both loved one another, but she I always thought was somewhat bizarre in her behavior. One day she was sweet, gentle and caring and the next day she could make my life miserable. She came from a very comfortable home, but you could see that something in her upbringing was not healthy. We broke up after a year and she would never talk to me again when I called. About 7 months later she contacted me, but I was angry and still hurt from the past and politely said goodbye. I met someone else 2 years later and we married after going out for 1 year. Two years before my marriage ended, by accident

I found out that Cindy never married and was still living in LA. I never called her and tried to forget that she was only 40 minutes away.

Anyway, when I began dating I had about 4 or 5 different women I took out. They were all nice, professional career women, but there really wasn't any chemistry. At that point I contacted Cindy, we would talk about 2 hours a week for almost 3 months before she was really ready to see me again. She never married, had no children and her life up to that point was filled with much sorrow. Her father was the type of man who made her his companion, instead of his wife. He showered her with love and gifts and always said she was "daddy's life girl". He and the mother always told her she never had to worry about money and that she should just go out and meet the perfect man to marry.

As each year passed since our first encounter, she became even more anxious then before. She was insecure, afraid to let go of her parents and go out and be part of the world. She started to drink heavily and found going to a therapist was the answer for everything. She never really had any long term relationships and was somewhat afraid to love someone. She would find herself drinking and blacking out a lot, etc., etc.

She found a 12 step program almost 22 years ago and has not had a drink since. She also still never had a real long term relationship sober and would latch onto the wrong men at meeting, because they were well off. However, they too were self-centered and selfish.

So when I called, it took time for her to realize I still loved her and we finally went out after 3 months. The relationship from the beginning was very hard for me, because I was not financially secure at the time and still am not. But, we both loved one another and it endured. She would call me and say "you are poor" hang up and 2 hours later call me and say I love you, I accept the way things are and they will get better.

For the first 3 years we were together, everyday there was something different on her mind that bothered her and she let me know it. A lot of it had nothing to do with me, but a recovering alcoholic has many issues. We had good times together, our sex life was wonderful and we truly loved one another.

However, I found myself very unhappy for many hours per week because of her insecurities. Her parents lied and really never gave her the money she needed to live on and after 12 years of really not working she had to go out and find a job.

I walked out one night 4 months ago, because she did something that was very dishonest and I was having trouble trusting her. I only wanted to stay in my home that night so we would not fight and we could go on from there. But, the next day she said it is over, since I didn't have enough money to marry her. She never wanted to pool our resources together so we could marry. She wanted me to furnish it all.

I knew from the 2nd date in the beginning that money was always going to be an issue because her parents lied to her. I also knew that since she was self-centered and selfish at times it would be impossible to really have a normal relationship. She was jealous of my first wife, what we had and what we did. She was also jealous of my children and wanted to come first.

I know I have always been insecure when it came to women I really liked. I would turn myself inside out for them and in return only want them to love me and not lie to me. I know that trust has always been very important to me and that is why my last night with her was the reason I left. I felt betrayed and with all the years of her venting about family, friends, etc., I was able to just leave.

I never thought that my actions would lead to be apart permanently, but she does not want to be with me anymore. She feels that I lied to her and treated her badly. One thing I should mention is that if I ever critized her like a parent would she would rip into me. She was always talking about how AA people think and do things and I just could not accept a lot of that way of thinking.

Anyway, I love her very much and would like to see the 2 of us get back together again. I know that is my heart talking and the intelligent me knows I should never call her again or get back with her.

My problem is I cannot stop thinking about her, whether she is dating or with another man and that I can only remember the good times and not all the bad. I know I am insecure about her, but how do I forget on move on.

Can you please offer me advice on how to move on and stop fantasizing about her?

Well, how come you want to be with someone who is obviously very dysfunctional? Where does that need come from? Where did it originate? When a person has such a need to, or feels so pulled to be with someone when it is an abusive situation, there is an issue of thinking they need to be or deserve to be abused, or mistreated. You believing this about yourself is deeply, deeply ingrained, but it doesn't serve you. Your playing small, or letting yourself be mistreated in any way does not serve you or the world. Sometimes it is what we are allergic to that is what we crave - something that our being really doesn't feel good with but that we've gotten addicted to in some way is what we crave. Then, we need to recognize it for what it is, explore why we crave it if it isn't good for us - we need to explore what's underneath the craving - the issue creating the craving, and then be willing to change the pattern and draw into our lives that which is truly healthy for us. This relationship sounds very, very unhealthy. Really mixed up. What in you has you need such an unhealthy, mixed up relationship - to be pulled to that which is not good for you and that doesn't help your life? Some deep inner work is needed here on your part to find these answers, and then, if you choose to, change the patterns.

I invite you to read Caroline Myss's book, 'Anatomy of the Spirit', and also her book, 'Why People Don't Heal'. There are some issues of power and control going on (2nd chakra) that would be very important for you to explore.

One other thing I want to add: it sounds to me as if you went from one extreme to the other regarding relationships: you went from a hum drum, no excitement relationship, no passion, to an up and down, never know what to expect, unstable but in some ways exciting, due to that, relationship. Life does not have to be in extremes. What about the possibility of creating a sane, emotionally healthy, balanced, but also passionate and interesting relationship with someone? If your life tends to have extremes in it, then this may be a good place to do some healing. Life can be balanced, not black or white, but balanced in that it is healthy, stable, and also exciting and stimulating. You can have both in the same relationship, and also within yourself. That's the key here. Develop that balance in yourself, and you will find that in relationship as well.

Blessings, Ayal

252. "My sister-in-law has awful pain in her muscles and is going down hill rapidly"

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