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My ex-partner is pursuing me but in the past he treated me badly - should I respond?

heart to heart The questioner's philosophy
Not to have any regrets and to use life as an opportunity to learn and grow. I believe in a freedom for spirituality... I was raised with a Christian belief but have a connection with the divine or a greater power than ourselves.
The questioner's hopes and aspirations
To be the best I can at what I pursue in life; to be happy.
Is going back actually going forward?

When I was 18 I involved myself in a relationship with a man who was older than me in years but probably not emotional years. I chose to continue to pursue this even though he kept telling me that I should move on and find someone else. I ignored this, and continued to persuade and pursue.

I stayed with this man. I led the relationship all the way even though he never told me he loved me (he didn't need to say it, I should know what he thinks) and made it clear on more than one occasion that he would never marry me (or anyone else for that matter). He allowed me to pay for everything and positively encouraged me to get into debt. At times he refused to work. On practically every occasion we went out for meals or drinks, he would end up picking a fight with me or verbally and emotionally abusing me. I conceived and gave birth to a wonderful child, but then had to go back to work full time and spent most of my time alone with the child, or undertaking any daily activity alone or with the child.

Needless to say in the end I left. I went back but left again. The last time I stated that I did not want the relationship any more but was determined to remain friends, and I worked hard to minimize any friction, and he in turn has done the same.

Six years down the line and he is indicating that he wishes for us to reunite, but he has in fact asked me every year for the last six years, even though he has continued to remain in a different area of the country and had up until recently been in a relationship with someone for nearly 3 years. He's successful now, we are good friends but I cannot define my feelings on his request. How can going back be moving forward, or is life really a simple yes or no?

I have no relationship, I am fussy, possibly intolerant of men, my own worst critic but deeply care what others think. I have made mistakes in the last 6 years but regret nothing. I have a deep desire for things to move forward, be grown up, have it all. I'm stuck.

Wallace's reply
Wallace Here is my perspective... This man does not seem from his past actions, as described by you, to be good marriage material. Why would you want to associate with a man who didn't pursue you, never told you he loved you, got you pregnant, wanted you to pay for everything, encouraged you to get into debt, refused to work and who abused you. Be wary of your "deep desire for things to move forward, be grown up, have it all."

Instead of seeking a relationship with a man and "having it all" as your deepest desire, make seeking a relationship with your Higher Self your top priority. Your very desire to move things forward could blind you to the obvious shortcomings of this man and get you into trouble once again.

Having said that, people can and do change – I do not know this man. However the warning bells are sounding when he is going out with someone else and is at the same time pursuing you. I would advise profound caution when dealing with this man. The world is full of wonderful men – if you are intolerant of men, this will keep you from meeting the really great men who would make fabulous husbands.

My advice to you is to drop your deep desire to "have it all" and instead be content with your life as it is. Feel appreciation for what you do have. Then reprioritize, putting your main emphasis on developing a relationship with your Higher Self, God Within. Once you do that your inner guidance will become clearer and you will know exactly where you stand in relation to this man.

To the reader:
This woman has a deep desire to have it all. However her desire to pursue a relationship as her first priority, is blinding her to her ex-partner's obvious shortcomings. She is aware of these shortcomings because she has written about them in her question. But her desire for a relationship and marriage are so strong that they are in danger of over-riding what may appear obvious to herself and others. Do you have any advice for her? Please post your comments in the forum...

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