Saturday, November 14, 2009

Letting go: The (still) married lover

You are always advised not to get involved with a married man no matter how much you are or think you are in love, especially if he has children….

When they met, he was separated. Separated for us in the Arab world means divorced; in the West it means that the couple is for the time being not living together and at the same time not legally divorced. When they fell in love, he was on the verge of divorcing then something happened. Her love brought him the stability and friendship he sought and he reconsidered his separation status. His wife suddenly decided to move back with him to another continent and a hostile environment because at her age it was better than starting over with two kids and she was still getting her way.

When they met the first time in Europe, he said "I love you, but I cannot make any promises until my life is back in order, as I have two little children to take care of"

When they met the second time in Asia, he said "Wife has moved to my country and it is a joy to watch my kids thrive again and feel stable. I no longer fight with her, and though the sex is clinical, my work keeps me going and my joy at protecting the children. I'm looking into figuring out a solution that will not put their future at risk but although I'd love to have you for me, please don't wait if you have a chance"

When they met the third time in Europe again it was for one day only and there was barely time to stock on love to keep one going …

When they met the fourth time it was between airports because he has cancelled their meeting for family obligations and when she saw him she noticed immediately how old he had grown… Was this the same man she loved ? she looked beyond the white hair and the large paunch at the kind turquoise eyes. He still was very fit wit well defined muscles, still tall and well built, but he definitely was older. " 50 years old!" she caught herself thinking, Would she want to be with him now that his best years have been with another woman?
He was sorry that it was all he could manage and he promised to dedicate a special time for them to meet again and discuss the future but again he said " I'm still trying to figure away that would not harm my children!"

From the time of their first meeting she told herself that if she encountered a man with whom she felt she would be happy she would not wait for the turquoise eyes to alight on her again. She dated a number of men, all interesting and all successful but they never ticked all the right boxes. And she went on basking in that halo of love that's been bridging 10 years of longing. Ten interminable years of yearning to live together yet knowing somewhere deep inside that it was not going to happen.

The day she held her own child in her arms she finally understood ….She understood that he was not going to leave his kids at least until they were over 18 and provided for. Yes he was frail and human and he fell in love with another woman who was not his wife. She had caught him during the male menopause years and he had outgrown that and calmed down and resigned to making a life for his kids. Plus being 50 meant he would soon be less passionate romance/sex and just content because he still had access to his wife's bed and what does a man want but somewhere to put his weary body? She had learned that the hard way from a younger man who professed eternal love but could not keep his promise. He said at the end of the day, we men just want somewhere to rest …love .. romance etc.. that's just lies..

Cradling her child she knew it was not going to happen and when he phoned her to talk about setting up that meeting, her mouth said "sure that would be great my love", but her heart and head said in unison " why waste a perfectly good holiday for something that will never see the light – you should be concentrating your energy on the one who is available, has no baggage – you live forever".

We hold to each other and think that time stops, but we grow and mature and understand that even in Love there is no black and white. You did not want to live with the guy without marriage and he was not ready to dispose of his old life to marry you.
You can go on loving fiercely but you can have a beautiful, successful and fulfilled life with a partner whom you may not love passionately at first but whom you are sure that he will grow old with you and your child. So you look with tenderness at that snapshot taken 10 years ago during the first candle lit dinner with your lover. The beautiful skin, flushed and rosy with love, the bright sparkling eyes, the way his arm is wrapped possessively around your waist, the way your head is tilted towards his chest and you wish that couple good luck in the next life.

Don't ever fall in love with a married man no matter how unhappy he says he is because he will never leave on his own unless you are prepared to fight for him and break his marriage. NOT all women are ready to do that !

There is no bitterness because he was a gentleman and a best friend and most of all he never made promises. Having reached this stage you know you are ready to let go in peace.