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When Unrequited Love Returns

When Unrequited Love Returns.

What will you do if someone whom you were in love with years back comes back into your life? What if an important romantic figure from your past finds you on an internet social media site. What if you are single and still available? Perhaps this was your first love, unrequited or reciprocated. What would you do? Where do you draw the line? This renewed connection brings to mind the passion and enthusiasm of youth—before middle age, children and financial problems. In your mind, you travel back to a time before career worries, mortgage problems, and thinning hair to a time of more energy, anticipation, optimism. Is it a wrong choice to maintain contact on-line? Is it wrong to have a texting relationship? What is the line that would determine that this is an inappropriate relationship?

Recently, social media has been a player in the triangle when individuals find the old flame, and unrequited love, or school love that has been out of their lives for the last 15 years. There is no threat to the marriage at first, when the reunited lovers are happy to find each other on line and enjoy the new “friendship” and reconnection. The story has become well known. Initially, the spouse is aware of the reconnection as a casual friendship. At this, nothing feels or looks wrong, but gradually, the romance rekindles.

When I review the choices that the wrongdoer made along the way, it is clear how the situation could have turned out better. But we seldom choose the right way when it comes to love. They decide to meet for coffee. They kiss and an affair begins. They don’t tell their current spouse because they don’t want to worry them. The now married partner struggles with the old emotions getting stirred up again and begins to feel guilt. They try to work it out on their own by not telling their current spouse about the feelings only to find the appeal of the former romance growing stronger. The secrets continue to grow until they become lies. The lies become worse than the offense. It ends when their current mate stumbles upon text messages or email.

A few more lies follow when the wrongdoer is confronted and tries to limit the marital damages. At this time, the current spouse is hurt by the infidelity as well as the lies and denial. They work on repairing the damages and fixing the elements of the marriage that weren’t working before the affair. It is a lot of work to do. It is sad why we do not think about repairing the damaged elements before such a relationship sprouts.

Most couples break up because one of them falls out of love and the other is left in unrequited love. Most couples are able to navigate the storm with the help of therapy, good intentions, and motivation to save the marriage. However, typically, both partners are in considerable pain as they work to heal their marriage and build the trust back. Couples struggle with the aftermath of affairs.

Here is my advice on choice points. As soon as you begin to have feelings for another person, have long conversations with your spouse. Tell your partner, even if this disclosure causes you pain, embarrassment, or discomfort. Dissatisfaction that didn’t have words previously will now have names. Expect the conversations to be difficult. Expect to talk about any unhappiness that may be seeping into your relationship.

The once bright light that looked like a beacon of hope in the storm was more like a kraken leading you towards the rocky shores of a shipwreck. Difficulties like parenting issues, family concerns, money problems, job troubles etc. are some of the things that send partners into the arms of someone else. They are looking for an escape from the demands of life, and the old flame takes on the bright shining light of deliverance. The deliverance is short lived.

There is more at stake here that finding relief from stress. Any advice that looks quite logical in hindsight, does not look so simple if you are in this situation now. If there is something going on in your life that you can’t tell your partner, then the relationship is in trouble already. You may be making a choice that will change your life forever. Talk over your choices with a trusted friend. Most people who cheated on their spouses say, afterwards, that they wish they could take it back. Choose wisely.

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