Ask Aunt B and Staff would like to extend a warm and gracious welcome to our newest Staff Adviser, Lorielle. This is often times a thankless job but Lorielle is willing to holster it up and shoot it out, gangbusters right along with the rest of us.
This is Lorielle's first post, which we celebrate and are extremely grateful for.
We look forward to hearing more from this wonderful, wise and whimsical woman!
Dear Aunt B,
For almost 2 years I had a wonderful relationship with a beautiful
man. Even when he became an Air Force Officer and we had to do the
long distance thing for over a year we remained very close and would
visit each other frequently. We both have decent incomes and would
split the cost so it was never a huge financial burden. We got along
great and were very much in love. I gave my heart completely to him. I
wanted to marry him. I still do.
At the end of August, I flew down to see him for 10 days. We had a
wonderful time and I felt closer to him than ever. He told me he loved
me every day and was very affectionate. Everything seemed perfect.
Around the eighth day of my visit I did notice a change in him though.
He became distant, but I just thought it was stress from his job or
something. He would hold my hand but not look at me and he just
seemed...sad. I asked him if something was wrong but I couldn't get a
straight answer, he just said it was stress.
A few days after I got home I get a call from him. He's crying. (He
NEVER cries!) He says he hates to do this to me...but he just doesn't
feel the same way about me anymore. He's no longer in love with me. I
was devastated and asked him "why?".
He says he has no idea why his feelings changed and that they changed
in a matter of about 2-3 days. He says I was a perfect girlfriend and
didn't do anything wrong. That I'm more beautiful than ever. That it's
not the distance and that he's not cheating on me. But he has NO
explanation for why he feels this way so suddenly. (He had wanted to
marry me a short time earlier, he said.)
The whole time he was telling me this, I could see the tears rolling
down his face since it was via video-chat. I've never seen him cry at
all before, let alone sob like he was. I cried too...I still cry
everyday thinking about it almost a month later.
We haven't had much contact since then and I don't know what to do. He
said he needed time and space to "think" but he doesn't think his
feelings will change.
The few times I have spoken to him, I've had a hard time keeping my
emotional cool. I've cried, told him how much I loved him-that I would
do anything for him, that I could make him happy. Everything. I've
tried reasoning with him but he says he doesn't know why he feels this
way so suddenly and he doesn't think he can change it.
He's coming home to see his family over Christmas and I'll have the
opportunity to see him then. I'm hoping we can talk face to face and
maybe when he's had time to miss me his perspective will change. But
what should I do/say when I do see him? Should I contact him 'til
then, or just cut all contact and wait 'til Christmas? I've been
avoiding making any contact with him for the most part since I only
seem to make myself look foolish. :(
First of all, my heart goes out to you. Let me start off by telling you a little story about something that happened to me several years ago. I was in love with a man, he was my best friend, my lover, and I loved him more than anything. We lived together, and had been together for about 4 years. It wasn't always wonderful, but sometimes when we are in love with someone we forgive them of their imperfections.
Anyway, somewhere along the line things between us became strained. I was sure that he wasn't cheating on me, he worked so many hours, he couldn't possibly have time. One day, I came home from work and he'd left me a note. A "Dear John" letter, if you will. He'd moved all of his things out of the house and was gone. He told me in that letter that he would love me always but had some things he needed to work out on his own. I was completely and utterly devastated. I felt so bad for HIM.
Long story short, he had left me for another woman. I didn't know that for awhile, no one would tell me. Sparing my feelings, I suppose. But I just let him go. I didn't try to contact him. I didn't try to find him. Then something happened. A year and a half later, he came back into my life. I didn't have to do a thing to "win him back," he figured it all out on his own that he had been wrong, that he wanted to be with me. I took him back and we were married a short time later. The marriage didn't last. It doesn't have a totally happy ending. I was more interested in "winning" than I was concerned with all the problems that were there to begin with.
I'm not telling you this – insinuating that your Officer is seeing another woman. I'm not telling you this to promise that if you give him time, he will return back to you. But I am telling you that I am a firm believer that in life, everything, every single thing, happens for a reason. I'm sure that you have heard the old saying: "Can't see the forest for the trees." It can be very hard to read a book when our faces are too close to the pages. It is also extremely easy to put one on a pedestal and romanticize our relationship with them. When we are with them, we love them and tend to be forgiving of the minor faults or issues they have. Which is how it should be! We're not perfect, either and it's a two-way street. I'm sure that they forgive us of things as well.
While this is a very confusing and difficult time for you right now, and I know that you hurt like no other. You need to step back and put some distance between yourself and the situation. Pick up the pieces as if it is truly 100% over and get on with your own life. Respect his wishes and allow him this time to also pick up the pieces and get on with his life. Often times in life we are so sure one day of something that we want very badly, only to find out the next day that we really don't want it anymore. Have you ever gone to the store and bought something on the spur of the moment only to realize the next day, or even later that same day, that we didn't really need it or it wasn't as great as we thought it was?
Please understand I am not trying to tell you that he's not a wonderful man. Or that he's lying or cheating or not right for you. I am asking you to just give this some time. Step out of the picture and view it from another perspective. It's hard to be objective when it's a movie about your life and you're the star, but that's what you must do. Find the joys in life again from the perspective of looking through your eyes. He has asked you for some time. Above all else, you must respect his wishes. He's not asked you to sit in limbo and wait for him to get his head on straight. (If he has, that's not fair – and you shouldn't do it.) He's been honest with you, as far as I can tell. At least he had the decency to tell you and didn't just disappear!
Retain some self-respect. Begging him to come back, promising to change, or do anything for him would not make you happy. This is a time to be true to yourself. If there were one thing in life that you absolutely loved to do, it was the most important thing in the world to you, you couldn't imagine not doing it for the rest of your life… and he told you that he didn't like you doing that. So, for him, you said you wouldn't do it anymore. Sometime later, when the glow of winning him over and back into your life was gone, you'd start to resent him for "taking that away" from your life.
The most important person in your life is YOU. You are what matters. What makes YOU happy. What YOU enjoy out of life. Christmas is not that far off. Between now and then, try to avoid contact with him, unless of course, it's him contacting you. Be cordial to him. Be nice to him. But do not beg him. Above all, he's the one who pulled away from you, you didn't push him away. So let him go. Let him contact you if he wants to talk. This is very important. If you contact him, or if you beg him, you sound needy and you'll only push him further away. Trust me on this one! As for Christmas, send him a card, send his family a card, if you were close. But don't plan on spending time with him or talking to him.
The hardest thing for you to do right now is tell yourself that it is over. Even if in the back of your mind you're thinking "I know he'll be back. It just can't be over." You need to get on with your life, respect his wishes, and for all intents and purposes go on with your life as if it really is over. The best way for him to see that he can't live without you is to let him.
I wish you the best and please keep in touch!