My love and I have redefined our relationship as “friends.” This is killing both of us and I suspect our friends find it ridiculous. To see us together is to see two people madly in love.
The problem is that she can’t move forward with a divorce and has basically given up trying. In order to keep her estranged husband from snatching away her youngest daughter, she has to keep her relationship with me a secret. He blames me for the breakup of their marriage, and refuses to accept any responsibility for anything — it was him that broke up their marriage, years ago, by being an abusive jackass — before I was even in the picture. The two of them don’t even live in the same state anymore. But because he’s abusive, because he’s willing to use their own children as weapons, and because he has her at a total disadvantage for several complicated legal reasons (that have something to do with him being in the military), she’s unwilling to fight him any more.
So where does that leave us? How can we have an actual relationship where she has to hide me from people, and I can’t see her openly, and I have to explain to people that my girlfriend is actually married to someone else and, no, they’re not divorcing?
Also, what is the message we’re sending to our kids? I can see it both ways:
A) We’re showing them that two people who are truly in love should be together no matter what.
B) But, we’re also showing them it’s okay to have an extramarital relationship?
Talk about mixed signals. We’re in favor of A but not of B.
We had a rather hard conversation yesterday (it seems we only talk via text in one form or another anymore) where she told me a psychologist (which I’m planning to start seeing) would probably tell me this relationship is unhealthy and I should break it off completely. But when her and I are actually together, which is not that often anymore, it’s like drinking from the fountain of youth. It’s the most healthy, whole, and rejuvenating happiness either of us has ever experienced.
We’ve concluded the whole thing has become a mess, and neither of us know what to do about it. The only thing I know is that I’m not going to put my life on hold anymore, and I’m not going to have another miserable Christmas wishing I was with someone who I can’t be with. What that means, I’m not sure. My plan at this point is to concentrate on building a social circle where I live, and flying myself and my daughter back to California to be with family next Christmas.
Anyone have any advice? I’d love to hear it. I’m at my wit’s end about this.