Eight years ago I was totally in love with a guy that I was dating.
We got along well, and we had a lot in common. Everything was going great, until he finished his PhD and moved to Europe for a post-docposition. We decided to stay together, and when I finished my BA Iwas to move there to live with him, putting off my grad school plansfor a year or two.
About 4 months after he moved, I went to Europe to visit him for a few weeks. He had made the decision to move rather rashly, and the high taxes taken out of his paycheck left him with very little money to live on, which he didn’t anticipate. He was living in a cramped studio apartment and he was very worried about not having enough money to support me if I moved to be with him. He was also very homesick and depressed. The visit went ok, but at the end of the visit he told me that he had planned to end our relationship because it hurt him too much to not have me there with him. Now, this is not a very emotional sort of guy, and he told me he was coming home from work at lunchtime to be alone so he could cry because I’d emailed him in the morning and he missed me so much. He said he just couldn’t keep going on because it was too painful.
I was devastated. I returned to the US and could barely function for a few months. I didn’t date for 2 years after that because I still loved the guy and I was so hurt. I threw myself into work/school and 8 months later moved away to go to grad school.
About 2 months into grad school he emailed me and told me he moved back to the city where we had originally met and that he broke off his post doc contract early to move back to the states. After a couple of pleasant “what are you doing now?” sorts of emails, he sent me a long email apologizing for breaking up with me and saying it was the biggest mistake of his life. I was in full-time graduate coursework and needed to focus…and I knew if I kept responding it would be a mess. I was also still upset about him breaking it off less than a year before. I was living about 10 hours away from him at this point and working and going to school full time. So, I never responded.
I moved on with my life and dated other people, but I always wondered “what if?” about him.
In April of 2005 I ended an engagement with a different man for several good reasons. He moved out of our apartment, and the very next morning I got an email from my former bf, who I hadn’t heard from in 6-7 years. Over the last 8 months or so we’ve been
sporadically emailing each other…we have probably even more in common now than we did 8 years ago. I couldn’t figure out what my former bf’s intentions were, though – the emails were very sweet and
slightly flirtatious, but not overt. In July or so I sent him an email saying that I had recently reconnected with an old friend and that we had been talking on the phone and having a blast. I sent him
my phone number and said if he wanted to chat that’d be cool. It was a very low-key, low-pressure sort of thing, because I couldn’t figure out what exactly he wanted from me – a penpal? a friend? something else?
No phone call came…until mid-November. Out of the blue he starts calling me. No explanation of why it took him so long. The phone calls went very well, we have loads to talk about, and the flirtation is very heavy.
Then, in early December, he called me and told me he had just signed divorce papers that day. He also told me that he wanted to call me when I sent my number but he was still living with his wife, who he married before he left Europe and has been with for 7 years. Now, no mention of being married at all before this. None. The whole thing seems very carefully planned…but it’s so…strange. He says he’s been so ready for the divorce for a very long time, but was
being “chicken” about it. I am not too sure what that’s supposed to mean. I also feel a little weird about everything – I am not the type to cheat or become involved with anyone who is married, and had he told me he was married I would have corresponded a couple of times to catch up on what’s been going on in our lives and then stopped when it got flirtatious.
So, right after the bombshell, we talked on the phone/sent emails every day for a week or so. Then he went to visit his family for Christmas for just a couple of days…now I am getting nothing. No calls, no emails…not for the past 11 days. He is a workaholic, but he’s supposed to be taking these 2 weeks off. I’d think that being off work would make it much easier to call or email…not the other way around. He’s not vacationing anywhere or anything like that.
When we were together he was sporadic about emails/calls/getting together as well, but back then I knew he was just working really hard, and I never felt insecure about it. I work too hard too, so I
can understand that. We both work in science, and sometimes when you have a breakthrough you just get wrapped up in what you’re doing and everything else falls by the wayside.
I am not too sure what to do at this point. I am not going to chase him, and I think I’ve made it almost too easy so far (being understanding about him not telling me he was married, being really kind to him, being pretty open about how I feel about him, etc.). If
he just needs some space after the divorce, that’s fine, but it’d be nice if he actually told me that. Or maybe he’s back with his ex-wife, although I don’t think that’s likely. I have no idea what is going on.
I feel two ways about things. One is that I am very flattered that he is still interested and that he found me on the internet and we’re communicating and I want to see where this will go. I have a PhD in
a male-dominated field, and I can be very assertive, and I have had problems finding men who are not intimidated by me. This man is totally not intimidated, and has told me recently how proud he is of
me and my accomplishments. I can’t tell you how good that makes me feel, and I can’t explain how nice it is to be free to be the intelligent and strong woman that I am. However, the calculatedness of the contact with me and the whole thing about being a “chicken”
about getting divorced and…well, I wonder if I am not rebound-girl, or if he has been using me as an excuse/motivational factor to make
changes he needed to make. I also don’t like the fact that he kept his marriage a secret until he could tell me he was divorced. I can see why he did that (because I am sure he knows I would not have kept up correspondence had I known) but why didn’t he just wait until he was divorced to start corresponding? I am also a bit on the miffed side about him rebounding and marrying someone else 7 years ago…he claims it was all rebound and it happened very quickly, but how do I know his contact with me isn’t ths same?
What should I do with this guy?