She's Kissing Another Guy with Your Ring on Her Finger!
August 9, 2005 Ask Dr. Love Advice Column
I really need help in my current situation, which is keeping me out of order. I can't work sleep or even eat. I'm totally lost. Please be so kind and read my story and tell me what to do. I will try to cut it short as possible not to waste your time. If any details you think are essential for your judgment please ask me again.
I'm a newly graduated doctor. I belong to a strict religious family. And I'm a strict religious person. I'm 26 years now. I always believed in one true love and I was very careful not to let my feelings go unless I believed that the relationship would end with marriage and a happy family.
My story started a year ago. I met a girl. It was great how we seemed to be so much in love after a very short time. It was the first love in my life ever. She's staying in the same country I'm in because she used to stay with her family that used to work somewhere else. She came for a summer training. Things moved so fast. We decided that we are for each other for life.
She told me that she had an ex-boyfriend in the country where she used to stay with her family. After her training ended, she went back. We stayed in touch through the net, calls, love emails at least once a day and a chat twice a week. Everything seemed to be perfect. We were planning marriage for sure and very soon.
Sometimes we used to have fights or arguments over religious issues because we belong to different religious backgrounds. But we worked it out from time to time and reached a mutual formula.
Sometimes after she left I started to ask her about that ex-boyfriend she told me she broke up BEFORE she met me. She went mad and that caused us a very tough time. She said that I'm crazy to think that she still sees him. And she really gave me a very hard time for that mistake I made for mentioning that. She said maybe she met him by chance or just talked as an old friend but that was ALL. I trusted that.
We were apart for one year and then she came back again. Things started to go better for her as I noticed she is more religious now, and she suits me as a wife now more than ever. Even from the human side she is more understanding of my type of work and my career ambitions. Very sacrificing even for this marriage to succeed, so many conditions she used to insist on in the past she just erased and has forgotten now!
I found out some things recently. So I faced her with what I know. And after, she collapsed and said that it was all true. That she used to talk to him all that year long, some chats, calls, visits. Even love talk and moreover some romantic and intimate moments! I was shocked. I asked was that when we had fights, she said yes, but in between too they were talking too and meeting and going out as well. And maybe it happened too when we were good together!
So I was calling her in the daytime to make sure she was fine telling her that I loved her and in the evening she was saying the same thing to someone else! With my ring in her finger!! This drives me crazy now. Now she says that she is so sorry and feels so low and doesn't want to talk about it because she wants to forget that ugly past. And maybe I should consider leaving her and looking for someone else although she still loves me and really hates that person and what happened.
I still love her. I don't know what to do or what to decide. Is it over for us?!! And if it is, how is it possible for me to get over her? I really need your help. And I will appreciate this really a lot. I feel so lost. Please.
You are the only help I can get. Here where I work now in an African country there are no psychiatrists that I can trust. I won't get out of here soon because I cannot abort my mission as it will damage my career and I'm really falling down. Waiting for your reply soon.
I hear how distressed you are and I am sorry that you are suffering so much.
Before we begin, I want to say that you addressed your letter to me as Dear Sir. Unless I'm missing something--and in reality I am, since I'm not a male, I'm a female. I'll assume that you have been too upset to notice my picture on the home page of my site.
As for your situation, you have been betrayed by this woman. You are feeling crushed and conflicted, but what I don't hear is your anger. The reason that you are falling down, as you desribe it, is because your psyche is literally disintegrating under the strain of containing the anger that you are stifling.
You must get in touch with your anger.
Doing so will actually help to integrate your psyche and put you back together again. I know that you are still in love with this woman and that a part of you wants to try again with her. Before you consider doing so, you need to have a sense that she understands why she two-timed you.
Two-timing is an act of aggression against the person who is being two-timed. This means that she was angry with you and didn't tell you directly, but rather expressed the anger in a very relationship destructive way. Why would she have been angry?
I noticed that you mentioned how strictly religious you are. You also said that you argued over religion with her. Is it possible that she felt that she had to yield to your views in order to be with you?
It's just a guess. If I'm right, she was angry over what felt like an imposition on her and she paid you back by playing around with this guy. Perhaps she is also an unassertive person and rather than discuss her concerns that you aren't compatible, she went ahead and fooled around with someone else as an indirect way of expressing her ambivalence and partial wish to break up.
In either case, she should have talked with you, not acted out by seeing another man on the sly. Now you say that she's had a change of heart. She has become more religious, has yielded on many points that were previously contentious, and she's even become what you describe as self-sacrificing.
These changes may have more to do with her feeling guilty. If her self-sacrifice is a form of penitence, then it will be short-lived and will eventually recede as her guilt subsides. I know that you seem to think that being self-sacrificing would make her an even better wife to you. I know that you are religious and that self-sacrifice is an integral part of religiosity. This being said, you need to be aware that saints are few and far between in the real world and in the real world, people who self-sacrifice tend to become resentful.
If you expect a wife to be self-sacrificing, she may comply, but at what cost. If she becomes resentful and she acts out her resentments like many people do, you will be in for trouble down the road. At this point you need to evaluate whether you are truly compatible. I know you love this woman, but your it seems that your values don't seem to line up.
You have fought bitterly over your differing values, and have tried to twist each other arms, which is a no no. As I explain in my book, homogamy, or similarity is key. The more similar you are in terms of tastes and values, the more compatible you are. I suggest that you use my online consultation, Are We Compatible, which will help you to assess your level of homogamy.
My consultation will identify the strengths and the weaknesses in your relationship. The second thing we need to evaluate is whether your fiancee is emotionally ready for a relationship. The bottom line is she should have spoken with you about her feelings of fear, anger, ambivalence or whatever she felt and she didn't do this.
I have another consultation that will help you assess her readiness for a relationship, it's called, 'Why is My Relationship with Her on the Rocks?' Assess her and the relationship using the tools I listed above and you will have a much clearer picture about the relationship and whether you would be wise to proceed or would be better off grieving and moving on.
Let me know what you find out from consulting with me online.
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