Is he worth risking your heart?
Q UNTIL very recently, I was in a new relationship. He had been separated for several months before we met.
He assured me that while he was good friends with his ex-wife, the relationship was over and he had none of those special feelings for her. He told me he cared for me and I was the only person he was interested in.
We've had great chemistry and I thought it was a wonderful relationship developing. Then he had a cardiac arrest - and she was called to his bedside (we live in different cities).
It was her voice talking to him that brought him back from the brink of death (and I am grateful). But he has done a complete and sudden U-turn and says he is confused and thinking of working things out in his marriage. I don't know what to do.
Is there anything that I can do? Do I walk away? Do I stay at a distance? Do I accept he has made his choice? Please help me.
I really care about him but don't want to get hurt here.
A IT may be as simple as having to accept his choice. However, if you were indeed in a new relationship that was exclusive and felt important to you both, then you deserve the opportunity to talk things through.
A near-death experience can change anyone's perspective on life, how it is lived, and with whom it is shared.
You may be thinking that because his ex-wife was there and you were not, due to geographical distance, she has usurped your role of being the object of his affection.
But remember, separated or not, they shared a bond as husband and wife for the duration of their marriage and courtship which can never be taken away.
Do not let yourself go down the path of "if only". Deal with "what is" and your reality is, in fact, that your partner is not divorced, but separated.
He may have felt emotionally distant from his wife and sought you as a new partner, but clearly a brush with death has made him review his life choices.
This is a common response to such an intense experience, and while you need to accept whatever decision he makes, as a partnership, you can and deserve to share in this process.
So far, all of your choices have been ones of letting go - walk away, accept his choice, keep a distance ... and none of your options reflect communicating with him or fighting to keep your place in his heart.
Naturally, he is confused because in a very serious situation, his wife showed that she still cared for him by rushing to his side and talking to him as he was in a critical condition.
He understandably wants to reflect on what this means for the rest of his life: does he reunite with the woman he has been married to or does he live the rest of his life in a new way, knowing there were good reasons for the marriage ending?
Were there solid reasons, unfixable problems, which ended his previous relationship? He has to figure this out.
So yes, giving him the space to work through his thoughts and confusion is respectful and smart. However, you can do so while still making it clear to him how you feel.
Do you hope he will choose you? Will you be waiting for him if he chooses you? Do you want a life together with him?
There is much to consider - more than whether you have great sexual chemistry. After all, most new relationships do.
Now you must weigh that up against how committed he is willing to be with you, how much he cares for you and how clear he can be about choosing you for the final time, with no more doubt and no regret.
If you don't want to get hurt, you may want to walk away.