Relationship Help Forum: Mature Love?

Today's Relationship Help forum situation shows that sometimes even mature men and women can experience the same relationship crisis younger people can face. This real-life story is about *Lily (not her real name), a woman in her 50s, who's had a terrible time recently with her love life. 
All identifiable details have been changed in these real life relationship crisis stories. You can see the rest of them at this page: Relationship Help Forum.

Relationship help forum: mature love?

relationship help forum: mature love

Here's *Lily's story: 
Do men ever hurt? I’m just out of a 9 year relationship that was tainted from the beginning. My doctor put me on Paxil to get through my divorce, then kept me on it to deal with the kids. Little did I realize that I wasn’t dealing or coping with anything. In fact, I embarked in a 9 year relationship with monumental mistakes and repercussions.
As I sit here and write, thoughts are racing through my head as to how stupid I sound. Last year I came off of Paxil, and I couldn’t believe what I saw. Needless to say the relationship ended a few months later. The pain is excruciating.

A history of failed relationships on his part

The relationship lingered so long that my adult children came to accept this man on my behalf. He is the only grandfather my little grandson knows. But he is a bad man and has a history of failed relationships. The sad thing is he admits it but is okay with it. He uses it as his excuse. I can’t believe what I have done. He is a plumber and uses his business as his own dating service. This is how I met him…..
I still love him, but I won’t go back to him. He is who he is. I cry, but once in awhile I have a good day. I want to be loved and have promised myself that I will allow myself to heal completely so I can attract a complete man - not just pieces of a man to fill the voids in my heart at the time. I will turn 53 tomorrow and I truly believe the best is yet to be. I know I can’t change anything about the last 9 years but I can change how the next 9 years will be.
So as I go forward with tears in my eyes and my heat in my gut I will remember this will not kill me. I will just become a more confident, passionatewoman.

My answer - relationship help forum: mature love?

Lily, Lily, you break my heart.
You’ve tugged at my heart strings and I really, truly feel your pain. You don’t sound stupid at all. In fact, you sound very brave for sharing your story like that.
At this phase of your life, you want to relax in a comfortable well-worn love that feels like a hot water bottle on cold nights. But you also want the flutter of excitement in your heart when you look at the man with whom you’ve shared your life. You don’t want to face what you’re going through. God willing, I know I don’t.
I admire you for resolving to heal without going back to him. I wish you all the strength in the world to do this. I really do.

As you can see, sometimes, like *Lily life deals us a hand to which we still don't have the relationship answers. We think sometimes that age will come with its solutions as it relates to relationships - that men and women will mellow out and be loyal and true in relationships. *Lily's story shows us that this isn't always the case. 


Harleena Singh April 18, 2013 at 1:43 PM  

Hi Anne,

I wish things were easier for Lily, but as they say everything has an end and perhaps this was meant to be. She decided to move ahead with her life because she didn't want to make more compromises and that's how it should be too. Hope she finds the man of her dreams :)

Thanks for sharing this with us. Have a nice week ahead :)

Anne Lyken-Garner April 19, 2013 at 7:44 PM  

Thanks for your response, Harleena. And you're right some things do come to a natural end, and relationships are no different. We have to make sure we're not making compromises that will affect our health or happiness.

Alexis Marlons April 21, 2013 at 9:46 PM  

I admire how Lily was brave enough to admit and accept that the man he love isn't the one good for her to spend the rest of her life with. That proves how much she respects her life and her value as a woman.

Anne Lyken-Garner April 22, 2013 at 5:27 PM  

Hi Alexis, thank you for your input and welcome to the blog.

You're right. *Lily does respect herself enough to sign off on the relationship even though it hurts.

Christy May 2, 2013 at 6:02 PM  

Wow! Can I ever relate.

I promise you this, when you heal from this pain, you will be stronger and fiercelly alive. You will know you can survive anything!

Like you, I was on antidepressants for years as I struggled with a frustrating marriage. The meds blinded me just like they blinded you. By the time I finally got off of the meds, my ex had destroyed our finances and convinced my friends I was mentally ill.

The truth was that my ex had been cheating for most of our marriage and was addicted to cocaine and meth (and probably sex too, if that is possible). That's where all the money went.

But enough about me. That was ten years ago. It took me a long time to process what had happened.

Early in my healing, a friend reminded me that I could use the pain to grow more selfish or to grow more spiritual.

I chose to grow more spiritual. The book, THE POWER OF NOW was essential for me. You may find it helpful too. Actually, I listened to the audio. When I was able to focus on the present moment, the emotional pain went away.

Another book that might help if A COURSE In Miracles, but it is more abstract.

I'll turn 56 in a week. I'm not as slim or as pretty as I was, but I'm wiser and kinder. Sex doesn't dominate my life like it once did and I don't feel the urgency to have a family. I no longer believe in a fairy tale romance.

These realizations have been wonderfully liberating. I feel free to focus on who I am and what I want to do with my life.

And, most of all, I want to be in a relationship with my best friend, whoever that man might be.

He doesn't have to save me. I can do that myself.

He doesn't have to fix me. I'm okay with my broken places.

He only has to be my friend. That means not hurting me, but lifting me up. Giving me his strength when I need it and making my life quietly richer.

Please realize you are free now and so much wiser than you were.

Anne Lyken-Garner May 2, 2013 at 6:56 PM  

Wow, Christy! I could say nothing to top that comment. Thanks for sharing your story with us. It's very uplifting and inspirational, something I think all our readers can use for strength and new purpose.

Anne Lyken-Garner is a published author, editor and freelance writer. Her specialities include relationships and confidence building. You can find her inspirational memoir here.
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