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Dear Stavroula

He Left Me Because I Didn’t Tell Him I Spoke to My Ex

Dear Stavroula,

I am 28 years old and six months before the quarantine, I had an affair with a man who was on the outs with his wife. I fell deeply in love with him and I felt that he also had very strong feelings for me. Although it was still early, in the second month of our relationship, he was talking about marriage and children. I don't have children, but he has a four-year-old daughter. The only problem we had in our relationship, which was obvious from the beginning, was that he was very jealous. I excused him, because from what he had told me he had bad experiences in some of his past relationships. I hadn't given him any reason to be jealous other than once an ex called me and I hid it from him, because I knew he wouldn't like it.

Unfortunately, shortly before the quarantine, the ex called again and because I didn't pick up the phone, he left a message on the machine asking me to call him back, which my boyfriend heard. He got furious and no matter how hard I tried to explain to him that the ex just contacted me once to ask how I was doing, and that I didn't know why he called it again, he didn't believe me and accused me of playing him and making fun of him. I tried to make him understand that I didn't tell him about the first call because I was afraid of this very reaction and that it was my fault, but he didn't listen to me. He has since distanced himself, didn't want to see me at all, and spoke to me very abruptly on the phone. He completely disappeared during the quarantine and has not responded to any calls or any message throughout this time. I'm afraid he got back together with his wife, who was begging him to come back, because I went to his apartment many times but he was never there. It’s driving me crazy. Do you think there's a chance he'll come back to me?

Artemis

Dear Artemis,

It is difficult to have a healthy partnership-love relationship without trust and from what you describe to me this was something that was missing from your relationship, which is characterized by intense jealousy on the part of your boyfriend.

Often, a partner who is jealous for no apparent reason feels inadequate and therefore is insecure in the relationship. He believes that he can easily be replaced by an aspiring rival for your affections and that is why he cannot feel safe in any relationship. He tries to cut off his partner from socializing because he thinks that this reduces the chances of her meeting someone else and abandoning him. In fact, many times, along with jealousy, there is intense anger to cover the intense fear of rejection.

Your partner overreacted because someone from your past called you and asked to speak with you, not because he saw you with someone or because he heard a romantic conversation. In other words, he didn't have any tangible proof that you didn't appreciate your relationship, but he did react based on his fear and insecurity.

It is very likely that he will return to his wife, if in the context of that relationship he feels safer and therefore does not suffer from intense feelings of jealousy. There is also the possibility that he disappeared in order to “punish you so you would not do it again” and then will return to you.

But you need to consider a few things:

Can you bear to live in a relationship where you constantly have to make sure you’re not giving him a reason to be jealous, in a relationship where your partner will constantly question your honesty, intentions, behavior? Where he might try to control or limit you so that he feels good?

This man, without having clarified his position in his previous relationship, proposed marriage and children to you. And even this behavior shows his great need to feel secure, to feel that you will not leave him. But this posturing does not prove love. The proposal he made to you was not the mature decision of two people who have been tested in their relationship, but rather an impulse, behind which there are other causes.

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