Sticky Bonds

Lost Loves, Romances, and Families in the 21st Century.

7 Myths of Lost Love Reunions

The friends and families of lost loves who reunited often tell them they must be crazy. They consult psychotherapists to sort out their emotions, and many discontinue therapy in anger. Here are some of the recurring complaints, myths, that even professional counselors believe about rekindled romances: Read More

Like a Moth to a Flame

I must read all the "Sticky Bonds" postings. I am looking for answers that probably don't exist, so only end up with greater heartache. My spouse had a brief, intense reconnection with his high school love a few years ago. There were lies, there was discovery. We did counseling which we desperately needed with or without his "emotional affair", I did counseling, the marriage is stronger than ever. And yet I live with the fear that I am the "second choice", that some day she will reach out again. There will be no second chances, I will not do it again. We probably would have benefited from longer joint counseling, but he was ready to move on, always a forward looking man. There is too much I still don't know, am afraid to know. Also afraid not to know. He says it could have been anyone due to the place our marriage was, but it wasn't anyone-it was his first love.

How does my broken heart ever truly mend from that?

To Like a Moth

If you write to me personally (confidentially), maybe I can help.
Dr Nancy Kalish

Yes, it has to do with Midlife crisis

I can speak from personal experience. I can vividly remember in July 2010 going through my midlife crisis. Major layoffs at work, but I survived those layoffs and suddenly had this responsibility. I also laid off 30% of my staff and started to wonder...what is my life all about!!! I would walk to work so my wife could have the car and would work from 10am to 10pm. I wanted to be sure I could provide for my family meanwhile, my wife could care less (was that true? Of course not but midlife crisis makes you believe weird things). I manscaped like crazy and walked around the pool in a speedo!!! I was worried about my hairline and then once occasion reminders of my lost love suddenly changed into an obsession. I wrote songs about her!! Wondered what our relationship "Could have been" and though my wife never loved or cared about me. I wanted to talk to my lost love so badly. I even got a nerve to call her secretly but then changed my mind at the last moment. My wife knew my lost love (years ago when we were only dating) and if she found out, I knew she would not approve and my daughter would be extremely disappointed in me. Also, my lost love was married so wanted to respect her boundaries. I always cared for my lost love and I knew she cared for me but we were just too young and ended up marrying my current wife. Regrets? Of course. But was it reality?

That being all said, In June 2012 my wife's lost love contacted her who lived in another country. Right at that time my wife got promoted and much more responsibility and hated her job. She blamed me because she had to go back to work. Read "surviving your wife's midlife crisis" and a midlife crisis can occur if there is a death in the family or job change. Well my wife made the opposite decision with respect to boundaries and her lost love relationship went into an emotional affair and shortly after that a physical affair. Her affair partner left his wife and children and moved (from another country) to be with my wife. We finally got divorced and shortly after they got married. When they were in the midst of their emotional affair my wife was doing this totally out of her character!! So was it a midlife crisis, you bet!!! It was the perfect storm. midlife crisis + lost love contacting her = tornado. Do the math!!

So yes, a midlife crisis puts you in a strange state of mind and believe depression could play a part in it. Depression just adds to the fuel in the fire and you are looking for "someone" to make you happy. So you revert to your lost love!!! You remember all those good qualities, your high school sweet heart years. When you are in a midlife crisis, you are obsessive about that "what if" and why did I marry that person sleeping next to me.

After that being said and I am single, do I still think about my lost love? Of course, I can't put into words how much I cared about her and still love her but I need to respect boundaries as she is married "You never mow another man's lawn". After my midlife crisis passed, all of those crazy feelings soon attenuated and those "Love" feeling for my lost love were still there but just in the background now. I realized that I need to move forward and not back wards. Like one song writer wrote many years ago, "Reflect, but do not turn back".

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Nancy Kalish, Ph.D., is an Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the California State University, Sacramento. She is the author of Lost & Found Lovers.

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