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Published: Sunday December 22, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Sunday December 22, 2013 MYT 10:22:12 AM

Dear Thelma: Love fizzling out too soon

I AM a businessman in my mid-60s. I befriended a divorcee, K, at a social function two years ago. She is a very attractive woman although she is already in her early 50s.

Like me, she has no kids. We became great friends and over time, I fell madly in love with her.

K is such a charming, bubbly person, compared to my wife who spends her days watching TV or playing mahjong with her friends. The passion between my wife and I fizzled out a long time ago, and we are just like two friends living under the same roof.

K, on the other hand, makes me feel alive again. I feel so young and full of energy when I am with her. I enjoy K’s company very much, and I have been taking her for holidays abroad. I just tell my wife that I am going on business trips. I am always thinking of ways to spend more time with K.

K used to pour out her problems to me, and I feel sorry for her and have been supporting her financially for some time now. I trust her implicitly, and have even given her a supplementary credit card. K even asked me for a substantial sum of money to go into a joint venture with a male friend, M.

The problem now is K doesn’t seem to have time for me. She gives me all kinds of excuses to avoid going out with me. She has been going out quite a bit with M. I am beginning to feel jealous. I wonder if there is anything going on between them.

When I confronted her, K insisted that M was just a business partner. K claims she still loves me but I am not so sure anymore. If she truly cares for me, surely she would want to spend time with me.

I wonder if K is just using me. I have even considered divorcing my wife to marry her, but K seems to be distancing herself from me nowadays.

What should I do? I love K so much and believed in her, but she seems to have changed after I parted with more than half my savings to help her in her joint venture. Please advise.

No More Spark

IT is not at all uncommon for couples who have been married for a long time to feel that they have grown apart or that the “passion” has fizzled out.

The children, who used to be the one thing that brought them together, are grown up. Suddenly, there is nothing to talk about anymore. Instead of working to find commonality or love again in the relationship, it is easier to feel “alive” with someone else.

Not that anyone is blaming you. You wanted to feel needed again and K came in at the right time with the right requirements. Being a shoulder to cry on was the exact remedy you needed to feel like you were part of a relationship again. You may have felt not only wanted, but useful as well. And it was probably that which made you feel alive again.

In your excitement of feeling that way, maybe you overstepped your boundaries with K. You probably responded to her problems that best way you knew how to – with financial aid.

We cannot speculate what K was thinking or feeling at the time that you offered to help. She may have felt that you were her knight in shining armour. Or, she may have thought that you were an easy target to be used.

The only way for you to know is to actually ask K. It is an uncomfortable discussion, but one that needs to be had.

You would have to broach the subject carefully without accusing her. Instead ask her what you and your relationship mean to her. That could possibly open the doors for more complicated discussions.

It may also help if you are honest with her about what she means to you. But, before that, you need to be honest with yourself.

What do you expect of your relationship with K? Were you genuinely trying to help her? Or, were you helping yourself by realising that you could be useful to someone?

Or, were you trying to have her feel indebted to you? Are you willing to continue lying to your wife?

This is the same with the situation with M. You have to ask her about it. And, you must be willing to believe her. If you do not, you have to have a very serious conversation with yourself and reflect on why you don’t believe her when she says M is merely a business partner.

And what about the money? Do you expect K and M to pay you back? Or, are you able to consider the money a gift to K? This is another issue that you will have to sort out.

This is a very awkward situation and someone is going to get hurt.

You have to handle this very delicately. At the most, the only thing that you can do is lessen the hurt. It cannot be avoided. To make things less awkward, these issues need to be sorted out as soon as possible.

Tags / Keywords: Lifestyle, Thelma, fizzled, divorcee, changed

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