My girlfriend left her husband for me. At first we had an incredible relationship with great sex and partying. Now that her divorce is complete, I’ve caught her talking to other guys and acting like she’s single. I’m really in love with her. I’ve tried to talk to her about the way she acts, but she just laughs. She says I’m insecure and that she is just having fun. I’ve been getting more and more depressed. I don’t want to hang out with her at our favorite bars anymore because I don’t want to deal with seeing her hanging on other guys, including some of my friends. Am I the problem or is she stomping on my heart?
Neither. She’s just being herself and you’re finally awake to it. Are you really surprised? After all, she was married, but playing the role of single and available when she met you. If the two of you didn’t talk about this in detail and seek professional counseling, you can be certain that you’ll both eventually fall back into reading off the old script. Like you are now. It doesn’t matter how amazing the sex is or whether you’ve imagined the other to be your true love, you have to heal the past. Otherwise, you’ll repeat it endlessly in overt and subtle ways. Once healed, you’ll respond differently when old patterns arise.
One possible pattern imbedded in your situation is an addiction to emotion. It can be exhilarating to be the focus of someone’s attentions. Giving attention can also inflate our egos. The high, of course, is most potent in the beginning of a relationship. To stay high, you need a continuous supply of new relationships, each a little more dramatic than the last. I’m sure that you can recognize your girlfriend in this, but can you also see yourself? If not, dig deeper. For example, how did you feel knowing that she preferred you to her husband? Is this the first time that a woman said she left someone else to be with you?
I hope that you exit this drama and find a healthy, available woman, after you’ve been through counseling. Don’t use this relationship to justify being emotionally closed in your next one. Instead, consider this an opportunity to have compassion for anyone whose partner has moved on without first bringing closure to the current relationship.
I’m in a new managerial position and I feel like a failure. I love the creative part of my work and hate the administrative stuff. I’ve thought of going back to my old position, but I also enjoy a generous new salary that I want to keep. A friend says if I just fake my confidence and skills, I will eventually own them. But I believe in radical truth, and faking it feels like lying. What do you think?
Count me in as a cheerleader for the authentic you, even if that means you’re a bit shaky at times. I think the old school route was to pretend and hope no one noticed, but that approach just results in people being stiff and guarded. It’s so last millennium. As marketing whiz Robin Fisher Roffer notes, “You may get away with faking it for a while, but you can’t sustain a phony brand long-term. Ultimately, someone sees through it and then your credibility is blown.”
I suggest that you find a mentor or coach to guide your development. And remember, you have the position because you’re capable. Trust that the position is equal to you and let yourself relax into it.