When Mr. Right is married

Joey GarciaI met the man of my dreams! He’s sincere, thoughtful, ambitious, intellectually stimulating, tall and handsome, with a sexy smile no girl could resist. He’s my definition of perfect, although nothing, of course, is perfect. He’s married but in the process of a separation. We’ve talked about settling down together. However, he has repeatedly said we have to be patient because he doesn’t want me to be labeled “the other woman.” We’ve talked about the possibility that I could be missing out. I’ve dated, but I find myself comparing them to him. It’s been an emotional roller coaster. Do I take a risk, be patient and love him unconditionally? Or, do I let him be the one that got away? Please help!

Call me the anti-Cupid, but the man of your dreams has not shown up yet. Yes, I realize this fellow possesses qualities you appreciate and admire. But he is married, so he is not truly available to you emotionally, physically, mentally or spiritually. If he is really in the process of separation, he should focus on healing the rift between himself and his wife or tending to the wound within him that inspired the split, so he doesn’t repeat the same pattern (ahem!) with someone else. Separation also should include time alone because, as the Catholic spiritual guide Henri Nouwen wrote, “Solitude is the furnace of transformation.” Any death, whether literal or symbolic (such as divorce), is an invitation to examine our attitudes, behaviors and choices deeply so that we can become the generous-hearted people of integrity we are called to be. If he’s married and courting you and if you know he is married but still covet him, both of you need to enroll in Integrity 101.

I suggest that you risk listening. When he lists marital problems, realize he is 50-percent responsible. So, would the issues that trouble his wife also trouble you? If so, move on. If not, stay out of his life until his divorce is complete. Right now, he seems perfect because he’s split. He projects his negativity at his wife, and you get all the good stuff. This is a common pattern with people who are incapable of genuine intimacy. You’ll know whether that’s his pattern when he is available for a relationship. Until then, if your relationship is an emotional roller coaster, if you think you’re missing out on someone else and if you’re spouting clichés like “the one that got away,” you’re either infatuated (not in love) or you have emotional blocks about commitment you must sort through before expecting to have a healthy romantic relationship with anyone.

A new girl joined my boyfriend’s band recently. She has been text-messaging him nonstop ever since. She does not do this with the other band members. My boyfriend says she is just one of the lads and that there’s nothing else in her behavior. I believe it on his part, but I’m not so sure about her. Do I have a right to be suspicious?

You have a right to any feelings, thoughts or attitudes that arise in you, but you don’t have the right to subject others to them. Examine your suspicion. Was it preceded by jealousy? Has your beau lied to you? Have you lied to yourself about the relationship (between them or between the two of you)? If your only response is the voice of your own insecurities, take your boyfriend at his word. You are his Valentine. Forget about trying to control her. Doing so is unattractive and unproductive.

Meditation of the week
“Anyone who says, 'I love God’ but hates another person is a liar; for if you do not love one whom you can see, how can you love God, whom you have not seen? Whoever loves God must also love others,” proclaims the Gospel of John. Whom do you love?

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