But I didn’t cheat!

Joey Garcia

After 40 years apart, my high-school sweetheart and I reconnected. Her first two husbands beat her regularly before leaving to be with other women or doing drugs. Her second husband even raped her after they were separated.

My first two years with her were bliss. Then she started to accuse me of cheating with every female I came in contact with, even customers I met once and never again. After two years of this, she said she had enough and would no longer share a bed with me. We took separate rooms but were still involved socially. We got separate residences after a rental office surprised me by calling to verify her information. I helped her move out and we dated.

Then I told her that her past relationships had a major influence on her belief that I was cheating on her. She refused to believe it. I never cheated on her. She refuses to talk about reconciliation. I still love her very much and would love to be with her. She will always be in my heart. How do I go about forgetting her?

How do you forget someone who is always in your heart? If you genuinely loved your girlfriend, she lives forever in your heart. That doesn’t mean she should be in your life. You seem to have an underlying belief that by playing the role of girlfriend, she pays rent for occupying space in your heart. That reduces her to an object and your relationship to possession.

Let me share a key reality about life on earth: People come to pass, not to stay. You have not been abandoned. You have not lost the love of your life. Your relationship is simply complete. Your job now is to work on the ragged, unhealed parts of yourself that this relationship revealed and to evolve into a more honest, loving human being. Your job is not to suffer by continuing to obsess about how to revive the past.

If your ex-girlfriend refuses to believe your assertion that her fear of cheating is driven by past relationships, maybe she’s right. There’s no one to blame for her fears—no ex-husbands, no parents, no former beaus—no one except herself. My suggestion would have been to listen. By rushing to try and teach her about herself (“your past relationships are the cause”) you denied the truth: She is responsible for creating her own hell. Her relationship pattern is not the reason for her bad relationships; her beliefs about relationships are the problem. They create the pattern.

If she refuses to consider reconciliation, respect her choice. Given the situation, it could be seen as an act of love for you.

What is casual dating? Does it mean that you are dating a guy but are still single so you can see more than one guy? A guy I like said we are casually dating. I’m really confused because I’m looking for a long-term relationship.

You and more than half the planet! Or so it seems, at times. Anyway, casual dating is going out socially with someone to determine compatibility for a romantic relationship (or sometimes just for fun). You can date as many people as you desire until you commit to one person. Then, if you’re a person of integrity, you remain true to that commitment. Integrity also requires that the terms of a commitment must be changed verbally before engaging in affairs or other acts that compromise the relationship.

Yes, dating does lead to long-term relationships, but what’s your hurry? Enjoy the moment and investigate why you are so focused on finding a partner. That way, your intensity won’t sabotage your efforts.

Meditation of the week
I just returned from Byron Katie’s School for The Work in Bad Neuenahr, Germany. About 200 participants, including Israelis, Palestinians, and Arabs, gathered for 10 days to confront the concepts that keep us from having peace in our lives and in the world. What can you do to resolve conflicts? (The ones in your head, I mean.)

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