You can’t lose what you don’t have

Joey Garcia

A year into my affair with a married man I met another man and married him. I continued my affair with the married man. Recently, his wife learned of the affair and left him. I thought about divorcing my husband and being with my lover. Then my lover broke up with me. I am confused. Why, after seeing each other secretly for so long, would he break up with me when he is free? I am hurt and disappointed. Can you tell me why he doesn’t want to see me anymore?

Can you tell me why you would want to see him? A man who cheats on his wife would most likely cheat on you if you married him (and, with your record, you’d cheat on him). He didn’t leave his wife because he didn’t want to, and (I’m surmising here) you got married to someone else to prove that you were lovable, worthy and wanted. It failed to make him jealous. It failed to force him to leave his wife. But you still cling to him and the belief that you mean something to each other. Why are you so afraid of losing what you don’t have?

If your heart harbored any love for humanity, you would not have been willing to hurt his wife or your husband. If your heart held any love for yourself, you would not be in this situation. What you need is a stupendous shot of self-esteem and a commitment to go cold turkey on your addiction to adrenaline (living in a constant state of drama). Here’s the hard truth: A married man who breaks off his affair when he gets divorced does so because he’s ambivalent. He didn’t really want to be married. If he did, he would not have had an affair. It’s likely that he blames you for his divorce. Now he’s rid of you and has a clear conscience to repeat his pattern of superficial, compartmentalized connections. See his absence as a blessing and find the courage to learn how to really love and connect with a man. A good psychotherapist can help, along with the poems of Rumi and the wisdom of the Tao Te Ching.

My buddy and I are both recently divorced and new to the dating scene. After 20 years of marriage, I can’t tell you how strange it is to be single again. So here’s a question: If you really like a woman and want a long-term relationship, not a hook-up, when is the right time for the first kiss?

If you’re looking for a life partner, go slowly and get to know each other. Otherwise the pheromones that propel you into a first-date tongue tango usually compel you into third-date sex. Then you’ve created an instant relationship with someone your body is hot for but with whom your mind and spirit lack true intimacy. By the time you realize this, you’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster, trying to convince yourself to stay in the relationship because it seemed like there was a real connection at the beginning. But that connection was mainly bio-chem attraction and those fluffy post-sex feelings of bonding. Nice, but not the basis for a lifetime commitment. Comprende? So, keep your kisses to yourself until the moment it’s clear to you that a woman has the qualities, values and worldview to match your concept of the ideal mate. By the way: You should tell her that you’re postponing kissing and why. Many single women are so desperate for a partner that they use sex transactionally. So if a man treats them with respect, they assume he’s not attracted to them. Odd, but true!

Meditation of the week
“To the critic, art is a noun. To the artist, art is a verb,” write David Bayles and Ted Orland in Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking. If life is your art, do your words and actions reflect that?

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