Did he ever really care?

Can't believe this has happened to me.

An intelligent, independent , financially secure ,divorced after 12 years of marital hell very attractive woman who looks at least 10 years younger than my age. I'm very secure with myself in any social setting that typically is fraught with true movers and shakers and the upper echelon of the social crust of privilege. I say this to say that this did not materialize from lack of life outside of work or two teen sons. I have a full and positive, rewarding and successful life.

So, recently ran into an ex-boyfriend known from high school. We dated only after grad school for several months. It was at that time he told me he had been married for six months and was confessing that he had to tell me truth because he cared for me. took a few minutes to believe him but I finally did. I then said I;d just see him later and walked him to the door. I was disappointed and a little hurt. I refused to see or speak to him again.

Fast forward 27 years. Yes, he's been married for that long. Last summer we see each other at the class reunion and the first thing he says when he sees me is how he would have left her for me, how I disappeared and how good it was to see me. Getting a date is not a problem but locally it doesn't exist. I'm from a very large city but live in a smaller city that just doesn't have the pick of men that would interest me. It was a marital move for my ex's lucrative executive career. One more year here and I am relocating back home. I/m there often which is how we began meeting for lunch, dinner, etc.

I believe initially his intentions were typical-exploration of me as far as I allowed. I made it clear that I don't date married men. He's attractive and literally lavished me with attention, time and i thought genuine desire to see me again. He said he was going thru a divorce and wasn't going to let me get away again. I thought that meant he cared about me. Surely he wouldn't lie again. I told him that. He said he wouldn't hurt me or do that again. I believed him. Safety in familiarity-I "knew" him previously. Of course he wouldn't lie to me. He had no reason to in my book. After three or four months, things became very strong emotionally. It was not sex-based. Honestly it was clear after once or twice that I intimidated him sexually. The emotional connection was as pure, effortless and comfortable. I wasn't ready for a committed relationship and he wouldn't be either right after marriage but we were meeting each other's needs as necessary for where I believed we BOTH were in our lives. I expressed the depth of my feelings and that seemed to change things. He didn't want me to love him. Suddenly he says I can do better than him. So of course i tell him of all his greatness. BINGO!!! The light didn't go off for me on this until recently-not a year ago. i respected him for never saying bad things about his wife even though he expressed all the missing things in it and how they wanted very different lives going forward since the kids are adults.

Then he tells me...he owes it t his wife to go to counseling. Says he's never tried and she really is. Given what he's told me she has not grown with him and they are just like night and day. I've seen her...she looks much older than her age. May be his fault. He shared with me he has had a few other affairs, one significant for a about two years. The woman wanted to marry him he says but he told her as he told me when I said I loved him-I'm married. He offered friendship. I didn't want to not see him and I was committed to the friendship. It was the best! I agreed, only to find myself conflicted. Only disagreements or emotionally charged conversations were now occurring. I began to question things in my head, my heart. i never asked him to leave his marriage. I told him I refused to be the other woman. That is beneath me. Little did I know I had already become just that. It broke me to think such a thing. He said he didn't see me that way. He refused to have sex with me. Again, reinforcing the positive attributes I saw in him. This went on for a year, me then giving him support , suggestions and encouragement as a friend to work at his marriage. Of course I was not going to be that babbling pathetic woman on the side. I had no place to expect anything more. My heart said the opposite. Not jealousy, but conflict. I tried. I gave the biblical side constantly. We are both in leadership at our churches. It helped me to feel that I was doing the right thing. I prayed for God to remove him from my heart. Then I told him we could only be friends if his wife approved-not in the dark. He refused to consider that but begged, pleaded and expressed his undying desire for us to be friends. I told him how it would affect his efforts to work on his marriage. Still he wouldn't let me go. Finally, he said he thought about what I said and would agree that frequent communication was probably not a good idea but for sure he can control his feelings for me and we could be friends regardless. by now I couldn't trust that even decreased contact wouldn't lead back to the norm as we had tried and have too much of a bond.

I never stopped "dating". Nothing serious but enjoying my life and the attention of other men that were interested in me but I was not so much. My heart was taken. I allowed myself to get close to someone else. I let the MM know and he clearly stated he didn't want to know about other men I dated. He was to be my friend now right? Again, this made no sense. As I travelled, enjoyed this person and became closer it became harder for me. I could only go so far with this person because my heart was caught and my friendship with him was in the way. It had to end.

I cut ties a number of times as I missed the friendship and he would insist it would work. I tried-it was too hard emotionally for me. Finally, I cut it and told him not to contact me unless he was in a position to have a non-hidden friendship or other relationship. It's been a week and it has been an emotional hell to think that perhaps it was all a game to him. The nicest thing he clearly did was to refuse to have sex with me after a few times, even though I know for certain and he repeatedly said how difficult it is to resist doing so. I just want to know if there was or wasn't any sincerity at all or was I just snowed again by a filthy cheater. I would not want to be his wife. It is awful what she has obviously lived with. Wives know-whether they deny it or not. I scorned him for being so selfish to her. I'm also hurt and angry at not being able to point to the truth about his feelings for me. I'm moving on but this is harder than anything. Sometimes I think he just wants to keep tabs on me hoping to keep me quiet. If anyone has any insight, please share.

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Will the Cheating husband EVER leave his wife?

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