Moth To A Flame - Why Some Relationships Change But Don’t End

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Have you ever walked into a room and seen a person who captivates you so strongly that you just feel like reaching out and touching him or her?

Have you ever felt as though you knew something important was happening moth to a flame4.jpgbetween you and another person, but you didn’t understand what or why?

Some people might call this sort of thing “Love at first sight”, but the skeptic in me prefers to call it “Lust at first sight” because love usually grows and doesn’t just happen overnight.

The man who caught my eye and captivated me after my husband passed away is a very distinctive-looking man. He isn’t conventionally handsome, as his nose is somewhat large, but he has gorgeous brown eyes I can get lost in. He walks with a swagger which oozes confidence, and he probably is the sexiest man I’ve ever met. A few of my friends think he’s gorgeous; other friends think he’s just average looking. But, to me, he is little short of amazing.

He and my late husband were friends. They knew each other for about 20 years, and I used to see him occasionally with my husband. But, there was nothing between us while I was married because I loved my husband and it never occurred to me that he might become my gentleman friend after Andy passed away.

I can still recall the day I saw him six months after Andy died. I went to his office because my best friend wanted to hire him to help her family with a financial matter. He sat behind his desk and I sat across from him. We talked about my friend’s situation, and, while we were talking, I just couldn’t keep my eyes off him. I had the sense he was staring right back at me, but I figured I was just imagining this or perhaps this was wishful thinking on my part. He agreed to take on my friend’s case, and then he did something uncharacteristic.

He asked me to join him at his computer and he showed me pictures of his family. He made me feel as though he needed a friend and I sure needed all the friends I could get... and having a friend like him didn’t seem like such a bad idea. He proceeded to give me his email address and asked me to send him an email. I told him my computer was in the repair shop and that I would have to write to him from the public library until I got my computer back. I told him I would do that and I did.

When I didn’t hear from him for two weeks, I figured he was just being polite by suggesting that I email him. I was a bit disappointed, but we all know many people say “Call me sometime” or “Why don’t we have lunch sometime”? and don’t really mean it.

He didn’t have my email address because he had never asked me for it. But, he did have my phone number from years ago, and one afternoon, two weeks after I had been in his office, he called me to my surprise and said, “I was waiting for an email from you and you never wrote to me.”

I told him I DID write him an email but he never responded so I figured he only gave me his email address to be polite. So, he asked me where I had sent the email. It turned out I was unable to read his handwriting and that I had put one “e” too many in the email address and that he therefore never received my email.

Instead of sticking his neck out further, as it were, he said to me, “Okay. Why don’t you resend me the original email you sent me again”? after he gave me his correct email address. I told him that the original email was about the fact that my computer was still in the repair shop and that it would be silly to send that along to him since I had my computer back. So, he asked me to just send him an email about what’s going on in my life. So, I sent him a short, friendly email.

The very next day, he emailed me back and suggested that we communicate on Yahoo Instant Messenger for a while. I figured this was his way of getting to know me and told him that would be fine. We instant messaged for a couple of days, and we both decided it was time to meet again.

I know this might sound unbelievable, but, when he arrived at my house, I opened the door wearing just a fur jacket with sexy lingerie underneath it, and we literally fell into each other’s arms. It was almost like a scene out of the movie “Fatal Attraction” with Michael Douglas and Glenn Close. Needless to say, we became instant lovers and we saw one another once or twice a week for three years. I had never met a man like him before, and, for some reason (I still can’t figure out why), he was initially just as fascinated by me. Perhaps it was merely because I was the new woman in his life. I do have to accept that possibility.

Sadly, we had so much in common, but we couldn’t take the relationship a step further because he was already in a long-term relationship with someone else. I knew this from day one, so I can’t accuse him of having deceived me in this regard. I walked into this one with my eyes wide open because I began to love him and because I wasn’t ready at all for a relationship after my husband had died.

The sensuality between us was always off the charts. He made me feel the way no man had ever made me feel. He made me feel like the sexiest woman alive. Our intellectual rapport was also quite astounding as our thoughts were often very similar. However, I made the fatal mistake of falling in love with him. He claimed he couldn’t fall in love with me because of his relationship with the woman he lived with. But, eventually, I came to the conclusion that his other relationship had nothing to do with his inability to love me. The reality of the situation was that he was a narcissistic man who he needed to be admired by several women in order to feel like a man. And so, it was a situation of incredible lust but unrequited love.

At first, he and I had made an agreement that, if he were to interact with other women, it would be solely in the context of having FMF ***** with me. I am not bisexual, but I loved him so much that I went along with his idea and it worked for a while because I was instrumental in choosing the women who would share our bed. We also agreed that, because he was already in a relationship, it was okay for me to occasionally date another man who was engaging but who was not relationship material because of childhood issues.

However, this past year things changed. My wonderful lover started meeting other women without me and he saw nothing wrong in telling me about this IN EXPLICIT DETAIL. You have no idea how much this hurt me. I can’t even recall how often I went to No Contact since October of 2011 and how often I had cried myself to sleep. Love shouldn’t hurt, should it? It should make us feel alive and happy!

At this juncture, instead of being happy, I spent many nights crying myself to sleep, I realized something had to change. At first, I naively thought making him jealous might cause him to wake up. So, I did what he did.. I start seeing other men and telling him about my “escapades.” This didn’t seem to have much of an effect on him, which should have told me something... but, we all say “love is blind” for a reason, don’t we? I wanted his love so badly I could taste it, and I was blinded by the fact that he is and always would be poly amorous.

As in many one-sided relationships, things deteriorated even further because now we no longer trusted one another. And, not only did he continue to see other women on the side, but he and I had a ***** with a woman in which he had totally ignored me. He denies it but I saw it with my own eyes.

What really hurt was that she was a jealous, horrible person who despised me because I had better luck attracting men than she did. She was clinically obese and a nasty, vindictive person, who constantly mocked me and told me she was going to “steal” my boyfriend. She was really quite unappealing both in terms of appearance and personality, and I just couldn’t understand why he would even want to have anything more to do with her. The other women with whom we had had ***** were mature, decent women who were between relationships and who treated BOTH of us with kindness and respect.

How ironic that a ***** gone bad would be the straw which broke this camel’s back! The ***** made me realize that he really didn’t care one iota about me and that I believe that, as long as there was another woman in the picture IN ADDITION TO the woman he lives with, it didn’t matter to him who she was.

Right after Andy died, I went through what I call my “crazy times.” I went out and had relationships with a few men which were unsatisfactory. I had these relationships in order to numb the pain of having no one. I was not actively seeking a relationship at the time because I simply wasn’t ready for one.

I emphasized to my fabulous lover that I wasn’t looking for marriage or for a commitment, but that I needed a man whom I could love and who could love me in return. He probably didn’t think I would ever find such a man because he knew how particular I am and because he knew about some of the “disasters” I had encountered during the past three years. So, he continued behaving in the only way he knew how (looking for his next prey), and I started actively looking for a new man in my life.

A few months later, I met my fiance. I met him online on an adult dating site. He was among my daily matches. I usually wait for men to contact me, but, when I saw his picture, I said to myself, “Who IS that man”? and I decided to take the proverbial bull by the horns and reach out to him. I was hesitant at first because I am six years older than he is and his profile said he wanted a woman close to his age. Yet, when I wrote to him and expressed an interest in him, he told me that he, too, was a widower, and that his late wife was exactly my age! This just goes to show it never hurts to make the first move or to ask.

I wasn’t planning on marrying again, but everything seemed to be going so well between us. There are times when I almost forget that G isn’t Andy, my late husband. Do I have the same feelings for G as I had for my disappointing lover? I’m afraid not, but maybe it’s about as good as it can get. Maybe loving too much isn’t a good thing after all.. unless the love is reciprocated.

I’m definitely very much attracted to and compatible with my fiance G, but something (je ne sais quoi) is missing. But, how odd is it that his first name is very similar to that of my treacherous lover and that he was born under the same astrological sign! However, the important distinction is that he is capable of making me a priority in his life and that he has some of the positive attributes of my other lover but none of the negative ones. And, he has some of the positive attributes of my late husband with whom I was for 25 years.

We haven’t set a wedding date yet, but we spend four nights per week together and we’re learning more and more about each other as time passes. We enjoy each other’s company tremendously. We both love to sing and like the same music. We both enjoy watching movies indoors or going out to different restaurants. He even joined the church where I serve as a Deacon and where we will be married in a few months. He is actually a handsome man who vaguely resembles my late husband. Another strange coincidence. In fact, several of my friends commented on how similar he is to Andy in general appearance and disposition.

Although he works full time, he is a “domesticated male” (those were his words, not mine).... just like my late husband. He cleans out my refrigerator. He does the dishes. He even bakes with me. And, although the passion between us isn’t quite the same as it is with the man who broke my heart, thank God there is some passion and a willingness to explore.

However (and it’s too bad there has to be a “however”), I realize I am not over my other lover yet and perhaps my ex realizes what his life is like without me, as well. I tried No Contact for a while (I’m sure some of you read my blog about when No Contact becomes necessary), but we remain in contact, as does my fiance with his ex.

Certainly some moralists might say that, if I still have feelings for the man I used to love, I shouldn’t be getting married to another man. But, I’m sure many people here have realized by now that it’s possible to love more than one person at a time. And that “love” comes in many different forms. If this weren’t the case, why would there be so many questions and posts about the inability to get over one’s ex?

At this juncture, I am very disappointed in my lover because he remains in contact with my nemesis (the woman who caused me to actively find another man), which just goes to show me that he and I have fundamentally different values. I am very angry about this, and I suspect this alone will serve to drive us further apart. I was planning on seeing the man I loved tomorrow or the next day, but the news that he is still courting my nemesis hurt me to the quick. I think I cried enough because of this man, don’t you? I really don’t believe he deliberately is trying to hurt me, but it sure feels that way.

I suspect he will continue to be a part of my life in spite of my impending marriage. The Jury is still out, as it were. We still have a very strong rapport, and we can’t seem to totally break the connection. Obviously, I no longer see him twice a week. Obviously, he must have someone else in his life by now. Maybe it even is my nemesis, the woman who caused me to distance myself from him.

And yet, our connection is so strong (almost visceral) that it seems almost impossible to sever it. It’s as though part of him is still in my body and in my soul. I’d hate to think of this, but perhaps we’re really soul mates who couldn’t take the relationship further because he was already attached. I often think that, if he were free, he might have come to love me over time and that he might have wanted the ***** but might not have needed the other women because I would have given him the kind of loving he craves . But, there’s no point in speculating about what might have been.. we are where we are.

My greatest challenge will be learning to deal with where I am right now in my head. I’m happy to have found a fiance who can love me. I love him too in my own way. I already told my fiance it’s okay for him to continue to be friends with HIS ex. My treacherous lover rationalizes the whole business by claiming I became engaged to G because I was “looking for a relationship” which he couldn’t give me. How sad is it that all I wanted from him was his LOVE.

When we were still together on a regular basis, because he lived with another woman, I saw that other man once a week, mainly as a friend. I saw him every Sunday. He wasn’t relationship material but he was able to take me out on dates (something my wonderful lover couldn’t manage to do), and that was just fine with me for a long, long time.

I was actually quite content until I had that awful ***** with that woman and until I found out that my lover is rather indiscriminate in his choice of women. How presumptuous of me to have thought that, because I gave him ALMOST everything he wanted, he would grow to care more deeply for me. I should have realized “a leopard really never changes his spots” and learned acceptance. I am getting there slowly but surely.

This woman is really a piece of work. When I told her I became engaged because of my repeated disappointments in my lover, she threatened to tell my fiance that I was still seeing my lover. I warned my lover that, if he should become involved with her, she is just the type who would tell HIS significant other that he was cheating, but he apparently ignored my warnings.

So, in view of all this, why is it so hard to end my relationship which gives me both great pleasure and great pain? It’s because some liaisons change their flavor or their intensity but they just aren’t meant to end because of their intensity. In spite of his brutal honesty which hurt me to the quick, I am not prepared to end my relationship with my poly amorous lover yet. I say “yet” because anything is possible.. Strong, even uneven relationships, are hard to sever. Surely some of you can relate to my post because you are also torn between believing something has to end and believing it might never end. Why? Because we try, but we need to be strong to control our feelings. He gave me a very positive gift, along with the negativity, and making a list of pros and cons is futile because a liaison isn’t about black and white feelings.. Liaisons are ever flowing, ever changing. They continue for a reason, and sometimes they end for a reason.

So... what do you think? Please leave me a comment or give me a


  • gummybears:

    now I get the ‘moth to a flame’ reference. I’d like to point out that there are negative undertones in that association. the moth to the flame story ends with the moth getting burned. I think as long as the efeects of your relationship has positives that far outweigh the negative... then there is no problem. I think if it helps you to grow as a person, then its a no brainer. however.... if it is just a case of not being able to let go.... then I (personally) would be rethinking my own attraction to the entracing, dancing, mesmerizing flame to which I am drawn... I also don’t have the attention span to keep two relationships going very well!

  • Genieinabottle: gummybeares: Yes, the moth to a flame reference is supposed to have a negative connotation. Unfortunately, the positives outweigh the negatives in this situation, simply because the nature of the relationship has changed. It is not the passionate, obsessive relationship it once was. On the other hand, I am unable to totally let go of it and sometimes I wonder why this is. Is it because I am still partly under his spell, or is it because my fiance is still close to HIS ex? I don’t know the answer to that question yet, and I think only time will tell. I sure don’t have the stamina to handle more than one relationship.. that is for certain, and there is no way I will ever stop seeing my fiance. Although he claims to love me very much, my biggest fear is that he could end it if he gets tired of hearing about MY ex.
  • Genieinabottle: P.S. My fiance wrote to me this morning and he told me he loves me very much. I told him about my treacherous lover’s continued communication with the woman who served to break us up. He was quite empathetic (something I really love about him), and he said he was sorry that the other guy upset me so much. Perhaps on some level he is happy that I am gradually seeing the other guy for who he really is.
  • jade: I feel a major part of the attraction you feel for your ex is based on the fact he will never be truly yours. He will never love you. I think we subconsciously identify those people who are a challenge for us even when we know nothing about them. Of course you’d stay attracted to this man, more than you are to your fiance. You already know your fiance loves you, there’s no one to impress or change. Your ex on the other hand stays out of reach, love wise, and you continue trying to reach him and call it love.
  • Genieinabottle: jade, it is definitely possible that part of the attraction I feel for my ex is related to the fact that he can never be truly mine. The fact that he will never love me was so hard for me to accept because I did everything humanly possible to win his love. And, I agree with you that the fact that he represents a challenge is another reason I find him irresistible. My fiance doesn’t represent a challenge in that he is already crazy about me. You would think I would be ecstatic that an intelligent, attractive man thinks the world of me, but I don’t feel that way. You’re absolutely right that, because I know my fiance loves me, there is no need to try to win him over or to impress him. My ex continues to elude me, even to torment me, and I keep replaying sexual scenarios I had with him in my head, and I wish things had been different. I didn’t even begrudge him his PRIMARY relationship. I was happy for him that he has a woman in his life who is his best friend. But, the fact that he needs other women besides her and me drives me up a wall. Often, I wish I would develop the strength to make a clean break. So far, it isn’t happening for me, and I’m angry with myself for my weakness. I probably will never really know how he felt about me. I just know he never loved me and never will love me.
  • jade: I won’t be surprised if he does love, just not as much as you need or deserve. I think you must cut all ties with him. It doesn’t bring anything good into your life and I’m surprised your fiance is willing to accept this relationship.
  • Genieinabottle: jade, it’s theoretically possible that he did love, but not as much as I needed. It’s hard to talk about how much love we "deserve", but all of us have standards by which we measure love, and his behavior certainly wasn’t up to my standards. My fiance is willing to accept my continuing contact with him perhaps because HE is still in contact with his ex. But, he made it clear to me that he expects me to go to No Contact whenever my ex becomes abusive.
  • Genieinabottle: Another P.S. I saw the guy I used to love yesterday at his office. I realize my emotional feelings towards him have changed quite a bit, but there is still that inexplicable attraction. I think we’re both mature enough, however, to accept the fact that things will never return to "the way we were", and yet I don’t think we will sever our bond completely any time in the near future. But, the relationship is becoming more realistic, which is a good thing.

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