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I’ve got a tough one to call that I need your help with. I’m recently separated from a wife who cheated on me. It was a very painful situation and one I wish to keep from happening again in my next relationship at all costs. After reading your columns for some time I went ahead and bought “The System” to help me read women better. I hope it works.
On to my situation. My 10-year high school reunion is coming up and I recently connected with my childhood sweetheart, LeeAnn, who I’ve known since kindergarten. We dated all the way through college and had planned to get married. She was ready to marry before I was, but a silly fight at a party where I embarrassed her led to our breakup. Six weeks later she was engaged to the richest, most popular guy in town. I did nothing to stop her from marrying him.
Well, LeeAnn and I recently reconnected after five years of not talking. We went out for drinks. She confessed that even though she was still married, her relationship had long since fallen apart and that she no longer loved her husband. Basically, she said, it was over even though she hadn’t yet filed for a divorce because she was frightened for their kid. She also said she had regrets before marrying and that I was always the one.
We both had the best time we’ve had in a while that night, but appropriately said goodbye at the end of the night, never crossing the physical line. On the way home I called LeeAnn’s cell phone and said that as long as she was married I couldn’t see her again. I didn’t want to be that “other guy” and to call me if she ever split with her husband. She agreed and said goodnight.
Doc, my main question is this: why does the past girlfriend hold such fascination for us guys? Is there ever an exception to your principles: “no going backwards,” “no married women?” Because this is the love of my life we’re talking about here, the most Giving, Flexible person I’ve ever known.
If the situation develops where I can have her back, is she worth the risk? Does the fact that she willingly reconnected with me make her a potential cheater?
I’m not at all a desperate guy. I’m good-looking and have a lot to offer just about any girl. Please help.
Smitty - who doesn’t want to regret blowing a second chance
“The System” will work only if it’s MEMORIZED. This goes for you and all the other guys out there. Once a week, find yourselves a quiet corner in the library and read it over and over and over again until it’s burned into your brain cells (or if you have the AUDIO VERSION listen over and over again). When it’s automatic, you’ll be well on your way to mastery and you’ll minimize your chances of getting burned by any woman ever again.
Smitty, how high of an Interest Level could LeeAnn really have had in you if you were going together for decades and then she decided to dump you because you made her blush at a party? If you weren’t sticking someone up with a gun at that party, how much of an embarrassment could you have been? What did you do, swing naked from the chandeliers?
To break up a long-term relationship like that, LeeAnn must have been really immature or you did something so stupid it could never, ever be forgiven. Or – more likely -- her Interest Level was below 50 and she was just using her so-called embarrassment as an excuse to get rid of you.
So, LeeAnn’s marriage fell apart and she no longer loves her husband ...Smitty, you got any idea how many guys have heard that tall tale over the centuries? And, uh, I’m selling this bridge over in Brooklyn you might be interested in buying.
Why is LeeAnn using the term “frightened” when it comes to her kid? Is her husband a nutcase? Does he own any guns? If he does, you shouldn’t even be out with his wife for drinks, pal! Or do you mean that she’s frightened of getting into any kind of trouble with hubby because he’s the one who controls the purse strings? You’d better figure out exactly what it is you’re dealing with here, my friend. Like I’ve told you guys time and again, you have to learn to be love detectives on Love and Order. To you Psych majors, men do the strangest things when they feel like they’re losing their woman.
For LeeAnn to up and marry somebody else literally days after her breakup with you was wacky. Something like that screams REBOUND from the rooftops! Did you at least ask her if she was deeply in love when she married this guy?
You probably didn’t, because you don’t want to know. But according to your pretty little flake, YOU were always the one. There’s your evidence of the rebound effect. LeeAnn’s telling you that she regretted what she did. Boy, I wonder how her husband feels about that? She married him just to rub it in your face. And now she’s back fooling around with you? What kind of wing-nut is she? I’ll tell you what she is for sure -- trouble. And what’s even worse is that she’s telling you that you were always the one; when her actions actually say that you were always number two!
It’s always nice and wonderful when you reconnect with an old flame, but if you were to spend a couple of months with her, you’d start noticing things, the things that broke you apart in the first place. But Smitty, you did do one thing right by telling LeeAnn that you couldn’t see her again as long as she stays married. This shows you’re not a completely lost cause.
Guys, your ex-girlfriend fascinates you because your EGO blows the old romance all out of proportion and you just look at the good parts, never the bad stuff, the stuff that caused it to flop in the first place – that you weren’t even aware of. Because if she were all that great, you two wouldn’t have split up and she wouldn’t have gone off and married the rich guy five minutes later.
There are NO exceptions to my principles when it comes to your ex. EVER. You have to remember that you’re talking about the love of YOUR life -- only. Because you’re talking only about YOUR high Interest Level. LeeAnn didn’t have high Interest Level in you, because she broke up with you over a silly fight. And when she told you that you were always the one, you actually believed her? Like I said, pal, you have to memorize the book!
Sure, LeeAnn was Giving and Flexible when you were sipping your margaritas in the bar. But her head’s not screwed on right, because if it were, she wouldn’t have married Bill Gates on the rebound. Don’t let yourself forget that.
What do you mean, “If you can have her back?” She’s a married woman, dude. She’s not going to just walk away from all that dough. Like my cousin Fast Eddie Love says, “It’s easier for her to stay miserable and married than it is for her to divorce Fort Knox.” Hey, Smitty, I got news for you -- that’s why she picked this guy on purpose on the rebound in the first place. She’s a Giving person, alright. About as Giving and Flexible as a shark. Do Giving people marry stinking rich guys they don’t care for all that much?
Of course LeeAnn’s a potential cheater. Just look at what she’s doing here. She’s a married woman and mother sneaking around with a guy in a dark bar. What does that tell you about her Integrity? What she should have told you was that she doesn’t see other men while she’s married. But she can’t because she’s too busy checking out the field. Because she figures that if she has to make the jump to someone else, first she has to calculate how much jack the new turkey has for her and her kid. A pretty picture, right? So there’s a lot going on here that you neglected to see, Smitty. Remember what Rabbi Love says: “Son, you’d better open your eyes unless you want to go through hell again.”
So no, you can’t go back. EVER.
Remember, guys: women don’t marry rich guys by mistake.
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