HomeMain PageRelationshipsMap of RelationshipsMap of Relationships (Full Version Script) Part VII


Map of Relationships (Full Version Script) Part VII — 23 Comments

  1. Hi Al,
    I have learned a great deal form your website, and read all VII parts of Map of Relationships, thank you so much for putting your experience and guidance on the net.
    Ever since the break up many of our friends have labeled my ex-husband as a narcissist among other titles. I do not believe that people, as so many in this day and age label everything as a disease, mental illness or some other personality disorders.
    I truly feel we are all here to partake in a growing experiment, and it is this spiritual growth we all have to go through, no person is alike and that is the way it should be.
    I still love my ex-husband and see the good in him and thus do not want to give up on our relationship, I too believe in vintage love and I feel at one time we shared such in our marriage, or maybe I was deceiving myself.
    To make matters worse in March 2010 I had respiratory failure and thus have to be on Oxygen 24/7, I fear do to my own physical ailment I was to involved with myself trying desperately in getting better and thus did not see the warning signs that must have been evident.
    My husband and I were married for almost 32 and had a close relationship for 35 years, now I honestly wonder what truly happened.
    At the end of January of this year he stolen over $27K from our finances, never told me and was waiting for the end of the month, now I wonder was he waiting for the end of month, and would he have cleaned the bank account too, since both of our retirement checks are on direct deposit.
    Had I not found out on Jan. 27, 2014 that the $27K was missing, which I saved for a whole years for the new roof we needed, I would have been left with ZERO, ZIP, NADA at the end of the month. After he left I found out via neighbors that he already had moved boxes out of the house as early as the beginning of November 2013, but did not tell me that he had any intentions in leaving our marriage. So when he announced he was leaving our marriage and me on the end of Jan 2014 I was dumb found and very hurt over the rejection.
    Now I have found out that he had forged a close relationship with his divorced “step-niece” of 46 years, and since May 2012 has pursued her with vigor, and they finally became intimate in November of 2012, which is how long this affair has been going on.
    He moved in with her as soon as the divorce was final in Feb 2014, yeah in Oregon there is no 90-day waiting period and thus one can be divorced in a matter of days, we filed on
    Feb. 3, 2014, and were divorced on Feb. 6, 2014. I find this law insane, but that is the way it’s done in this day and age.
    The vast majority of our time as a married couple was spend on active duty in the military, many long separations, hardships and struggles, but we always managed and weathered the storms and worked together even after multitude of infidelity on his part.
    I wanted this marriage to work and thus I always forgave him and took him back.
    When he retired in 2001 out of the military we stayed in the same area for awhile, but then his elderly mother became ill so we moved back to a small town in Easter Oregon were my husband was born and raised, at first everything seemed fine but then he became unhappy, however he never confident his unhappiness to me rather to my oldest son from a previous marriage, who of course kept my ex-husband concerns confidential and did not tell me.
    I truly had know idea, everything seemed fine he told me everyday that he loved me, the only thing I can think off right now is, when we left the big city it was easier for him to hide his infidelities and the supply was vast, however when we moved home the city he grew up in is rather small and everyone knows everyone, so he was not able to obtain a supply for his indiscretions I suppose.
    I’m very confused and hurt, and feel betrayed, I’ve asked myself the same question over and over again why did I not see the warning signs, why did he lie and gave other reason for leaving our marriage and me, how can a person just walk away, leave a spouse after 35 years of investment in a marriage and partner?
    I hope I can put my life back on track and start over I’m almost 64 years old and its kind of hard to look toward the future with happiness and without him sharing in such joys.
    Thank you again for your website its been a god send, had I found your website before all of this happened maybe I could have read the signs or the writing on the wall so to speak.

    • Hello Greta, what a tragic story! I’m so sorry you’ve gone through this. You’ll probably find lots of other writings on my website useful or interesting. Betrayal is such an awful, and yet common, situation. Right now I would just continue through the grieving process. Take your time and breathe. I think you’re a good person (and so is he) and this is a wholly enormous experience to learn from. If I can help, let me know.

      • Thank you Al for responding, and offering your assistance. I think you are right I’m still in shock over the entire situation and how it actually went down, I’m grieving, I feel rejected, hurt, alone and deserted. I still love him with all my heart and soul and I know deep down that is not going to change for me, I know it has for him and he has moved on and I need to accept that but it is hard. Yes, you are right deep down he is a good person, I just would like to know and honestly understand what he went through that brought him to the point where he thought our marriage and relationship was not worth saving. I honestly do not know what has gotten into him why he is acting this way, or maybe I’m just blind to his faults. If he had been open and honest with me I think I could have understood and could even accept his decision, however he was underhanded and deceitful and so the feelings of him rejection me are even greater, cause there is no closure. I’ll stay on your site I’m reading “Resentment Essay” right now so maybe that will help too, so far your site has been of great help to me. Again thank you for your web site and for all that you do for people.


        • Dear Greta, The question you have to ask yourself is how deeply do you want to understand him. I gather you two have been “together” for a long time without deep understanding. There’s got to be lots of reasons why both of you would choose that level of surface-level contact and lite sharing. Of course that would lead to, what I call, “big surprises.” I spend my time helping people “go deeper” – deep enough to avoid big surprises.

          But to go there, we’d have to look at understanding him, and that would probably lead quickly into understanding why people would use that label “narcissist” on him. That would lead to understanding why he chose/choses those behaviors, and which would eventually lead to understanding a) why you would choose (and stay with) a person with those traits and b) why you would have put up with the “negative traits” of his for so long. That would all probably lead to grasping the “labels” people can put on you, and then embracing them as part of who you understand yourself to have been. Next would come a bunch of understanding and “forgiveness,” Which all would probably lead to moving toward change on your part. Thats just one thread to follow.

          I really didn’t start understanding myself until I was in my 50s. Lots of surprises at first and then eventually lots of peace of mind.

          I could begin with one of your phrases and pull out the next part of discovery and opportunity for change. “I honestly do not know what has gotten into him..” Why don’t you know? Well, he didn’t tell you, or he did and you didn’t listen. If he didn’t tell you, that behavior in a relationship is called withholding. But I like to simplify and call it lying. (That merges “direct lying” with “passive lying” as both have the same effect.) But people “lie” because they don’t feel safe to share. So that leads to discovering what he’s fearful of and what is your part in his fear. That could focus on several different behaviors of yours, all of which you can change.

          By the way, this surface issue of him lying will probably lead to some really great discoveries. A couple of article that may help are “To be Safe you must Share“, How much should you tell? , and on “whose fault is it.

          Good luck.

  2. How about I write a mail to her for early next week which says:

    Hi S,

    Its been raining here after a good amount of snow as per Atlanta standards which gives us opportunity to work from home 🙂
    I have been working on myself even more and I believe that when things are smooth then i went asleep and the pain wakes you up to do more.
    The sudden change of Atlanta got me into doing wrong things and I ended up rushing. I am working on all of these as well so I stay grounded.I am reading a lot on relationships, giving space and getting to know the mistakes i did when both of our plates were full during Nov end. Our relationship deserves a chance to be saved.

    I would love to hear from you anytime you feel like it.

    God Bless!


    • Seems a bit long, until she starts some sort of communication with you.  I’d cut it to 3-4 short sentences, and be prepared to send more once a week or once every two weeks until you get a response.  See my “When to Fold ’em” article. It’s nice to determine when you’ve driven your partner away tooo much.  

  3. Hi Al. I wish I had come across your website some months back. Me and the lady- S lets refer her as, were about to be engaged a year and a half back and she broke the engagement as she felt her parents were not respected as my parents were not interacting much, Anyway, i worked on it and got a chance to meet her again with her parents help about 6 months later. Then again she felt that i was mean and selfish due to my rushing into the relationship. I again worked with her and said I am working on my self and am a different person and I will not involve her parents. Lets work this out for us and our lives. She agreed. We had a great time for the first 5 months from July till Nov 13′ when I was in New Jersey. We made plans that she will come to NJ and spend time with me and I was then talking again to her mom mentioning her all of this. I told her mother that i shouldnt be as i promised not to talk to her. Her mother also told me that she was talking about marriage and her mother and me told each other that we wont let her know that we spoke and it can be a small lie for better purpose. But in Nov I had a change in my job and had to shift to Atlanta. I panicked and asked her as to where do we stand and tell me as to when would you be coming to Atlanta. She felt pushed and before coming to NJ she told me that it wont work and she doesnt feel it anymore. I went to the airport to pick her up inspite of her mentioning me not to come to the airport. Then later I clinged by asking if I can come by her sisters in PA to spend the christmas and new years and she later said it is not a good idea. I asked what happened. She said that I was being unreasonably pushy and that inspite being told not to and promising that i wont involve her parents, I still did. She said that i ran to everyone she knew to influence her and that she doesnt respect such people who make her look like a fool and that she cannot trust me as I dont value my words. I said i am sorry please come down to Atlanta so we can solve this between us. She said you make me laugh and said “between us” when you run to everyone i know to solve the problem? She tell me that I have a choice to move on and that she doesnt understand why I involved her parents and that she is done understanding me.She said that I almost made her believe that I changed but then NO i remained..manipulative. I sent her messages on whats app to apologise and mention that she needs to trust me and that we will work things out between us but no she ignores my messages completely. I had sent messages on whats app a day before valentines day and she blocked me. She didnt give me her number to talk and then again after couple of hours she unblocked me on whats app messenger. I then left it at that and on 21st Feb left a message saying ” thanks for unblocking me. I understand i have rushed and I have a request. Please consider my invitation to visit me at atlanta so we can work things out” and left it at that. I am 36 and she is 33.
    I do want to work on this relationship and work on the 4 steps you mentioned to work on “what to do when she leaves?”. Please suggest what else can I do when she is completely ignoring my messages. I do wish for us to have the Vantage love and lot of understanding. I am the clinger and she is the avoider.

    • Looks to me as if you are doing what you should – waking up and then integrating what you see.  In my experience, Clingers are the luckier ones in that they spontaneously move toward action – seeking better and better actions.  Of course that is one of the problems they face in that when they “wake up”, they often discover all the awful things they have done in their past. This can be daunting. And a Clinger can blame themselves for everything, when a more balanced approach to responsibility is probably better.  But all that is also food for learning.  Then there is also the need to learn to Make Amends to that other person.

      The journey continues.  I’ve written lots of stuff all over this website for you (“Clingers”).  After all, that was my need, too.

      Read on, learn and practice.

      • Thanks Al for the quick response. I agree that i end up taking the blame and wanting to work on this relationship and the part which you mentioned: “Then there is also the need to learn to Make Amends to that other person.” becomes the difficult part. She asked me last time to let her know what she needs to change or work on and i ended up smothering her by saying she is fine and frank enough even when she shouts out when things go wrong justifiably. So i end up not doing the part of asking the amends the other person needs to do.
        I have gone through the “when to Fold’em” article and it was awesome to know the timings. I have cut down the mail about the reading a lot on relationships to the chance to be saved. I will write back to her in another 2 weeks. She told me that this time she wont change her mind and that i have a choice to move on but I am not doing it. I will work on this and wait for her to respond back with all my prayers and i am sure it will work out with God’s grace.
        Appreciate all the help with your response.

  4. I can truly appreciate your views and enjoy reading your articles.

    I am 32 years old and my ex is 33 years old. We have been together for almost 5 years and share 2 beautiful twin girls 16 mths.

    The last 2 years have been a tough journey for the 2 of us. We became parents and lost a sense of compatibility between the 2 of us. He was unhappy and never verbally shared his reasonings and unfulfilments. I was resentful as I felt he never truly committed himself to our relationship and our family, as he wished to have only his selfish me time with no consideration for us and our family. We became bitter towards one another, and he made he final decision by text to end our time as a family. This was about 1 mth ago. I begged him out of desperation, he declinded and state he was doing this for him and his happiness. He states he will no longer live unhappy.

    I love this man. I have changed as a person to be better. For me for him for our children. Old patterns need to be broken and I want to lay the path for a new and better future, with trust love and respect. Is this possible? Do I just live my life and see if he comes to his senses?

    • Dear Olivia (?), Actually, I think you two are right where you should be, for the sake of your kids and all.  You seem to me to be at the end of the Power Struggle.  You have love (probably don’t feel loved right now), and have accumulated a lot of history between you that isn’t pleasant.  Now is the time to sift through that and learn the lessons before you.  

      You’ve learned some, I hear.  Great!  I could make an effort to “read between the lines” and see the lessons that are still before you.   My guess is you both have a long way to go.  

      My suggestion is to “notice” where you think he needs to go, but “fully focus” on the continuation of your learning.  Even focus on the skills you can learn and practice the encourage him to learn.  While I recommend becoming an expert at patience, I don’t suggest waiting for him.  “Appropriately” engage him, but first learn your lessons – as much as you can.  

      I love his statement that “he will no longer live unhappy”.  Who does? How the heck did he come to live unhappy?  How the heck did he come to think that his happiness involves getting away from you?   That should be fixed, I think. 

      Good luck.

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