A married person i know recently got back in touch with an old flame. She claims they are not having an affair but they are in touch regularly and she has spent a few nights away from home with him. She says she can talk to him easily and he understands her.
But i can't help but think she is misguided and it is all an illusion that will soon come crashing in her face. Am i wrong?
What is the lure of old flames? Simple, in two words:
Well, as someone who knows...sometimes the familiarity and chemistry is still there and it helps to have a sympathetic ear...especially if that ear is someone who says that he loves you and always will. Especially doubled when it is fifteen years or so later and tells you - your laugh is still the same, your eyes haven't changed, or where is that sparkle in your eye?
Hard times can leave you prey for a soft word from someone who was in your life that you still have fond memories of - especially if the break up was so long ago and it was amicable or you both have changed. He may be a 'safe' person to her.
Even tougher if there are hard times in the marriage, abuse or neglect. And I don't know one woman who will admit to having an affair with an ex...no one wants to admit to possibly walking into the same mistake twice. Also, no one goes away overnight with an ex without sleeping with them. Its kind of silly to ask. Its too familiar of territory, its like slipping on a comfortable pair of jeans, or looking for a comfortable warm blanket and finding your grandmother's quilt sitting by the fire with your name sewn on the edge.
He's separated, I don't know of anyone in this day and age that goes through all that pain and hardship and really gets back together with their spouse, but perhaps I don't live in the right part of the country or the right country. In the generation I've grown up in, its just the mandatory waiting period that you need or the time when you lead separate lives to hammer out the details to have a clean divorce. Everyone leads their separate lives. My ex husband and I had no contact when we were separated unless it had something to do with divorce details - it said in the separation papers, we were not to interfere with each other's lives and live separate and apart from one another.
If you ask me, its the husband who should be paying attention. I haven't heard his behavior mentioned at all. What does he do when she isn't home? He may be already out and about.
In cases like this, she may be asking for someone to confide in. Maybe it isn't really about the old flame at all. He could be a distraction. Maybe she is trying to tell you more about what is or isn't going on at home. Maybe she needs a friend and someone she can trust who won't judge her either way. She could be testing the waters with the stormy details. Sometimes people will do that to bring attention to themselves when it really is a cry for help. I would think more about what she isn't saying and forget about judging the rightness or wrongness of actions. Let's focus on the why.
You are right. She has other underlying issues which are affecting her behaviour. One of which is an addiction, though she is currently in denial about that.
We have talked severally. She recently spent the night at mine because she had an argument with her husband.
I have listened to her and spoken to her husband briefly. He seems concerned about her well-being. They also have 2 adolescent children.
She is already in the process of losing her job and i am concerned that her getting involved with someone else will result in her losing her home and her kids too.
Sounds like she is looking for a safety net, someone who feels obligated to help her due to their past shared feelings and relationship - bringing that past fondness and his caring for her well-being from the past into the present. For instance, if it was he who ended it, and if he feels some responsibility and still has that flame burning - he could have that "knight in shining armor" thing going. She probably needs a hero right now.
What she probably needs more is therapy, a good counsellor and her family to stand up and be there. Not just concerned, but lovingly a lot more active to know what's going on with her. I get the feeling that everyone involved is just being very passive about the whole situation and she is passively in her own way crying for help.
Its like everyone standing around waiting and watching because they know an accident is about to happen and when the cops show up they all want to have a good report for when the police come to interview them about what they saw. I'm sorry if I sound abrupt, I just feel like I see this kind of thing too much and it happens all the time, and then everyone wants to play Monday night quarterback about the incidents and judge the one person who did everything wrong when really, at any point, anyone could have done something to change the course of events. And I'm not talking about you - it seems you are, by reaching out on here, you seem to be the most concerned, but the men, the children, and what about her family? Obviously the employer has noticed...it doesn't take a doctorate for someone to step in and do something.
I also work with the american foundation for suicide prevention, so please forgive my extreme outlook on things...I relate most people in trouble with this kind of thinking. Blessings to you and your coworker and all involved.
Sounds like something unfinished in the old relationship and/or problems in the new one.
She has some problems at work and has recently been suspended. She feels the husband is not being as supportive as her old friend.
There might be unfinished business with the old flame who, by the way, is married but separated.
She should talk to her husband, Sometimes we assume our partners are thinking or doing something and take it as a given. Communication is the only way to fix the problem not bringing in a third part to complicate the situation.
An old flame is just that... and old flame.
Time and distance play strange tricks with preceptions and memories. The bad things that drove you apart seem to fade away and what's left is all the stuff that attracted you to each other in the first place.
You are so right.
Years ago before i got married, i had the opportunity to meet up with an old flame. When we spoke on the phone it reminded me of being young and and i guess the good old days of my youth.
But when i eventually saw him, there was no chemistry so to speak. And i remembered all the reasons i wasn't with him and i kind of wondered what i ever saw in him.
That flame was well and truly extinguished. LOL
You Asked - What is the lure of old flames?
I believe it has something to do with the cold smoke since!
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