Three months ago my partner came home at the end of the day with a look of despair on his face. I asked him what was wrong and he announced he no longer wanted to be in our relationship. He felt “stuck.”

I was shocked. I immediately packed my bags and ejected from the situation to re-group at a dear friend’s house. In the days that followed I tried to recall any moment before the bomb dropped that may have warned me.

We were no longer in the honeymoon stage, but there was happiness. After all the past breakups, I thought I’d got past the want of the perfect relationship. Thought I’d found a bloke who accepted my flaws and I his. We agreed that love sometimes means trudging though the guff together.

I am blessed to have strong, supportive friends. They gave me shelter, shouldered my blubbering rants, poured my wine and took me dancing. So, with no job to go to and a little in the bank, I booked a holiday in Italy.

Two weeks before my departure he came back, asked for forgiveness and said I was the one thing in his life he knew was right. With caution and lengthy discussion, I accepted him back into my life. I agreed to let him join me in Italy.

We met in Rome. I treated us to a “nice” hotel. It was beautiful. We roamed Rome, took in the sights, laughed and talked of future plans. Then to Tuscany where we stayed at a remote farm. He rode his bike in the hills every day.

On the third day he announced he no longer wanted to be in a relationship with me. He wanted to be with someone who enjoys cycling as much as he does and was sorry to hurt me again. Clearly it was a flaccid excuse.

In the middle of the Tuscan countryside, I got dumped again. Witness to the beauty of Italy, but unable to appreciate it.

Today I found out this man, who sent daily messages of love while I was away, was also beginning a relationship with a friend who enjoys cycling. They are meeting in Spain to cycle together.

Why did he tell me this? Is it some warped idea of kindness through cruelty? Salt in the wound to help it heal. What part did I play in this disaster? Is there any reason to believe I’m not done with love?

~ Patricia

Patricia, with little money and no job, you decided to go on vacation. You can question that decision, both on practical grounds and because it was an inducement for him to return.

When someone blindsides you, it is like lightning out of a cloudless sky. You thought and thought and studied and studied what you could have missed the first time and you missed it again.

What does it say about the person you were with? He was having a secret life and not in communication with you. He was in concealment from you. You had no clue what brought him back because you had no clue what had him leave.

We are not fans of second chances. When someone devastates a person who loves them, it is foolhardy to give them a second chance.

To get past him you can’t blame yourself for his actions. His cruelty is all on him; he should carry what he did. Not you.

You mention wonderful friends. That should give you hope you will meet the right one because there are good people out there and good men.

There is a note in your letter that you settled, that you had gotten past looking for the right one. But you must never give up looking for the right one. What is inherent in settling for the wrong one is that it is wrong. The wrong one contains within it its demise.

~ Wayne & Tamara

Send letters to: [email protected]

 Column for the week of January 12, 2015

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