Eight years ago I met someone in high school who would turn out to be my best friend. Seth and I are so much alike we literally feel what the other is thinking. We finish each other’s sentences. Even with all this, we are different in many ways.
I began dating Seth’s best friend a few months after I met Seth and eventually we were engaged to be married. As well as I claim to know him, I never knew Seth was secretly in love with me. The engagement crashed and burned, but it didn’t affect my relationship with Seth other than to bring us closer.
Years passed and we grew up.
At one point I became heavily involved in unhealthy things. After months of trying to get through to me, Seth said he could no longer watch me self-destruct. He walked away. That was the worst pain I ever felt in my life.
Eventually I straightened out, married and moved away. I found Seth by accident surfing the internet one night, and I emailed him. I discovered he was still in college and had a baby. We started emailing every day, trying to “rediscover” each other.
I am married to a wonderful man, and I am recklessly in love with him. Seth respects that and is happy for me.
The problem? Recently Seth emailed me about all his relationship problems. He compares every woman he meets to me, and he claims they do not measure up.
I told him he is being unfair to himself and to these women. What he and I share can never be duplicated, but that doesn’t mean he cannot love another person. Love comes in many forms. You never love anyone the same way you loved someone else.
Seth walked away from me once because he couldn’t stand to see the way I was living. Is it my time to walk away? I cannot bear the thought I am the cause for all his failed relationships.
Laurel, the writer Anthony Everitt gives an interesting account of the last days of Caesar Augustus, the first Roman emperor. When Augustus was well into his 70s and in failing health, he was worried about who should succeed him.
There were two likely candidates. One was Tiberius, a middle-aged man. The other was Augustus’ grandson Agrippa, still in his 20s. Augustus had a soft spot in his heart for Agrippa, but he also knew Agrippa was an angry young man incapable of leading Rome. In fact, Augustus had even exiled Agrippa to the small island of Pianosa.
A few months before his death, Augustus secretly went to Pianosa to visit Agrippa. Grandfather and grandson had a joyous reunion. Augustus assured Agrippa of his love and told Agrippa that he would soon call him back to Rome. Augustus then returned to his ship, but not before arranging for the young man to be executed.
You never looked at Seth as he looked at you. You saw him almost asexually, even as he made you his Helen of Troy, his Marilyn Monroe, his Charlize Theron. The relationship got stuck there.
Helping Seth maintain his fixation isn’t good for you, your husband or your marriage. It isn’t good for Seth. Let him know that the thing which would make you lovers is absent for you. Then break off all contact.
Like Augustus, you are faced with a painful decision. Augustus made his decision to avoid a bloody war of succession. You must make yours for the same reason Seth once walked away from you.
~ Wayne & Tamara
Direct Answers from Wayne and Tamara – Column for the week of September 18, 2017
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