Dear Mrs. Karazin,
I have been hesitant to write to you mainly because I didn’t know where to begin. Secondly, I doubt you will have the time to read my story and write me back. Before I continue, I would like to mention that English isn’t my first language (Dutch and French are), so please don’t pay attention to the grammatical mistakes.
I am a single, 24yrs old girl with a university degree in Marketing and I live in the Netherlands. I am a huge fan of your blog and I visit it often. My sister makes fun of me all the time because she can’t seem to understand the obsession I have with your blog. I mainly visit it for advices and I like that your readers always share their loving stories and advices with everybody and that has helped me tremendously.
The main reason why am writing to you is because I’m in a very difficult period in my life right now. My story is really complicated and I would like some advice from you ( if you can of course). After a very disturbing and not healthy relationship (not blaming the guy ) I decided enough was enough. I was in a 4 years relationship with a MARRIED man and please don’t judge me because I have being doing it for the last 4yrs.
I met this good looking guy when I was 20yrs old, he was 40 yrs and I was very naïve and young at the time. I wasn’t looking for a relationship let alone with a married man at 20 but for some strange reason it happened. He is a nice guy who had a lot of respect for me and treated me like a princess, maybe that’s why I felt for him. Don’t get me wrong, I was young enough to realize that I was playing with fire but I guess that didn’t stop me and I will forever regret making that choice.
To start with, I don’t have a lot of friends like my sister and I think that also contributed to me dating him. I could hang out with him and do lots of fun stuff together so I didn’t focus on making friends in school. We used to travel together around the world, slept in 4 stars hotels and my best friend and sisters envied my lifestyle because it was very glamorous. I lived a fancy life meaning that I didn’t have to work, he gave me expensive gifts, I could shop all the time and he bought me a car. I was blinded by the beautiful gifts.
He even became very close to my family and they loved him back. Of course they didn’t know he was married because I was embarrassed and ashamed to tell anyone but I eventually told my mom and my sister because I couldn’t live with the secret anymore. My sister was devastated and couldn’t believe I would ever date a married guy because everyone in my family and friends tell me I am very pretty and could get any man I want. I never had any problems attracting guys in school and my sister couldn’t understand why I would ever fall for a married guy. The problem is that I never truly believed I was pretty and still don’t. Whenever I look in the mirror I see a pretty face with big brown eyes but my low self esteem makes me see something else, which is very sad.
My mother on the other hand had a very disturbing reaction learning that I was dating a married man. My mother liked him very much and she saw how happy I was that she didn’t encouraged me to get out of the relationship. I know it sounds ridiculous and you are probably thinking that my mom is a monster for supporting my relationship but my mom hasn’t been lucky finding love herself. She’s being cheated on several times and only had terrible guys in her life which made her not to believe there are still good man out there. I don’t want to make any excuses for her because I feel sorry for her but I would think she would want what’s best for me. Maybe she honestly thought I was very happy because I never complained to her about him and our relationship. She witnessed how he treated me like a princess. Little does she know I was extremely miserable and battling with some serious self esteem issues. My parents divorced when I was 7 yrs old and my mom remarried but she isn’t happy in her marriage because my stepdad cheated on her just like her previous boyfriends. My dad actually never cheated on her when they were together and I have a very good relationship with him. I didn’t tell him that the guy he liked so much is married because that would have broken his heart. I am daddy’s little girl and he always tells me to look for true love and only be with men that are worthy of me. Till this day, he still doesn’t know I was involved with a married guy.
This relationship destroyed me and made me doubt myself even more. I was such a lovely and outgoing girl. I lived in Paris by myself when I was 19 and I had friends and was very happy. When I met him I started isolating myself from the real world and would only hang out with him and did things I should have been doing with friends. I can’t blame anyone but me because I brought this misery upon myself. Yes I enjoyed traveling around the world, eating in very fancy restaurants, driving a beautiful car, didn’t have to work like my sister and classmates but for what exactly? I traded my self esteem for some shoes and good food? I can’t believe it and I will never forgive myself for being so stupid and I will forever regret it for the rest of my life. I cry everyday and I just wish I could turn back time.
Anyway, I am no longer in a relationship with him for almost a month. I always wanted to leave him but couldn’t bring myself to and one day he made the decision to leave me and I always thought I would be making that decision. Him making that decision was an eye opening moment and I finally realized that I had to make significant changes in my life. I am rebuilding my life and it is not easy. I did a big chop on my natural hair ( yes I did), started swimming again and have been looking for a job. It’s not easy breaking up with someone you were involved with for 4 years and looking for a job at the same time especially with the European economy getting worst every day. My next plan is to move out of my parent’s house as soon as I have save enough money and I am giving myself not more than a year.
It hasn’t been easy at all and I am still struggling every day. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of him but I quickly remind myself that he actually never loved me even though he claims he did. I never wanted him to leave his wife and kids because I will never forgive myself for doing that to her and frankly he wasn’t planning on leaving her either. I just wished I could have ended this relationship a long time ago.
Fortunately, I have your blog and the advices from your readers to help me. My life hasn’t been the same ever since I stumbled upon your blog. I decided to change my life and right now I am looking for self help books to regain some self esteem. I just don’t know any good one right now. I am terrified of going through what my mum went through with men and being unlucky with love. I want to be loved, find real love and get married but I have to believe that there are good guys out there but it’s very difficult considering the fact that I don’t even know what a good guy is anymore. This was my first relationship ever and it hurts it was a recipe for disaster. I want to fall in love again with a nice guy but right now I’m not ready. I know you always tell women on your blog to find a good therapist but I wish I could afford one. I know I should get out there and try different foods and drinks, meditate so I can see the forest for the trees and find someone to love who will love me back. Be fearless, find my voice, take a chance and live my life to the fullest but I don’t even know where to begin. I can’t go back and reset time and start the clock again with the knowledge I now have but I can look to finding someone special. I am very young and still have the time to turn my life around. Lately I have been thinking of taking a two weeks trip to France to visit my aunt and a cousin with whom I am very close. I have also been thinking of going out more but I don’t like going out by myself because it is boring to sit alone in a café.
I should stop writing now but I just wanted to share with you the story of my life. I know you don’t have a magic wand to change my life but it would be great to get some advice. I definitely understand if you don’t have the time to respond considering your busy life being a wife, a mother and having a blog. If you were to ever meet me, you would think I am such a happy, pretty, well behaved and energetic person who sees the glass as half full. That is true to an extent. If only I could believe in myself and make sure to make every moment of my life more amazing. You could share what I have shared with you but keep it anonymous. I don’t want someone else make the mistake i did when i was 20 years old.
In addition, I just want to thank you for what you are doing with your blog and keep helping young women around the world because you are good at it.
Much love from Europe
Honey, no I don’t think your mom is a monster, but perhaps she suffers from a similar low self image as you do. Typically, married men looking to cheat target young women like yourself, and they can sniff insecurity like blood in that water. It also sounds like this man is charming and knows how to sweep a girl off her feet. Know that you have made the right decision in leaving, and you should run and not look back. Married men often cheat because of the passion they are missing in their marriage, and are stimulation seeking. This man probably is not in love with you, and after four years, he’s most definitely not going to leave his wife. He’s probably persisting with the relationship because he knows you’re vulnerable and it’s easier than going out and starting all over again with a new target.
The real issue, dear, is that you don’t really believe you’re worth more than just a side piece. I don’t know if you’ve always felt this way, or if being in this kind of relationship exacerbated the issue. It’s only when you realize your worth can you move on to more healthy and reciprocal relationships. I can’t tell you want a high self-worth looks like for you, because the bar is set differently for everyone. But in general, you put more stock in yourself when you’ve achieved a certain level of success with completing your personal goals and challenges. Take a break from relationships for a while, and find out what your really need in order to feel better about yourself, and I highly recommend you talk to a therapist. While I know your mother’s support is comforting, I recommend you not go to her for any more advice or discussion on the matter.
The good news? You made a mistake, but your young enough to fix it. Chalk it up to lessons learned and then DO BETTER, because you DESERVE BETTER.
Keep your head up, chica.
Ladies, chime in and let’s lend this young lady some support.