What happened? Epiphany, cold feet or a woman?

by Liesel
(Los Angeles, CA)

I am in my early 50's. There's a man I've known since we were 12. He was the first boy I kissed. We've always had chemistry. After high school we went our separate ways. He went to Harvard and then law school. AT our 20 year reunion, we reconnected and had a very intense, but short fling. He had recently divorced (his wife decided she was gay) and had just moved to Tennessee. I was in a relationship with a guy who was a potential life-partner. We were in different states and knew it just wasn't to be. We kept in touch sporadically, but both agreed it was the best sex we ever had and regretted that we didn't get together earlier in life.

A year ago he called, said he'd be in LA and would I meet him for lunch? Sure. We rekindled our relationship. He invited me to spend the weekend with him at a resort and within a month it was a done deal. He said he'd let me get away twice before and wouldn't let me get away again, he'd wait for me to finalize my divorce, no matter how long, because he loved me, we were soul-mates, life-partners, I was a gift from heaven, and we would be together forever and always ... "I promise." He actually said these things, over and over for a year. He could not have been more open, loving and supportive. We were looking for a place to live together and he would move back to California. He wanted to get married. He visited here several days every month. We had an effortless relationship. We never fought, we had fun, loved the same things and had the same background, friends, ethics and ideals. We had a 42 year friendship. It seemed like the perfect, one-in-a-million relationship. He said I was the best thing (beside his daughter) that ever happened to him. We met each other's kids and family. Everyone thought we were great together.

His family is religious. Protestant. He attended church sporadically. HE would periodically take bible study classes because he found the history of religion interesting. He was taking two classes and started spending alot of time with is church group. You see where this is going...

Just before Lent, he attended a class in which they were studying the stations of the cross. He called and told me he felt incredibly guilty because I was still legally married. I suggested he talk to his pastor and find a way to reconcile his religion with our relationship for a few months until my divorce was final. A few days later, he decided we could not continue a romantic relationship until my divorce was final. I was devastated. I learned that there was a woman in his church group, who was newly divorced and retired from Wall Street, and interested in him. I felt threatened and let him know that social events with her were upsetting to me because she didn't know about me. Why? Because I was legally married, he didn't want his church friends to know. Gee, how about I have a girlfriend and my legal marital status is nobody's business?

The last phone call was after an email I sent with information from a pastoral counselor who was also a lawyer, who said the bible didn't contemplate dating or divorce. In those days, divorce was accomplished by a letter. The term in the bible is to "separate." Therefore, in today's world "separation" could be emotional, physical, legal or upon conclusion of a divorce, but there was no clear definition in the bible. He said he loved my email and read it twice and wanted to talk about it. He also had decided to distance himself from "the group." I was thrilled.

I don't even know what it was I said - it had something to do with his brother wondering why he wasn't coming to visit and my attempt to explain our "hiccough." He said "this is not good, I knew I shouldn't have talked to you" and hung up. He hasn't answered his phone, a text, my apology card or email.

Literally, one day we were in love with a future and the next I had the scarlett letter on my chest and was an untouchable. I'm devastated. Most of all, by his abandonment and refusal to communicate, refusal to tell me what is really going on: did he get cold feet? No one, absolutely no one, buys the crushing guilt before lent story. So is it the Wall Street chick? Why would a man throw away what he, himself, said was the best thing that had ever happened to him? Why does a well-educated, well-mannered, decent, religious man feel justified in destroying our relationship and treating me with such disrespect? What happened to "do unto others..." He refuses to face me or even speak? Cruel, narcissistic, and irresponsible.

Do I take revenge? I know his family and friends. He deserves to be humiliated.

Wait and see if he comes back? Would I ever trust him again?

What happened? Any guesses?

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