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Dear Christine, Feelings in Franklin

| June 2, 2018

Dear Christine, My question is this: My partner of 12 years has decided she has feelings for another woman, who has been straight all her life & has 3 children & is currently married. My partner has been helping her with all her issues & has become emotionally attached to this woman & is questioning her feelings for me? What do I do? Look forward to your reply. Thx, Feelings in Franklin

 

Dear Feelings in Franklin, So, my question to you is, what’s missing in your 12 year relationship? For you? For your partner? I’m guessing you used to be close and intimate, and it was satisfying, but over the years, you’ve somehow grown apart emotionally. Now, your partner has been getting her emotional needs met by helping a friend, which are fueling her questioning of your relationship with her. She’s perceiving her friend as her emotional significant other, not you. What is she not getting in her relationship with you? What is it that she needs? What are your needs? Are they being communicated? Are they ever met? If you can’t answer these questions, then I’d start there, with yourself, and then moving on to her needs. Explore honestly with yourself, and with your partner, as there are probably some hurts that have not healed. If she’s hanging on to some perceived slight or betrayal by you, hear her out. You don’t have to agree with whatever she says, but you need to know what she’s feeling, how that’s changed and what her needs are now! We all change and grow in 12 years, and if we stop looking inward to increase self-awareness, then we can’t communicate the changes in needs in a relationship. Be honest with each other, and use the mending words when you truly feel them: “I love you”, “I’m sorry”, “I forgive you”, “please forgive me.” These are some starters. Keep in mind that every hurt needs a certain amount of mending words, and some hurts need more than others. Also, sometimes the mending attempts may be too little, too late.

Sometimes it helps to have a Relationship Summit, where the two of you take a weekend to be alone together, perhaps getting away out of town, but the focus is on honest communication, having fun and exploring new possibilities for your relationship. Try some direct conversation, and let your partner know what’s on your heart. It’s a risk, but if you do and say nothing, you will lose her. If you try, at least you have spoken your truth and given this relationship your all. Good luck!

 

 

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