Tips from a Gentleman: Climbing over Crimes against Wisdom.

Via on Sep 25, 2012

 


Masculine Logic for Women in the Aquarian Age.

Dear David:
I’m a forty five year old woman, divorced for twenty years, kids grown and just last year I fell madly in love with a man who feels like my soul mate. I have never felt so close, so compatible and so happy with one person in my life (though I had three relationships after my marriage, none lasted more than four years and none felt remotely like this).
My problem is when I first met this man, he was just moving out/separating from his wife of eight years and I found out that in the first three months I was with him, he also slept with his wife. I was devastated by this discovery. He assures me it will never happen again, and that it was an anger fuck and that he regrets not telling me as soon as it happened.
As much as I am still in love and love being with this man (who is my own age) I find myself feeling post traumatic and unable to regain the trust I had in him. I need to be civil with his soon-to-be ex-wife, since they share an 8-year-old daughter, whom I adore. But I am still angry with her, and don’t really trust them together. Help!

Thank you for offering your situation for discussion. As I see it, the issue is shaped by three questions, leading to the fourth, which is the only one which requires a definitive answer.

1. Was he still married to his wife when this particular deed was done?

If I read your question correctly, it sounds as if, technically, they were.

As I (a never-married man of 26) understand it, the decision to divorce the mother of your child is not taken lightly, and as with any weighty decision—even when the outcome is ultimately obvious—there is guaranteed to be some vacillation in the process.

Look-see: the divorcing couple (perhaps inevitably) gets it on one last time. The occasion is not sufficiently orgasmic to inspire reconciliation. On the contrary, he comes to you with remorse plus assurance that it will never happen again. Therefore, I might suggest the perspective that this “anger fucking” episode is a blessing.

Crime SceneHow often do we do things we know full-well are bad for our future-selves? How many times do we cause harm, knowing better yet unable to behave accordingly? Ayurveda calls these “crimes against wisdom,” and we (I) commit them constantly.

However, despite the insane and seemingly endless process of repeating the same ‘crimes,’ eventually we learn. We stop tolerating the discomfort we cause and enact the necessary changes to prevent future suffering. Here, the trend favors your position; time, for now, is on your side.

The upset this episode has caused likely acts as a catalyst, providing urgency for him to express the seriousness of his enthusiasm for you. It amplifies his knowing that the old situation is ending for a reason and, in theory, accelerates the timetable for his full appreciation of you.

2. What has your relationship with his ex-wife been until now?

As a married couple with a child, they obviously shared a bed for X years. Presumably this history presented no obstacle until you discovered that there was some overlap.

It seems no transition is ever as cleanly cleft as we might like, and before indulging in too much indignation, I recommend investigating your own willing participation in creating that overlap.

In any case, you probably don’t need to be her best friend, do you? As you suggest, civility is all that is really necessary. As long as you can avoid trash-talking her in front of her daughter (unforgivable), this really should not be too huge an issue… unless you’re in the same book club or some such atrocious synchronicity.

Rome visit, June 2008 - 57 3. Is your regard for him permanently, irreconcilably tainted? Does this act change who you believe him to be in his heart? as a person?

This is the only question that matters. The answer is something you alone can determine for yourself.

Be wary not to allow this one thing to be an excuse for escape, as a cover for avoiding other more subtle issues. The best relationships are about mutual growth. Growth is slow, uncomfortable change. It does no good to close your eyes and hope it’ll be over soon. The fastest way out is through.

Circumstance will always allow for reasonable doubt, always provide you an escape route. You have an entirely viable story to justify getting out now—something like, “I had to break it off. He slept with his ex- and I can’t trust him.”

However, this reasoning seems a touch too convenient. The depth of feeling you have for this man is clearly substantial, which is glorious and inherently risky because real love requires courage. It is a brave thing to totally expose your tender heart when others wield such deadly weapons, but bravery is never in vain, and the poets insist that indeed, such surrender is the sweetest of nectars.

Ultimately, you’re asking a yes-or-no question.

If it’s not emphatically yes, then it’s no. If you really really can’t trust him, and this incident has permanently tainted the relationship, then cut cords and go on with your journey.

However, every day that it’s yes, then it is definitely not no. Because positivity is scientifically proven to be exponentially more contagious than its counterpart, faith in your present good feeling ought to enjoy priority over any involuntary doubts about the past or invented fear of the future.

Try this. Take time to imagine, in great detail, both the profound joy and potential trials available by continuing your entanglement with this human person. Give each polarity equal attention. Indulge in what arises in the mind, really go into the gladnesses and sadnesses.

When you come back, acknowledge that the past has passed and the future is unmade. Realize you are complete unto yourself and entirely capable of thriving independently. Then from that perspective, ease into the direction that feels best.

This is no time for half-measures, no occasion for quasi-commitments. Go for it or don’t, but don’t hesitate. This is an opportunity to use keen discernment in exercising your free preference. Either way will be perfect, but I believe submitting to the limbo of indecision would be worst.

Rope Climbing, Santa Monica

Embrace the process before you. These are your issues as much as his asking to be untangled. Sometimes a knot just needs to be cut, as in the case of divorce, but it seems to me that this burgeoning relationship offers the chance to leave you with a strong rope, able to support you both as you climb through life.

Remember! yes-or-no is day-to-day; nothing is forever. If it’s good, let it be good. When it’s difficult, bring patience and presence to the struggle and have faith in your previous good judgment, knowing you are here for a reason.

That is, unless it gets too hectic, then of course cut loose, swing free and start over. Don’t worry: the rope-source is never-ending, and a single rope with lots of big, fossilized knots is the easiest to climb. These are the learning experiences that constitute life, so don’t be nervous. No one fails.

But we can fall, and cutting ties becomes increasingly perilous as one climbs higher. This is why I advise you to make a firm up-or-down decision now, while your feet can still reach the ground of this relationship.

If you think it’s too much, jump off and find a more suitable route. However, once you decide to start this climb, I encourage you not to look down. There’s no benefit in dwelling on what’s behind or below. Just keep climbing.

Onward! Upward! To the stars, and beyond!

If you have a Lovely situation in need of perspective, or a sexy rhetorical question upon which you would like the Gentleman to weigh in, please share it with David at ElephantGentleman@gmail.com. See the first in this series, Tips from a Gentleman: Torn Between Two Lovers and stay tuned every second Tuesday for more!

 

~Editor: Lori Lothian

 

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About David McConaghay

David Telfer McConaghay was conceived in Toronto, born in North Carolina, and lived in Washington D.C. and Tokyo before arriving in Minneapolis at the age of 8. At 16 he moved to Connecticut, and has since inhabited D.C. for four more years, an island in Wisconsin, an ashram in Northern California, a national park in Maine, and taught English in Guadalajara, Mexico, and Bogota, Colombia before landing in Boulder, Colorado at the start of 2011. He loves all humans, but feels unique fondness for Jorge Luis Borges, Swami Sivananda, and Lionel Messi. David's personal website is www.masteringmetaphysics.com. He is an ambassador for GaiamTV.com/Dave and you are invited to email ElephantGentleman at gmail dot com or follow him on Twitter.

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12 Responses to “Tips from a Gentleman: Climbing over Crimes against Wisdom.”

  1. alex d says:

    "the fastest way out is through." very nice.

  2. guestinyourheart says:

    What a wonderful piece of writing and such insight you offer for s a never-married man of 26. Great piece.

    • DaveTelf says:

      O why thank you! Flattery will get you everywhere, and you're a welcome guest in my heart aanytime you're in the neighborhood.

  3. Kelly says:

    awesome, awesome, awesome article! You are an old soul David

  4. Robin Turner says:

    I would think twice about a relationship with someone whose vocabulary included the phrase "anger fuck."

    • DaveTelf says:

      That's a very valid point. Not an elegant phrase, is it?

      While "break-up sex" is (I'm told) a common, perfectly healthy practice, finding a need to frame it in terms of anger or hate could be worrisome, since if s/he's capable of doing that with/to someone else, s/he's capable of doing that to me.

      Perhaps the drama inherent to that specific phrase seemed appealing after the fact? Maybe the male brain rationalized it as such, so as to couch it in a better light when presenting it to his new partner?

      I don't know, but you make a good point. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  5. GreatNorthSky says:

    Incredibly !!!!!!!! Grounded !!!!!!!!! True HEART Advice and I Don't Mean That Romantic Fluffy Stuff :: Agreed, The Higher We Climb, With The HIGHER SELF, The Scary It Gets :: Get Who You Are, Really, Be In Touch With Your Vulnerabilities And Go For It :: I'm For Reaching For The Stars and Am Living It :: It Took A While To Get Here, But Have Never Been Soooooooooooo Happy :: Thank You Soooooo Much For Such An Expression That Touches More Of Us Then Most Are Willing To Admit :: Be Well नमस्ते

    • DaveTelf says:

      Woo! Thanks for your enthusiasm! Honored to offer these suggestions/perspectives. Your ebullience is contagious. I can feel it from here. Keep it going!

  6. [...] The lesson, as always: “If it’s not Yes, then it’s no.” [...]

  7. [...] It takes a man to be masculine and strong. At the same time, masculine means that he knows how and has the courage to keep himself open, be exposed and vulnerable with his chosen alpha female. In the presence of an independent, sexy, action orientated woman he must be prepared, as she will naturally encourage him to take stock of his masculinity. It is only then that she has the ability to embrace the vulnerability of being feminine with him whom she trusts. [...]

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