Dear Therapist: I almost fell in love with a married man
Dear Therapist is a weekly column responding to our readers' mental health concerns
I met this man who was older to me, on a solo trip to Spain. It turned out to be a very dreamy vacation, the kind you see in the movies. He was from Valencia and had been visiting Barcelona. We hit it off like we’d known each other from before and because he was Spanish, he took on the responsibility of showing me around. We had the best time together and at the end of my trip, I found out that he was already married. Even though we were together for a short duration, I fell in love with him and the sudden shock has left a dent in my heart. I feel deeply disturbed, maybe even deceived. —Name Withheld
Dear Writer, I am sorry that you are disappointed with the turn of events. You probably feel that you were misled or blindsided by his revelation. Your reference to being the other woman hints that you may also feel guilty and that your beliefs are shaken from this incident. On the other hand, you might be feeling lost and isolated since your friends fail to understand your distress.
Your feelings and distress are perfectly valid regardless of the duration the romance lasted!
Allow yourself, however, to go beyond these feelings and explore what comes up. Such a reflection would help you acknowledge where you’re at in life. It could help realise what you are looking for and the kind of relationships you have pursued in the past. Does the excitement on vacation match what you feel in life? Have you actively pursued romance or has that been on the side-line for a while? It is important to make some meaning out of such nasty experiences and put things in context of who you are as a person and what you require from your partner. Only then will you be able to find some resolution and move on to healthier, honest partners.