She is his wife; they've been separated for almost two years, but she's still a large presence in his life.
Each situation is different but what you can say with a high degree of certainty is that someone who’s just fallen out of their marriage, who’s still in reconciliation negotiations, who’s still very influenced by their spouse, and who has been separated for a long time ‘just because’, is going to bring pain into your life.
Same goes for someone who’s not over their divorce and has beliefs that affect their ability to be committed.
Messages that made me cry - frustrated, embarrassed tears that I did not want him to see after three months of dating - and made me question everything I thought I knew about this wonderful man. The letter sat on the table for an aching number of minutes before he removed it from sight. A slip of the tongue might bring them into conversation; an old photo album might cause an awkward moment; a song or film or poem might take us back to them.
At my most insecure, anxious moments - after too much wine and far, far too many messages - I would worry that he was going back to her, wonder if he still had feeling for her, if everything he was telling me was a lie. "I'm not going to read it in front of you," he said. But regardless of everything she's done, I need to respect her privacy.""Of course," I said. My imagination was more than able to fill the pages. But when an ex insists on planting roots in the present, demanding attention on a daily, sometimes hourly basis, the past threatens to destroy the future.
Messages that interrupted our breakfasts, dinners and our most intimate moments. Many couples stay together for the sake of their children. Who accept that they are married and that means forever, regardless of how unhappy they are.