Am I not enough drama?

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I was married for over 20 years and have been divorced for six. My ex cheated and corresponded with many women online. Eventually, he left me. Had I known what he was up to, I would have left him. I never cheated or considered it. Our children are now in their 20s.

I met a man about 10 months after my divorce was final. Our relationship lasted almost three years. We met on dating app, were the same age, and had similar interests. Eventually his social media habit brought an end to the relationship. I do not have social media accounts. I never looked at his online accounts. Had I looked, I never would have dated him.

Turns out he had more than 500 friends he never met in person – mostly women. He made some excuses about how his online behavior of asking women out and saving images was because he had an addiction. Then he said it was because he was just doing it to pass the time. It didn’t matter why because I wasn’t interested in lies. I was shocked because his behavior played out for his kids to see (they follow him).

Fast forward about a year ago. I met a man. Again, my age and similar interests. He was religious, also had children, also divorced. He has his place and I have mine. We did things together each week. We traveled together.

About one month ago, he started an argument with me. He would not let up, and it was out of character.  He left to eat, and I decided it was best to remove myself from the situation. We were a few hours drive from where we both live. I was going to fly home vs. driving with him. He apologized and I accepted because it was out of character and I wanted to let it go. Days later, he made a comment that I had been upset because of nothing. He said he felt wronged the because he almost had to drive home alone for four hours.  

We took a break. There was clearly something else going on. I knew any interaction at this time would end our relationship. Then, last week, he told me I had blown a good thing, we were done, and now we are friends.

I blew it? He decided we are now friends? I was hurt. I wanted to know what happened. Ultimately his excuse was had he did not like one of my adult children (whom he had never met in person). That’s why he initiated the fight. 

I’m 54. I know I have not made the best choices when it’s come to men. But I believed what they told me and I saw them behave in ways that showed character. I am honest, caring, attentive. I am far from perfect and I don’t look like I did at 20 or 30, but I don’t think that was the only factor. I take care of myself and earn a good living. I enjoy doing things with a partner I care about. I do do things on my own too. I also like time with friends and family. I prefer conversations and don’t argue.

Each of them have moved on to other relationships. I wonder if maybe the lack of drama causes them to seek something exciting elsewhere? I’d like to hear your thoughts based on other experiences that have been shared.

– Patterns


I can’t say for sure that this is about a lack of drama. Even if I could, would that change anything? You’d prefer to be with someone who’s happy without a bunch of ups and downs. If they want that experience, it’s best they move on. 

At the start of a relationship, it’s difficult to guess what might put an end to things after months or years. You coupled with your husband at a different time, and it sounds like you were happy before the betrayals.

Your second relationship taught you that even if you’re not an online person, it’s worth taking a look at someone’s profiles and what they show the world. In this last relationship, well, who would have guessed this ending? My assumption is that he wanted to move on for a new experience and chose a narrative to justify that decision. 

One thing I notice in all of these stories is how secure you’ve been about what you need to be happy. You did not sit in that marriage forever, hoping things would change. You did not make excuses for the guy messaging 500 women. You said, “No thank you” and left. Some people would have tried to make it work, but you know yourself well! Also, with this recent guy, you know he’s wrong. You did not accept any of these stories, and you know your worth. You don’t want friendship, and I assume you will set that boundary.

I think we’re raised to believe that if a relationship is great, it lasts forever. As we get older we see that some forever-relationships are about two people not leaving when they should. 

I wish I could give you a magic answer about what to do to find a person who will treat you well for a very long time. All I can say is that you’re ready to do your part to make that happen. You know what questions to ask and what makes you comfortable. That’s great – and anything is possible now. And you’re only 54!

Try not to see this as a pattern that will continue unless you stop it. Breakup No. 3 was nothing like nothing like No. 2. These were unique experiences, and your next relationship will bring something new – and hopefully it’ll be wonderful.

– Meredith

Readers? Is this a pattern? Are good relationships possible without drama? Any tips for choosing partners?

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