Message Boards

Topic : 07/04 Old Flames

Number of Replies: 182
New Messages This Week: 0
Last Reply On:
Created on : Friday, January 06, 2006, 01:49:45 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1

(Original Air Date: 01/13/06) Staying in touch with your old flame isn't a problem -- unless it interferes with you and your spouse! Susan says her husband, Fred, has a lot of ex-girlfriends and still flirts with them. Fred says his wife is overreacting, and they are just old friends. Is it OK to grab a cup of coffee with an ex when your spouse isn't invited? And, Suzie kept breaking up with her boyfriend when things got too serious, and then taking him back. Tired of being rejected, he finally ended the relationship. Now, Suzie wants her old flame back! What does Dr. Phil think she should do? Plus, one man reunited with his long lost love after being apart for over 60 years! Don't miss this very special love story. Talk about the show here.

 

Find out what happened on the show.

 

More July 2006 Show Boards.


As of January, 2009, this message board will become "Read Only" and will be closed to further posting. Please join the NEW Dr. Phil Community to continue your discussions, personalize your message board experience, start a blog and meet new friends.

January 13, 2006, 9:31 am CST

for dixiebrit

Quote From: dixiebrit

Old flames are great if you are both single and free, but when others (spouses, children) are involved, perhaps they should fade into the background gracefully.  Sure, we all have a history, myself included.  I had a wonderful boyfriend years ago.  We were very close and came close to being more than just dates occassionally.  However, once he married another woman, I stayed out of his life.  Even though he was miserable (and several mutual friends informed me of this), I stayed out of it.  It was not my place to mess with his marriage.  Now that he is divorced, he has contacted me, but I am no longer free.  I have been friendly, but not taken it back to what it was, simply because I have a greater interest in being honest with my husband.  He is the man I made my vows with and who has the right to expect my fidelity.  I will always give him this.

Another problem I have is that my husband has a "flame" in his past that never really got started.  It never ceases to amaze me to know that my husband is crazy about this woman, now married with two children, who has never really given him the fulfillment that he thinks she has.  She is the most coniving and self-serving person I have ever met, and pretty much kept him on the string, both before and after our marriage, as a her "boyfriend in a jar" for whenever she was bored or wanted someone to do something for her.  She buddied up to my mother-in-law in order to secure a bequest in the will.  She is totally faithful to her husband as far as the actual sex act is concerned, but has few female friends because she always cozies up to their hubbies in order to get loads of attention.  She is the type of woman most women hate -- rubbing her body up and down to get attention and asking every male in the room if she looks too fat having recently given birth, etc., flirting blatantly and then dissing the wives whenever she gets a chance. 

Thankfully, we have now moved hundreds of miles away from this person and she has not nearly the access to my darling hubby she did.  However, I recently (by accident because he left it up on my computer) found out that  he had been corresponding with her by email.  I didn't want to know it. 

He seems to still think she is his ideal, although he loves me and our two children.  He talks about getting together with her when both their spouses die, something I find very upsetting.  Her replies to him have been friendly but not that interested, but she usually throws in something that keeps him looking for this love affair that was never there.  He told me once that they did try to make it something more than friends, but it didn't work out and she really wasn't interested in him.  He, on the other hand, carried a torch for her for years and kept seeing her after she married someone else because SHE instigated it -- her husband works odd hours and she was "bored".    I finally had to tell him that I didn't wish to see her or hear her name mentioned ever again, because of things she had done when I was out  of our home at church or other appointments.   I also felt that she was a major cause of dissension between us. 

I prefer to try and treat him with positive reinforcement.  He doesn't know that I know about this and I choose not to make it a fight and a big issue.  Still, I cannot deny that I am very hurt by the knowledge that he has kept in touch with her this past year since our move.  If she were a decent woman, she would realize that she owes her own husband a great deal more respect and that this correspondence must stop.  However, I cannot hope for decency on her part, so I figure I can only kill her memory with loving kindness.  He never had from her what he thinks he had, but he HAS had a very loving relationship with me and will continue to do so if I can help it. 

I would like some ideas on how to get this woman out of his life without contacting her (wouldn't do any good and she would probably tell him all about it) or letting on to him and perhaps having a big unnecessary fight.  Any pertinent suggestions would be helpful.  Thanks.

You seem to be a very thoughtful, faithful person, and you deserve the same in return. I wish I had the expertise of Dr. Phil to help you, but I think he would say something similar to this--your husband is not treating you with respect when he is allowing this other woman to insinuate herself into your marriage. It's good you're loving and kind, but I think you need to be firm and honest with him. "You can't change what you don't acknowledge." Please find a good counselor, maybe your pastor or someone he/she refers you to, and go even if your husband won't. He needs to find out why he's hanging on to this "ideal" and allowing it to rob you and his children. A professional can help you practice setting boundaries with him. He IS being unfaithful as long as he keeps fanning this old flame. My husband and I have learned the hard way regarding opposite sex friends. It's a daily walk because there are temptations everywhere. Take care, and please don't settle for less than being first in your husband's life. 

 
January 13, 2006, 9:48 am CST

Lee and Helen

I love the story of Lee and Helen.  It matches perfectly with my great-great aunt.   

  

My aunt never married.  Her high school sweetheart left town, I also believe it was because of a war.  He married, but they did not keep in contact.  However after his wife's death, he looked my aunt up.  It was truly like a high school romance!  After just a couple of months, they married.  My aunt was 83 and marrying, for her very first marriage, the man of her dreams!  His children and grandchildren took to her immediately!  Sadly to say, after a few years, he passed on.  However, my aunt who never had a family of her own, still stays in contact with her step-family!  They include her in everything!   

 
January 13, 2006, 10:37 am CST

dixiebrit, I agree

Quote From: dixiebrit

Old flames are great if you are both single and free, but when others (spouses, children) are involved, perhaps they should fade into the background gracefully.  Sure, we all have a history, myself included.  I had a wonderful boyfriend years ago.  We were very close and came close to being more than just dates occassionally.  However, once he married another woman, I stayed out of his life.  Even though he was miserable (and several mutual friends informed me of this), I stayed out of it.  It was not my place to mess with his marriage.  Now that he is divorced, he has contacted me, but I am no longer free.  I have been friendly, but not taken it back to what it was, simply because I have a greater interest in being honest with my husband.  He is the man I made my vows with and who has the right to expect my fidelity.  I will always give him this.

Another problem I have is that my husband has a "flame" in his past that never really got started.  It never ceases to amaze me to know that my husband is crazy about this woman, now married with two children, who has never really given him the fulfillment that he thinks she has.  She is the most coniving and self-serving person I have ever met, and pretty much kept him on the string, both before and after our marriage, as a her "boyfriend in a jar" for whenever she was bored or wanted someone to do something for her.  She buddied up to my mother-in-law in order to secure a bequest in the will.  She is totally faithful to her husband as far as the actual sex act is concerned, but has few female friends because she always cozies up to their hubbies in order to get loads of attention.  She is the type of woman most women hate -- rubbing her body up and down to get attention and asking every male in the room if she looks too fat having recently given birth, etc., flirting blatantly and then dissing the wives whenever she gets a chance. 

Thankfully, we have now moved hundreds of miles away from this person and she has not nearly the access to my darling hubby she did.  However, I recently (by accident because he left it up on my computer) found out that  he had been corresponding with her by email.  I didn't want to know it. 

He seems to still think she is his ideal, although he loves me and our two children.  He talks about getting together with her when both their spouses die, something I find very upsetting.  Her replies to him have been friendly but not that interested, but she usually throws in something that keeps him looking for this love affair that was never there.  He told me once that they did try to make it something more than friends, but it didn't work out and she really wasn't interested in him.  He, on the other hand, carried a torch for her for years and kept seeing her after she married someone else because SHE instigated it -- her husband works odd hours and she was "bored".    I finally had to tell him that I didn't wish to see her or hear her name mentioned ever again, because of things she had done when I was out  of our home at church or other appointments.   I also felt that she was a major cause of dissension between us. 

I prefer to try and treat him with positive reinforcement.  He doesn't know that I know about this and I choose not to make it a fight and a big issue.  Still, I cannot deny that I am very hurt by the knowledge that he has kept in touch with her this past year since our move.  If she were a decent woman, she would realize that she owes her own husband a great deal more respect and that this correspondence must stop.  However, I cannot hope for decency on her part, so I figure I can only kill her memory with loving kindness.  He never had from her what he thinks he had, but he HAS had a very loving relationship with me and will continue to do so if I can help it. 

I would like some ideas on how to get this woman out of his life without contacting her (wouldn't do any good and she would probably tell him all about it) or letting on to him and perhaps having a big unnecessary fight.  Any pertinent suggestions would be helpful.  Thanks.

that old flames should fade gracefully into the background once you marry.  I can't see what "positives" they can possibly add to a marriage but I sure can see plenty of negatives.  In your case, your husband may be going through the classic  grass is greener phenomenom. Believe me, if he was on the other side of the fence he'd see pretty quickly what a manipulative, self-serving b.... she is. She has no concept of boundaries either within her marriage or within other peoples. 

You say you prefer to not mention to him that you know what is happening, and you are treating him with positive reinforcement. I agree with the part  about keeping your marriage as positive as possible, but I don't think that keeping silent on the e-mailing is working.  You are hurting because of it and he isn't, and unless you say something the status quo will continue. What incentive will he have to stop the e-mailing?  I would have a long (not angry) talk with him and let him know that the e-mailing is hurtful to you and you want it to stop. I wouldn't contact her...that is just what she would love to happen, because it would make her feel important. The sooner you get this manipulative b.... out of your life and marriage, the better off you will be. 

 
January 13, 2006, 11:44 am CST

Dousing the old flame

I think the only way a person can maintain a friendship with an old flame if they are now married is to include their spouse. If you're going to meet an old flame for coffee, TAKE YOUR SPOUSE. It immediately make the unspoken statement that the flame is out. This is my spouse. I chose her/him. Not the old flame. 

  

I do exchange the occasional e-mail (maybe five times a year)  with an old flame, but my husband is fully aware of it. He's welcome to read them.  I never share anything personal or talk about the past. My husband and I are meeting him and his wife for dinner when they're in town soon. But I would never meet the old flame alone. It just isn't respectful to either one of our spouses. 

  

I'm not staying that if a person bumps into an old flame at Kroger and talks for 10 minutes that they're going to have an affair. But frequent meetings alone create a risk that just isn't worth it. Especially if you start telling the old flame about intimate details in your marriage. Or if one of you is having marital problems. If you're having problems in your marriage, talk to your spouse. Not the old flame! 

  

I know I probably sound like an old-fashioned killjoy but I just don't think it's worth risking your marriage over. Marriage is hard enough as it is. 

 
January 13, 2006, 11:44 am CST

Old Flame

My first love was one of the most admirable people I have ever met. The only reason I didn't marry him (to my great regret) was that I was simply too young when he asked me. We separated and he and I married other people. I have been free for years and would love to be in touch with him because I like and admire him so much. I am a writer and wrote a story in which he was a character seveal years ago. I sent him a copy and a sympathy letter when his brother died. He never responded to either so I assume he doesn't want to be in touch with me. That hurts a bit but I know he is married and simply may not want to cause any problems. I was lucky to know him and am glad that I did.
 
January 13, 2006, 11:49 am CST

01/13 Old Flames

I agree with the fact that you shouldn't really have anything to do with an ex unless their are children involved.  I think that no matter how much you dont like an ex deep down there are still feelings for them there.  Spending time with them just give you a chance of getting those feelings back to the surface and ruining something that you may have great going for you right now.  I dont see how spending time with an ex can be productive to your current relationship and I dont think it should be done.
 
January 13, 2006, 12:27 pm CST

Greatest Husband Ever

 Watching this program made me realize how great my husband is.  My ex-boyfriend was in our wedding.  As it turns out, they have a lot in common and became good friends.  I don't remember how  or when I told my husband that "Will" and I had dated for about a year.  It was shortly after they met, I know that.  Will and I were friends before we dated and remained friends after we broke up.  Every time he comes back into town, he comes over and hangs out with us at our house.  It has not been a problem for either of us, my husband and I.  Others find it strange that they are friends, but I think its great.  Will and I remain friends, while my husband and I remain in love.
 
January 13, 2006, 12:33 pm CST

Old Flame Revisited - Successfully

When I was a senior in high school, I had a study hall that I had no need for. I asked the principal for something else to do and was given the task of helping an 8th-grade teacher grade his papers. That teacher still remembers the first time he saw me standing in his doorway. I had been attracted to him for weeks prior. We had a very sexually charged, but unconsummated, romantic relationship for the remainder of the year. He came to visit me in another state while I was in college. We were out of touch for 25  years, during which time we raised our respective families and divorced. We have now been living together for six dynamic and exciting years, and the romance that we had 36 years ago is a precious part of our relationship today. (Romance? As a teenager I bought him some alabaster elephants, which he has kept on his desk from that day until today.)
 
January 13, 2006, 12:41 pm CST

30 Years After

 Last August my divorce from my first husband was final.  In October my old college flame phoned me.  He called because he wanted to apologize for leaving me the way he did.  The way he remembered it he had simply walked away with no explanation.  That's not the way it happened.  He told me that he would never say "I love you" unless he honestly meant it; he told me he had to move to a different city for his job and was not, at that time, ready for a permanent relationship.  It was very hard but I accepted it and figured I'd never hear from him again.  Now he's back and ending a bad marriage.  I'm trying hard not to get too involved because I don't want any of the people involved to get hurt.  What I find...strange (for lack of a better word)...is that we feel the same way about each other as we did 30 years ago when we were dating.  So now we're taking our time and getting re-acquainted with each other and it's wonderful.  
 
January 13, 2006, 12:48 pm CST

Lee And Helen

Quote From: sunshine75

I love the story of Lee and Helen.  It matches perfectly with my great-great aunt.   

  

My aunt never married.  Her high school sweetheart left town, I also believe it was because of a war.  He married, but they did not keep in contact.  However after his wife's death, he looked my aunt up.  It was truly like a high school romance!  After just a couple of months, they married.  My aunt was 83 and marrying, for her very first marriage, the man of her dreams!  His children and grandchildren took to her immediately!  Sadly to say, after a few years, he passed on.  However, my aunt who never had a family of her own, still stays in contact with her step-family!  They include her in everything!   

In Aug. of 2001 I reconnected with my old flame  (with help of classmates .com.)  I hadn't seen or heard from him since Dec. of 1965.  I had spent years searching for him.  Then one day in Aug of 2001 I finally got an email from him.  To make a long story short he drove from Florida to Ohio to see me.  At the time I weighted in excess of 300lbs.   We stayed in touch  once in a while and exchanged Christmas gifts through the mail.  I had GBS in Dec. of that year and now weigh 139.  He came to Ohio between Christmas and New Years of  2002.  I haven't heard from him since.  I still  send him cards and I've sent him Birthday and Christmas gifts but I still don't get a reply.  He is the man of my dreams and I wish I could make him tell me why he is ignoring me,  The last time we talked we were going to meet in Georgia in Feb. of 2003 but I never heard back from him to firm up the plans.  I tried to but no response..  Maybe in 25 more years when we're both in our 80's.  I'll hear from again.  

 
First | Prev | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | Next | Last