Confusing love triangle
I'm 66 and thought I had got to a stage in my life where I would not have another real romantic involvement again. I am divorced, though I see my ex regularly because we have a vulnerable adult son.
In June 22, I received a call from my first boyfriend. We chatted happily for ages and arranged to meet in our hometown. I live in London and he lives 250 miles away. He said he had been in a relationship for a few years but they had decided to become 'friends'. They see each other a lot and go on holiday together. He's 68, lives alone and suffers from mild cognitive impairment, but functions well. I met him in September 22, and we had a wonderful night: we were still very attracted to each other. We kept in regular contact and we met up a number of times more. In August this year, I invited him to mine and he stayed four days. We got very close and slept together, though he was impotent stating he had been for about three years. Nevertheless, I can honestly say I have never been so loved and cherished. He wanted to stay longer but I had to work.
We carried on speaking by phone regularly and we arranged to meet again at the end of October. After a night out, I went to his and we spent another night in bed together for which he took viagra. However, I found sex painful. Again, it was a beautiful night and he wouldn't let me go, saying how much he loved being with me and found me irresistible. He wanted me to stay a few more days.
I returned to London on the Monday, and we chatted on the phone and exchanged very loving texts until the Friday, when he rang me at 10pm. I asked him how he was and he said not good at all, and it would be the last time he would phone me. He felt awful and couldn't do it to his 'friend' any more because she had done so much for him and been so good to him. I asked him if he loved her and he said yes. Stunned, I put the phone down. He didn't ring back.
The next day I received a text from his son saying that he was with his father who was in a state of mental distress and was having a mental health crisis. He seemed to recall having an unpleasant argument with me. I asked his son if his father was in a loving relationship with his 'friend', to which his son confirmed they weren't. The mental health team were called. I asked his son to keep me informed. He texted me again in the evening and said his father had gone to stay with his 'friend' (who is a nurse) for a few days and would be kept under observation.
As you can imagine, I am shocked and saddened by all this and have decided on no contact. I have had no contact from him either. I am very confused by his 360 degree change within one day, and not sure of whether I should leave it as it is for both our sakes. Your advice would be much appreciated. Thanks
I could be wrong, but I don't feel like completely cutting contact is such a great idea here. I'm not sure what kind of mild cognitive impairment he has but that might have something to do with whatever's going on here. It could also be some form of bipolar disorder? I've encountered similar behavior with others who were diagnosed with PBD. Is there a way you could at least keep in touch with his son to get updates on his health?
I'm curious about this other "friend". You mentioned that this "friend" is a nurse, could she be HIS nurse? Maybe this cognitive impairment is a but less mild than you thought? I'm thinking this person is less of a personal "friend" and more like someone who was meant to check in on him and make sure he's not hurt or lost or something. His son confirmed that there's no romantic involvement, so I'm not sure how seeing you could affect her. This sounds like it could get pretty confusing, especially if his health is concerned (mental or physical). For whatever reason, it sounds like he thinks he has more of a relationship with this "friend" than he really does. Maybe they had been involved in the past? Or maybe, being a sort of caretaker, he's mistaken her care as genuine emotion and he's worried about hurting her feelings? Sorry, I know this is an awful lot of speculation and might not be too much help but at least it's food for thought. Even with mild cognitive impairment, sometimes perceptions can be a bit skewed. Especially if other mental health conditions are involved (like depression or something).
"He felt awful and couldn't do it to his 'friend' any more because she had done so much for him and been so good to him. I asked him if he loved her and he said yes. Stunned, I put the phone down. He didn't ring back."
Whatever he feels for this "friend" - who happens to be a nurse - it is NOT love. Were it, he (drum roll....) wouldn't have been able to bring himself to "do it" to her TO BEGIN WITH. THINK ABOUT IT. It's all very well regretting it ONLY AFTER the fact, eh. How convenient.
What's the specific diagnosis of this (how vague!) Cognitive Impairment? There are LOADS!
I see this Old Chestnut: your EX (whom, you couldn't have known back then, was highly naturally-narcissistic or actually Narcissist Personality Disordered (*I vote the latter if he's getting his own son to do his dirty-work for him!) - targetted you, out-of-the-Blue, proceeded to REALLY work on you (google Narcissistic Love-Bombing)...and then left you high and dry.
The nurse is his girlfriend. But you wouldn't have agreed to meet up, let alone sleep with him if you'd known. So he played her down, but at the same time giving you information you didn't at that early point need to know and which could only make you suspicious (we go on our hols together). Google Narcissistic Triangulation.
It worked. On her. She, suddenly, was all over him like a rash and hence your services were no longer needed. At one point he wasn't sure - hence son lying for him - but then he decided she'd learnt her lesson for whatever she did to upset his humungous, hair-triggerable ego (dared ask him to pass the salt, probably - she Little Woman Slavie, he spoilt-baby Master...that's how it goes with ihs type).
I wonder how many other exes he cast his jealousy-making net towards?
Think about it: HE may be (pretending to be) "cognitively impaired", and "single/just friends", and to have "forgotten" to give you Closure in the form of explaining himself (e.g. why the hell get in touch with you after so much time has passed if he's just going to drop you just as suddenly, too-soon down theline), but - what's his mouthpiece's excuse, eh? HIS DUTIFUL, HELPFUL SON, I MEAN?
Sorry. Very Old Chestnut. Bit surprised that at 66 you've never heard of this sort of thing - sleazy, nasty types who take advantage of women (and their children), use them like tools and then throw them away like dirty tissues or stuff them back in his toybox for whenever? (His son is clearly desperate to gain his approval/get on his good side!)
Did you marry very young?
Please check out NPD Boyfriend / How Narcissists Use Women. Because this fits this Narc-Player-User dance exactly (hence I said, old chestnut). Methinks you've dodged a bullet. Maybe he thought you were richer than his "ex" because you were fairly newly divorced, not long since receiving your settlement? (Announced it on Facebook or other social media, did you? When was that?)
PS: In future, if a man is the one to contact you out-of-the-blue, saying he wants to meet - he should come to YOU, not make YOU travel too!
Thanks for your replies.
I think I need to clarify a few points. We courted for 2 years from 1975. He then went to work in Germany for a year. Whilst he was there, I met someone else and finished with him, but we were always friendly. He had wanted to marry me.
Fast forward to 2022. He had been married twice and had been having a relationship with the nurse for about 6 years. I think she instigated the 'friends' situation, and that's why he came to me because he had good memories of me. FYI, she had been married to a man who had abused her, so she decided to take him to court and write a book about him. She is onto her second volume now, which suggests to me that she is still obsessed with him.
I am not sure whether he told her about our intimacy and she flipped, or whether he just felt plain guilty. He called his son when he had his mental health crisis and his son didn't know anything about me beforehand. There was no collusion between them. My ex's MCI had been up until that point been relatively under control; he was just forgetful.
I also only ever met my ex when I travelled up north to see my sister, and he came to visit me - and he always rang me.
Oh and PS: If a man is genuinely single, available and seeking an actual relationship (and yet WHY is/was he if he knows he's "cognitively impaired"?), he doesn't tend to pick someone 250 miles away. That tends to indicate, because you're safely OUT of the way (no risk of him being found out).
It's a well-known fact, now, that you have to be wary of the motives of men who consider a Long-Distance Relationship the perfect way to attach to someone (at the normal rate) and thereby do a relationship the normal way so as to not block its success and longevity.