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         Holding On To The Past

Holding On To The Past

Open Eyes

I hope this letter finds you in good health and enjoying life.  My story is this.  After leaving college I met a nice young girl called Dani.  When we first saw each other at a club, there was a magic link which started and grew stronger as it can with couples in love. 

We enjoyed sharing time and our bodies together.  In 1984 we were married in a traditional Church of England wedding and moved into our first house.  Although money was not easy, we enjoyed each other's company.  I obtained better-paid employment, and we decided to seek a bigger house better to bring up children in.

In 1989 two doctors, one a consulting psychiatrist, called on us expressing concern that I was "unwell" and gave me medication.  Later that year I was incarcerated in a mental hospital.  Four years later, after a row, our marriage ended and she went off to live with a male coworker.

By 2000 I had at long last shaken off the mental problems.  Now, of course, I'd like to rebuild my love life, which with Dani was of a very high standard.  I would like to have a share of the life we enjoyed in 1988--our own house, an average income, and a reasonable quality of life.  Unfortunately, I lack the trappings of success many men in their mid-40s possess.

I used to think two people may look across the supermarket aisle, their eyes meet, and a relationship start.  Unfortunately, this does not seem to happen anymore, at least not with me.  Recently I have the notion that my ex-wife is alone again and would like to return to me.  Any words of encouragement will be welcome.


Ozzie, we knew a man who made periodic trips to Los Angeles.  On impulse one evening he stopped into a bar.  The bar had a band, and as he chatted with the bartender he mentioned he played the guitar.  He was invited to sit in.

His accord with the band was magical, and he became the center of attention.  Patrons, including many young women, gathered around the bandstand to watch him play.  Plied with drinks, in harmony with musicians he'd never met, surrounded by fans, he had one of the most remarkable evenings of his life.

Back in LA a few months later he headed to the same bar.  But the band had changed, he couldn't find anyone to talk to, and he left after two drinks.

Is Dani alone and looking for you again?  Possibly, but not likely.  You have this experience in your past.  It expresses a hope and a wish and a want and a need.  But most likely what you are thinking about Dani is what the man thought revisiting the bar.  You want to rekindle something wonderful, but it probably won't happen again in the same way.

A line from "Drive" by the rock band Incubus says, "Whatever tomorrow brings, I'll be there with open arms and open eyes."  In other words, our hope lies in embracing the day and being in the moment.  Our hope lies in unearthing our buried dreams and recovering the sense of possibility we felt when young.

Now you feel encumbered by age and personal history.  You're embarrassed to be mid-40s without assets.  But that's neither here nor there.  As the Incubus song says, you're letting fear take the wheel and steer, but the only way to live productively is from your hope, not your fear.

But if you can't find the positive way, then embrace your negative thoughts completely.

Assume that having someone is a thing which other people have, but not something you will have.  Then be fully engaged in life--however you understand that.  Freed from the hope of finding someone, fully engaged in life, you have the best chance of finding what you fear you will never find.

Wayne & Tamara
(The best of relationship advice from Direct Answers.)



I have been divorced for a decade after enduring more than a year of verbal abuse toward my children by my wife.  I am a peaceful, fun-loving person, and this was even more painful than when my parents died when I was young.

Neither of us remarried.  She is still vicious toward me in written letters I never respond to, and I can find no reasonable explanation for her anger.  She is extremely beautiful, and men flock to her, so I am puzzled why she never remarried.

On a rainy day, sometimes, I dream a miracle worker will appear, show her the light, and reunite us even though past counseling efforts proved ineffective.  It's the same dream year after year.


Mauricio, you are the prisoner of a bad dream, like a monkey caught in a monkey trap.  The monkey reaches in a bottle and grasps an orange.  With his hand around the orange, he cannot get his hand out.  Because the monkey won't let go, he is trapped.  All you have to do to be free is let go.

(The best of relationship advice from Direct Answers.)

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