Retro Dear Michele: In Love with a Player

Dear Michele,

Please know I am so embarrassed but I need some input. I am in love with a Catholic man who is a retired veteran. I believed him when he said he was living with a woman who was only a roommate, but while he visited me I discovered that he is living with her in a romantic relationship.

He won’t give me his home number, and there have been other suspicious things. So I ended the relationship. My heart is breaking, but I am going forward. He has told me his feelings have not changed for me, but I feel he is mixing truth with lies.

Please help me give insight to this as my heart is breaking, but I do not want to waste time with a man who is nothing but a “player” —

Thank you,

Heartbroken

____

Dear Heartbroken,

You have suffered a terrible loss, not only of the relationship itself but also of what you thought the relationship meant to both of you. I would imagine you feel betrayed and ashamed, in addition to wondering how you ever got involved with this type of person.

There’s An Honesty Fallacy

There's An Honesty Fallacy

First of all, know that it is very easy to find yourself involved with a player, especially if there is a long-distance relationship. Most of us assume that people we are interested in are being honest. We don’t question the clues until it’s too late or when too many of them add up.

People, both men—and women—who cheat are normally very good at saying exactly what you want to here. They can be driven from a place of great insecurity, but in the end, it is you and the people who care for them that end up getting hurt.

I do not doubt that his feelings for you have not changed. Just know that his feelings are not love. We know where we get our example and our value of love – Christ defined it for us. Love is honest, authentic, and self-sacrificing. Love is dedicated and faithful to the beloved.

Finding a Clarity of Real Love

Finding a Clarity of Real Love

Love is not selfishness and entitlement. What a player most likely feels is how much he misses having you to fill his needs. As John 3:18, tells us, “Let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.” Don’t listen to his words. Where there is no truth, where there is no fidelity, there cannot be love.

I know your heart is breaking, but it is also growing stronger. The fact that you have walked away takes great courage, even if you are not feeling courageous. Remember to give yourself time to grieve. Even when the relationship ends this way, it is still heartbreaking and you have to give yourself permission to miss what you thought you had.

After you take the time to let your heart heal, then the next step would be to examine what attracted you to a person that is a player. Sometimes we are attracted to aspects of a person that we wished we had more of ourselves, be it a sense of adventure or some skill or profession.

The Spirit is Willing, But…

The Spirit is Willing, But…

Sometimes we are too eager to enter a relationship and so we easily “buy in” to the romance and the seemingly perfect picture that the player is painting. Was there sex involved? If so, know that your mind is clouded when your body bonds with another.

The physical bond between the two of you may have been stronger than the emotional bond and certainly stronger than the actual commitment bond. Singles who choose to date in a chaste way almost never end up with players.

Players simply walk away when the “goods” of a relationship are not available, as they are not interested in the work of true intimacy (emotional and spiritual). You may want to check out a book called “Safe People” by Drs. Cloud and Townsend. It’s a great read, with Christian integration, on how to make sure we are picking people that know how to guard and protect our hearts.

And, call out to God. Let him hear your heart. Consider asking him for comfort and discernment, so that one day you may know his love reflected through another, rather than the lies you have endured. Be sure to take time in silence to listen to his response. He waits for us to reach out to him in times of suffering.

I hope some of this helps. There are many people out there who can relate to getting caught in the web of a player, myself included. Know that if you do the work to understand how you got there, you will never be entrapped again. And that is your true healing.

God Bless,

Michele Fleming, M.A.

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