DEAR SUSAN: I find myself in an unbelievable situation. My fiance died three months ago after a long battle with cancer. Six week later, his best friend's wife died after her own fight with the same kind of cancer. That friend was wonderfully supportive of me during my fiance's illness, phoning me every day and continuing to call to see how I was doing.
Now I realize I have deeper feelings for him, and I get the impression he's feeling the same. What's going on with us? Is this normal? He says he wishes we lived closer so we could spend time together. (We're three hours apart.) He also says he'll come here when a little more time has passed, maybe in another month or so. He says it's just too soon. I understand. And when he does come, I want NO intimacy, as it's too soon for us. I have a lovely guest room, and he's fine with that. We talk nearly every day, and if there's a day we don't talk, I find I miss his voice.
Susan, I want to make it clear I loved my fiance very much, and this man loved his wife as well. They were devoted to each other. (She was ill most of her life, and I could see how devoted he was. I respected that so much.) Never did I have any romantic feelings for him when the four of us were together. He and my fiance were friends for more than 30 years. So, Susan, I guess what I want to hear is what's happening is OK, not disrespectful. — Amelia, Long Island
DEAR AMELIA: Disrespectful? Quite the opposite! The warm feelings being nurtured in this relationship are the most sincere remembrance possible. You and this good man are continuing the soul connection that flourished when your beloveds were alive, the highest possible form of respect you could give them. You two are picking up the broken threads of past love and weaving them into your lives, where they will reinforce the growing love between you. This relationship is a testament to love's longing for itself, robust and guilt-free. As for respect, your communion with this good man is the most sincere way to honor the past. Not only is it laudable; it is what your past love would want.
Step 1: Set aside 10 minutes a day to brainwash yourself in a positive way about a new belief.
Step 2: Each day, choose one belief ("I'm a capable person" or "I'm building a full life for myself") and repeat it out loud, or think it silently, over and over again until it resonates in your mind.
Step 3: Breathe slowly, forming the words as you exhale. (Remember to turn off the phone and close the windows before you begin this step. This is definitely quiet time.)
Repeat the phrases when drifting off to sleep, on the way to work or walking supermarket aisles. (They're most effective when you're feeling down.) Study the new beliefs as a new language: repeated over and over. Given enough time and patience, you'll begin to feel more self-assured, energized, unburdened. People will notice your new attitudes, and their reactions will reinforce your new way of being you.
Write for your free signed copy of Susan's "Declaration of Undependence" on parchment. Send your request to: Susan Deitz, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 Third St., Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. Have a question for Susan? You can reach her directly at [email protected]
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