Savage Love Letter of the Day: The Longest SLLOTD Ever Posted


Tl; dr. Not our job, Dan.
I actually read it. According to her own account of events, the LW is the worst human being of the four involved. Her "divorce" was a unilaterally open relationship in which she got to have sex with others and, whether he was allowed or not, he didn't actually have sex with others. When he started getting some on the side too and dared not to elevate his relationship with LW to primary status, LW lost her shit and did seriously sketchy stalkerish shit that sounds well designed to cause pain to others.

She divorced her husband and enjoyed having him available as celibate emotional support and back-up dick. Fuck her (not literally; nobody should fuck somebody that annoying).
Three crazy people who love to have drama are having drama (the other husband is possibly sane). So I DON'T want this woman to work on her shit. I want these people to stay wrapped around each other's axles for as long as possible and save everyone else in the dating world some craziness, stalking, and needless drama.

EX: congrats, you saved $140 on a therapy session.
Dan: don't make an exception on letter length again. And stalking is stalking, not "stalkerish" - if a guy pulled that crap, you'd call him out on it.

Lol so wait, she cheated at the end of her about-to-die marriage but is upset this her ex's new GF is cheating at the end of her about-to-die marriage? I guess she'd probably be able to see things more clearly if the patriarchy-infused public schooling system hadn't planted the seed in her mind that she was fundamentally crazy, which is the new self-fulfilling prophecy.
That was entertaining. Sounds like both the LW and her X are immature and controlling. This kept them entertained for quite a while, but when he finally got bored of the game and found another player, she lost her shit. They all need therapy. The X's new squeeze's X probably does too, but at least he can see light at the end of the tunnel. His crazy X is close to being gone.

They don't even put this kind of crazy on the soaps.
If there's one thing that can make a tediously long and unnecessarily dramatic diatribe worth reading, it's the liberal sprinkling of exclamation points throughout. Love that crap, seriously. It conveys just the right amount of passionate un-hingedness to the writer's voice. Makes me wish Don Trump kept a blog.
Just got to dash out. Without really having the time to read it all, heavens, I'll second Dan's last sentence. About going to a therapist.
As a straight female, I'm glad LW is also a straight female and I'm never ever going to find her in my dating circle. If she were a guy with all that mental baggage, I'd make my escape through the restroom window half way through the first date.
Isn't she a bit old for this adolescent shit?

(I'd say "aren't they", but I don't actually trust her to have given an objective account of the others' behaviour).
Ouch. That was painful to read.

I realize this comment isn't original at all, but neither was that letter.
Oh, pass the popcorn. I didn't think it was too long. I thought it was entertaining, and I'm looking forward to the comments. Should be a blast. I liked Dan's answer, though it was the first time I've seen him put an apostrophe in "yours." Really, Dan, you're slipping.

Anyway, for EX-- You mention a few times that you have no other family. The way I do the math, when this letter began, you weren't thinking of marrying; you were 37, and your parents were alive. Presumably you were employed then and not thinking that a retirement plan was in order. Oh, maybe a vague /financial/ retirement plan, but not one where you think about who's going to drive you to the pharmacist and shovel the snow as you get older. Now you're 54 and your parents are dead. (I couldn't figure out why your parents passed away and his mother died, but whatever.) You specifically mentioned not going after his pension, but I'm betting now it's looking pretty good to you. You can pay a lot of pharmacy drivers and snow shovelers with a little extra money.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that your current distress has less to do with him, the marriage, cheating, facebook, stalking, friendship, and jealousy, and has more to do with staring at the Grim Reaper, a reaper who's not Death, but something worse: those years before it. Not only are your parents dead, you probably were witness to some of the difficulties they faced as they sickened and died.

Your issue isn't that your ex replaced you with another woman. It's that he took your step-children away, nice young people in their mid-30s now!

Advice: Move to some sort of retirement place for people in their 50s and 60s, some place where you're still independent but where there's management-style supervision for when you need it. Cultivate young friends. Cultivate all friends. Write a will. Write a living will.
EX, your ex-husband is dating a woman who is divorcing her husband. Many divorcing couples, start dating before the legal paperwork is finalized. Why? In some states, like Virginia, for instance, couples need to wait one year before the separation can be finalized, and the couple cannot have sex during that time, or the one year period can reset. Unsurprisingly, these couples start their new dating lives while still married, and since many people cannot afford to maintain separate residences prior to divorcing, they continue to live together. If that's the situation of your ex-husband's girlfriend, then nothing they are doing is wrong. Your ex-husband is finally moving on with his life, which is something you should have done long ago.

As soon as I read this:
We both contributed to the demise of our marriage (although like most men, he doesn't admit to his contribution).
I guessed the LW would be a know-it-all, a control freak, a drama queen, and be massively insecure.

Verdict after finishing her letter? I was correct.
I found this letter too depressing due to the immature issues discussed, the way LW deals with them, and despite some past assurances it became sadly apparent that size does indeed matter.
I stopped reading where I thought I’m half way through, only to scroll down and realize there’s still sooo much more.
Never again!
Ricardo @9 nailed it. As bad as she's trying to make the ex and his GF sound, I really don't put a lot of stock in the assessments of someone who's being so over-the-top petty, not to mention counting other people's money. Seriously LW, ya spent the better part of two decades waiting for that Medal of Moral Superiority, but it ain't coming and you didn't earn it.
Did anyone else notice how small the soft drinks are in that intermission ad? That was the best part of the whole letter.
Proof positive that you can get older without ever actually growing up.
@9 and @17 you BOTH nailed it exactly! Sheesh, this woman needs to get a LIFE!
@13: I'd be fascinated to hear the ex's side after all this, specifically why he (irrationally or not) thought she was cheating. Sure he could be a massive dick unrelated to her loneliness and obsessive tendencies (and certainly jerkiness could spawn the latter and exacerbate any underlying issues.)

Butttttt the way ill behavior is attempting to be normalized as she continues going after and potentially sabotage someone that wants nothing to do with her makes me a little worried for herself and the people around her.

Hey uhhh how about that last season of Crazy Ex Girlfriend, eh? So good, right??!!!!
That show is like an extended series of Savage Love letter-writers, I swear to goodness. I'd love to see Dan make a cameo.
OMG LW! It's been seven years! Let go, let go, LET GO! For fuck's sake, between you and your ex and his new lover and her husband there's enough bat-shit crazy to fill a bathtub and have a couple buckets left over. He's your EX for a very good reason, you're his EX for a very good reason. Yeah, it's nice to stay "friends" with someone you've shared a piece of your life with, bur friends are NOT lovers. You are still way, way, way too invested in this guy. You should be talking to him, maybe having lunch with him once every couple months or so, and occasionally checking on his status on Facebook every now and then. MOVE ON before you start killing rabbits like Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction.
If only we could put as much energy into fixing the country as we do into obsessing about breakups...
@21 That's "boiling bunnies" thank you very much.
@22: I'm quite sure complaining on the internet is a useful priority for your efforts.
I was certain that I was going to finish reading the screenplay for Savage Love: The Motion Picture. God help me. I couldn't.
Ah, the intermission was from a drive in.
Pussy whipped little slave boy... how do you know this isn't just how he wants to be treated LW? Sounds sorta hot. Anyway. I lost interest, after that. Haven't you got gf's to tell this story too? Or maybe they see you coming and duck down an alley way.
Obviously this guy has moved on. He was a mind fuck anyway, accusing you of cheating for ten years. Why the hell did you put up with that?
Please, whatever you're moaning about in the last part of your letter, stop. Won't do you any good to whallow ( sic) in any of it.
Let the man go, he is obviously not someone you can trust. And you are being all weird, Facebook friending the soon to be ex, who says he's glad to get rid of her. So where's the problem with him being home. He's probably shoving her out the door. None of it is anything to do with you.
Let him go. Close him down. Move on.
" low rent bimbo".. I felt compelled to keep reading. Now here LW is maybe part of the reason your ex is pushing you out of his life. You think his new gf, who he is pussy whipped by, is a low rent bimbo.
Go talk to someone who can help you deal with this. and start planning a cruise for your next holiday. If you can't let go of your ex at the moment, then back right off. Tell him you care for him, he's like family and when he's ready, you'd like to find a way to be in each other's lives. That you realise you've stepped way over the line.
I stiff feel you'd be better off with him out of your life. Clean break, go thru the pain and be brave. Trust you'll meet some people who will be family, good family.

Lava @ 26 - "maybe they see you coming and duck down an alley way"

They probably do. As any sane human being would.

And speaking of bimbos (@ 27)... Just as the ex who repeatedly accused LW of cheating might have been projecting, I wonder who's the real bimbo in this story. Could it be the one who repeatedly describes another woman as such?
@24 good point. Back at ya.
LW, what you are feeling is grief. You have lost or are in the process of losing a close companion, someone whom you love.
Also, you seem to be extremely immature and thus have poor coping skills for dealing with your grief.
If what you really want is to feel better, as opposed to continuing to be embroiled in this selfish (and high drama, so emotionally exciting even if painful)) mess, then the only way forward is to let go completely and get help dealing with your grief more appropriately from a counselor.
You poor goddamn person, get some basic relationship hygiene going. Look.

*** If you want to be friends with your ex, break up with them first. How long? Until you stop bugging me and don't care exactly how long because you're OVER them. ***

When my kids get older that's what I'll tell them and they'll ignore me about.
I'm still trying to figure out what LW's ex has done that's all that bad. He thought she was cheating on him is the best I can come up with.

Given the level of crazy in this letter, I can't assume that wasn't a reasonable suspicion.
Also, I'm friends with my exes, which means I'm happy when they find new relationships, and...

What a colossal (sheer length) waste of time (content). Wanted to give us a long ass there's-no-point-to-this-except-for-a confirmation-that-my-life-as-shitty-as-it-is-is-still-gold-compared-to-this-ass-juice-drama?

Dan, did you have a bad week and take it out on your readers?
among other errors is took*
LW: get your thyroid tested. Weirdly, getting treatment for that dried up my similar-sounding obsession for the... fiberglass tampon that walked like a man, and gave me back my sanity/ humanity.

This guy is no good for you. His presence in your life tears up your heart, your home, and your self-esteem. Please do not tolerate him in your brainspace a second longer. You are meant for better things than this. You have clearly lost yourself in the tumult.

Also worth trying: do something improving every time you find yourself talking to yourself about him or her or "us." Create a Moodgym account; exercise (ask me how I lost six dress sizes in two months! And, I regret to say, gained my tire-fire ex back for another three years, sigh); say a short prayer for the soul of a loved one; learn a word in Spanish. Read the archives of Captain Awkward and Doctor Nerdlove. But run, run away as hard as you can, because without YEARS of major space and drastic change on both your parts, this cycle is going to get more and more toxic.

I'm sorry you are going through this.

Dear LW: It sucks that your ex-husband spent most of your marriage falsely accusing you of infidelity. I can't say I blame you for finally deciding to do the crime you'd already done the time for. HOWEVER, that doesn't change the fact that your husband isn't currently cheating. You may not approve, but this woman's husband does (and apparently is on good enough terms with your ex for them all to be chatting about you) and that's what matters.

It's not adultery if both spouses agree it's okay. If her husband says it's ok, then it's not cheating. Your understandable discomfort with this change in your life (your current BFF/FWB finding another relationship) does not negate the fact that everyone else in this situation seems to be behaving honestly and ethically. Sorry.
Dan, you managed to turn a long, boring monologue into an interesting conversation!

What's happened here is that, in the LW's mind, it's become fixed that she's the more emotionally mature partner in her former marriage. By contrast, he continually accuses her of cheating without cause and stonewalls (or stonewalled; better put this in the past tense) any attempt to think about why the relationship's going off-course. So it's inconceivable to the LW that her behavior could drift into a pattern of the unreasonable and self-damaging. I can't think she expected a response as flat-out as Dan's 'you're acting like a crazy person', nor the unsympathetic or dismissive comments on this thread.

Perhaps the nub of her being unable to withdraw to a safe distance is that she blames herself for hurting her ex-husband by having an affair (and maybe for hastening the end of the marriage). She should (more or less) forgive herself for this. Sure, she hurt him; but he also hurt her while they were married; his accusations sound blind and unconscionable and they went on for longer. Find some perspective and put it in the past. Maybe learn for next time, and look for the next time, if that's what you want.

Her relationship with her ex is over, and he's now with someone else. He's passed out of her zone of responsibility and control (at least in respect of his love life). It's natural he tells his new partner stuff about his marriage. This will come from his own point of view, however skewed. She should wash her hands of it, as much as she can, accepting, too, that his new partner will be his priority, not her.

I feel sorry for the LW, both in her marriage and its long half-life. She does seem to have been thinking for them both--or to have imagined she was; and yes, you can love an ex (say, the partner of your children) like family. I don't agree with those commenters who found the letter too long-winded or too clueless or emotionally underdeveloped. These are the signs of someone with a problem, possibly someone in pain. Further, I wouldn't be 100% on more articulate or emotionally intelligent people being able to deal better, or in ways free from systematic self-delusion, with crushes, lovers or exes.
@26. Lava Girl. What is your 'whallow' joke?
Pot, meet kettle. And frypan. Together and separately, you all are cooking up a nasty hot mess, junior high style. It's been going on too long to qualify as a mid-life crisis, though issues of age may by now be compounding the damage.

You don't really want out of this drama: you are addicted to it, and since you can't upstage your ex by flaunting a younger, better Boy Bimbo, you are upping the ante by broadening the audience for your show.

My advice to you? Introduce a twist. Put the moves on and steal his bimbo! And complete the trifecta with a roll in the hay with the bimbo's soon-to-be-ex. Boom. Done.
@39 is +1 insightful and kind reading by someone who's a better person than I am.
@40: no joke. Just wasn't sure I got the spelling right. And my mobile isn't to be trusted with spell
I think this woman needed a good kick, or maybe a quick sharp slap.. wake her up a bit. Words can deliver that.
Whatever the reasons this swirling mess is occurring, she needs to look and see how obsessed she has become.
Emotions are illogical.
If I'm ever feeling this way, note to self, write long letter and burn it, do not send it to Dan.
@39 + 1 as well. More compassion than I was feeling.

My impression? Lw had her ex "pussy whipped" until the new gf came along. And then he tossed her aside. I went through some sick dynamics like that (for six months not seven years) with my own ex husband. After treating me badly as it sounds like lw's ex did to lw during marriage, I received a heady dose of ego affirming shadenfreud when my ex chased me hard after I walked out on the marriage. Similar to lw, I didn't have a good social network to help me. And I got a little nutty when his attentions were diverted to other women even though I was dating as well.... and then I got a handle on myself, reaffirmed that I didn't want to go there, and cut contact.

It sounds like lw never reached escape velocity on the emotional side. And lw that is what you need to do. All the snark, put aside. Dan called it cold in the end. Get your own ring of friends, own family, and own social network. It hurts to lose a friend. Sometimes the end of even bad relationships - be it a marriage or just a friendship - hurt like hell. Accept that. Accept you are powerless here, and move on.

Fwiw, I enjoyed the back and forth conversation. I really enjoy also when dan publishes those chain emails.
@42 and 44. True that.

@33 + 1

@18 you said it far more succinctly than I.

@2 I agree that's how it seems to have ended. I think it's more complicated than that. A divorce that never really happened....
@44 LOL :-)
Yo EX, I heard you like drama, so I got you some drama for your drama, so you could drama-drama all the dramas, ...and avoid establishing good emotional boundaries.
I can't believe, as I spend each day in Trump fuelled apocalypse anxiety, that there are grown up people so self obsessed as this woman. Get. A. Life.
@39 +1. And thank you.

Here's another sympathetic reading: It meant a lot to her that she made time for him and refused to speak ill of him after they split. I wonder if she hoped being loyal in this way (as she saw it) would help her make up for her infidelity and (or) eventually convince him that he'd been unfair ever to accuse her of cheating. Throughout their relationship--married and divorced--she's been trying to protect a sense of deeper love between them. The deeper love he didn't seem to trust when they were together. The deeper love she insisted on extending to him long after they stopped playing husband and wife, long after she gave up that privilege in an act of self-sabotage for having betrayed him. The deeper love she saw herself as having reserved for him even as she dated others. The deeper love she might consider reserving for him now that he too is dating someone new.

Yes, it hurts that he doesn't seem to have wanted to defend her honour or refuse to speak ill of her as she had refused to speak ill of him. It hurts a lot that it seems, now more than ever, that he doesn't seem to have held onto the sense of deeper love between them that she's prided herself on having never given up. He really is ready and willing to forget her now, to move on. Just like that.

Maybe reading his jealousy during their married decade together as proof of his allegiance to their deeper love has made aspects of their having wasted time together more bearable.

LW: You've spoken ill of him now, to all of us. If you can imagine loving him after having let yourself (in your own terms) dishonour him, you might be ready to see that this deeper love you've been striving for means letting him enjoy his life in happiness and freedom. His and yours.

Finally reaching the depth of love you've been pursuing by letting him and yourself go will make it easier for you to care for the people you've yet to meet with whom you might yet share decades of happiness. Imagine the excitement of getting to know someone--some people--lovely and new. Your greatest love may be yet to come.
Too much drama, LW!
@50. I have the shriveled up soul of a cynic. I don't fully buy it.
No more exceptions. This wasn't worth it.
If you read between all the crazy lines here, she thought he was her retirement. In quite a lot of ways. Definitely socially, somewhat sexually, maybe financially. The part that is missing from the advice is that he essentially did too, especially as he didn't date. But once he found out that he could get someone else, he split. I think at this age there is nothing to be done. These people are fully cooked. Hell, she's baked to a nutty blackened crisp.
I sometimes think both people can do better, but here I'm honestly not sure anyone can (except the soon-to-be-ex husband of the LW's ex-husband's girlfriend, who is actively moving toward better from the sound of things). Like DAVIDinKENAI @3, I hope they stay wrapped up in each other's shit in order to spare the rest of humanity.
@BiDanFan #44: Are emotions generally illogical? When I feel pervasive hopelessness for periods of time with no discernible acute trigger (though I think the horrifically exploitative structure of our society contributes), it's classified as a mental illness, not treated as the unremarkable result of emotions not being logical. I know emotions can be illogical, but I'm not sure they are inherently or always illogical. Feeling joy in response to an occurrence that is pleasing or grief at the loss of a loved one is a logical emotional response, for example.
Either she's hung up on him as an ex, or she feels she was betrayed by her bff. He was only hanging around until he met someone else, and now that she realizes it, she's offended. He doesn't want her in his life. He wants a woman. She made the mistake of treating him as someone special and he is not.

Or, you know, she's just nuts.
@53; Vivic.. that's funny. Fully cooked they are.
And John @54, yes. Emotions are not logical. They do need logic applied to them, otherwise we just crazy creatures.
@30, stc, clearly stated the emotion, grief.. now the LW just has to feel it and subdue it at the same time. She wants the pain to stop now, but grief doesn't work like that.
So she's got to face the truth front on, things have changed. This guy is not behaving like a friend, then neither is she. The pain will start to subside when she clearly decides that's it. She's done. The relationship is too toxic and she wants out.
Then she needs to go out and relax with new people doing new things. And go talk to a therapist.
@52 That's fair! Reading it back, I went too far. But if I captured a bit of the pain I felt reading parts of her letter, it might offer her some solace. I agree with everyone that she needs to move on.
(More precisely, rather, with everyone who says she needs to move on.) :)
LW, I have empathy for you, because I went through a similar situation (minus marriage, cheating, or post break-up sex) with similar feelings. I was hurt, betrayed, angry, wallowing, and spending waaaay too much time analyzing every minutia of the situation.

I realized: (a) this wasn't healthy. Having a friend who was basically a boyfriend without the sex was holding me back – I would never have any motivation to start a new relationship if I had a pseudo one (LW, this might apply to you, too – unlike me you say you have dated, but it doesn't sound like it's working out great for you).

(b) Obsessing over how he had done me wrong, how I had been such a good friend, or wondering if my feeling of betrayal were justified or an overreaction – this is important – It. Didn't Matter. Why? Because his actions were his actions (note – these realizations came after the second round of best friends/he starts dating a crazy bitch – don't make my mistake, even if they break up, the situation WILL repeat itself) and my feeling were my feelings. It wasn't a situation to be fixed, it was a situation to be walked the fuck away from.

Was it hard? Yeah, like breaking up all over again. Especially when I ran into him at a bar, and despite my best intentions, we had a 20 minute conversation that made me remember how great it was when we were friends. Was it worth it? Fuck yes.
@54: "Like DAVIDinKENAI @3, I hope they stay wrapped up in each other's shit in order to spare the rest of humanity"

I don't know, even at worst read she makes them sound like people who just want to be left alone with each other. Why do they both need to be psycho, just because the ex husband decided to cut off the emotional spigot?
39-Harriet-- Love the idea of a marriage plus its half-life and am totally stealing it. It doesn't just convey the image of something burning brightly and smoldering after. It's also the comparison of a relationship to something radioactive. Thank you.
@11, Just because I have nothing to add about the crazy in this letter, did Dan also use the archaic British spelling "dependance"?
Yeah by paragraph two I was going 'you're too involved with your ex, you're too involved with your ex YOU'RE TOO INVOLVED WITH YOU EX.

LW you're a woman in your fifties, act like it. Stop carrying on like a teenager who thinks the boyfriend who treats her like shit really loves her and she just needs to give a second [or thirty-fifth] chance and he'll be the man of her dreams.

Your ex treated you like garbage throughout your marriage. He doesn't like you, he doesn't want you back, what he wants if you to keep being his dancing doll and holding on to the hope that he morph into a better person.

Let. It. Go. Move on. Take Dan's advice and build a life for yourself outside you ex. Remind yourself this is a man who spend ten years accusing you of cheating and then spent the rest of your relationship harping on you one-time infidelity when the relationship was over.

He is not a good person and I'm worried that's he's got you so fucked up that you believe that he is.
I think both sides of the commenters are right today. Her underlying feelings are valid: she has someone who she loves and has been a very big part of her life for decades that's now distancing himself from her and that hurts. However, she's dealing with it badly: she's projecting this whole "it's wrong because she's married!!!" thing when the girlfriend's husband is 100% on board with the relationship, demonizing the other woman, etc.
Not going to chime in on the actual content of the letter, because it has been thoroughly dissected. It is however quite an amazing example of how people keep assuming that their problems are somehow special, and how they don't really bother to do basic research.

I'll go out on a limb here and assume that the LW is a reader of Dan's columns. Unless you are completely off the rails (always a possibility), you don't just snap and write a long-ass novella to a random dude who just happens to have one of the biggest advice columns there are. You read his stuff for some time first (or binge the archives), and eventually you decide that this particular dude is not so random after all, and could offer you actual insight.

Half of Dan's letters would never be written if the authors bothered to actually read his material up front. The fact that they don't do it is actually a good thing, it keeps the column going and Dan employed. But with a letter this long, it is quite jarring, because it reads like a storm of clichés and tropes, glued together by an unpleasant sticky mass of obsession, insecurity and drama. Really, this is half of Dan's DTMFA letters compressed into one one messy checklist.

Actually, this one is actually awesome SLOG drinking game material.
Seems to me LW doesn't have a handle on what emotions/behaviors are healthy vs. unhealthy.

IMHO, healthy = Feeling a sense of loss when a former spouse moves on and begins building a relationship with someone new.

IMHO, unhealthy = Cheating at the end of the marriage and justifying the behavior by blaming the spouse, waiting for seven years for the ex-spouse to open up emotionally and confess he still wants to be together (the healthy option would've been for LW to share these feelings herself, regardless of ex's relative emotional openness, then accept the outcome), depending on one person for all social and emotional needs, badmouthing ex's girlfriend (likely result is further distancing by ex), FB stalking and harassment of people in ex's social circle.

IMHO, gray area: Continuing to have sex with ex (unhealthy if the goal is to move on), dating people in the midst of exploding marriage (sounds like the other couple is at least being open about it, so doesn't sound like cheating to me, but it's none of LW's business anyway).

And about the pension, not sure if she LW is referring to a pension outside of social security, but she should knowing that drawing from an ex's social security (if married at least 10 years, not remarried, and ex's social security balance is significantly higher) does not reduce the benefits to the ex. In other words, if she is referring to social security, the ex will not benefit at all from her abstaining from receiving social security linked to their marriage. If a different type of pension, who knows.
@42. Mt. Beaver. Thank you. Incidentally, I can't act on my analysis of my own problems.

@43. Lava Girl. It's 'wallow'. Agree with you on the bigger issue of the LW's situation.
@50. Pepper. There may or may not be a 'deeper love' than the love manifested in the day-to-day realities of a committed relationship--taking your 'husband's' turn cooking when he's exhausted, changing more nappies than your fair share. This could be e.g. the loyalty an ex shows in not maligning a former partner or being there for him in moments of crisis. I'm willing to accept this as 'love', though it lacks the central essential constituent of what we'd normally consider love in a relationship--in that it's not reciprocated.

Pace the LW, the reason the former husband didn't say, 'I love you; let's fight to keep this' when she had an affair _isn't_ that he was without the requisite 'emotional openness'. It's that he didn't feel that. He didn't love her. This is fundamentally the reason why she should get some distance on him.
@69. Harriet, yes, I see that this deeper love may or may not be real, which is why I wrote about it in terms of LW's perception: There is a sense of deeper love; she may have been disloyal in her own terms, etc. Agreed also that, as described, this questionable love is a solitary experience. I had hoped that encouraging LW to imagine her ex's interests as separate from her own might make it easier for her to let him go--might be a logical extension of the decision she'd made (and one she seems quite attached to) not to speak ill of him. This may or may not be a very selfless reason to give someone up, and I might have been wrong to encourage this for her if what she needs more is a sense of self-preservation. But she seems to believe he's a good man, and to be aware on some level that she's prolonging her own suffering, so I thought it might work for her.

In what I wrote @50, I was trying to imagine what *LW* felt about his role in their marriage/divorce. Thanks for drawing to my attention--I think you're right--that I was more confident saying he doesn't want her now than that he didn't love her then. I think being able to see the latter could indeed help her move on more swiftly and easily than the strategy I suggested. Here's hoping she's reading this and learning helpful things.
I can't believe I wasted the time reading this. I can't believe any of us did. Dan, this should have been a one line answer. DTMFA.
*and get these to a therapist.
As someone currently going through a break up from a long term partner, I am very thankful to have read this letter. I was thinking we will have a special lasting friendship and perhaps still occasionally have sex in the future. I know that I am too much socially and emotionally dependent on him and need to create a bigger social networks and more friends. Reading this letter has been a massive wake up call. I was about to head down a deluded path to certain doom! You have helped me LW by sharing your experience - good luck with your future. It sounds like you have been going through hell.
@70. Pepper. I agree with you. This love for or faith in him isn't something that needs his presence, and hopefully she can sustain it in her mind and give up seeing him.
Thanks Harriet,@68.
I've been SL for 17 years, and I've seldom disliked a letter writer this much. The awful language she uses to describe her ex's new girlfriend (using the word "bimbo" three times in one letter?) is the cherry on the cake. I just hope her harassment of her ex's new gf and her ex, ends here rather than escalating.

And the ex-husband's new relationship is NOT cheating, good GOD - not that it's any of her business either way.

By the way, anyone remember this wonderful/awful tl;dr trainwreck of a l… Yeah, I read the whole thing, and I had more sympathy for that letter writer than I do for Exceptional X.
I've been *reading SL. Argh
Speaking of classic SLLOTD letter writers, anyone remember "Pretty little hippie"? the original letter and the SL column where the letter was reprinted and the LW joined the comment thread (a thread which went on for 365 comments .... those were the days).