If like me, you sometimes wake up at two in the morning to google, among other things, whether other people are like me, you (I) will be bitterly disappointed. Now, not to put anyone in suspense, I was explicitly looking for anecdotes from people in a relationship with a married person. Even more specifically: Relationships with a separated, married man. Immediately, the Google search spits out various affair articles from “Will he leaves her for me?” to “Girl, don’t put yourself through this trouble!” and reveals the many fantastic advantages of polygamy, to the many tales woe of the secret lover.

Only my story, our reality, is not found at the first click. You would have to do more research and know best from our former Federal President, his wife, and his girlfriend. Wasn’t it once, among other things, this scandal that bothered Germany even more than its actual political activities? A married man, a married woman and then the girlfriend who, despite a long partnership, was interviewed again and again about how she could fulfil the role of eternal love. I still don’t know how these interviews are supposed to help me because they are just one example of a model that seems to work at the Escort Suite Agency, and I’m baffled by it.

I met him in my mid-twenties, slowly growing out of my young girl’s daydreams. Mid-forties, the father of a beautiful child, is still married. My partner didn’t reveal himself to me right away when we first met. I always wanted to get married and just never succeeded. Not today either. Because while I was slowly growing out of the young girl’s daydreams in my mid-thirties, I got to know him. Mid-forties, the father of a beautiful child, is still married. The word “yet” is not entirely correct because it implies that a divorce is imminent. He explained to me, very hesitantly at the time, that he had no intention of remarrying because neither of them intended to get a divorce. It was a somewhat hopeless situation since we had already fallen head over heels in love that leaving here would have hurt more, at least initially, than giving up the idea of a marriage that was in the distant future.

If he is already married, but unfortunately not to you!

Over time, also under the influence of many conversations with friends, colleagues, or family, it dawned on me that I was giving up a big dream for a man and his wife. How I felt about it was probably never really a question because I thought I smiled at a time or two. This relationship is still very fresh; after all, you don’t have to talk about it now. Accurate, but at some point, it probably will, and then getting rid of it seems as silly as it is difficult. So when is the right time to shed light on my feelings about this and not just discuss the reasons for his non-divorce?
There are these reasons, of course, and they are not few. Insurance comes first. The dependency that we seal by signing a piece of notarized paper often means that many couples do not consider divorce after a separation.

The benefits for married couples are immense, while unmarried couples often take a backseat, also, for any children that may have arisen. For this reason, the partner of my friend’s ex (whoops, complicated) is probably still married as well. All of them cannot and do not want to forgo money, entitlements, reserves, pensions, etc., and I have a great understanding of that. The benefits for married couples are immense, while unmarried couples often take a backseat, also, for any children that may have arisen.

Giving up all those advantages through expensive divorce proceedings, legal fees and maintenance claims just so that you don’t endanger the new partnership sounds almost naive. No one would demand such a sacrifice from their beloved counterpart. And yet it hurts when someone here has to make sacrifices – in this case, me. I wish for marriage, and I want this small ring to symbolize a great cause. I like that feeling, that connection. I’m his girlfriend; she’s his wife. It does something to me to know this.

Because I want marriage, I wish this small ring to symbolize a great cause. I like the feeling, the connection, the illusion. I’m his girlfriend; she’s his wife. This can also be exchanged. It does something to me to know this. They share the same last name and regularly sit in his kitchen, hunched over papers, bills and tax returns, and I think I’m missing something. To be excluded. Not part of this intimate connection between two people, which I will not understand. So I google myself at 2 am, looking for others like me awake and more awake, but I can’t find answers on how to deal with how I feel. It is a bitter disappointment to the frustration that has already worked itself out to keep me awake.

How we imagine life usually has nothing to do with reality – from the dream to real life

Saturday, 9 p.m. Up until now, I was still trying to memorize 30 different fractures. As a therapist-to-be, I didn’t know that you know as much as an orthopaedic surgeon but earn over half less. But that’s another topic. There’s another reason why I pick up my pen at this unusual time. Somehow the weekend started almost magically… Namely, I unpacked moving boxes in my new apartment and found the souvenir box with letters and pictures from my ex-boyfriend. Our relationship started at the age of 18, and it was over after ten years. A long time during which I lived in deprivation most of the time.

Do you know that kind of love that brings more sorrow than joy? Dependence, jealousy, not feeling seen – a separation was never an option, for various stupid reasons? That’s how she was.
But now, years later, I became aware of a lot with the box in my hand! He could never see me happy because there was way too much pain in me from my childhood. And I wrote him that in the last email. I could have addressed it because I owed the most extensive apology to myself. This email made me forgive a bit. Today I am neither dependent nor in need, and I am processing my childhood more and more. So this email was quite healing. Even three years after the breakup, this old mindset, this old self, very often kept me from going into a new relationship or dating without having my pants complete.

I let go of a little more of my past by sending the message.

Because I never wanted to see myself like that again, never want to feel like that again! But by sending the news, I let go of a bit more of my past and, shortly after that, wrote to a guy I had met who I had cancelled several times. I asked him if he would like to go for a walk on Sunday, and he happily agreed. So far, it sounds like a cheesy Hollywood film: she, long without a partner, struggles with her past, lets it go and finally falls in love with a new man. The wedding turned out to be the happiest day of their lives, and they lived happily ever after. Ah, and her ex is, of course, her best man and godfather to her children. Yes, exactly.

Honestly, how do screenwriters come up with stories like this? Why spread these illusions?

The reality then was like this: The boy agreed to me and was looking forward to our meeting, but forgot to mention the little information about his almost girlfriend and child. From La La Land to “In the Middle of Life!”. I love romantic stories, including La La Land, and I don’t completely let go of this desire, but the reality is usually really different. Fortunately, today I can only laugh at a story like that; I can rely on myself when I tell my friends: “Something’s up with him”, and he’s taken. I was finally able to enjoy this great mystery of forgiveness for myself. So maybe a bit of Magic Weekend Vibes after all, even if I’m singing alone in the shower instead of through Los Angeles with Ryan Gosling.

Here are 8 tips for visiting Cologne:

1. Visit the Wallraf Richartz Museum
This art museum houses one of the largest collections of medieval paintings globally, with a particular focus on the Cologne School (i.e. painters from Cologne and surrounding areas between 1300 and 1550). In addition to the medieval collection, the museum includes works from the Gothic, Baroque, Renaissance and Impressionist periods. Notable artists in the collection include Rubens, Rembrandt, Monet, Pissarro, Manet, Cezanne and Van Gogh. The museum also offers a variety of rotating temporary exhibitions. The entrance fee is 8 euros.

2. Celebrate the Winter Carnival
The biggest festival in Cologne is the Winter Carnival held every February. On opening day, crowds lined up to watch a huge parade, followed by endless street food, drinks and parties. When the sun goes down, people head to the bar to keep the momentum going.

3. Visit the Synagogue on Roonstrasse
Known for its Neo-Romanesque style, the synagogue was rebuilt in the 1950s after the Nazis partially burned it at Crystal Night in 1938 (a Catholic priest kept the Torah in the temple). Today, visitors can admire the reconstructed façade, dominated by large circular stained glass windows, round and square turrets, and ornate arched windows. The interior is furnished with a vast blue dome and an exhibition about the history and culture of Cologne’s Jewish community. Visiting is free.

4. Visit the Ludwig Museum
This art museum has various exhibitions about German Expressionism, but the main attraction is postmodern art of all kinds – including the world’s most extensive collection of pop art. You can see works by Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein and various temporary exhibitions. If you like modern art, this museum is for you. The entrance fee is 13 euros. Seven euros start at 5 pm on the first Thursday of every month.

5. Visit the Chocolate Museum
Dedicated to the history and manufacture of chocolate, this museum showcases everything from how the Aztecs made chocolate to modern cocoa farming. There is a chocolate fountain for you to taste at the end of the tour and a well-stocked chocolate shop. Admission is 12.50 euros on weekdays and 13.50 euros on weekends. Extend your visit with cakes and other chocolaty treats at the Chocolate Grand Café overlooking the Rhine.

6. Explore the botanical gardens
Located on the left bank of the Rhine, these gardens are perfectly landscaped and are home to more than 10,000 species of plants, including orchids, cocoa plants, and succulents. Established in the 19th century, the Cologne Botanical Gardens are the oldest public park in the city. There are a variety of gardens here, including Mediterranean, English, and alpine gardens, along with four different greenhouses. It’s free to visit.

7. Go to Phantasialand
What began as a puppet theatre in 1967 has become a full-blown amusement park on the outskirts of Cologne. Visitors of all ages flock here to ride the rollercoasters along the shores of Lake Mondsee. There’s also an area for dining, drinking, shopping, and live music. Tickets range from 34.50-54.50 EUR depending on the season and day of the week.

8. Walk the Rheinboulevard
This riverside walkway is located across the river from Cologne’s historic centre in a new and modern part of town. Stroll along the river taking in the views of both the current and landmark skylines, or pop into one of the many restaurants, cafes, and galleries. Ascend the iconic KölnTriangle building for panoramic views over the entire city from the building’s observation deck (admission is 5 EUR).

9. Learn about Nazi-era Cologne at the NS Documentation Centre (NSDOK)
This centre is part memorial, part museum, and part research centre. Housed in the former headquarters of the Cologne Gestapo (secret state police), the museum features exhibitions on everyday life under the Nazis, resistance efforts, and information about the post-war reconstruction. Visitors can even descend into the basement to see the cells where prisoners were held. There are also over 1,800 drawings and inscriptions that they scratched into the walls. Admission is 4.50 EUR.

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