Hi FishMagnetism and Pisces Piggy--
I'm sorry to have taken so long to respond. I actually came back and read both your comments more than once. I was just overwhelmed and exhausted, and every time I tried to respond I found myself crying. And out of words.
I spent a lot of time over the past few days reading, researching, writing, thinking. I looked at his chart again--Cancer rising. I didn't know much about Cancer, so that was part of the research. And another aha! moment. I remember those claws very well. And what it felt like to be clutched in them--the good and the bad. I am, if anything, more independent than I was when I was with him the first time. (Which, I am guessing, might make me that much more appealing.) And I did a couples chart too, and the interpretation basically said, over and over again: WTF are you thinking? That gave me pause, but also made me laugh. It said, straight out: There is nothing easy about this pairing. To which I responded: You think that is news to me?
I also looked at stats about second marriages, and some stuff about the particular problem he is dealing with in his marriage. It's a big one, and really, the odds are not good that the marriage will survive. The take-away message, for me--and I know this sounds selfish, but: Time is on my side. I guess my handle is apt, too: Genuine Sag. Trouble in love? I do research.
And, I want to say that though I don't consider myself to be a believer, Fishmagnetism, I have been known to pray in moments of extreme need. I've used the idea you mentioned--in moments of longing and pain--of giving him over to somebody else to take care of, at least for the time being. It is surprisingly helpful.
I feel, at the moment, quite centered, and quite sure of what my response will be the next time he reaches out to me, which I'm sure he will. He's gone kind of quiet the last few days, which is a bit of a relief, as well as a bit of a worry. I won't claim that it will go exactly as I like--he has a way of countering what I say that shakes me up and makes me doubt myself. But I also feel a little bit more IN myself than I have in awhile now, and that has to be good.
I also want to thank you, PiscesPiggy, for saying that reconnecting with your Sag helped. Maybe I can help in some way, even if it doesn't seem like I am. It felt to me, before, like if I didn't give him exactly what he wanted, then I wasn't helping. Now it seems to me that I can still help, if only by staying true to myself, and perhaps modeling what that means. At any rate, I feel much more able to deal with him from a place of generosity and care.
The main thing is that I am more prepared to be patient with this, and to consider the value of friendship in these circumstances. I think one of the main differences between him and me is our ability to live with gray. I can live with gray--seek it out, even--in other areas of life, but in my personal life it drives me crazy. I see now that he his buried in gray, mired in gray. Maybe I need to learn to live with that a little bit, and to have a little bit more empathy for people who are in a different stage in their life.
I already know it is true that once he decides that someone is his princess, he will do almost anything for her. It is precisely the memory of that that is causing so much trouble here! But maybe it's worth detaching, yet remaining hopeful that I might end up being that again for him.
Like Miss Dubois, I am grateful for the kindness of strangers.
Best wishes to you both.