My long-term marriage imploded when my spouse assaulted me last year.
I became friends with a wonderful man and our relationship developed romantically. However, he's married, and I'm what I never thought I'd be - the "other woman."
He's said, that even if we weren't involved his marriage would still be in trouble and he plans to end it.
I initially tried to walk away from this huge complication. He's consistently shown me love, patience, and support, and eventually broke through my barriers and I fell in love with him.
He's talked about us living together, getting married, and blending our families (children) together.
I've been seeing a therapist since the assault and we've discussed this relationship at length.
She first advised against it as she urged me to go out there and live for myself. He also told me that if I felt the need to try dating, he'd understand and step back.
As time passed, both my therapist and my "partner" both realized I knew he's the one I want in my life, that he helped me gain peace, confidence, and serenity and made me very happy.
Now, as much as I love him and want a future, I'm trying to decide if I should back away.
He and his wife will be alone for the summer as their kids are gone then.
I suggested that if he wanted to try to make his marriage work, I'd give him space. He was very upset as he (wrongly) thought I wanted space and the chance to meet others.
I love him and want a future with him, but feel guilty about his spouse.
He's been with others before, and I believe she realizes this but chooses to ignore it to keep their marriage intact for the primary reason that he's always financially supported the family.
Everything I've heard and seen shows me how distant their relationship is, both physically and emotionally, as they act more as distantly friendly partners that are raising a family than as husband and wife.
Should I back away and give them this chance to see if they can forge a bond, and lose the man I love? I've already taken steps to keep myself busy by volunteering for several weeks and planning a family vacation with my kids.
Which Choice is Right?
Back away. If you don’t, this summer’s changed situation – he and his wife together without kids - will likely lead anyway to distance, doubts, and an unhappy divide.
So far, you’ve both had the perfect set-up for your affair – with children at home, you had to support his need to be there for them on certain nights, then enjoy the romantic times when you could be together.
But summer will change all that. His choice of times to be home can easily become upsetting. Your guilt feelings will increase, knowing that when he’s with you, he’s denying her the companionship she’s entitled to as his wife.
You assume she accepts this life and his affairs for financial reasons. But you don’t know her, or what she truly knows about him, you, and how he feels about her.
You clearly have enough misgivings to have already made alternate plans. So go ahead, follow your therapist’s first advice, and try being on your own awhile.
If by summer’s end, you both want to be together long-term, he should be making plans to make it happen… or you’ll be facing the same decision next summer too.
An acquaintance lost a close relative so I did favours for her. I’ve realized that she’s constantly seeking favours from people.
She’s mentioned money problems and lack of social engagements. Yet she frequently travels, sometimes overseas. She constantly has new clothing, shoes, etc.
Something doesn't make sense here.
She has five sources of regular pension cheques. Yet when we’re out, she’s a master of not paying her share.
Should I quietly lessen contact or speak up?
Treated Like A Fool
The result will be the same. She knows how to work a deal for herself and won’t like getting caught at it.
Maybe all her pensions don’t add up to security in her mind and she’s learned how to take advantage of other people’s money. That’s not something a true friend does.
Lessening contact is the better way, as it doesn’t give her a chance to badmouth you to any mutual friends.
Tip of the day:
When being “the other woman” feels too guilty and complicated, take a break to reconsider it.