I’ve been seeing a married man, 31, for six months.
He’s been married for 12 years (no children) and was unhappy for a year before we met.
He's terrified of leaving because it's all he's known. And afraid of losing everything, starting over, and hurting a woman he still cares so much about.
I get that. But when I try to break it off, he turns up in tears saying how much he loves me
I want him to leave her - not for me, but because he was unhappy before me.
But last night we had another fight when he said he didn't want to leave her, yet he spends all his time thinking about me, with me, and loving me.
My only solution now is to cut him out as best I can. I have to see him once a week for work, but other than that I can end everything else.
I don't want his wife to find out - I don't want her to hurt that way. I'd never tell her.
But why do people always advise staying in a marriage?
Just because you married someone doesn't mean they’re the right person for you forever. People change.
The Other Woman
You’ve made the right decision to end the affair.
Six months is long enough for him to know if he’s ready to leave his marriage. He’s not.
Many advisors do not always recommend staying in an unhappy union.
But most, including me, advise people who are considering leaving a spouse to know first that they’ve tried to make it work.
And also to seek some counselling for both partners or at least for themselves.
Unless this man truly understands what contribution he might’ve made to being unhappy with her – or how he missed seeing whatever changes were happening - his next relationship can also become disappointing.
You don’t want that.
Currently, you’re his escape.
Don’t accept him back unless he makes the break on his own, and wants you for a life together.
I dated a co-worker who used me for sex and money. We’re both in our late 20s.
He lied and said he was unattached, though I later learned he was in a relationship. He said he was supporting aging parents and other relatives to the point of having little money for himself.
I felt sorry for him, and was vulnerable myself after a recent break-up.
I bought food and cooked for him, bought him clothes he wanted, and paid for a couple of trips together. He gave excuses why I couldn’t meet his parents, or his friends.
I’ve since learned that everything was a lie and I broke up with him.
I’m so deeply wounded, I can hardly get out of bed in the morning, and then I have to see the creep at work!
Devastated in Denver
Get angry, and get determined to put this far behind you. He may be at work… but he’ll never hurt you again, nor will anyone else find you that vulnerable.
It’s time to build up your strength and self-confidence. If you have friends who are just hangers-on, or ex-boyfriends who show up when you’re down, sort through your relationship “closet” and get rid of the negative vibes.
Hang out with your supportive, encouraging people instead.
If you need to tell your co-worker that you have only contempt for him, tell him once, then ignore and avoid him except for work-related exchanges.
Readers’ Commentary “I’m a father and grandfather who’s had both daughters, a baby, and two grandchildren live with me and my wife.
“It’s indeed a challenge to create an adult-to-adult relationship with your children, especially when they live with you at this point in their life and ours.
“It’s a steep learning curve filled with understanding, love, and mistakes. But the benefits long outlive any dirty dishes left in a sink.
“If serious, ongoing conflicts develop, both the older parent and the adult child need counselling before the bonds of love are broken.
“The conflict goes way past a private family matter if emotional and verbal abuse become part of the relationship and home environment.
“All sides need to realize how destructive words can be, and how easily scars are created and remain.
“Increasing numbers of parents and kids find themselves in this position today, given an unstable economy and employment situation.”
Ellie – Good advice!
Tip of the day:
A married lover who wants only an affair sees you as his/her escape fantasy, not a real partner.