Following are leftover questions from my online chat, “Outing a Cheater Part 2,” of August 12:
My boyfriend’s admitted to me that he was a “playboy” when he was single. He’s very handsome and successful so it’s no surprise.
I’ve since moved here with him and I’m left alone a lot. He frequently travels for business.
But my friend saw him at a restaurant in the suburbs. If I call him on it, I’ve got nothing – no job, no money.
If I stay, I’m in a luxury condo, can spend freely, and just have to look the other way.
Is there any chance a cheater can change?
You already know the answer about him. So you’ve calculated what you gain by accepting his cheating.
Here’s what you lose: Luxury doesn’t make up for loneliness. Being lied to makes you lose respect for the liar, and eventually yourself.
Consider negotiating a “solution” instead.
Say that you’re aware he’s not a “forever” guy but you’d like to enjoy what he’s offered you.
Suggest that he help you get established on your own. It’s breaking up (for your own self-respect) but asking for compensation (since he moved you here).
It may work, or not.
Self-respect eventually has more value than luxuries earned by looking away while being disrespected.
I’m separated and dating a woman from a very different background. I guess I’ve been smitten and ignoring some red flags.
She says she’s “close friends” with her ex and sometimes sleeps over at his place because it’s “convenient when she’s working nearby.”
But she’s never clear about when she works, as she seems to be out and about a lot. She’s also moved a couple of times in the past six months, for no apparent reason.
I’m not sure if she’s still married, or she and her ex have an arrangement like sex for financial support (no kids).
When I ask questions, she’ll either pull a tantrum that I don’t trust her, or start crying for the same reason.
My friend says she’s a cheater who’s just using me, but aside from my buying dinner or lunch a couple times a week, I’m not sure what she’s after.
Do I hang in and see where this goes? Or start insisting she tell me more facts about her life that I can check?
Take a break. It may be the only way to get some truth from her.
She seems to be tripping over herself on some topics, like whether she works or doesn’t.
You think she’s not getting anything much from you… but you have no idea what she’s building towards in having you “smitten.”
Also, regular dinner and dates with you paying, is still useful to her.
If you’re hoping for more, maybe she is too, given that you’re more established than she is financially.
How can you trust her enough to see where it’s all going, when she’s occasionally sleeping over at her ex’s place?
Does she keep moving because she has no money… and is hoping you’ll fall hard enough to pay her bills (or those of both her and her “ex”)?
You’ve ignored the red flags too long. So she’s been getting by with vague or non-answers.
Tell her you can’t take seriously someone who refuses to be open. And make no further plan to see her.
If she’s basically honest, she’ll reveal some facts.
But if she cries, and turns it on you for being suspicious and jealous, she’s playing you for some still-hidden agenda.
My husband wants to retire while I’m still mid-career. I felt him moving away from me emotionally.
I’ve snooped and found he’s in contact with a same-age woman who says she’s ready for the life he wants of travel, courses, etc.
They already met and he wrote of their “chemistry.” I consider this cheating and am hurt but unsurprised.
Do I accuse him of cheating or wait till he leaves?
You’re already halfway out the door, yourself. So be realistic and end the marriage as equals (not just on his call), acknowledging that you both now have separate interests.
Encourage being amicable, not badmouthing each other, or causing mutual friends to divide their loyalties.
Parting suits both of you.
Tell him you’re aware that he’s already planning a future with someone else and though it hurt you, you can see that the marriage isn’t satisfying the current needs of either of you.
Tip of the day:
Accepting a cheater’s behaviour can erode self-confidence and pride.