I can’t get over my mar­ried lover but I worry he’s wast­ing my time

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Living - - MARY O’CONOR -

I am a 32-year-old fe­male. I met a guy on­line 18 months ago. He told me he was sep­a­rated. I was sus­pi­cious when he told me that I could not go to his house.

Af­ter three months I broke up with him be­cause I found this un­ac­cept­able. I blocked his phone num­ber and so­cial me­dia be­cause I found it dis­re­spect­ful the way he was re­spond­ing to my ques­tions. He seemed to laugh and brush me off when I asked se­ri­ous ques­tions.

But he could not leave me alone. Un­able to con­tact me by phone or so­cial me­dia, about a month later he turned up at my house. I rang him and told him never to come to my place again. He said he wanted to know why I had blocked him and what he had done wrong. I agreed to meet up with him a week later, as I felt I did owe it to him to break it off face to face.

I met him and in­stantly fell for him again. We ended up sleep­ing to­gether and af­ter­wards he con­fessed to me that he was liv­ing with his wife but they sleep in sep­a­rate beds and he has not touched her in eight years. He could not stay over at mine at night time be­cause he is try­ing to get a di­vorce from her and if he doesn’t go home she will know some­thing is up and may not give him a di­vorce. I felt re­lieved that he was fi­nally telling me the truth.

We con­tin­ued to be to­gether for an­other nine months but I didn’t tell my friends or fam­ily that we were back to­gether. Af­ter nine months of se­cret dat­ing I told him I couldn’t keep go­ing on like this. He had also con­fessed to me that he was pay­ing his wife’s rent as she wasn’t work­ing. He says she has no friends or fam­ily and he can­not just leave her. I said fine, you are not avail­able to be in a re­la­tion­ship at the mo­ment there­fore let’s leave it. We did break up but he kept mes­sag­ing me and I was lonely so I mes­saged back. I thought per­haps we could stay as friends. Of course this didn’t hap­pen and we were soon sleep­ing to­gether again. So we were friends with ben­e­fits in my eyes.

Six months later an ex of mine texted me to meet up. I thought why not. We met up and ended up hav­ing sex. The other guy found out and ac­cused me of cheat­ing on him. I said I didn’t cheat be­cause we weren’t in a boyfriend/girl­friend re­la­tion­ship.

He was not happy but he didn’t want to let me go ei­ther. I thought maybe this was what I needed to get rid of this guy. How­ever he came back pro­fess­ing his love to me again, mak­ing me prom­ise that I would never do that again.

What am I do­ing? Am I be­ing a fool? Why can’t I move on?

I would like to set­tle down and have a fam­ily and he says he wants th­ese things too.

I’m afraid that he will waste my time and an­other few years will go by and we still won’t have got­ten any fur­ther. I’m afraid that maybe he will work things out with his wife. I don’t know what to do.

AYOU have al­ready de­voted well over a year to hav­ing a re­la­tion­ship with this man and most of that time your friends and fam­ily didn’t even know what was go­ing on. This says an aw­ful lot if you think about it. At some level you were ashamed to let them know that you were back in a re­la­tion­ship with a mar­ried man.

What would you be say­ing if your sis­ter or best friend was in a sim­i­lar po­si­tion? You would most likely be telling her that she was wast­ing her time, that he will prob­a­bly never leave his wife, and that as long as she keeps tak­ing him back and hav­ing sex with him then she will find it very dif­fi­cult to move on with her life and meet some­body who is avail­able.

And that is what I find my­self want­ing to say to you.

There is an un­doubted at­trac­tion be­tween the two of you and I’m sure he is very happy to have you in his life, but as long as you keep in touch with him, even just by mes­sag­ing, you are keep­ing your hopes alive that he will leave his wife.

I re­alise that you can feel lonely and it is very easy to slip back into con­tact, but that makes it much more dif­fi­cult for you to fully break up with him. I can say with cer­tainty that the longer it is with­out con­tact be­tween you then the eas­ier it be­comes and the heartache gets less. And then one day you will be over him and even if you were to meet him on the street you would be strong enough to con­tinue to say no.

The longer you keep see­ing this man the longer it will be be­fore you meet some­body else. I can fully un­der­stand that you want to have a fam­ily and even though he says he shares those wishes he has not done any­thing so far that proves he is in earnest about want­ing to leave his mar­riage and share his life with you, no mat­ter how much he tells you oth­er­wise.

I’m sorry if I seem to be harsh but I think deep down you know al­ready that you are on a road to nowhere if you con­tinue see­ing your al­ready mar­ried man.

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