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Trying to not be the other woman


ShootingStar
HOW to STOP MULTITASKING
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Hi everyone. I hope you can help me, but please don't worry if you can't. I'll try to keep this post as concise as possible.

 

Five years ago, I got a job teaching homeless people how to read and write, and how to budget their money. Most of the people I worked with were street drinkers and young adults who had been through the care system - all my students were extremely vulnerable. My boss at the shelter was like no boss I had ever had before...he is very straight talking, funny, passionate about the homeless people we worked with, and so down to earth. We hated each other for the first year, until we realised we actually had a lot in common. He has two young daughters, and a live-in girlfriend.

 

Two years after we met, we were the last two at a staff do, and when he walked me home we went into my apartment and we slept together. I had known he liked me before that, and I liked him. Before we did it, I asked him to think about his GF and his children, but all he kept saying was he wanted me. And so I gave in.

 

Just two months ago, I left my job and my city to start over. We were on good terms for the last few years...we slept together about 4 times in total, but didn't have an affair as such. He left the shelter about two years ago to take up a promotion, and so we were not as close. He was also paranoid that it would get out that we had slept together, in case he lost his job. But we were still close-ish.

 

Since I left the organisation, we have got closer again, but as friends. Two weeks ago, he phoned me and told me he loved me the same way he loves his GF...over all the years I have known him, he has only ever said how much he loves her and his children. I told him that I can't come between him and his family, that his children are innocent and don't deserve this, and that I felt like a thief each time I was with him, taking what doesn't belong to me. I told him it would be better if we stopped contact forever. He insists we can be friends, but that he is cool with not touching/getting intimate ever again. I don't know if I believe him.

 

He has been up and down over the years...drawing me in, pushing me away. I am in love with him - he has so many wonderful qualities, not least how he cares for the homeless. He is not a bad person at all. I know he loves me, but I also know he has cheated before with a different girl. He is weak.

 

At first I blocked out what we were doing to his GF and his children, but now I make myself think of them so I never cheat with him again.

 

BUT...I told him we would try at being friends, and I would like to ask people here if you think we can make that work. I need to tell you...I have a history of mental health problems including anorexia and alcoholism. He knows this. My self worth is very low, even though (and I'm not bigging myself up) I know I am very physically beautiful and also talented in many ways. He says that he likes my vulnerability, and that I need him. He said ideally, he would have me and his GF, and he would be my 'life guide' and I would be his mistress.

 

I am adamant I will do nothing to come between his family again, but I worry that I can't be trusted to just be his friend, and nor can he.

 

I have changed my life to get away from him, because I love him yet can't have him, and out of love for him I'm trying to put his family before myself. Yet despite all that, I still want him in my life. I'm a walking contradiction.

 

Thanks for listening!!!!!!!! And please don't worry if you can't help. It's good to just get it out of my system.

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This man wants to continue cheating on his girlfriend and still speaks words of love to you...is this really an honest guy? There are many philanthropists out there who donate millions of dollars to worthy causes and yet cheat on their partners. Being an upstanding citizen for the outside world does not necessarily make you a decent human being behind closed doors....and he has shown that beyond the public spotlight, he is a jerk...dishonest, lying, cheating, jerk. Do you really want to be friends with a guy who will test your resolve like that? Do you really want to be with a guy who cheats on his partner and has a history of cheating? Perhaps it is time now to improve your self-esteem so that you don't imagine that a guy like that is worth your time.

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I am familiar with what you are going through. Knowing what I do now, 2 years later, I would recommend that you run far far away from him. There is no worse feeling than knowing that the man you love and are committed to is leaving your bed for his girl friends. Laying there imaging what he is doing with her and to her, it is a pain that no one should feel. You are still in the beginning stage and can get out now relatively unscathed. Please do so. He will not leave her. And you will not be happy and satisfied with him. You will at first, but as you fall more and more in love with him, you will resent the girl friend, his children and eventually him.

 

Dont set yourself up for this. And no, you cannot just be friends. You end up sleeping together and still fall in love with him.

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Hi Cat and Dogs ( ) thank you soo much for replying. I told him if he left his GF and children for me, I would send him straight back home where he belongs. Life with him would be a nightmare...there were reasons why I didn't take to him at the beginning I guess. He is loved by everyone in the organisation, and by the homeless..he is really wonderful that way, but he can be very hurtful one-to-one. Sometimes I wonder if he is a psychopath.

 

When he phoned me, just a few weeks ago, he began to tell me intimate things about his sex life with his GF, until I cut him off. He was so disrespectful. If feels like *I* am the one thinking of his family.

 

Thank you so much for your advice...I didn't think being friends would work but I soo wanted to try. I don't trust him not to make the moves again (we have been on this seesaw before, where he can't be with me, then he can, then he can't...) and I don't trust myself either, for I love feeling that here is someone who knows all about my history yet still wants to be with me.

 

Actually, if I'm honest I know I can't just be his friend. I know I will kiss him and be intimate again when I see him. He doesn't seem to take responsibility for his family and that makes me cross...why is it all down to me to think about them? If he did, I wouldn't have to.

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It hard, especially when you do feel comfortable with them. But he will use that to draw you in and keep you where he wants you, as his second. You dont deserve that.

 

Cat, do you think he knows that is what he is doing? He said he feels like he's in that song, 'Torn Between Two Lovers'...he keeps saying his 'mind is pickled', and that he loves being with me but is guilty about his family.

 

Sometimes I wonder if he knows exactly what he is doing. He tells me barely a week goes by without someone at the organisation asking him (he's a Director now so very high up) if he slept with me, and this leads him to rant and rave at me, giving me the third degree about who I have told. But I just don't believe people ARE saying this to him...I think he is making it up. Which means he loves the drama and the thrill of thinking me and him share some little secret.

 

And thanks for being so nice to me!! I know what I've done is really bad.

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I did the same thing, so there is no way in hell that I can judge you. I started seeing my bf when he was with his now ex and lived with her and his daughter. At one point she and I knew about each other and tried to "share" him. Umm..that doesnt work either. I'm surprised he hasnt mentioned that idea to you.

 

Anyhow, to answer your question, he probably does have feelings for you. And he probably does feel guilty and ashamed at the same time. These feelings tore up my bf. But we kept on seeing each other. Neither the ex or myself wanted to let him go. He finally had to man up and make a decision because we were all hurting, including his daughter and neither of us women were going to cut him loose. I did eventually end it wtih him. At that point, he asked the now ex to move out and ended it completely with her.

 

I dont doubt that your guy is torn. But whether he knows it or not, he is keeping you around for his own gain. He cannot have a healthy relationship with you while being with his girlfriend.

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Oh and on a side note, my bf leaving his ex was because their relationship had started going downhill before I came along. Of course, I didnt help matters any.

 

Normally...the men DO NOT leave their women and children. It happens, dont get me wrong, but normally they dont leave.

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Yip...he told me when he was drunk he has another ten years of bringing up his daughters before he can leave, and I said 'WHAT???'...but he changed the subject. I think he has no intention of leaving until his children reach adulthood, and despite what I have done to her, I feel sorry for his GF because of that. She probably thinks it's forever.

 

My fear is that you are right Cat..that he wants me around to stroke his ego or as an escape, and not because he genuinely cares for me.

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I dont envy your position. And even now, at this point, he and I live together, and we're expecting a baby...things are often rocky. Dont get me wrong, we love each other very very much, but things like insecurity and jealousy we are constantly trying to deal with and work through. Even when they do leave their girlfriends, it often doesnt work out because YOU become the one at home in the girlfriend roll while he is out trolling for another mistress. This is where alot of my insecurity come from.

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I dont envy your position. And even now, at this point, he and I live together, and we're expecting a baby...things are often rocky. Dont get me wrong, we love each other very very much, but things like insecurity and jealousy we are constantly trying to deal with and work through. Even when they do leave their girlfriends, it often doesnt work out because YOU become the one at home in the girlfriend roll while he is out trolling for another mistress. This is where alot of my insecurity come from.

 

Cat, that sounds horrific!! Your head must be all over the place. Do you regret it?

 

I feel sure you are right...he would never commit to me wholeheartedly. He told me at the beginning he wasn't 'a philanderer'..then I discovered he had, years earlier, picked up a girl in a bar and spent the night with her. The next morning, his GF was ringing around everyone asking where he was as he hadn't come home.

 

Even if I got with him (which I don't want to happen), I would never trust him.

 

I just wish I had enough strength to finish my long walk away from him. I've moved town, moved jobs, moved house...I just need to do this last little bit. He says I'm his bad addiction. I think he's mine too.

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>>He said ideally, he would have me and his GF, and he would be my 'life guide' and I would be his mistress.

 

Well isn't that lovely for him. He gets free sex and adoration from you, with you already clearly telling him you'd do nothing to harm his partner and family. But what do you get?

 

You get lonely nights and holidays, longing for someone who belongs to someone else, a continual feeling of deprivation and settling for crumbs.

 

And yes, YOU are the one thinking of his family, while he's thinking of a little hot sex on the side to spice up the family life.

 

Friends will absolutely not work for you. He doesn't want to be friends, he wants a free hooker. I don't mean to hurt your feelings with that because i know that is not what you intend, but that is what HE intends. He wants risk free free sex at his convenience.

 

There just is nothing in this for you but heartache. You need to stop and remind yourself that you deserve a whole lot more than this. And he ISN'T all that good a guy. He may do good things in his career, but in his personal life, he is into betrayal.

 

I honestly think that what you need is to go seek a counselor for yourself, to explore why you would be willing to accept so little from a man, and participate in this betrayal of his family. You need to build your own self esteem and recognize you deserve someone who loves you fully, is loyal and faithful, and wants you all of the time, not just for occasional sex that fits into someone else's schedule.

 

He may well be a sociopath, as there are sociopaths at all levels of socieity and in all careers, from social workers to priests to senators. One sign is they are very charming, and very willing to use anyone else for their own needs, without ever really bonding with anyone or having empathy for the havoc they wreak in other people's lives.

 

And don't kid yourself. If you were really honest with yourself, you KNOW you aren't really thinking of his family, or you would be rejecting this guy outright and having nothing to do with him at all, friend or otherwise. You caught in a little triangle here, and perhaps you have some need to play out a drama here, where you need to 'rescue' his family. The way to help them is to cut off all contact with this guy and never speak to him again.

 

Please call and make an appointment with a counselor to talk about this with them, and just drop this guy. delete his phone number and block his calls and email. This isn't a good guy at all, he's a wolf in sheep's clothing, and a relationship, even a friendship, with him will not take you in any direction you want to go. While you're messing around with him, you're not out meeting decent honorable men who will love and protect you, not use you.

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You should steer well clear of this guy...he is not even friend material. He is a big phony. He clearly lacks morals, scruples and empathy. Be grateful that you are not the one married to him. Don't just walk away from him...run away.

 

Do you think he wouldn't be a good friend to me? He told me he is very loyal to his friends...but then he isn't exactly loyal to his GF!!

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Cat, that sounds horrific!! Your head must be all over the place. Do you regret it?

 

I feel sure you are right...he would never commit to me wholeheartedly. He told me at the beginning he wasn't 'a philanderer'..then I discovered he had, years earlier, picked up a girl in a bar and spent the night with her. The next morning, his GF was ringing around everyone asking where he was as he hadn't come home.

 

Even if I got with him (which I don't want to happen), I would never trust him.

 

I just wish I had enough strength to finish my long walk away from him. I've moved town, moved jobs, moved house...I just need to do this last little bit. He says I'm his bad addiction. I think he's mine too.

 

 

 

Oh god, I didnt mean to make my bf out to be a monster! Sorry! lol He is not trolling for a mistress. My point was that we still have issues and are still learning each other, BUT in alot of situations you do become the one at home waiting for him. I will NEVER be that woman. I refuse. Our relationship has ups and downs, as all of them do, but ours started out rocky and we are working to solidify it.

 

As to yours, cutting all contact is the only way to do it. Even when I ended it with my bf, I had to have absolutely no contact with him. Otherwise, I got drawn back in. The same will happen with you.

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Yip...he told me when he was drunk he has another ten years of bringing up his daughters before he can leave, and I said 'WHAT???'

 

Yup. CLEAR indicator that he's on the sole lookout for fun and frolics.

 

Oh and believe me. If guys are 'that unhappy' in their relationships/marriages, kids don't keep them there. They still leave and regardless...

 

My fear is that you are right Cat..that he wants me around to stroke his ego or as an escape, and not because he genuinely cares for me.

 

I'd say it was most likely a 'fact' that he wants you around to stroke and massage his ego....and for casual 'fun and frolics' if you are willing....

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BeStrongBeHappy, it does make me feel good to think of his family, you're right. I had thought of seeing a therapist. I saw five before, for my anorexia, but never gave it the time I needed (I self medicated with booze which led to more problems, but I've been sober for one year exactly), and instead just tried to deal with my problems myself. Then he came along, my knight in shining armour, pointing out how vulnerable I am and how he can help me and rescue me. And I loved that.

 

And I think a strong me (because can you believe I am actually a very moral person in the rest of my life. compassionate and caring..what a joke!!) would never have considered sleeping with him or having an affair.

 

And look at me now...still that little part of my brain is dying to see him and feel his arms around me even when I've uprooted my life to start over, hopefully with someone else.

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But how can he rescue you? He really isn't offering you anything. That is like someone offering to rescue you from tigers, and throwing you in a pit with lions.

 

There is nothing more psychologically devastating to a woman than an affair with a married man (other than being the partner of a man who has affairs). He is recognizing your vulnerability, and USING IT to his own sexual advantage. The way you are talking about him is the way a hooker talks about her pimp, saying how the pimp protects and looks out for her, but really, the pimp is seeing the hooker as 'product' he can exploit for his own uses. This guy is THRILLED with you because he knows if you weren't so vulnerable, you would recognize him for the snake he is and tell him to get lost and take his lying cheating butt for a hike.

 

Honey, it just doesn't pay to trust your vulnerability to someone who wants to use it to take advantage of you. He's not a knight in shining armor, he's a wolf in sheep's clothing feeding off your vulnerability.

 

Your problems need to be dealt with by professionals who have your interests at heart, and by true friends who would never use or deceive you, or suck you into situations that harm and betray other people as well as yourself.

 

Please see this guy for who he is, and it is a user, a liar, and a cheater. Notice how he gets upset when other people mention he might be using you, but only because he doesn't want to get caught, and he wants to LOOK like a good guy, not actually BE a good guy.

 

Please don't be naive. The person who can rescue you is you. You have the power to pick up the phone and call a counselor and get help for yourself. Call your sponsor if you go to AA and tell him about the affair, and get yourself straight in all areas of your life so that you can live a happy one, not one full of shadows, dark, and USERS.

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Do you think he wouldn't be a good friend to me? He told me he is very loyal to his friends...but then he isn't exactly loyal to his GF!!

 

People like that choose their friends based on what they can ultimately get from their friends...they are looking to HAVE a friend not BE a friend. Everything they do has ulterior motives...even his seemingly charmed professional life has to do with his ego rather than any sincere motivation to do good.

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You are not a walking contradiction. Your self worth is low because you do things like sleeping with the guy when he was committed with someone else. Make decisions that make YOU proud of yourself instead of defaulting to saying low self worth to make crappy decisions. You have to prove to yourself who you are and the feelings will follow not vice versa. The older we get the more we realize that in order to do the right thing we have to control ourselves and not let our emotions control us when they are leading us somewhere that we think is selfish, wrong, etc. You are making the right decision by treating yourself better than being a mistress. It's not as if there aren't tons of great people out there to be with, you are just attached to this one because you have spent so much time together in such a convenient setting.

 

I understand that people can't completely control their emotions, but I think it is lame when they pretend as if there is nothing they can do to make themselves feel that they are the person they want to be.

Good luck

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Hey ShootingStar. First you should stop beating yourself up and you should forgive yourself. As you said, you are/were vulnerable when you met him and while you worked with him. In that frame of mind it is easy to being seduced by someone who seems genuinely interested in helping others. In contrary, you should be proud of yourself, that you can look beyond your own needs and still think of and for others. This should really empower you to move forward and away from this situation. OF course it will not be easy and there will be moments where his pull might seem overwhelming, but I am sure you will be strong enough to get through these moments - just talk to a friend or write your feelings down it that moment, or post here on ENA.

 

Let's all be honest, there are many people who have affairs, even long-term and it seems to work for everyone involved (often even with the knowledge of the "official" one) - who am I to judge how people should live and what type of ethics they should have.

 

BUT (big BUT), in your current situation everything indicates that you should not stay in contact with this man:

- at your first night, you asked him about his GF and his children. Instead of claiming that there are issues with his relationship he only talked about his needs, in this case you. He didn't acknowledge at all what giving in to your desires would do to either one of you or where this change in circumstances might lead --> sounds like he was just interested in fulfilling his momentary needs

- he is paranoid about people finding out. Again he doesn't give you as a reason that this is due to his concern for either his family or you, but it's all about him

- for years he tells you that he loves his GF and his kids. Honey, no man ever admits to loving someone, if they don't mean it. That he constantly has done so, while having an ongoing albeit irregular affair with you, clearly indicates that his feelings for you are not true and that he didn't even try to pretend to have these for you. It doesn't really spell respect for you.

- all of a sudden he confesses his love to you, yet he still clearly says, that he loves the GF as much. You must have started to give him some kind of signal that you were not willing anymore to be the fill-in and that you are expecting a bigger emotional input on his part. By claiming he loves you also, he is trying to keep you close, without having to change much about the arrangement

- His claim that you could just be friends sounds like bargaining to just keep you around so that he will have the chance again to seduce you again

- he has cheated before. there must be a reason for this: number one reason for people to cheat is that some of their emotional needs are not met in their primary relationship (sex is only the second most common reason). and by this i don't mean, that his GF is not giving him all her best, but what i think (just based on what you wrote) is, that this guy likes to manipulate people, he likes to be the hero/savior. and somehow working in a shelter doesn't seem enough to fulfill this emotional need for him. so he uses sex to bind women to him to live out this need of his. His statement that he wants to be your 'life guide' is a clear indication that his hero-fantasies are more important to him than the sex as such.

 

Cudos to you for having managed not to be completely under his spell and to be able to think about his family. It's not easy to do when you are facing someone who can be very charming, intelligent, seems very caring and knows exactly what to say to make you feel better.

 

I think you are not very far off when you say that he may have psychopathic tendencies, since he is clearly playing with other peoples feelings combined with paranoia and controlling tendencies.

 

Please take care of yourself and stay away from this person.

 

It's hard to know if he is doing all these things consciously or subconsciously, but considering and assuming that he as a reasonable intelligence I assume on some level he knows what he is doing.

 

He doesn't seem to have shown any kind of remorse about the disrespect towards his family and children (his guilt may only be acted) and his disrespect towards you. And since he is a professional providing guidance to vulnerable people, he should know better than to get involved with someone who is also vulnerable.

 

Sorry for being so blunt, but I hope it helps you.

 

Hugs to you and all the best. PM if you need someone to talk to.

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As to yours, cutting all contact is the only way to do it. Even when I ended it with my bf, I had to have absolutely no contact with him. Otherwise, I got drawn back in. The same will happen with you.

 

Yes you're right Cat and deep down I feel that we are playing * * * * * foot with each other and telling lies to each other when we say we will meet up for coffee as friends. I want to sceam at him that I am in love with him (I have never told him that) and that resisting him when I see him is really hard and I don't trust myself not to do something and I trust him even less!!

 

I cut contact before with an ex-boyfriend, and I don't think I found it hard, but for some reason, this time it feels like trying to scale a 600 ft wall.

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Yup. CLEAR indicator that he's on the sole lookout for fun and frolics.

 

Oh and believe me. If guys are 'that unhappy' in their relationships/marriages, kids don't keep them there. They still leave and regardless...

 

His girlfriend is lovely, really pretty and nice. She likes me and I think would never guess what I've done to her family (she thinks I'm 'stunning' whereas he is nothing to look at.. bit like Ricky Gervais, and I know no one would put us together). I don't think he can be unhappy with her. He speaks to her in a disrespectful way, at least he did when I was around. I think any man - any OTHER man - would think he was very lucky to have her.

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There is so much here to take in..and all of it is right. All along, I was taken in by how he used to say I needed him. He said if I ever needed him, he would be there...He would text me after nights he knew I was seeing my girlfriends to ask if I got home safe. Even when he went for the interview for his promotion, he said all he could think about was that he was leaving me behind at the shelter.

 

I can't tell you how invaluable all this advice is to me. I'm going to read it and re-read it and make sure it sinks in. I never thought that he was just out for himself. When he thought rumours were flying around about us, all he cared was that HIS reputation would be ruined. He said two weeks ago that the most important thing to him in his life is his reputation.

 

The organisaton he works for is a homeless charity. It's big, but not huge. I can't understand why he is so protective of his reputation above his family and above me, who also worked there. (He never once expressed anxiety for my reputation..he just blamed me for not being discreet enough).

 

He is just like a pimp...I didn't see it before. I feel kinda shocked. I hope I don't forget this.

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People like that choose their friends based on what they can ultimately get from their friends...they are looking to HAVE a friend not BE a friend. Everything they do has ulterior motives...even his seemingly charmed professional life has to do with his ego rather than any sincere motivation to do good.

 

My friends who know him all say he the most selfish man they have ever met. They all warned me off him. I just couldn't see it. Some years ago, I was attacked by a taxi driver and had flashbacks a long time afterwards. After one particularly bad one, I called him to talk to him because I had told him about the attack and remembered that he said he would always be there for me. His first words were 'I can't talk now' and he put the phone down. I never forgot that he did that.

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