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What is this man thinking?


waterdog

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I'm a 36yo woman, never married, no kids, good job, intelligent, own 3 houses & a boat. I'm no supermodel, but I'm very attractive, fit & sexy. I've never been into older guys & usually date men in their mid 20s-early 30s.

 

A year ago I met a man whom, despite being 20 years my senior, I was drawn to instantly. We exchanged calls & texts & bumped into each other a couple times over the next 2 months before we went on our first date. After that, the physical part of our relationship heated up & it wasn't long before we were intimate. Our sexual chemistry was amazing & we seemed so comfortable together.

 

A month later, he nonchalantly mentions there's another woman he dates. I was disappointed & told him I didn't want to put myself in a situation where he was choosing to spend his time with her over me, but he continued to pursue me. I figured he must not be too serious with her because he called many nights a week & she wasn't around. It was early on for us & I thought things would evolve as we spent more time together, so I continued seeing him.

 

A few weeks later I found out from someone else that this woman was essentially his girlfriend for the past year. And while I do not know her personally, we live in a small city so I know who she is. She's 53, dresses & wears makeup like it's the 1980s with no modern sense of style & isn't sexy or really even remotely attractive. I kept it to myself for a few weeks & based on what I was able to discern, she seemed boring & they didn't appear to have much of a sexual relationship, if at all, because they never spent the night together. I was sure she didn't stand a chance against me.

 

A few weeks later I did confront him about it & he admitted he was in a relationship with her but that he didn't want to stop seeing me. Despite my better judgment I couldn't stay away. The fact that I kept meeting guys that seemed like ridiculous idiot losers next to him didn't help. An argue-makeup cycle went on for the next 4 months, during which I felt we grew close, & then he drops on me that he proposed to her a month prior & they're getting married in 2 months. Needless to say I was crushed, but I figured why stop now? We both make each other feel so good, & not just sexually. I made it clear I wouldn't sleep with him after he married. Looking back, I was in denial that it would happen. Well, 10 days ago it did.

 

He slept with me 9 days before the wedding, & I found out he got out of bed with me that morning & met her to apply for their marriage license. He tried to have phone sex with me 3 days before. We talked on the phone every night until the day of. We've had no contact since, but I know he will try before long. Others have observed his lack of excitement during the engagement, & he indicated more than once he may be making a mistake. He is active in his church & likes to maintain a certain image, & she fits that. But I don't understand how he can behave this way and think he's ready to marry. Thoughts?

 

Oh, and before you start rebuking me as being as being a sex toy unworthy of any respect, please know that we have spent lots of time together outside of the bedroom & he has even met my father and spent half a day with him working on my boat. Be as honest as you like, but please try to remember that I am a human being who gradually got pulled into a big mess, even though I am partially to blame. Until this week he has been a part of my life almost daily for the past nine months, so for him to be suddenly "gone" feels like a good friend has died & it's been rough at times.

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welcome to enotalone. well, i think you know what you need to do, and that is to walk away and cut him out of your life forever. for whatever reason, he's chosen 80s chick over you. i don't know why, i don't know you, and i don't know her, but clearly, he's proposed to her, so i would leave him alone. i mean, my ego would HURT after all of that!

 

you seem to have a lot going for you, so i would try to meet men who are interested in having a real, exclusive relationship with you.

 

he's not much of a catch either, if he's cheating on the both of you like that. playing games, blah! i feel sorry for her. i don't know if she knew about you.

 

stay far far away from him and move on. good luck

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Hi,

 

I am sorry that this happened to you.

 

It seems that from some of your comments - about her lack of beauty as perceived by you, etc and other ways of ripping her down...perhaps in the back of your mind this was your coping mechanism to get you believe/to validate that even though he was telling you that he was with her, that you would win out in the end as the logical choice. I think this is a case of ignoring the red flags because one feels that they can overcome it. Perhaps the situation fed into your competitive nature. Love triangles are always messy and always end up in a not quite so happy ending for all involved (she may find out eventually or he may do it again so its not as if she is the real victor here either).

 

I would do my best to delete his phone numbers and cut him out of your life. That is the only way you are going to heal. If he calls you after the honeymoon, don't respond back. You are better than being someone on the side for him. I know you said "no sex" but any sort of contact is going to hurt going forward. And if he is manipulative or puts on the charm, then you are going to feel even more miserable.

 

I know what its like to be with someone who has some sort of a hold on you against better judgement. I was with someone like that and even though they became cruel to me I have no idea why I went back for more.

 

Please hang in there.

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waterdog, I'm so sorry to hear about your situation. But you sound like a smart, lovely young woman who unfortunately got played by the wrong man.

 

He never had any plans to leave his girlfriend, and he was forward with you about his level of seriousness with you. Essentially, you went into this with your eyes wide open and he did tell you up front that he wasn't serious with you. I think you denied the possibility that something like this could ever happen to you because you are so successful in other parts of your life. Believe me, I was in your shoes last year thinking I would never be betrayed but I am here now, so I empathize.

 

Let's assess the pros and cons with this man... pros: nothing. Cons: He's far older than you (he'd be infertile pretty soon), he's dishonest to his girlfriend/wife, he has a weak character, a liar, a cheat, a sleazebag, a dog.

 

You're far better off just ditching this scumbag to the trash heap. He's completely disgusting and immoral to his wife. Even if he did leave her for you, who's to know that he will leave you for some other woman? You don't need a man like this in your life... what can he add to it that an available man cannot? You need to delete everything of his from your life... every email, text, phone number, picture, etc. The faster you can let go, the faster you can move on with your life that you had before you met him. You are strong, you can definitely get past this hurt.

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The title to your thread says it all as far as your mindset and what is holding you back, "What is this man thinking?".

 

Honestly, who cares? What matters is what is this man doing?

 

You sound like a smart person, who got sucked into the age-old dilemma of starting to really care about a guy....and then losing sight of actions over what you think are the guys' intentions. You want him to want you exclusively, so you start trying to fit his actions into that picture.

 

If you can stay away from him long enough for your vision of him being prince-charming-who-just-needs-a-woman-like-you-to-guide-him-to-what-he-really needs (YOU); you will be ok.

 

But if you keep feeding into your own fantasy of him, there is nothing anyone can do to keep you from him.

 

So what do you value more? Are you willing to settle for mistress on the side?

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I appreciate everyone's compassion. I realize how ridiculous and naive this must sound from the outside, but when we were together it felt so right and he seemed just as addicted to me as I was to him so I just figured in the end there would be no contest. I guess he has really compartmentalized these two parts of his life. It's not that I didn't think heartbreak could ever happen to me because trust me, it has. I've been involved in both mental illness and alcoholism relationship situations, one of which ended with me catching him cheating and both of which resulted in the immediate rebound girls becoming conveniently pregnant, most likely to keep them away from me. So perhaps now you can see why this man, who had a highly successful career before early retirement and now has built a business out of his favorite hobby, didn't seem so bad on the surface. Plus, since when do 56-year-old men want to be with women their own age? Of course I should've known any sort of anomaly was bound to find me.

 

I suggested he tell his fiancee the truth before the wedding, whether he wanted to go ahead with it or not, but of course he didn't agree because of how it would hurt her. I suspect he was primarily concerned with how it would hurt the image he works so hard to project. And he speaks as if our liaisons are going to continue, although obviously not as frequently, so I'm sure he wants to protect that assumption while still keeping his proper wife. I think she will find out about him eventually, though, because I suspect he will continue to cheat on her one way or another. He has been married once before and admitted he was unfaithful to her, although I'm not sure if that was the sole cause of the divorce, and I know he was unfaithful to a former fiancee. Of course he has the great excuse that both of those were because the relationships were essentially over, but that doesn't quite hold up in this situation, does it?

 

One thing that really bothers me is that I'm the one he calls when he's had too much to drink and needs a ride or when he wants advice on promoting his business and using technology. And he has always dreamed of running for a local political office, but when the time came to file this year he let his fiancee cast doubt, citing their wedding planning and her upcoming retirement as reasons he shouldn't make his plate so full. Yet I was the one encouraging him, connecting him with valuable contacts and helping him plan a campaign strategy (all before I knew he was engaged). In the end he took the easy way out and abandoned that dream. But my point is that I am the one whom he turns to for help, moral support and the level of comfort that allows him to be his true self. I'm the one who loves him for who he really is, not the man he tries to convince the rest of the world he is. I guess he has a real identity problem.

 

He has said repeatedly that he needs my friendship, yet all the while not denying he wouldn't try to push things farther from time to time. I have told him that there has to be consequences for his decision to marry her and one of those would be that he doesn't get to have me in his life anymore, period. I know he doesn't take me seriously now, but that is my intention. I only hope I have the strength to stick to my resolve this time. I've tried before but didn't have quite as compelling a reason as I do now. Of course most of me wishes he'd realize his marriage was a mistake in a few months, file for divorce and run after me, but it's time for me to start living in reality. You're right, even if he did, how could I ever trust him?

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But are you really the one who loves him as his true self? During this entire time that you have known him, he has kept large parts of himself hidden. He has shown he cheats, he lies, and he omits. He may not even know himself. Or he knows himself and is content with this way of doing things - it has given him results.

 

You talk like you are in love with him. Are you?

 

I think you still aren't seeing him for what he has shown himself to be. I also think there may be an element here of you wanting to change him - you talk of the potential that you see in him (which may or not be there, regardless, it's potential not how he lives or what he is now) as though it were the true him.

 

I think it is important to take a person as they are. Now. That is all there is to deal with.

 

And he is: married. a cheat. a liar. most of all, and tho it hurts: he's shown he does not care about you in a fundamental way - enough to consider your wants, desires, feelings and show you basic respect.

 

And you are pining over potential. Just consider it for a moment.

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You sound like me, read my threads. I have just spent a year and half with a man who was already attached. A month into our relationship he ended his long term relationship, but spent the next year yo-yoing between the two of us, unable to leave it for good. It's been hell, and I am still trying to extricate myself, knowing in my heart he is a liar, a cheat and no good for me...

 

I think, despite the fact that you know you have some great attributes, you have (like me) a lack of self esteem - if we didn't, why would we put up with this crap?

 

I have just spent the weekend at my friends house, reading "It's called a break-up because it's broken" - check it on Amazon. It's my new bible.

 

You need to stay away from him, you have so much going for you - get what you deserve in a man, but first, find you...

 

Here's hoping I can take my own advice too!! Best of luck x

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This is not a question of blame as that won't serve anyone.

 

But it is a question of responsibility and only you are responsible for what you do. He sounds like a creep and is certainly responsible for his own actions in this mess. But responsibility is not divisible or pro-rated.

 

So, in order to make sense of all this, it is your best interests to look at your own actions and see what decisions you made that were not wise so as to avoid making them again. Don't fall into the trap of avoiding responsibility by blaming him or by placing yourself as a victim. As you say, you are an intelligent and mature woman and therefore your own self-analysis should be honest.

 

If you position yourself as a victim of this man rather than a responsible adult who made poor decisions you weaken yourself rather than empower yourself.

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This is really about character. If you want any chance of lasting happiness in your life, then you need to demand that the people you allow into your life have character. This guy does not. I'm sure he's fun, charming, intelligent, etc, but then so was Hitler I would imagine...that's why too many people listened to him.

 

If he'd cheat on his fiancee, he would cheat on you or any other woman. If he'd lie to her, he'd lie to you. You must realize that there is no special place in the minds of men like this where they have a separate and higher morality for one woman over another. The only difference is that you're in a different place on the chessboard, but the game is exactly the same.

 

Expect more from people as far an inner qualities and expect more from yourself. No matter what you've accomplished or acquired, if you don't hold those you let close to a higher standard, then you're doomed before you even start.

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Waterdog:

 

The first thing I have to say is how incredibly LUCKY you are that this individual decided to marry this woman. All I can say is that he wearing what is called the "Mask of Sanity". (yes, that is also the title of a book). Words from your posts pop out at me, like "image", "projection", "addicted to me as me to him", all of which red flag a very unhealthy relationship.

 

ArcadeFire says:

 

Let's assess the pros and cons with this man... pros: nothing. Cons: He's far older than you (he'd be infertile pretty soon), he's dishonest to his girlfriend/wife, he has a weak character, a liar, a cheat, a sleazebag, a dog.

 

Absolutely!

You mention other men seeming like ridiculous idiot losers when compared to him. HE is the "loser". Empty inside, a facade, a trickster. Those are the plain facts.

However, more importantly, perhaps you need to look at WHY you are drawn to this type of individual. You mention previous relationships with persons who were mentally ill/alcoholics? Yes? Perhaps it is time to discuss these tendencies with someone, because they are destructive to yourself.

 

Take care

Hermes

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If he'd cheat on his fiancee, he would cheat on you or any other woman. If he'd lie to her, he'd lie to you. You must realize that there is no special place in the minds of men like this where they have a separate and higher morality for one woman over another. The only difference is that you're in a different place on the chessboard, but the game is exactly the same.

 

So very well put....

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I know that feeling that in the future you secretly want him to run back to you and supposedly you two will live happily ever after. But in reality, this will not happen that way, and you will be back to square one. He never took you seriously in the first place, he put his wife first and before you. Above all, he put his own selfishness above her and you, like you say, his image and reputation. How disgusting.

 

You've done the right thing by cutting off all contact with him. He doesn't deserve such a young successful woman like you. And you should show him that by moving on and continuing to be the beautiful hard working woman you are.

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