Is Married Lover Worth Waiting For?
Q: I've gotten involved with a married man. I didn't know he was when we met. He seemed available and all into me. He treats me great by buying me jewelry and telling me he wants to be with me all the time but can't because his wife is sick. I have fallen in love with him and will do anything to keep seeing him. Only my best friend knows he's married, and she says I'm stupid for falling for his lines and lies. He's my dream man though. I just know that he really wants to be with me and that he'll find a way someday soon. He treats me like an angel when we're together, but it gets lonely only seeing him every two or three weeks when he can get away. I just feel like he's so good to me and worth waiting for. What do you think? Who's right, my friend or me? — Natalia, 22
Dr. Susan: You're making this up, right? By now every single woman stuck in a dead-end love affair with a married man whose wife is too sick to be left has to know what's going on. The two of you are such clichés! Needless to say, your friend is absolutely correct. Your lover is lying to his wife, to you, and possibly to himself. Only a tiny percentage of men leave their wives permanently to be with their girlfriends. And most of those, even if they do eventually leave their wives, do not opt to stay with their lovers but find a new woman to seduce.
You say he treats you great, "like an angel." Buying jewelry is not treating someone great. He's buying your sexual favors relatively cheaply, in fact. Words come cheap, too. He wants to be with you? But he can't leave his sick wife, except for the times he's betraying her with you every couple of weeks? This is not a man to be trusted. You're not in real love. You're in lust, addicted to his intermittent reinforcement, those lovely words that cost him nothing. You actually can take charge of your own emotions and do the right thing. He will NOT find a way to be with you soon. That's nothing but wishful thinking. Worth waiting for? No, he's not worth giving up years of your life for, because you will end up with wasted years, a bad conscience, and a lot of heartache.
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Advice for Her
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.