She Isn't Enough
Q: I have been dating a man for 14 months. We do not live together, but I spend 2 or 3 days a week at his house. The problem is that he has two more women he is way too connected to, one local and one in another state. He says he is in love with me but just loves them. He emails the local one every night with all the things that have been going on in his day, and she does the same. They went together for 8 months and saw each other every two weeks or so about 6 years ago. He had naked pictures of the two of them on his computer I found while looking for another picture. I asked him about it, and his reply was, "Well, we weren't doing anything everyone else doesn't do."
The other one is a young lady that he is going to see next week, and I'm not supposed to say anything. He sends her flowers and has all her family info in a special file on his computer, as he does for the other woman. He says he loves her like a daughter. I think it is just wrong. If he is in love with me, I find it hard to understand why he needs all his other women. Thank you for listening. -- Delia, 63
Dr. Susan: Here's a man who wants his cake and a couple of other pieces of cake also. He's stringing you along with some fine arbitrary distinction between one kind of love and another. The woman he used to date is now a good friend with whom he shares his everyday doings, which wouldn't be that bad except for the naked photos. And the fact that he may be sharing more with her than with you. As for the other young lady, I don't believe him at all. He loves her "like a daughter"? If the two of you are indeed a close couple, then I don't see why he doesn't invite you along on the trip to see this innocent young lady to whom he sends flowers. I think it's "just wrong," too. You're selling yourself short. If you want an exclusive relationship, that's not what this fellow if willing to offer you. You ought to talk it over with him, and remember that you have power too.
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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.