Playing with Fire Online
Q: I reconnected with a high school friend, starting out by playing an online game. Then we would text for hours. Although he was separated from his wife and dating someone else, we met late for dinner one night. I'm so attracted to him. But two weeks later he says he is going back home. Yet we still play the game and talk. It has been nearly half a year of this. I have fallen in love with him. I know he is married, and yet I can't stop talking with him. I feel such a connection to him. Why does he still play all these games? Shouldn't he be working on his marriage? What should I do? Do I cut him off? That's something I don't want to do. -- Beth, 50
Dr. Susan: He likes playing games, and so do you. The big problem is that he's also playing games in his real life. Married, dating, texting and talking to you all day long: this guy likes thrills but is definitely, obviously, for sure, not a good bet to provide you with real love. Of course he should be working on his marriage. But really, how could you trust anything he says? I understand your feeling of connection. But the longer you continue this months'-long real-life game-playing, the harder it's going to be to disconnect. Cutting yourself out of his game-playing is the only sane thing to do. Unless you want a permanent role of "the other woman" (or one of many other women).
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Advice for Her
Advice for Him
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.