In Love With Unavailable Man
Q: Maybe it's cliché, but I found myself in the age-old predicament. I am in love with a married man. We work together and get along so well. Because our job requires both of us to travel quite a bit, we often find ourselves sharing the same hotel room. Of course, it's a secret and no one except my close, close friends knows about it. They keep telling me I'm an idiot and that the man of my dreams will never leave his wife, but something tells me he will. This isn't just some affair. I see him literally every day. Is there any way to find out whether this truly is the "husband will never leave his wife" scenario, or is there really a chance this can become something more? -Cynthia, 30
Dr. Anna: The first thing to think about is whether this is really a relationship. You're getting some version of each other, but you are not seeing his dirty socks, so to speak. No hard discussions about honesty, finances, life goals, shared values, or other issues that come up in relationships are ever touched on during an affair. Solid relationships are based on truth—affairs are based on secrets and dishonesty. Here is another cliché to consider: if he is cheating with you, he will likely cheat on you. The second, more important question, is this. Why is it that you're willing to settle for less than the best for yourself? You are worthy of much more. You are worthy of being in a relationship with someone who is willing to give you 100% and who can be honest and fully present with you in a real way. You deserve better, it's up to you to demand better from your romantic partner. If he can't deliver, then you're better off finding someone who can.
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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.