Won't Stop Affair
Q: I have been with the same guy for 26 years. We were supposed to get married 7 years ago, but he called it off a few months before our wedding day. Four years ago he cheated on me and supposedly stopped, but he started seeing her again last year. We are trying to work things out, but he does not want to stop seeing her in case things do not work out for us. I am heartbroken and do not know what to do. -- Jo, 48
Dr. Susan: Wow. The nerve of this guy of yours. He's guaranteeing that things won't "work out" between you if he won't let go of his affair partner. There is no way for him to put forth the effort needed to help you get over his betrayals, while he is still in the midst of betraying you. The least he could do would be to cut the other woman loose for a year and devote himself to making your (almost) marriage work.
Unfortunately, the way things stand, you have to decide if you want to be with him enough to have only part of him, part of the time. He's clearly not the committing type. You've been forgiving enough. If he won't cut her loose, then cut him loose. Heartbreaking, certainly. But in a situation like this, what you are willing to put up with is all you're going to get from him.
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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.