Won't Leave Her Husband

Q: I've been dating this girl for two and a half years, but she is still married and lives with her husband. Her kids, friends, husband, and family all know about us. She and her kids stay with me overnight and sometimes for weeks at a time. I asked her to leave him and get a place of her own, but she says she's not ready. She says they don't talk to or touch each other. I talk to her on the phone when he is home and he always tells her goodnight. He works out of town 9 months out of the year. I love her - what should I do? -- Joe, 41

Dr. Susan: She likes things the way they are. She has the security of being married to the father of her children (I believe that's what you said). She has an easygoing lover who is available when she wants him. For her, there's no real advantage to shaking up the status quo. Obviously, you want her all to yourself. When someone says they're "not ready," it can mean many different things. Often it simply means she doesn't love you quite enough to disrupt her life for you. You told her to get a place of her own, but maybe you didn't suggest she get divorced and marry you. You may have to give her some sort of ultimatum, letting her know that you are unhappy the way things are and can't see them continuing like this for much longer. How much longer ARE you willing to leave things the way they are?

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