Oldest Line in the Book
Q: Recently, a month after separating from my previous boyfriend (who I cheated on), I began having relations with someone new. He makes me feel so good and sexy but he's been married for 10 years and has four kids. He says he and his wife have been having problems for three years, and that he only stays with her because of the kids, especially his four year old who doesn't talk. I know I mean something to him because he makes time for me constantly. He's 31 and I'm 18 but I work, I go to school, and I'm very independent. I already met his kids they love me. His wife has no idea. If there's any possibility of this working out, I'll wait it out, but if there's not, I don't know if I want to let it go anyway. What should I do? --Amy
Dr. Susan: It's amazing how many women of all ages continue to fall for this oldest line in the book from married men who can't keep their pants on. Sorry, but there's no way to say this gently: This man is not going to leave his wife for you. He's enjoying the sex and the sensation of no responsibility. In fact, if he ever did leave her, he'd probably run off with someone new, not the handy teenager he's been betraying her with.
For a minute, let's say you're as mature as you think you are. Can you put yourself in his wife's place? Here you are taking care of four children, at least one of whom has some emotional problems. Your marriage is a bit frayed at the edges, partly because ten years and four kids means the sex probably isn't as hot as it used to be. And then you learn that some young chick has been playing around with your husband. And worse, that he has had the nerve to introduce your kids to her. Imagine what words you'd use to describe this selfish young woman. Mature and independent. I don't think so.
What should you do? Tell Lover Boy that you respect yourself too much to be his little chickie on the side any longer. And if he ever files for divorce, he can check back with you to see if you're still available.
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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.