My Guy is Married

Visitor's Question from a 31-40 year old Female
I met a guy who was living with someone but flirting & very interested in me. I initially resisted, but then allowed myself to meet with him & develop a relationship. That was 10 years ago. I am completely in love with him & I think about him continuously.

His live-in relationship ended, but there has been a continuous string of other relationships with women who always seem to mean a little more to him than me. Our chemistry is electric. He has always sent very mixed messages. He says he doesn't have that completely in love feeling for me but has always loved me. I have repeatedly tried to find the strength to just go on with my life & have nothing to do with him, but have never been successful.

It doesn't matter what is going on in either of our lives, we always end up calling each other & being together again. I dwell on the fact that he can't love me enough for me to be that special person in his life, but then can't seem to be without me either.

Ten months ago he married a woman that he says he loves. We have still never been out of contact for more than a month, then one of us breaks down & calls. In their short time together they have split up twice, & went to marriage counseling. He says he is not a quitter & going to give this relationship his all.....but continues with me.

I'm not stupid...I am well aware that this situation is ridiculous, but I can't erase him from my mind or stop myself from loving him. The hurt is so strong, yet all I want is for us to be together. I tell myself that I'm not seeing the big picture. I know that I don't have the strength to just break this off & say goodbye at this point, & I can't figure out why I need him so much that I tolerate all this hurt just to be keep our relationship going. I know that I will never be that "special" person in his life, but somewhere in the back of my mind I know that we were meant for each other & somehow will end up together in the end.

Please say something to me to help clear this fog...I obviously am in need of help. Advice
I know exactly how you feel, it's so easy to get settled into a routine like that. The longer you're with him, the more comfortable it feels, and the more you feel like "I've already put in 10 years - I can't just throw that away." You figure the guy will get tired of his serial dating and settle down with you and live happily ever after. It's the stuff of romance novels, the happy ending after all the ups and downs.

Of course, the problem is that a guy that's done that to you for 10 years isn't doing it as a "stage". He's doing it because that's simply the way he is. He has a certain feeling for you which is strong, but it's not a commitment. If he was *going* to be 100% happy with you, he would have been by now. But there's just something missing. He is off chasing that "spark" even though all relationships settle down into a mature best-friend caring:

It sounds like he's having that same problem with his wife, that as they settled down into 'married life' he just wasn't happy with it. Some people are just like that - they're bored with day-to-day relationships and want to keep moving along from one to another. You can't change them, that's just the way they are. To try to force them into a long term relationship is like mashing a square peg into a round hole. It doesn't do anybody any good.

The sad part about it is that undoubtedly you could have found another guy that WAS great for you somewhere along the line here, but because you kept getting distracted by lover-boy, you weren't putting any time or energy into that. And as far as women and marriage/family go, the longer you wait, the harder it gets both because you age (having kids after 34 starts to have serious risks) and because guys who *want* to marry usually want to do that between the ages of 25-35. So if either of those are things you're interested in, it's time to make a decision.

Yes, it's hard. Yes, you love him! That's fine, you can of course love more than one guy. But as far as who you will BE with, you need to BE with someone who is 100% loyal to you, who respects you and cares for you. It's just not meant to be this guy you know. So maintain your caring for him - maintain your friendship. But I would stop seeing him romantically. Being the "other woman" makes you feel badly about yourself - even subconsciously. Being the agent of his betrayal of his marriage vows digs at you subtly. Instead, be his supportive friend, and then take strong steps to mix with other guys. Join a internet dating service or two, join a local club of a hobby that you enjoy. Wean yourself off depending on this guy for your emotional happiness. You can keep the *love* - but you need to find someone else with which to build a life.

-- from Jenn
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