I find myself at a crossroads again. My boyfriend of 14 years cheated on me for three years with the same woman that he works with. They had an emotional and a physical affair. They had a full-on relationship for two years, there were gifts and “I love you’s” exchanged. Three years ago I found out by an email sent by an anonymous person. He assured me it was done, but the mess that followed you’d never believe.
Fast forward and it’s now another three years later and a lot of heartache and I received a message from the same women. They still work closely and he hasn’t cut off contact… Though they’ve not had sex. The emotional affair has carried on. They’d made plans to attend weekend-long events that fell through, but ultimately the plans were there. She told me that he’s been going back and forth trying to decide between both of us.
She feels he’s been lying to both of us.
Is this worth saving? I’m sure his anger with her revealing everything won’t last.
Can this be salvaged? Why am I struggling to leave him?
Confused and Broken in Denver
Dear Confused and Broken in Denver,
It sounds like your boyfriend has had another girlfriend, probably as long as you’ve been together. (Paint me cynical, I get a lot of letters.) What do you want from this relationship? It doesn’t sound like you’re getting it, or you wouldn’t be writing the Leave a Cheater lady.
A commitment? He hasn’t put a ring on it in fourteen years. I’m not saying marriage is the only way to be committed, but oh hey, he’s not committed either! For, what, eight years of your 14, that you’re aware of, he’s also been mooning over his coworker.
That’s a very long pick-me dance.
She told me that he’s been going back and forth trying to decide between both of us.
It’s good to be King. Why would he ever want to “choose” when he has two (or perhaps 27) suckers lined up to serve him? And compete for the privilege! OF BEING AN OPTION. A chump! An STD vessel.
That’s the reality you’re in. That’s what he’s serving. You want that?
A guy you can’t feel safe with? Who’s planning his next sexual hijinks when he’s with you? Who has the attention span of a gnat? That guy? Him?
Do you have a renewable supply of years? Are you immortal? Is there an aging portrait in your attic?
Stop being so mean, Chump Lady!
Stop being so chumpy, Denver!
My boyfriend of 14 years cheated on me for three years
Let’s drive this home, Denver. He’s probably never not cheated on you, because a person who can conduct a long-term affair and lie to your face for
three SIX solid years is not an amateur cheater. He is an experienced cheater. He doesn’t break out in stress hives. He’s not feeling anxious. He’s cooly going about his business…. cheating on you.
He assured me it was done, but the mess that followed you’d never believe.
Oh try me. This shit is sadly very common.
His “assurances” are worthless because he’s a lying liar who lies. There’s only time and character. You made that investment in him (with more time and work, his character will improve!), and surprise, surprise — he kept cheating.
Moreover, he kept working with her. That was your first clue he wasn’t serious about fixing this.
The therapists would chime in here that he didn’t do the work! Buy the magic formula and recommit! You’re probably Googling a bunch of those services as I type.
But the reason he cheats is the same reason he won’t do the work — HE LIKES CHEATING. He loves the power. He’s pickled in entitlement. It’s good to be KING. He arranges his life this way. It WORKS for him. Women fight over him. Why would he change?
Because he might lose you?
You’re utterly replaceable, because you’re not special to him. No one is special. Just him.
This is what his TREATMENT OF YOU says. You’ve invested 14 years of your life and he’s shat on it.
there were gifts and “I love you’s” exchanged.
The OW is replaceable too. Some “love” — he has another girlfriend.
She feels he’s been lying to both of us.
Oh, this is some OW solidarity bullshit. He’s wronged us both! Whatever. OW, you fucked him knowing he had a girlfriend. You’re not part of the Universal Sisterhood. Sit down.
Though they’ve not had sex
Right. This mistress calls you up to say a man she’s not having sex with is lying to her. About what? The price of tomatoes? Climate change? You realize that neither of these people are reliable narrators.
Stop comparing notes with his latest fuck d’jour. WHY ARE YOU WITH THIS GUY?
Is this worth saving?
I’m sure his anger with her revealing everything won’t last
So, you get crumbs of his attention when he’s on the outs with Schmoopie? Long may the anger last! You’ve won the turd!
You’re completely doing the pick me dance. Who cares if he’s “angry” at being outed. HOW DO YOU FEEL?
Angry? Fed up? Hurt?
Act on YOUR feelings. Quit looking to a fuckwit to make things right. Only you can save you.
Can this be salvaged?
Why am I struggling to leave him?
I don’t know. The gravitational pull of sunk costs? His really convincing bullshit? I have theories on why chumps stay here. My advice to you is spend less time analyzing and more time acting. Leave him, go no contact, sort out your feelings later.
You know enough. None of it is good.
Just an FYI — no new podcast today. We were set to record Dr. Simon when my power went out (storms!) and we’re trying to reschedule. Got some new guests booked. Will keep you posted when we drop the next one!