Dear Chump Lady,
I am writing to you because I am involved in a sticky situation, and I am not sure how to proceed. I am the OW involved in the “dance” with a MM for a little over a year. Before I get into the sticky part of this, here is a little background to the situation.
I met MM through a mutual friend. The second time we hung out he said he was married but separated. The timeline goes like this:
- August: MM gets married
- Sept: MM separates from wife
- Feb: I meet MM
- June: MM moves in w/me full time
- Oct: MM moves out
- Nov-March: Lots of pick me “dancing” going on.
In a nutshell, he has broken up with me four times in the past year to go back to work on his marriage. Even though he is the one who asked for no contact with me ever again, he has never gone more than a week without coming back. He always says he comes back because he misses me and thinks he shouldn’t have gotten married, but his lifelong issues with codependency fit in well with her narcissistic personality disorder. (I’m not making that up, she has told me). I know I am the one who allows the dance to continue, but now, this situation is at a whole new level.
My reason for writing is after the most recent declaration from him of “I’m leaving you to go work on my marriage and don’t contact me,” (I’ve heard this so many times only for him to return to me a week later) turns out I am PREGNANT with his child.
My opinion is — yes he was together with his wife for 5 years before they got married, and knows her very well, but he never really gave his marriage a chance. Never gave the stress from the wedding a chance to settle. I have told him to go work on his marriage, and if he didn’t contact me I wouldn’t turn into a crazy stalker, I’m just weak when he comes back and can’t say no. I don’t want him to be with me now just because I am having his child.
Unbelievably, his wife is still keeping the door open for when he is ready to come back and work on the marriage. So Chump Lady, I understand the pain I have caused his wife, and I know I should not be in any kind of relationship with him. I am aware I haven’t dealt with everything yet, and that my low self esteem is one of the reasons I involve myself with a married man. I know what you would say to me if I were writing you this email without adding my soon to be child to the equation, but how do I approach everything now?
I know am okay raising the child alone. I have a well paying job and support from my family, but I want the child to have a relationship with their dad, so how do I move on if he is going to be in my life now for a long time regardless of how we end up?
I don’t know if all the times he’s said he loves me and wishes he didn’t jump into his marriage so fast were his real feelings, or part of the fantasy thinking that comes with every affair. I’m sure you will give me an ear load, but I think he loves me. I know I love him, but I am also realistic and understand that if he was okay with having an ongoing unhidden affair with me, then he will be okay doing it again whether he is with his wife still, or in another relationship.
Personally, I think he needs time alone because if you aren’t okay being with yourself, you will never be involved in a healthy relationship with another person, but that’s for another day.
Thank you for reading this, and if you are willing to offer me your take on the situation I appreciate that.
You know, I’m always puzzled when OW write to me. (Or link to me from their sites.) Do you want me to bitchslap some sense into you? Reinforce the Trust That They Suck message? Tell you that you aren’t special and he’s using you? Because I’m happy to do all of that, I just won’t give you the compassion that comes with being a chump. I reserve my compassion for those who were sucker punched by infidelity. Not the idiots that walk into the ring with a target on their asses.
Alexa your pain is completely self-inflicted. You got involved knowingly with a married man. I don’t believe for a second “I don’t want him to be with me now just because I am having his child.” Yes of course you do. Getting pregnant, (having unprotected sex) is the trump card in the pick me poker game. Nothing gets attention like “HELLO, I’M PREGNANT WITH YOUR CHILD!”
You wrote: Unbelievably, his wife is still keeping the door open for when he is ready to come back and work on the marriage.
Unbelievably? You took him back a bazillion times, but you were just “weak.” In her case, taking him back is imponderable! I know what will fix her wagon, and keep her from taking him back — a pregnant mistress. Nicely played.
—- An interruption for a Public Service Announcement — Chumps and OW: DO NOT HAVE UNPROTECTED SEX WITH CHEATERS. I know the pick me dance is intoxicating and you’re in it to win it, but please stop making babies with cheaters. Or do it with the full knowledge that you will be raising those kids alone and unsupported. Your cheater idiot cannot commit to anything, not marriage, not lunch plans next Thursday, but certainly not the responsibilities of child rearing. I know it’s a paradox, but loads more adult responsibility given to a fuckwit does not make him more responsible. Thank you. —-
Back to our scheduled blog post… Alexa, what should you do? Get your shit together. As I’ve pointed out, you were not an innocent in this giant mess, but your kid is. The best thing you can do for that child and yourself is get a ton of therapy. Stop with the low self esteem. Stop being sloppy leftovers for an asshole cheater. Stop believing lies — the ones he tells you and the ones you tell yourself. He didn’t jump into his marriage “fast” — by your telling he knew his wife 5 years before he married her. (Probably 5 blissful years of her doing the pick me dance for the awesomeness of him. Vomit.) He’s not codependent, unless he’s codependent with his dick. Enabling his dick to fuck anyone it wants, making excuses for his dick, and hiding the messes his dick makes.
I think you gave some good advice here. Personally, I think he needs time alone because if you aren’t okay being with yourself, you will never be involved in a healthy relationship with another person, but that’s for another day.
How about some alone time working on yourself Alexa? How about devoting yourself in the foreseeable future to therapy and child rearing? You need to raise the bar REALLY HIGH on who you get involved with — because you’re bringing an innocent child into the world and you do NOT want to model fuckupedness to your kid. You do not want to endanger your child with crazy people’s drama (including your own). Children need peace and stability and consistent love. Which is something Mr. Married Man is incapable of giving.
He doesn’t love you, Alexa. People who love you don’t marry other women and cheat on them. People who love you don’t make you a dirty secret. People who love you don’t disrespect you with lies. See how much you need to learn about this love thing before you bring a child into the world?
If it were me, I would have the guy waive his parental rights and support. Or don’t tell him about the pregnancy at all. Go totally no contact with him. Forget what he does or does not do with his marriage. And focus all your energies on your child and getting your shit together in therapy.
If you allow this man into your child’s life (and your life) — you’ve got 18 years of the pick me dance ahead. Competing with the women in his life because you’re “weak” (but I’m the mother of his child!), watching him be the baby daddy to other children he doesn’t give a shit about, enlisting your child from the youngest age to join in the pick me dance (“Pick me Daddy! I’ll be good!”) and being inevitably heartbroken because the guy can’t show up in your child’s life, or be a responsible adult.
I’m sure you’ll ignore what I just wrote and involve him anyway. You see his potential. I’m wrong, he’s Different and He Loves You and fatherhood will transform him into a splendid person, his Best Self Yet.
Ye-ah. Why don’t you print this out and stuff it in a drawer and reflect on it in a few years after he’s stiffed you child support and insinuated himself in your 15th failed relationship?
You have the opportunity to steer this ship on the right course now — cut him out of your life. Go total no contact. Get therapy. Raise the kid on your own. For your kid’s sake, I hope you listen.