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September 21, 2014 - Welcome Guest!

Advice » Relationships

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In love and engaged to a married man

Question:

I met this guy on October 25, 2010. He told me that he was looking for a long-term relationship. So we started talking and he would come see me for the day. He left work earlier one night and came to see me. As we were talking he told me that he was married. Well I was ok with that and he told me he was going to get a divorce.

On November 5th he got arrested and got charged with domestic violence and assault. He spent time in jail from Nov. 21- Dec. 19. When he got out he came to my house and picked me up. When we were walking out, he grabbed me and looked me in the eyes, took my right hand and took my ring off, and pulled another one out of his pocket and asked me to marry him. I guess his wife doesn't want him to see me and told him that they are monitoring his phone calls. So now we are both torn and he doesn't want to leave me but he just wants her to leave him alone and just get the divorce done. But she is causing all these problems with him. And he told me he is in love with me and wants to be with me, and says we are still together - he doesn’t care what happens.

I am in love with a married man and I feel like he is doing things behind my back, and I am afraid that I am going to get hurt. He has been married 9 years and has 2 kids. I just don't know if I should stay with him or if I should let him go until he gets the divorce and doesn't have to worry about her.

Kristy, 25-year-old woman

Answer:

Dear Kristy,

I can see that you are torn two ways. On the one side, it's lovely to be courted and treated like the queen of his heart, and you are in love. On the other, you are afraid because you know that people are not likely to change their pattern. If you end up marrying him, or even just living with him, will he become violent with you? Will he get tired of you and have an affair with some other woman?

Suppose you had a twin sister, who met this man and fell in love with him instead of you, and now she is coming to you for advice. What would you suggest she should do? If you would tell your supposed twin to go for it and grab love while she can, then you should do that. If you would tell her that a judge is unlikely to put a man in jail for violence unless he is pretty bad, and therefore any woman in his company is at risk, and that once the honeymoon wears off he is bound to become violent with her, then, again, take your advice and sever the relationship.

Another way of making a wise decision is to list the positives and negatives of each course of action. What is good and bad about marrying this man? What is good and bad about deciding to stop seeing him? You can put a number on the importance of each item you list, and on the probability that it will happen, something like this:

If I marry him…

Plus:

  • Going to jail has shown him the error of his ways and he is now a changed man. [Importance 9/10; probability 2/10]
  • He loves me so much he will never cheat on me. [8; 5]

Minus:

  • I may meet someone who would never hurt a woman, but then it will be too late [3; 5]

  • We may have children, and then he may leave me for someone else. [7; 7]

Do the same when coming up with pros and cons for ending the relationship. Of course, the items and numbers are just made up. You should do it on your own.

The only other thing to keep in mind is that there is no hurry. Don't allow yourself to be rushed into a relationship until and unless you are sure that it's right for you.

Good luck,

Bob

This question was answered by Dr. Bob Rich. Dr. Rich has 31 years experience as a psychologist and is registered with the Australian Psychological Society. He practices in Australia. Dr. Rich is also a writer and a "mudsmith".

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