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September 23, 2017 - Welcome Guest!

Advice » Love

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To cheat or not to cheat?

Question:

I met Bob while I was working in a restaurant about a year ago. Nothing ever became of it at that time. I didn't think anything ever would. He is quite a bit older then me.

Shortly after I got married, (mind you when I was working at the restaurant I was not married) he and I kept running into each other at the oddest places. Finally we went out to lunch. I just thought we'd go and chat. Well, he ended up kissing me at the end of the lunch. I was shocked, couldn't believe it. We were supposed to get together one holiday weekend, he took off work, but his girlfriend ended up being there.I was devastated. I really liked this guy. Anyway a few months passed and I called him to ask why he never called me back and asked what had happened. He apologized. I thought maybe he was feeling guilty about the whole situation, and couldn't go through with it. I would have understood. So when I called him we talked for a while and ended up meeting for a drink later on. We both wanted to have sex very much, but I couldn't -- not where we were. For one I was still a bit upset and two I couldn't picture our first time at the place we were at.

He called me the other day and wanted me to come over and "play". His girlfriend ended up taking the day off work, and wanted to talk to him so that ruined our plans again. Bottom line is, I'm still waiting for a call!

What should I do about this situation? Sometimes I feel like he just wants me for an ego trip. But I have really fallen for this man. I'm really confused and I don't want to get hurt. What do you think I should do? Please Help.

Very Confused (21 year-old woman) from IN

Answer:

Affairs are always difficult and so are human beings, for that matter. As a species we are neither monogamous nor polygamous. We are capable of becoming attracted to more than one person but are jealous and possessive of our mates. There is a considerable body of evidence that suggests that being attracted to other people was a biological tool that would broaden the gene pool and thereby ensure human survival. However, the need to care for our young and provide protection and education is promoted by stable family systems and partnerships that last. This can only be accomplished by a partnership that is not threatened by multiple affairs. This is a problem that every human has to grapple with.

It really comes down to a choice, and I would tend to keep it practical and avoid all the ethical and moral issues. These were meant as guides to help us avoid mistakes and affecting others harmfully. They have been turned into ways to judge ourselves harshly and place blame for the fun of it. We are still good people even when we make mistakes. Learning by the mistakes is the important thing.

What seems really obvious here is that he is not treating you well, and his interest is mainly towards his girlfriend. This leaves you in a position that is bound to be hurtful for you even if there is happiness at times. This is part of the reality of affairs. There is not enough attention to go around, lies are inevitable, somebody is always getting slighted, and people go through a lot of crisis and wind up feeling shameful. It just isn't worth the high of the romantic love/lust.

The reason I said love/lust is that romantic love is often needy and dependent love at the worst and just lust at best. Mature love is feeling secure about yourself and really caring about your partner. It is the action of loving rather than the feeling of love. Mature love is what makes a partnership last. Romantic love is fleeting and rather self absorbed. Neediness is really self-oriented. Brenda Schaeffer wrote a great book about this called Is It Love or Addiction? It clearly defines romantic/needy love and healthy mature love.

I don't hear you even mentioning your husband. What I think you need to ask yourself is several questions. Do you really love him, or not? Are your feelings for the other guy displaying insecurity and neediness? Is this other person really available? Does he really care about you? Does he show maturity and caring? Is he or are you really ready for a relationship? These might help. If any of the answers are distressing then I would really try to get some ongoing counseling, but don't damn yourself. Relationships are difficult.

Good luck.

Jef Gazley

This question was answered by Andy Bernay-Roman, RN, MS, LMHC, NCC, LMT. He is a nationally certified counselor in private psychotherapy practice in South Florida working with individuals, couples, and families with a deep-feeling therapy approach. Andy's medical background as an ICU nurse contributes to his success with clients with difficult medical diagnoses and/or chronic physical conditions. He also serves as head of the Psychological Support Department of West Palm Beach's Hippocrates Health Institute.

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