July 10, 2015
Allow others to speak down to you and you will begin to look down on yourself. You will begin to see yourself through their lens and even begin to agree with them.
Allow others to speak ill of you and you will begin to hide and avoid people and believe their disrespect is somehow deserved.
You will begin to carry a sense of shame that’s difficult to shed.
Allow others to lie to you (and then on top of that make excuses for them) and you will begin to fumble with what it true and what is not and soon you will be unable to tell the difference.
You will begin to question your judgment (and sanity) about the most insignificant of matters.
Firmly, kindly address those who choose to treat you poorly, knowing you will ruffle feathers (or more).
Use “I” statements. Define yourself; not others. Don’t go into detail.
People who treat others in the ways I have described – power-hungry people – love an argument. They will bully you into seeing just how wrong you are and how much you’ve misunderstood them.
Relationships are not about winning or losing and you know they that. They don’t.
Do not be afraid to walk away from ANY relationship that does not hold you in highest regard. Life is far too short and already far too difficult to have to bear the added burden of accommodating another person’s unresolved power-issues.
June 26, 2012
“I am in love with a married man. I am married. He is married with children and grandchildren. We love each other very much. We won’t leave our spouses. My lover and I met at work and began our affair. It has been going on for 8 months. Of course, our married relationships aren’t perfect. We are filling needs not met at home. We are in love. The sex is intense and incredible. We are getting a secret flat together to save on hotels. His wife suspects but he told her what ever was going on he would end. That was about five months ago. She is not a stupid woman. He goes home with my hair on his sweater and in his car. She is willing to allow him to lie to her as long as he stays with her. He is a good man. He loves his family and doesn’t want to destroy her. I don’t want to hurt my husband. I know we are both lying and could cause destruction. We are academics and have reasoned this all out.”
You are probably correct – “she is not a stupid woman” – but look a little deeper at who might be. Academics or not, this is a selfish plan, from which nothing of long-term good can result.
January 5, 2009
“I have been in a four-year relationship with a married man. I still believe in his love but also believe he needs a push to do the right thing. I told him he has to own up to the affair and tell the wife himself, or I will tell her. I am not walking away with nothing after giving four years of my life. Then the wife can either have the choice of working things out with him or getting a divorce. It’s the women always make the decisions in the end.”
You might believe in “his love” (for you) but it is hard to believe you have any love for him. You clearly ignored any “push” to do the “right thing” and regard married men as “off limits.” While you are apparently vengeful and determined, you will most certainly find only temporary and limited personal peace.
I hope you will have some dramatic moment of insight, some divine encounter, an event of sorts that transforms you from within, and makes you ready to learn and ready love in ways that are helpful to you and to all persons in your sphere of influence.
October 30, 2008
“I have been in a relationship for two years with my married, former college professor. How in the world do I end this? I have never been in love. I was raised a strict Catholic, even looking at a married man was against my morals. Somehow I got lost. I looked up to him so much now the man who I thought was my hero has destroyed me. How do I end this?”
As you have discovered, layers of deception under girding your covert liaison cannot lead to long-term fulfillment. The imbalance of power, and your vulnerability, while skewing the responsibility toward this devious professor, does not let you off the hook. You too, are an adult. Regarding your faith: this is not about knowledge. It is about distorted “space” (the room and the distance between you) and very fuzzy boundaries. Take the initiative. Cut all ties. Offer no explanation. Don’t fall for the “closure” nonsense. The pain you will experience is worth it, and will be nothing compared to the pain you will know when the relationship is exposed, or when the professor decides to go his selfish way and to cut off from you. You deserve better, but will not find it until you walk through this fire, get some rest, gain perspective, and then are able to move on.
September 4, 2008
“I’m looking for a perspective regarding a spouse who has been cheated on when family, friends, and coworkers were aware of the affair. I’d like to know if the cheated on spouse would have wanted to be told (or told sooner) about the affair. I read so much about people saying, ‘Do not tell the spouse.’ If I were being cheated on, I would want to know. When the spouse does find out about the affair and that other knew, he or she has to deal with the heartbreak of the affair and the betrayal of others. I just don’t grasp the majority’s mentality to turn their back on this situation. If the sin was embezzlement, the majority would say tell all. Why do the rules change when it comes to affairs?”
Suspicions of affairs, observing betrayal, knowing someone
is being cheated are all scary matters that are much easier to avoid than to face. Besides, seeing it occur to another, means I have to face its possibility of occurring in my own life! Denial of it occurring at all, or the avoiding its exposure to the victim, is much easier! Your observation goes to the heart of a profoundly difficult human issue. Cheating makes everyone uncomfortable, even those who observe it from some distance.
August 7, 2008
“Please, wake up and smell the coffee before you get burned. Your present relationship is based on cheating and delusion all round and it can only end in hurt. The man is a cheat: cheating on his wife and family, he’s cheating you out of weekends, holidays, and other more fulfilling interests and relationships as you hang around “in case” he calls. He’s also cheating himself. Divorce, broken homes and devastated kids who’ve gone off the rails when mom and dad split, don’t make for much happiness.
“Furthermore, the forbidden fruit tastes so sweet now in its early bloom has a nasty habit of leaving a very bitter after-taste when the relationship crashes. Most married men don’t leave home for the ‘other woman.’ Come on – is this what you want out of life? I hope that you’ll realise that you don’t deserve to be fitted in when he can sneak away from family commitments.
“You are in my thoughts and, though we’ll never meet, I’ll be praying that you find a good, solid, lasting, fulfilling relationship with a man you prizes you for your lovely self and has no other hidden agendas in his life.” (Shortened)
August 5, 2008
“I am the ‘other woman’ in a relationship. The sad thing is I have been single for the better part of nine years. I have had three serious relationships with eligible single men. These relationships lasted anywhere from a year to two years. I ended all of them because the relationships were headed nowhere. There were no talks of marriage and these men were going about their lives making decisions that let me know I was not even being considered in the future as a part of their lives.
“I have been seeing a married man for the last three months. This man has treated me better than the three relationships (single men) put together. It may be true that the relationship has no future, but because he is married I don’t expect anything. It may be true he is so attentive and good to me because he is married, but at least he recognizes he should do something to compensate.
“I guess my point is I have tried dating single men and I don’t get the same response. It is painful on weekends when he goes home. It is painful when holidays roll around and I’m alone. It is painful but the pain is temporary also.”
June 11, 2008
We are “just friends” is often the defense used by men and woman who are on the verge of an affair, or at least a liaison that will be hurtful to a spouse. We “just work together,” says the woman to her husband about a co-worker who gets all of her attention even on weekends. “She’s just work-friend,” says the man to his wife regarding the woman who sends him text messages every day.
You are not “just friends” if:
1. You spend more time and energy with this person than you do with other friends.
2. You share conversations at a more intimate level with this person than you do with your spouse.
3. You spend more time and energy thinking of this person and his or her problems than you do the issues you face with your own family,
4. You exclude other friends, or cannot invite your spouse to join you to also be “just friends” with this person.
5. Any part of being “just friends” requires secrecy or deception (like hiding sms messages, having secret cell phones or cell phone numbers, hiding letters, the need to delete emails, or needing to leave the room to talk).
February 26, 2008
“I cannot seem to break free of the memories I have when my wife was unfaithful to me. We have talked about it constantly and I have forgiven her and she has forgiven me for my anger. Yet, although it was quite a few years ago, it still niggles at me. Please help.”
Sometimes you have to let things go. I know someone’s going to send me an aggressive letter letting me I don’t understand and that it is not that easy to forget and so forth, but since you have both expressed sorrow, and each has offered forgiveness, and since much time has passed, and since the clock cannot be turned back – it is time to let it go!
It might be helpful to consider your wife’s unfaithfulness, not as something directed at you, but something she chose to do to herself. When a partner blames him or herself for the unfaithfulness of the spouse, this is not only harder to overcome, but grossly inaccurate thinking.
No matter what the circumstances, the one who chooses to be unfaithful is the one who must assume the responsibility for the unfaithfulness. No matter what the greater issues are in the marriage, cheating will not be a helpful option.
January 4, 2008
….. please continue to provide each other with helpful and supportive comments. New visitors are encouraged to search this site for related articles on affairs, abusive systems, and difficult relationships.
I respond (via the web) to as many readers as possible but I need your help (through your comments) to reach more and more hurting women with a message of hope and triumph.