Fallen for a married man (without knowing he was married)
I am doing a post grad course and I met this guy in my course who is perfect (or so I thought). very successful, very tall, very attractive. In my work group I am the only girl, and 6 guys (including jack *** (JA)) and all the guys are married. Anyway i knoticed JA had a ring on his finger but all the guys talked about their wives, but he didnt say anything AT ALL. So i assumed that maybe he was divorced or something but I didnt treat him any differently to the other guys, till he started this email flirting and i responded (i know I shouldnt have) and then he asked me for lunch. And I should have said "are you married" but I didnt (stupid) and I liked him so much (according to my psych because my dad was always distant, i tend to over react to positive attention from men) so i said yes to lunch. except then he had a call from someone and came back to the room and said that his "ex, the mother of his children "(exact wording) has a brain tumour and has had a down turn and has to have an operation which she will after his two weeks course was over. We were working till late and he offered to drive me home. On the way home I asked him about his ex and he said that she doesnt have long to live, when she dies his kids willc ome live with him, that he is still finalising divorce and custudy of the kids and they are having a fight over the fact that he cant see them as much as he wants, they are his life and he isnt sure how to tell them their mother is dying and that the reason they moved to this city was her parents were here and he doesnt have anyone or support. When we got home, i could tell that he was waiting for me to invite him to stay the night but I didnt feel ready so i said bye and left. But then I sent him an email telling him that I understood his life was complicated and no pressure but if he wanted to have that lunch or someone to talk to after the course etc i was here. he sent back saying he couldnt do anything complicated and we can do a casual lunch during the course. I thought it was reasonable given everything and assumed the reason he was still wearing the ring was his divorce wasnt finalised. So anyway, i googled him today and saw a video of his wedding online september last year. i looked up his wife and her FB has a recent photo. She is so lovely and they seem so in love and I am so pissed off at him because WHY DO THIS?! WHY? I mean he has a wife who clearly loves him, why lie about being alone and without support etc. I am so upset and i feel bad for his wife but even worse for me and yet glad i found this out now but it was so niec to be flirted with by someone good looking and tall instead of the type of guys i normally get... old creepy men while getting ignored by hot guys. I know i chose not to ask the right questions and overlook facts that were obvious and i was a fool. Why do you think someone with such a lovely wife would flirt with some random stranger? is it because i seem shy and he is like "she seems a sad case. bet can make her fall for me"?? He cant find me attractive with a wife like that! Also I dont know what to do now. I dont want to scream at him for being a cheating JA because i need our group to work together well and pass the unit. But I dont know if i can sit next to him and pretend nothing has happened. any perspective from guys is also very very welcomed.
So anyway, i googled him today and saw a video of his wedding online september last year. i looked up his wife and her FB has a recent photo. She is so lovely and they seem so in love and I am so pissed off at him because WHY DO THIS?! WHY? I mean he has a wife who clearly loves him, why lie about being alone and without support etc. [snip] Why do you think someone with such a lovely wife would flirt with some random stranger? is it because i seem shy and he is like "she seems a sad case. bet can make her fall for me"?? He cant find me attractive with a wife like that!
Okay, I'm speaking as someone who went through a phase where I attracted and was attracted to married men, and went through a lot of therapy on this very subject ... and this varies depending on the two people involved ...
Just because Jacks&t's wife is beautiful, and photographs of a particular moment in their life make them look very much in love, it doesn't mean that they aren't having problems in their relationship.
Here's the unflattering thing: It's very likely that this is less about you than about this guy's need to feel wanted and attractive & to have the upper hand in his relationship with his wife. Very possibly something in his life or his marriage is making him feel less-than-optimal. You know how some of us here use food to soothe ourselves? This guy quite possibly uses the high of flirtation & the possibility of sex, or sex itself, and the attention of a woman so that he can feel better when he is not feeling so great.
You are the instrument he is making use of. It's like he is in the middle of a drama, and casting roles for it. Because you're attractive, you're nice, you're kind and you're probably nonthreatening, he auditioned you for the role of girlfriend on the side. Your role would be to support him and make him feel good.
Problem is, this would be very one-sided, whether it was limited to a platonic friendship or an affair. He will not support you as much as you support him. If you call when he's in the middle of something with his wife, expect to wait to be called back. Expect to wait while they're out running their lives or on vacation. You'll have to fend for yourself a lot. It's very unequal in power & accessibility. You have to be available but can't expect him to be available.
But you know this, which is why you don't want anything going on with a married man.
I haven't even mentioned the most disgusting thing about him, which is that he is a liar. And a stupid & unoriginal one: He is using the old "my wife has a terminal illness/my wife is mentally ill & institutionalized" fiction to try to play on your sympathy & disarm you. C'mon, dude, you can't even do better than that? "Now, Voyager" came out in 1942, for Pete's sake!
Anyway think of him as weak, despite his good looks, with an addiction to being admired and feeling sexual & strong -- you are the drug that gives him that.
You don't want to be a drug. You want to be a person who is related to directly, person to person, through a guy who is accessible at all times and let you into all the parts of his life. That's a real relationship.
I think the way to handle this guy is to become remote & professional. Make it clear you see what is going on & you only want to deal with him insofar as it's a class requirement. You have a class to get through. You don't want a drink or even coffee. You don't want to listen. You don't need any explanations. You don't have to be this therapist. You don't owe him any attention whatsoever. Keep that in mind: You owe him nothing. He does not need an adult woman feeling sorry for whatever his stupid situation is.
saef, you made me laugh thank you so much! I couldnt agree more with you re; the terminal wife. I think back and I think that didnt even make sense that his ex would delay a life saving operation to wait for his course to be over. I am such an idiot! I also agree with you completely on everything and its nice to get the prespective of someone who has been there. esp the part that he wouldnt be there for me. Thanks again1
I agree with Saef on the big points. It's likely he's lying, it's likely he's using you, it's definite that this will never be a serious thing between him and you. I know it sucks to be lied to, but getting out now will be easier in the long run.
As far as school, I wouldn't scream at him (if he is like he seems, it won't bother him and will just make your work much harder), I wouldn't even let him know you're mad, honestly. Just sort of draw back and be distantly polite and removed, but do good work in class (seriously, you'll regret it if you let him mess up your class for you). I agree with Saef on this, too.
I have experience with this because I've had a few engaged/married/taken guys try this with me. However, I always shut them down fast because I know that's what it takes. And I know that because my dad IS one of those guys. He did this exact kind of thing to women, and as his kid he used me in a lot of his lies to get women other than his wife (my mom). And he lied to me almost every time he said something to me. It was very damaging to my family (and that was just the tip of the iceberg).
Trust me, don't fall for the stuff he's saying. Just shut him down in a calm, detached way. If you don't give him attention even when he's angling for it, he'll back off eventually. And if he makes it seem like someone else's (or your fault), don't believe a word.
You've received really good advice here. I had a similar situation once. They guy told me that if I called his house and a woman answered that it was his disabled aunt -- he was her caretaker. ha! A lot of things didn't add up, and he told me SO many lies. I ended up calling things off by email. I didn't even want to face him again once I knew. I could just picture the conversation turning out badly. I never heard from him again. He just disappeared - probably to the next trusting girl that came along.
This is a big learning moment for you. Men will lie, and when your gut tells you to question things, do it; you don't want to be the patsy in their scheme. Too many people can get hurt, and you can be sure he won't be one of them!
Losing again since January 2012
"Tomorrow is a new day; You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense." Ralph Waldo Emerson
(3.10.14) I resolve to lose the last 60lbs to make it all the way to goal! One blossom = 5lbs
Men lie, and women lie too. Men do not hold exclusive rights to jack-assatude.
Men and women lie especially often to each other and themselves when attraction is involved.
You lied to yourself a little when you saw the ring (maybe he's a widow, maybe he's divorced, maybe he's in an unhappy marriage...) A man wearing a wedding band might be divorced or widowed, but if he's still wearing the ring, he's still attached to the wife, even if she's dead.
I'm being blunt, but not heartless. It's easy to tell ourselves (and others) little and not so little fictions when romance is involved. Our entire culture of romance is built on these fictions and use of fiction. Sometimes the fictions are small - pretending to be fascinated by every word a prospective partner says, others are large - neglecting to mention a serious physical or mental illness (or a marriage).
The courting process is always partially a process of sorting fact from fiction (your own and the other person's) and judging the moral character of the other person by their fictions (both the ones they tell you and the ones you can see them telling themselves).
Be thankful you found such a big fiction early. At best this guy is weak and needy, at worst he's a predator. You don't want to get mixed up in either.
Yes, be aware that men will always present and choose to believe some fiction, but also remember you are likely to do the same. It's as important to look for the lies and fantasies you tell yourself as those you're told by a prospective partner.
My Etsy shop (currently closed for the summer)
I think you have a lot of good advice and support here. It seems like a difficult situation but if it were me, I'd run from it because he isn't someone who would be a healthy person to be involved with, in my opinion.
I have found myself attracted to engaged men, married men, divorced men, guys who have a girlfriend, etc. Somehow I have kidded myself that it feels 'safer' to be attracted to those type of males but perhaps it is actually more unsafe?? I say that because there is more involved, more baggage and drama, etc. I am on some dating sites and to me it is utterly shameless how married guys are actively pursuing single ladies!
Thanks so much for your advice and support everyone. You are all absolutely right. I am putting a stop to this as of today. I agree that I lied to myself as much as he lied to me. Thanks again you are all awesome!
I applaud you for digging in and finding out the truth about this guy before things went any further. Good for you! He's obviously got issues, and I feel bad for his wife, but very glad that you won't be one of his victims.
"A mistake is not failure but feedback. -Rod Gilbert"
Dr. Phil once said "if they can do it with you, they will do it to you". Staying with this loser would have resulted in your getting badly hurt. You made the right choice.
My husband worked with a guy who had affairs with married women (the guy was twice divorced). As I got to know him, I learned that he was addicted to the chase and all of the drama. He wasn't interested in a stable, committed, long term relationship. He eventually remarried and now he is bored to death. I would be very surprised if he didn't cheat on his current wife. People who want to create drama are poison.
I know this has been hard for you but by walking away, you have really helped yourself.
Here is a hug from me.
One for every 10 lbs.
Last edited by doingmybest : 09-09-2013 at 07:14 PM.
"He cant find me attractive with a wife like that! " -just wanted to say do not put yourself down like that! Good on you for wanting to walk away as you do not need the drama. I feel sorry for his wife especially for him to make up such a sick lie like that