Ask La Comadre: In Love With the Wrong Man
I don’t know how to say this without feeling ashamed and horrible. I am in love with and dating a married man. To make matters worse, I knew from the very beginning that he was married — I can’t say I didn’t know. I don’t understand why I have chosen to live this lie. I have a college degree from one of the best universities in this country and I am about to complete a law degree. I’m smart, but here I am, feeling so stupid. What keeps me coming back to him is the fact that he makes me feel beautiful. I have struggled with weight issues most of my life and I have never had anyone make me feel the way he does. I am smart enough to know that this man is giving me the attention I haven’t had, but I can’t seem to put an end to this relationship. Because he is married, I have had to keep this relationship secret from my mother and my sister, with whom I have a very close relationship. My sister is my best friend and, yet, I can’t tell her this. She’d be so disappointed. Sometimes I feel strong enough to end it, but other times I am hoping he will end his relationship with his wife, especially since they don’t have any children (yet). What should I do?
In Love With the Wrong Man
Dear In Love With the Wrong Man,
You are intelligent enough to know the conscious reasons why you are with this man. But in these situations, it is also important to consider other more unconscious reasons for being with a marido prestado (borrowed man). Women who engage in relationships with married man are not very different from the man they are dating. These women have difficulties with commitment (hence, they date married men), are emotionally-confused, and tend to have low self-confidence. Living a fantasy is less threatening than having a committed relationship with the usual ups and downs.
My usual question to women who date married men are the following: Don’t you think you deserve a man all to yourself? Why share? Are you willing to put up with the secretive lifestyle that dating this man will involve? Are you willing to spend holidays alone? And be willing to wait until he’s available to come to you? Are you willing to be with a man who might not be there for your when you get sick or need his support? Are you willing to be with someone you can’t introduce to your family, or walk freely holding hands down the street? If you are willing to put up with all this, then I urge you to speak to a counselor about this and dig deeper into the limiting thoughts that are keeping you from making a good decision for yourself.
La Comadre, Angelica Perez-Litwin, founder and writer of ModernFamilia, is a Certified Professional Life Coach and has a Family Life Coaching practice. She has a PhD in Clinical Psychology and over 15 years of clinical experience as a psychotherapist and counselor.
Her Tiki Tiki column runs every other Tuesday. Email your questions to: [email protected]