How to Deal with Being the Other Woman

other woman

Need help learning how to deal with being the other woman. Then you will be very interested in this reader's question to our Ask the Dating Coach.

How to Deal with Being the Other Woman Advice

Reader Question

I have been talking to this man I met last year who is separated from his wife. We began to have a very intense relationship until the wife discovered the two of us and decided to come back for all the wrong reasons. He then broke it off with me, which extremely hurt, but left it alone. After 4 months, he contacted me again to tell me they were done for good. So we picked up right where we had left it. Its now been six months where we have acted like friends (with benefits) to other people. Until one day I told him exactly how I felt, that I was in love with him and I would like a real relationship. Since then, he has pushed away from me. So, I talked to him and said that I think it would be better if we don't talk until i can accept that we are only friends. He said to me that he doesn't know what will happen but he doesn't want to hurt me. Now I am starting to freak out because I am so used to talking to him but for the last three days I haven't heard from him. What should I do? I don't want to loose him but I can't make him see how much I love him.~~Susan

Expert Reply

Dear Susan,

I don't think the problem with your guy is that he can't see how deeply you love him. I think the problem with your relationship is that this guy doesn't feel as deeply about you as you feel for him. Which is understandable given that he either is currently married and trying to reunite with his wife or he is currently married and trying to end the relationship. Whichever he is working through with his wife, his emotions are involved with her. This would explain why he is avoiding you, because you care deeply for him and that is one more strain on his time and his own emotions. He can't compartmentalize both relationships.

The man you fell in love with is only a portion of the whole man. This is why affairs and or dating someone who is newly separated rarely works out. The reason is that a partner who is still involved in a previous relationship is unable to give his complete attention to the new interest. This is your experience with the man you care about. He started a relationship with you before he completely ended the relationship with his wife. It was like he was in two relationships at the same time; one that was new, exciting and fresh and one with someone he had history and memories with, someone he was committed to.

While it is easy to be angry at the wife, if he had been completely through with his marriage he would not have gone back to his wife to work on their relationship. This knowledge may be why you hurt so much. You fell hard and fast for a guy you believed was available and ready for a relationship with you only to discover this was not the case at all. While it won't be easy to let go, it is all you can do. You can let him go with your dignity and self-respect intact.

In time you will hurt less, but how you handle this situation now will last a lifetime. By letting him work through his relationship with his wife without inferring you are also showing grace and courage. Should his marriage not work out and he ends it and comes back to you, he will have come back knowing that he gave his marriage everything he could and it did not work out. He will not carry around guilt or regret. This means that he then will be free to give himself to you completely. Then, because you acted with grace and dignity, you will have no doubts or regrets about your own behaviors should he come back to you.

~~Lori

How to Deal with Being the Other Woman