Boyfriend has emotional ties to other women

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I have been in a relationship with someone for the last year & a half. I’m 29 and he’s 9 years older than me. He is a very emotional guy, women tend to go to him for advise, etc. He had an affair with a married women he used to work with before I met him. She lives 10 hours away so is not local. I think she has some serious issues. Very controlling manipulative, appears to be a compulsive liar.

They stopped the “physical” relationship a few months before I met him. Decided to remain close friends via the phone, email etc. The problem is when we first started dating he never told me they were involved just told me about her. That she was a manager for same company, had affair with their boss,etc. I caught him talking with her 3 different times throughout the relationship. Most recently was 3 weeks ago. I pulled his phone records; they talk on the phone for 2-4 hrs a day, several times a week. I caught them back in Nov as well. He promised it was going to end then, but of course it did not. He said that he got wrapped up in something very “toxic” ; that she had him convinced that they were like family and they could tell each other anything.

She was very crazy though about me, said it was a betrayal that he was dating me. I am having a very hard time accepting the fact that he is so good at lying to my face. I asked him over & over if he had heard from her, etc.. Always lied to me. I am now close to being obsessed with investigating him bc seems everytime I do I find out the truth.

He had a very lonely childhood, only child & parents were divorced, sat home alone alot. I think this may be why he tends to be so “open” emotionally with others.Been a few other women that have been “friends” with him too, very different situation but feel this problem he has will always be a threat for me. He has agreed to recieve counseling, etc. I am not sure that we have a future. I want to get married & have kids, he doesn’t appear to be a safe catch to do this with. I do love him; care for him deeply so having a hard time ending things. Any advisc would be very appreciated. thanks!

A: You already know this guy isn’t a good bet for a future. You told me (and yourself) so. The best indication of what someone will do is what they’ve done before. Your boyfriend is almost 40 and his relationship history doesn’t look good. A lonely childhood doesn’t give him the right to be a liar or to get involved with a married woman or to make lame excuses for carrying on his long distance relationship while pledging love to you. You don’t trust him and are spending far too much time and energy playing detective. Frankly, it doesn’t matter what the “truth” is because you know he’s not going to change and this is going nowhere.

Please – let go of this guy, chalk it up to experience, and make yourself available again. There is a man out there who will cherish you and respect you and love you as you deserve.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Mar 2009

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2009). Boyfriend has emotional ties to other women. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 24, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/03/30/boyfriend-has-emotional-ties-to-other-women/