I got thrown away and lied to by my ex. We dated while he was still with her, for about 2 months. It didn’t feel right, but I was happier than I’d been in years with him, so I rarely complained. He finally told me he’d broken up with her; I was so happy. My happiness lasted 2 weeks, when he became distant and started acting weird. We went away the next week for spring break. He lied to me, saying he hadn’t seen any of his friends. Our second night back, he broke up with me, and I found out that he had a) seen his ex girlfriend, b) still loved his ex girlfriend, and c) she wasn’t his ex now, I was. I feel worthless, used, and broken inside. I don’t know how to cope with these feelings. I’ve always had self esteem issues, but this has pushed me over the edge.

A: I’m so sorry you’ve had to go through this to learn a hard lesson. As Dr. Phil often says, “If he’ll do it with you, he’ll do it to you.” You let yourself believe that someone who cheats wouldn’t cheat on you. That doesn’t mean you’re broken. It does mean that you need to be wiser about who you choose to be with.

I suspect the self-esteem issues you mention are what set you up for this. You say you didn’t complain when you were part of a triangle. Why not??! I’m guessing you didn’t feel good enough about yourself to insist that he make up his mind that he wanted to explore a relationship with you before going out with him.

I hope you will consider doing some focused work on gaining a better opinion of your own worth. You deserve to be with someone who loves you and cherishes you enough to see you as his one and only — not as a backup in case.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie