From a young woman in the U.S.: We met 3 months ago and had a connection like no other. I was convinced I was going to marry this man. 2 1/2 months into our relationship I found out that he and his children’s mother were married, but were separated. I was devastated, but he answered all of my questions and I moved on. They had been together on and off for 10 years. He told me she had been abusive in front of the kids and that’s why he left.
Fast forward to last weekend- he told me he had to drive her 4 hours to a dealership to get a new car because she had gotten in a wreck and her car was totaled. We got in an argument because I didn’t feel comfortable with him taking her, but he felt like he had to because she had no one else. I moved on from it even though I wasn’t comfortable because I trusted him. I came to see him on his lunch break, also the day he was taking her to get the car. Everything was great.
After he picked the kids up from school I didn’t hear from him so I assumed he was already with her. They were supposed to get to the dealership at 7pm because they closed at 8pm. At 7:30 I tried to call him and he didn’t answer. 7:45 I texted and asked if he made it. 9:20 I asked if he was okay. 10:15 he said he had been there since 8:30. Tried to call at 11:30. No answer. 1am comes and he tells me they just left the dealership and have to get a hotel because he’s too tired to drive home. I tried to call, no answer. I asked him to please call me and he turned his phone off. I looked at her Facebook and found out it was her birthday. He calls me at noon the next day. I told him I didn’t believe the story and I broke up with him. He showed no remorse, there was no emotion. After we got off the phone he sent a broken heart and sad face emoji. That’s all he’s said since and my heart is broken. I am so devastated. What are your thoughts on the situation and do you have any advice?
You have only been in this relationship for 3 months. My advice? Cut your losses and move on. From what you wrote, it looks to me like he has never divorced his wife and never will. The two of them have an arrangement that suits them. He has protected his children by leaving but has also stayed in relationship with their mother — for 10 years! That isn’t likely to change — and, in fact, hasn’t changed at all. He hasn’t been honest with you from the start. Your “connection” was based on a lie.
I’m sure this has been very confusing to you. You are only 20. I’m guessing from your letter that he is considerably older. Please don’t beat yourself up for believing a liar who has been practicing his lies for a decade. He has taken advantage of your youth and inexperience. Give up any fantasies you have that he can change and make yourself available for someone who can love you, cherish you and be honest with you, as you deserve.
I wish you well.
My Boyfriend Cheated on Me with his Ex-Wife
Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker
Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.
APA Reference Hartwell-Walker, D. (2019). My Boyfriend Cheated on Me with his Ex-Wife. Psych Central.
Retrieved on December 7, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2019/10/06/my-boyfriend-cheated-on-me-with-his-ex-wife/
Last updated: 3 Oct 2019 (Originally: 6 Oct 2019) Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 3 Oct 2019 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.