If Some Doomed Relationships Succeed, Couldn’t Mine?

Doomed relationship

Hello, Evan:  

I loved your recent email about hanging onto a doomed relationship. Yes, I have been hanging on to a cheating casanova for FOUR YEARS!! (But Evan, he’s SO devastatingly handsome, and SO charming, and SO romantic, and SO attentive. He says ALL the sexy/sweet things every girl wants to hear. I practically swoon every time I get a text, a call or an email . . . . sigh.) Your emails have helped me enormously; with your no-holds-barred monthly reality checks, I am (gradually) extracting myself from his considerable pull on my heart (and libido :)).

Here’s my question: Do you think a compelling reason smart women hang on to guys who don’t put them first is because there are SOME instances — and, alas, we have all heard about them — where a guy DID reform, because he DID truly love his girlfriend, and when she gave him an ultimatum, or even just stopped giving in and started respecting herself and setting boundaries, he behaved better — because SHE took over the direction of the relationship in an assertive (but demure) way?

No.

I must admit, this scenario is what keeps me hoping against hope that if I could only conduct my own behavior in a firm yet loving manner, I could change HIS behavior and guide him toward treating me right. It IS possible, no? Unfortunately, because it IS possible (though not probable, I “know,”) I keep on trying. Maybe today I won’t cave in and have sex with him. Maybe today I will tell him he didn’t call for a date early enough and I’m busy Saturday night. Maybe today I will say, “I don’t believe a word you just said. Call back when you can be respectful.” If I can only stand my ground and respect myself, he will respect me and we will live happily ever after — RIGHT??

I would dearly love it if you would address this strongly-held belief — a hope we women in love with cheating guys hold so dear to our broken hearts. Thank you!! You are amazingly insightful and wonderfully wise. I really look forward to your emails.

–Elizabeth

No.

No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No.

No.

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Comments:

  1. 91
    Karmic Equation

    @Clare 88

    Absolutely! She does need to emotionally detach but probably not the way you mean it.

    I think a lot of people here take “emotional detachment” to mean to *discontinue loving* someone. That isn’t what it means. Yes, she should emotionally detach, but not from him, but rather from the relationship outcome or from her hopes or even from her “in-love-ness”. She can love him, but she shouldn’t let that love control her.

    Excerpted from wikipedia (emphasis mine)

    [Emotional] detachment does not necessarily mean avoiding empathy; rather it allows the person space needed to *rationally choose whether or not to be overwhelmed or manipulated by such feelings.* Examples where this is used in a positive sense might include emotional boundary management, where a person avoids emotional levels of engagement related to people who are in some way emotionally overly demanding, such as difficult co-workers or relatives, or is adopted to aid the person in helping others such as a person who trains himself to ignore the “pleading” food requests of a dieting spouse, or indifference by parents towards a child’s begging.

    @marymary 84

    I’ve never met a man who’s asked me if if I was seeing anyone. I wouldn’t disclose it unasked. And I suppose if they did ask, my response would be to tilt my head quizzically and deflect by saying, “Why do you ask? Are you seeing someone I need to know about?” And listen to what they say.

    No, she doesn’t have to tell the guy she’s dating that she’s dating others. And we’re all on board that he’s cheating…and therefore believe that he hasn’t disclosed to her, so she’s under no obligation to disclose to him. As she starts to date other people, she’ll be less available to him and THEN he might ask if she’s seeing other people. At that point she can disclose to him then or do the head tilt “Why do you ask?” thing.

    Up to her. She’s living in Karmic’s “women have the power” world now ;)

    @Selena 85

    Thank you.

    @J 91

    It doesn’t sound like they’re living together so OP just living her life can create the distance between them (e.g., working late, going out with gfs instead of him, etc.) without any “formal” break ups.

    If he’s a cheater, she doesn’t owe him any explanations on why she’s all of a sudden less available to him.

  2. 92
    Karmic Equation

    Oops…correction to #92
     
    I have told guys “I have a boyfriend” if I indeed had a boyfriend or simply wasn’t interested.
     
    I’d bet a million dollars that all hetero women have done that!

  3. 93
    Goldie

    KE 92.
     
    I have a question re emotional detachment, based on my recent experience. How do you practice emotional detachment from a SO, without giving him the impression that you’re not fully invested, are holding yourself back, are not returning his feelings, etc? I like the idea of not letting the feelings control me, but I don’t know how to realistically do it without coming across as cold, unemotional etc. Or is this only recommended for situations such as Elizabeth’s, and the rest of us should go “all in”?

  4. 94
    Karl R

    The Casino Royale quote: (#90)
    “So many nice guys. So many chances to be happy. Why can’t nice guys be more like you?”
    “Then they would be bad.”
     
    There is some truth to that quote.
     
    Despite what we like to think about self-determination, our the choices we make are heavily influenced by external conditions. We pay our taxes because we want to avoid getting audited, fined and thrown in prison. If we could avoid paying taxes (by paying lawyers and accountants to find legal loopholes), we would do as the wealthy do and avoid paying those taxes (to whatever extent possible).
     
    The wealthy have ways to avoid paying taxes and avoid the negative consequences. Very few of them choose to pay taxes when they have other options.
     
    A man who is “SO devastatingly handsome, and SO charming, and SO romantic” doesn’t experience the same consequences that most of us do. If a less handsome, less charming and less romantic man were to cheat on Elizabeth (or string her along in a non-exclusive relationship) she would dump him in a heartbeat. Most women would dump him under those circumstances.
     
    Very few women will dump Mr. Devastatingly Handsome. So even if Elizabeth chooses to break up with him, he can quickly find another attractive woman willing to step up and replace her. He still doesn’t pay the same consequences as everyone else.
     
    Some people will decide to play be the rules, even when they know those rules are optional. Many won’t.
     
    Goldie asked: (#94)
    “How do you practice emotional detachment from a SO, without giving him the impression that you’re not fully invested, are holding yourself back, are not returning his feelings, etc?”
     
    There are three possible ways.
     
    1. Mirroring. It works in most situations, but not so much in Elizabeth’s situation, where the man appears to be substantially more involved/engaged than he actually is.
     
    2. Acting. You act engaged/involved even though you’re actually detached.
     
    3. Compartmentalize and be entirely in the moment. You’re not emotionally detached when you’re together. You are emotionally detached when you’re apart.
     
    I prefer the first and third method. Mr. Devastatingly Handsome is probably using either the second or the third method.
     
    Goldie asked: (#94)
    “Or is this only recommended for situations such as Elizabeth’s, and the rest of us should go ‘all in’?”
     
    If one person is emotionally invested, there’s no reason for the other person to remain emotionally detached.

  5. 95
    Ruby

    Goldie
     
    <<How do you practice emotional detachment from a SO, without giving him the impression that you’re not fully invested, are holding yourself back, are not returning his feelings, etc?>>
     
    In Elizabeth’s situation, the only way anything is going to change is if she shakes things up. Her man is happy with the status quo, as he has everything he wants. She wants him to see a shift in her behavior. That can come about by telling him that she’s not getting her needs met, and is going to find someone more available (break up), or by limiting her own availability. If a man is making himself available, the detachment isn’t necessary.
     
    Now after 4 years, limiting her availability to someone who also isn’t available is probably not going to change things much, although I wouldn’t discount it if that’s the road she decides to take. Heck, even a break-up is probably not going to change anything, but it’s probably her best option. Even if nothing does change, at least she’ll be free to find someone who will treat her better.
     
    And seriously, I don’t care how handsome or charming a man is; he’s not worth much if he isn’t honest and cannot be faithful to you. Certainly there are attractive, nice men out there who aren’t disrespectful, “cheating Casanovas”.

  6. 96
    Tom10

    Elizabeth #96
    “Certainly there are attractive, nice men out there who aren’t disrespectful “cheating Casanovas”.
     
    Are there for Elizabeth though? And if there are why hasn’t she found one in the last four years?
     
    ——————
     
    Let’s call a spade a spade: she’s dating out of her league and both of them know it. That’s why they’re both behaving the way they are.
     
    As already noted she’s hooked on dating a hot guy, the likes of which she mightn’t meet again. He’s only dating her because he’s too lazy to find a woman he’s really interested in. So he strings her along cheating whenever opportunities arise, thus getting the best of being single and in a relationship.
     
    I’ve seen this situation so many times in real life – it’s astonishing to witness what people will tolerate when dating someone devastatingly attractive.
     
    I can’t really blame her though. It must be so difficult for women to know that they can sleep with hot guys, but also to know that these guys won’t commit. If only men had the chance to sleep with devastatingly beautiful women who weren’t interested in us – consequentially treating us poorly – I reckon most of us would take it. Sigh.
     
    No matter what she does he will always perceive her as being below his league, therefore, dating other men might help her move on emotionally, but it won’t affect him enough to take her seriously. And even if it does it will only be temporary.
     
    Karmic laid out her options pretty well in #83: accept the situation as it is, or move on.

  7. 97
    Karmic Equation

    @Goldie

    I plan to answer your Q fully, but I need some time to put my thoughts together on that. I’m sorry about your recent breakup. You’ll get through it. We’re all here for you.

    ————-

    To all ladies here who’ve recommended OP dumping her dream guy…

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but many of you have commented that you can’t have NSA sex with a man because sex bonds you to him.

    Then don’t you think it’s pretty callous of you to suggest to the OP to next the man-of-her-dreams with whom she’s been having fantastics sex with for FOUR YEARS, just like that? If you bond to a guy after one bang, how bonded do you think the OP is after a couple of hundred bangs?

    As well, in other threads, where the OP has indicated that she’s dissatisfied with her man (he goes to strip clubs; he has pictures of naked women on his phone; he goes salsa dancing) — where clearly the man is not the man-of-her-dreams, few or none of you have recommended that she next the man, but rather that the man should change to accommodate the OP — simply because she has a monogamous relationship with that man.

    I’m proposing if the OP simply changes her expectations for the relationship (no monogamy required)–which keeps the relationship as status quo–she can continue to see the man of her dreams, so doesn’t have to suffer the unbonding effects–while looking for the relationship of her dreams with someone else. The OP gets to keep what she has while looking for what she wants more. You could almost say that I’m suggesting she uses the man for sex and companionship while looking for a better relationship. Why don’t you gals want her to be empowered? You’d rather her be alone, celibate, and searching for Mr Right like yourselves?

    If “…attractive, nice men out there who aren’t disrespectful, “cheating Casanovas” are so easy to find, why are there so many single-and-searching ladies on this board? Shouldn’t each of you have yourself one of those now? They abound for OP. Why not for you?

    Finding a guy you really dig is difficult. Serendipity plays a big part and is out of your control. Changing your expectations? Easier to do simply because that’s within your own control.

  8. 98
    Dina Strange

    There are some absolutely beautiful high heel shoes…that make my legs look long, but wearing them is incredibly painful and i always end up with blisters that last for weeks if not months. Why to date a man that looks good but hurts your heart?
    Yeah, sex is great, he says nice things, blah blah but smoking crack is great and feels good too…yet consequences are incredibly destructive. Point is if you want pain, go read a finance book or work out but don’t stay with a loser.

  9. 99
    Kiki

    Goldie,
    I do not know what people here mean by emotional detachment. In my opinion, the human brain is distressed when you have a belief but act in a way that contradicts it. Its called cognitive dissonance in psychology and it means eventually you change either your beliefs or your behavior.
    In other words, if you love someone but wish to act like you dont, you will eventually show it ( amor tussisque non celantur) or will stop loving him. Or, to make it even simpler, you have to kill some of the love you carry for the peson, in order to compartmenatlize, disengage or whatever its called. Just my two cents.

  10. 100
    Ruby

    KE #98
     
    <<If “…attractive, nice men out there who aren’t disrespectful, “cheating Casanovas” are so easy to find, why are there so many single-and-searching ladies on this board? Shouldn’t each of you have yourself one of those now? They abound for OP. Why not for you?>>
     
    I don’t know how old the OP is, but if she’s younger, yes, they are not impossible to find. Perhaps not a dime a dozen, but not impossible. I know these men – my friends are married to them (almost all of my under-35 friends are married). I’ve already commented in previous posts as to why the OP might be in the relationship she’s in, so I won’t repeat that here, although low self-esteem might be another factor. I’ve just started dating a really nice guy who’s attractive, but not devastatingly handsome, and personally, I’d rather be single than settle for a less than satisfying relationship even if the man is uber-hot. As Dina said (#99), “Why to date a man that looks good but hurts your heart?”
     
     

  11. 101
    Rose

    In truely helpless abusive life threatening situations we dissasociate and compartmentalise, emotionally detach  for self preservation. An example would be a child with an abusive parent. Their brains would do this to protect them. Or in car accidents, hostage situations, rape muggings etc. This happens on a subconscious level
    This changes our brains and if we do not get help to release the trapped trauma and learn how to reconnect we can get ptsd and also put ourselves in futher abusive situations.
    I would not want to be encouraging anyone to compartmentalise and emotionally detach from themselves on a conscious level.  Quite the oppsite in done in therapy. And people who have been or are in in absusive situations have to learn how to connect and listen to their emotions and then take the best action for their higher good.
    The first thing that is reccommended for any women to do in situations like the OP’s in to stop sleeping with him so she will start to break the bond if what she wants is a  monogomous relationship.  To help her be able to get to the point of no longer wanting him as if monogomy is what she wants and he doesn’t he can’t possibly be the right man for her. But her judgemnet and thinking are clouded on this because she is sleeping with him and has become hormonally bonded.
    The lesson is if you want monogomy don’t sleep with a man who doesn’t want that with you, unless you want to end up hormonally attached to someone who doesn’t want the same as you.
    They are simply not a match in this area which is an extremly important one to be a match in if you want to be happy.
    If she was happy about this she wouldn’t be here asking for Evans advice.So now she needs to take adult responsibilty for her own happiness.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

  12. 102
    judy

    Karl 95 – this lady has dumped “Mr. Devastatingly Handsome”.  He was absolutely miffed about it because no woman had ever done that.  There’s always a first time for everything.
    I think he learned more about that, than in his lifetime of screwing around.  He really was incredibly handsome, and used women.  He lost the woman of his dreams, once (that was me :o) but the other one treated him like he treated his women…..by keeping him on the backburner.
    Maybe that’s why he treated women so badly – but then, I never did find out why he was left on the backburner, wishing and hoping for her to come back.  So it may have been a real issue for both of them.
     

  13. 103
    Stix

    Kharmic Equation
     
    I suggested she get herself out of the situation. I am in a well established and happy relationship. I don’t know if I could be where i’m at now, if I hadn’t dumped my “cheating cassonova”. Although for me the idea of having sex with him was pretty disgusting at that point. I wanted nothing to do with having him fulfill my needs. It was the most empowering experience of my life…To forgive, walk on, and release him from my life while still holding him in my heart as a friend. Someone I do care about. 
     
    I am able to have NSA sex. I bond more through shared humour and play than I do through sex. Actually I have been learning to bond through sex to feel deeper feelings of intimacy.. NSA sex is (was) easy, and my current committed and monogamous relationshop started as a NSA sexual relationship. It was moved along by him, at a decent pace with my agreement.
     
    Point being, I want to empower women. Definitely not take their power away. I believe there are many ways to do that, and putting yourself first is a good step to take. Your way works just as well, although she is making him overly important, IMO, and i’m not sure putting him in the category of “dream man” and using him to fulfill needs is an empowering approach. These men are actually a dime a dozen. I’m sure she could find one or more that she isn’t already emotionally bonded to. The thing about NSA sex is, it doesn’t work if you want the person to yourself, and they aren’t in agreement. That’s fundamentally opposed to what a healthy NSA sex partnership needs to look like. Feelings of jealousy, pining, covetous emotional bonds do not jive with NSA sex. 
    it will be far easier to find a new partner, than to begin a detatchment process with someone while still hanging out and sleeping together.
     

  14. 104
    Stix

    Just the thought of beginning a detachment process while staying with a man is tiresome. That’s a lot of effort just to keep hanging onto one specific man for sex. 
    Exhausting :p 

  15. 105
    Julia

    For once I agree with Rose. Emotionally healthy people don’t detach themselves and compartmentalize relationships, that’s what people in denial do. I am going to go ahead and assume the OP wants a man to marry and have children with, why else would she be writing Evan? If this is the case there is no point in sticking around with this man. My guess is she is not healthy though and is probably already compartmentalizing her relationship with him, separating the good qualities (handsome and charming) from the glaringly bad qualities (he cheats on her.) I’m not sure why anyone would suggest her situation is idea and having her needs met.
     
    As far as the women here not having found their great man, Jesus, what a cynical way to view the world. Sometimes the search for something really good takes awhile, I am not ready to throw in the towel and allow a man to use me for 4 years like the OP. NSA sex is one thing but this is NOT NSA sex for the OP.

  16. 106
    Nicole

    @Tom10 #97, it’s a pretty big stretch to claim this woman is dating out of her league b/c she is staying with a cheating cad.
    Women of all levels of beauty get cheated on.  Sometimes by equally hot men, sometimes by average men, sometimes by ugly men (see, this is where swagger and confidence can be a GREAT equalizer for you all). I think the the big issues are that she is in love with a man that doesn’t love her, and perhaps she is too invested his his superficial qualities to dump him for a man who has better ones, or is fearful that she can land someone as hot.
    If he was out of her league with regard to looks I don’t even think he’d be using for sex 4 years out. But hot or not, as we age the number of women willling to tolerate his kind of behavior diminishes, so there is value in keeping her around, b/c he may not have a pretty girl who is willing to invest so little to get nothing in return.
    But yeah, considering how many people who are considered to be the most “beautiful” in the world have been cheated on, I think it’s a bit much to assume that is the problem.
    She needs to leave, and she needs to stop thinking that looks are so important that she should ignore bad character and someone who clearly doesn’t love or possibly even like her.
    Also, it’s funny the Frimmel was complaining about game but actually defined it as having more confidence b/c I was assuming he/she was complaining about needing to be a player to get women.  But how could a man think that without stepping up anything is going to happen, and that is somehow the woman’s fault for not noticing the silent nice guy in the crowd.  That hardly makes them superficial.  
    As Karl R said, his wife had orbiters but it sounds like he was the only one who manned up and asked her out.  (And probably flirted and made sure she was aware of who he was and that he was interested).  

  17. 107
    Karmic Equation

    @Stix 104

    “Feelings of jealousy, pining, covetous emotional bonds do not jive with NSA sex.”

    Agreed. However, those feelings while justified in a monogamous relationship are not good feelings to exhibit in ANY relationship, even a monogamous one. So, OP can try to learn to manage those emotions in THIS relationship or learn to manage them in a NEW one. Why go through the hassle/stress of getting comfortable with a new guy while also learning to manage her negative emotions?

    “It will be far easier to find a new partner, than to begin a detatchment process with someone while still hanging out and sleeping together.”

    Is it? I disagree. Let’s just say she has a George Clooney lookalike, how many George Clooney lookalikes have you run into in the past 20 years?

    I did demote my bf-gf relationship with my last bf to a FWB relationship because I suspected him of cheating. I had no proof. And he swears he didn’t. However, I know he is a very convincing liar. I still love the dude. I just decided to change the relationship back to one where I don’t have to worry about him cheating or not and freed myself to date other men in the process. He and I get together on a bi-weekly or so basis. And I date and have sex with other men whenever I feel like it. While I don’t like the thought of him sleeping with other women, I don’t obsess about it. Just like I don’t obsess about the bad drivers or the tasks at work I don’t like. My dislike of him dating other women is just as ordinary a dislike as those other ones I mentioned. It’s not a “special” dislike I have to spend extraordinary amount of time dealing with.

    The OP just needs to decide for herself which she wants more: the non-monogamous hot guy she has or yet-to-exist monogamous relationship with a yet-to-be-determined-man. You’re telling her it’s better to toss away the coffee mug she has to go search for the Holy Grail. I’m just saying keep the mug and keep using it as she goes searching for the Holy Grail. IMO, all she has to do to be happy with her current situation is acknowledge that the coffee mug in her hands will never be the Holy Grail.

    —————–

    @Dina 99

    What did you do with that pair of high heels? Did you toss it in the trash? Or is it sitting in the back of your closet somewhere? Did you buy any more high heels after that pair? Or did you convert all your shoes to flats?

    I bet you still own some heels. Even the ones that gave you blisters. And I bet you’ve even worn them again.

    Why didn’t you throw out those heels after they caused you blisters? And why did you buy more high heels after that pair?

    It wasn’t easy to throw those shoes out was it? And it was only a pair of shoes, not a human being.

    —————–
    Ruby 101

    “I’d rather be single than settle for a less than satisfying relationship even if the man is uber-hot.”

    But my suggestion is for her to consider herself single (she is since he broke the bf-gf contract by cheating) AND sleep with him WHILE looking. She is single and gets to have sex while she’s looking for Mr. Right.

    If she has a strong libido like I do, my solution works better than your being “celibate” and single does.

  18. 108
    Selena

    I think if the OP has stayed in a relationship with a “cheating Cassanova” for 4 Years, she has probably already been doing a fair amount of emotional/cognitive detaching. How else could one put up with a relationship like this year after year?
     
    She writes about possibly giving an ultimatum, setting boundaries. This might have had some effect THE FIRST TIME HE CHEATED. Why didn’t she do it then? Perhaps because she knew he would just stop seeing her rather than be monogamous to her?
     
    So she chooses year after year to maintain a relationship with a non-monogamous individual despite claiming to want monogamy from him. She “hopes against hope” that he will one day “grow out of it” so to speak and choose to only be with her.  I think if one chooses to be in an extended relationship with a non-monogamous person they might examine how important monogamy actually is to them.  Perhaps they think it should be, more than they really do want it.
     
    Also, the OP writes:   Maybe today I won’t cave in and have sex with him. Maybe today I will tell him he didn’t call for a date early enough and I’m busy Saturday night. Maybe today I will say, “I don’t believe a word you just said. Call back when you can be respectful.”
     
    This doesn’t sound like a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship to me. It sounds more like a relationship that hasn’t progressed much from the casual dating level after 4 years. I wonder if this guy considers himself her boyfriend.?Or does he see her as the constant woman in his rotation? 
     
    And I wonder if her description of the situation is less actual cheating and more of a “I wish he would choose ME” kind of thing.
     
    Regardless, she is getting something out of this deal and until she decides she really wants something different it will remain as it is.
     
     

  19. 109
    Marie

    For me this has nothing to do with sex, cheating, or the murkiness of the relationship.  The OP repeatedly says she does not feel respected by him.  No amount of changing her views on the relationship after four years will erase the fact that he does not take her seriously.  That is until she dumps him and walks away.  Fantastic sex is not enough to make up for the hit to your self esteem by not leaving a guy who doesn’t respect you.

  20. 110
    Karmic Equation

    @Julia 106

    For a professed feminist you are so towing the “females are victims” mentality.

    It was within her power to walk away the FIRST time he cheated, which I’m guessing to be within the first year of their relationship. And she could have walked the 2nd time he cheated or the third time he cheated or any of the N times. The fact that she DIDN’T break up with him was a CHOICE she made over and over. She had the power, but chose not to use it. Why not?

    I’ll say because she’s addicted to the sex, she admitted as much. That’s not any more wrong or right than a woman who’s addicted to her husband’s bank account or earning potential. At least she’s trading sex for sex.

    The fact that she IS addicted to the sex says at least that the guy is not a jerk in bed and he’s giving her pleasure that she is taking. If he were a lousy lover, she would have been out of that relationship long ago.

    As for the relationship aspect, I happen to agree dating a cheater is not worthwhile. But I disagree that one should stop f*cking him if he’s good at it and she’s single (which she is and actually has been since the first time he cheated). If she starts actively dating other people, she’ll probably be out of there sooner than later. But continuing to sleep with him will help with the withdrawal symptoms. However, she does have to consciously LET GO THE HOPE of monogamy while in her new FWB relationship, which she doesn’t even have to disclose to him.

    Monogamy is not synonomous with good relationship. I’m sure many polyamorous folks will disagree with you. As will all the divorced folks. Monogamy may be ONE aspect of a good relationship, but it is NOT the defining aspect. Thou art brainwashed and knowest it not.

  21. 111
    Goldie

    Re emotional detachment, I think it is all in the terms we use. “Emotional detachment” does sound patently unhealthy, but so does “letting your feelings control you”. I for one think there might be some benefits to being in control of our feelings. After all, we do exercise control over our feelings in all other areas of our lives. If we let our feelings lead us, I’d say none of us would be able to hold down a job, none of us that have in laws would be on speaking terms with them, and most of us would’ve had our children taken away by CPS. Somehow we do not give in to any urge that strikes us, though. I just wondered if the same kind of self-control is feasible in relationships, or whether relationships are the only exception. (Have to add that it is probably a good idea to control your feelings in an FWB situation.)
     
    In Elizabeth’s place, I’d totally downgrade the cheating casanova to FWB status and keep him in that position while I’m looking for something more serious. Since he’s so hot and good in bed, might as well get some use out of that. UNLESS she is already addicted to him and cannot keep him as just an FWB. Then I’d advise to just walk away from that guy. FTR, I donate the shoes that give me blisters; or return them to the store if that’s possible. The shoes that only give me blisters if I wear them all day, every day, but will do fine if I only wear them on occasion? Those I keep in the back of my closet, and wear on special occasions. It is up to Elizabeth to decide what category of shoes her bf belongs to.

  22. 112
    Chance

    For a professed feminist you are so towing the “females are victims” mentality.”
     
     
    Thank you, Karmic, thank you.  I wish more women knew that it can be very empowering to actually take responsibility for how their relationships turn out.  It can expand their options on how to handle/deal with certain men while they are looking for the right guy.  Yet, so many women refuse to take any responsibility, which is why we hear so many claims of men “using” women when they aren’t getting what they want out of a relationship.  I think this kind of talk makes women look like helpless children, which they’re not.
     

  23. 113
    Julia

    @Karmic Equation
     
    With all due respect, your arguments seem to just be for the sake of being a contrarian :)
     
    So with your first point, feminism doesn’t mean that women are never a victim but I am going to agree and disagree with your point. I believe the woman is a victim but a victim of herself and her own insecurities/bad judgement. Now as far as being addicted, I don’t actually believe in sex addiction but for the sake of argument I will say she is addicted. Now most people would say they only way to break addiction is to remove the substance and detox. One wouldn’t suggest an alcoholic quit drinking by cutting back a little while she figures out how to not drink, right? If this woman didn’t want this man to be monogamous to her, in a relationship with her, I’m sure she could just have casual sex with him but she is currently having casual sex with him and obviously can’t handle it, so how would your suggestion change anything? If she needs sex, she can find sex with a man who she isn’t emotionally invested in. Sex is an incredibly easy thing to come by.
     
    As for monogamy. I want monogamy, you can call me brain washed, whatever. I also have friends who are polyamorous and they are happy, good for them. There isn’t a one size fits all approach to happiness but I know my size so no use in trying on others.

  24. 114
    Rose

    Goldie, yes it’s not gooto let them run us or control us. That is different from denying them stuffing them down or pretending and disconecting.
    The healthy thing to do is listen and accept them and then be in control of them by taking adult responsibilty and doing what is in our highest good.
    So in OP case would be.
    She recognises and accepts she feels insecure with men who cheat or do not want to monogomy with her. Doesn’t pretend this doesn’t bother her, deny or make herself wrong for having those feeling. She is connecting and accepting of herself and feelings. The taking adult control and not letting them run her would be to take adullt action and responsibilty for her own feelings by choosing the action in her highest good to only to sleep with a man who also wanted a monogomous relationship with her and didn’t want to sleep around or cheat.
    This is the healthy emotionally adultway of staying connected and taking care of our own feelings, rather than expecting someone else to take care of them or trying to control other peoples life choices.
    If this man doesn’t want monogomy then he has every right to make that choice.  They are not a match. But ignoring and pretendind those feeligs do not exist or don’t matter and emotionally disconnecting is not emotinally healthy.
    When someone does that they end up living a lie, being untrue to theminselves, being abused and or heading for some form of addictive substance or activity to numb out the pain they are hiding and don’t want to feel, face and take care of.
    That path will you down the road of self destruct not happiness.
    So the answer is to start accept what are your real feelings and take adult control of them.
     
     

  25. 115
    Lia

    @ Karmic Equation
     
    I love that consistent “women have the power” viewpoint you always show.  I love the way you look at things. 
     
    I love the coffee mug/ holy grail analogy!  
     
    @ Selena 109
     
    I agree it does sound more like an, “I wish he would choose ME” rather than a BF/GF relationship where the guy is cheating.
     
    She is not a victim she has made the same choice again and again.  On some level this really does work for her.
     
    @ Goldie
     
    Love the shoe analogy!
     

  26. 116
    mara

    NARCISSISTIC PARTNER ALERT!!!!!! RUN AWAY. He is a classic, classic case of NPD. Please do me a favor OP go read the definition of a Narcissist onto Melania Tonia Evans blog !!!

  27. 117
    Stix

    Kharmic 
     
    I have been in contact with thousands of UBER HOT athletic and talented boys/men since a very young age. I’ve had sex with a handful, and dated none. They don’t impress me. I married a 6 in looks but a 10 in humour and intelligence. I caught him “red handed” so to speak because he got sloppy and I happened upon him. It was a complete surprise, although I knew “something” had been going on with him. He was acting strange. 
     
    I’m speaking from my life experience, and hope that if the LW is reading she can have many perspectives to choose from. I did stay after the first time, and left after the second time. I did want a monogamous relationship, and I knew that. I wanted a monogamous relationship with the right person. I knew that my exh was not the right one. He had proven that by lying to me, and manipulating me, for no reason other than his own gain. I get that he had his own issues…And I forgave him but I could find no reason within me, to want to even just fuck that man. Sex was the last thing I would want with him. I no longer trusted him to be honest with me. So I set out and I dated loads of great men and a few not so great men. I was dating 2 great men when the one i’m with asked me to be his gf. I’m still friendly with the other guy. I’m still friendly with my exh! 
     
    So you see, from my perspective, there is no reason to hang onto the one who is associated with all those un-productive feelings. Just walk on and meet new men sexully/romantically. What’s not meant to be, is not meant to be. 
     
     
     
     

  28. 118
    Stix

    I didn’t look for the right relationship. That’s what I did before I got married. When I got married. During my relationship. After my marriage I looked for the right person. When the right person wanted to go all in with me, I chose to build the right relationship with him, and it’s been an amazing time. Ups and downs, yes. All worth it. We connect, communicate, and trust each other. We are on the same page. I’ve experienced nothing like it. 

  29. 119
    Sparkling Emerald

    I sure wish the letter writer would come and give us an update.  Here we women are arguing over what she “should” do, and how she “should” feel and even if they were ever officially BF/GF or not.
    That being said, I’ll add my own 2 cents to the mix.  I suspect the LW wrote in knowing that EMK would tell it like it is.  She asked if there was any way to get him to commit and be monogamous.  LOVED his answer !
    She is obviously unhappy in this situation.  Doubt that after 4 years she could go from being starry and hopeful that suddenly out of the blue, he’s going to go down on one knee and pull out a ring, to treating him as a boy-toy with casual indifference and stick around and convince herself that it is SHE that is using HIM for NSA sex.  She would ONLY be playing the “I don’t love you either” game, in the hopes that he would suddenly realize that he has loved her all along.   She wouldn’t REALLY feel casual and indifferent to him, she would only be PRETENDING.  I think this “cognitive dissonance” and lying to ourselves is the cause of so many female broken hearts. 
    Now that EMK has validated that she’s not going to get the relationship she wants with THIS man, (a fact that I think she knew deep in her bones all along), she is free to give him the “I don’t want a buck fuddy” speech or to simply disappear and move on to more hopeful horizons. 
    Also, I don’t appreciate the men (cough cough Tom10) who come to this blog and speculate on our looks, leagues, etc. That seems to be the typical retort.  Instead of debating anything intelligently, just come back with well “She must be ugly (or plain, or beneath his league)    GORGEOUS women get cheated on all the time.  Just look at the Hollywood set !

  30. 120
    Karmic Equation

    @Julia

    You obviously know nothing about addiction. Lucky you. Alcoholics who go cold turkey are at risk of DTs. I’m not sure about drug addiction, but they also suffer severe withdrawal symptoms. Regardless, we’ve all heard of nicotine addiction. What do you think the patches are for? In each of those addictions there is a wean off method. Which requires a substitute drug to wean off the original drug. What is the substitute drug for sex? Dildos? They aren’t the same as having a man. But maybe my standards are too high and dildos are acceptable substitutes for most women.

    “There isn’t a one size fits all approach to happiness but I know my size so no use in trying on others.”

    Absolutely. OP is actually happy with the man. The only thing that makes her unhappy is that he won’t commit. However, the fact that she STILL LIKES the man with whom she REMAINED HAPPy in the non-monogamous relationship for FOUR YEARS, actually demonstrates she can tolerate sharing her man. If she can accept THAT fact she would actually be happy. If she truly needed monogamy to be happy with her man, she would have nexted him by now, because she wouldn’t have been happy with him.

    I don’t believe OP is insecure. I believe she’s having a difficult time reconciling her own tolerance to man-sharing against a culture and society that shames a woman who tolerates man-sharing.

    IMO, that’s just another form of slutshaming. Any way for a woman to express her sexuality that jeopardizes the accepted one-man:one-woman paradigm is threatening to women who cannot share, or as I like to say, women who don’t have the wherewithal to compete. And therefore women like the OP must be shamed into towing the cultural line that monogamy is the only kind of relationship we should seek.

    Because if she doesn’t, now in addition to competing with sluts, a woman who cannot share (or doesn’t have the wares to compete) has to compete with women who can man-share, too. Double-whammy. And as I’ve mentioned in another thread, most women are unwilling to compete like that, because at heart, those women who NEED monogamy are the ones who are insecure. They’re afraid that without monogamy the man will abandon them. Men don’t abandon secure happy women they find attractive. They might want to accumulate more of them, but they don’t abandon them.

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