I Am In Love With a Man Who Wants Me To Stay With Him While He Dates Another Woman.

couple in martini bar, girl annoyed due to boyfriend taking on his phone

Dear Evan,

I guarantee my question has never been asked before.

I threw myself into my career for 25 years and didn’t date until I was 48 when I met a wonderful man that I fell deeply in love with. We had a wonderful 2 ½ year committed relationship and then he cheated on me. I found out because the woman kept calling the house at all hours of the day and night. When I found out, I was crushed and walked out the door.

He begged me to stay and told me he wanted to see both of us. I waited so long to meet him I couldn’t give him up. I had made a lot of mistakes in the relationship having never dated before. I love him so much. We have been in this love triangle for 7 months now.

He keeps her a secret from family and friends, and has sex with both of us. I continue to entertain, and am having his family for the holidays. He does spend more time with her now than with me. She has taken over most domestic duties for him that I used to do but does not live with him, nor do I. He claims he wants me to focus on my small business that is causing me financial problems.

My support group says that he views me as a friend now and has moved on with her. I would start to believe my friends, except that if he really loved her, why has he kept her a secret for so long? I have tried to leave him 5 times, including writing him a letter telling him I can’t do this, and he has begged me not to give up on us yet.

We were having relationship issues, and he was vulnerable. The woman is extremely manipulative – she totally stroked his ego among other things. Still, I know he is to blame for his choices.

Is there hope for us to be back to just the two of us again? I hate what he did to us, but love how he treated me for those 2 1/2 years.

Thank you,


You need a few gallons of self-esteem.

Dear Terri,

I don’t know how much I have to say that isn’t plainly obvious to everyone but you.

So I’ll say it succinctly and without judgment.

No. There is no hope for the two of you.

You need to leave the relationship.

You need to let go of him.

You need to get therapy.

You need a serious reality check.

You need a few gallons of self-esteem.

I acknowledge that it’s much easier to say this than it is for it is for you to live it, but the first step is in taking stock of your own decision-making. And, to an objective observer, you’ve put yourself in one unusual position.

What’s particularly unusual about it is how deeply in denial you are about what’s going on. Now, denial is not unusual among women — if it were, He’s Just Not That Into You wouldn’t have made a blip on the radar. But given that most people indulge themselves in some sort of wishful thinking, your refusal to look at the facts of this situation is staggering.

Here they are, restated to you from another point of view. It may be hard to hear, but, well, I don’t know how else to do it:

Your boyfriend was cheating on you. He may have been cheating on you for 2  ½ years, but you didn’t find out until one of the women spoke up and ratted him out. Paging Tiger Woods.

Naturally, he begged you to stay. He wouldn’t want to lose anyone as blindly devoted as you. You bought this, as if this was a sign of his love for you. Nope. It was just a sign of his selfishness, and your cluelessness about his real intentions: to have his cake and eat it, too.

He may have been cheating on you for 2  ½ years, but you didn’t find out until one of the women spoke up and ratted him out. Paging Tiger Woods.

Your “love triangle” as you call it is really about as close to bigamy as it gets. Except your boyfriend is smarter than the average Mormon. He didn’t have to marry either of you! He gets to set the terms of both relationships and see you both when he wants. She has “taken over domestic duties?” You entertain him for the holidays? You both sleep with him? This guy must be charismatic enough to be a cult leader.

Somehow, Terri, you’ve remained willfully blind to the fact that any man who would cheat on you behind your back, ask you to accept it to your face, and keep you as his booty call for 7 months after finding a new girlfriend… is probably not the best choice of partners for you.

And that’s to put it mildly.

He’s kept her a secret because everyone he knows will think he’s a scumbag for doing what he’s doing. Everyone, apparently, except you.

At this point, my dear, your predicament is no longer your boyfriend’s fault, nor is it the “manipulative” other woman’s fault. It’s entirely, 100%, no-questions-asked YOUR fault.

This insanity will only end when you have the courage to walk away.

Otherwise, your amazing boyfriend will continue to be the property of someone else — namely, his girlfriend.

Please take care of yourself and ditch this loser today.

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  1. 41
    My two cents from Philly

    Terri, run before he asks you to have a threesome with her (perhaps he already has)?   He sounds like a very entitled type who thinks he can pull that off with the two of you since you are both cool with the triangle.   You deserve someone who is into you and only you.   You will live a life of pain with this degenerate.

  2. 42

    Melissa #2 said it best, Evan.   Love reading all your articles/letters.   She needs “a few gallons of self-esteem”!   Classic.

  3. 43

    I agree with Melissa @ 36 (and got a chuckle)…..WTF…about the whole situation!

  4. 44

    This may not be what women want to hear, but physically attractive men are going to be high-risk for promiscuity,  regardless of how open they are about it, simply by virtue of their options.
    So, alot of women who *think* they are in an exclusive relationship with a man, are actually sharing him with their GFs – and  this happens alot more than you might think.  
    And from my personal observations, there is no shortage of women who would accept(and thus enable) such behavior  willingly rather than trade down – to a lesser guy with less options.

  5. 45

    I’ve been with a jerk for 3 years. It was totally my fault, and I’ve ended it only a while ago. I finally plucked up the courage…
    It was a difficult journey, and harsh though trough words may not always be enough. Site called baggagereclaim.com & the author’s book Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl helped me a great deal on my way. Women like Terry (and me) are often afraid to deal with their own feelings. I recalled my actual first love I could never quite “digest”… Go on, face what you feel however painful or awkward it can be and good luck!


    Evan’s former Focus padawan 😉

    P.S. Evan, I hear you better now lol! I’ve read this story a second time without being in denial and was able to acknowledge every word here.
    P.P.S. There’s still such a coaching opportunity because of us, poor Fallback souls…  

  6. 46

    im olso in same situation am e small house actualy his maried w 8kids

  7. 47

    I agree totally with Evan. Per Evan’s advice in a newsletter, if your friend were in this spot, what would you tell her to do??? Know that you are awesome and wonderful and fantastic! You deserve the best in life, a man who adores you and treats you with a ton of respect! Tell yourself you are awesome, wonderful and fantastic OUT LOUD (100 times if needed). Do it with attitude and confidence. Then, call him (the man you are bidding farewell to) and say it is over. Say goodbye. Hang up. Walk away from the phone if it rings. Call or go out with a girlfriend ASAP. Appreciate yourself and your life 🙂 I know from personal experience (details spared and it took me TWO YEARS to leave) you owe it to you. Your self-respect is worth so so much more. You can do it Terri! You are fabulous!!!

  8. 48

    I’m in the same kind of situation as we speak. Only that Im at the point where Im tired of being second, lied to, having to put puzzle pieces together. I want to believe he loves me, but I know he doesn’t. More time is being spent with his babymama than spent with me, he says he’s not doing anything and that it’s not what I think it is, but if that’s the case than why did she call me twice, why did he tell me he had to turn his notifications off, and why did he try to come see me then tell me he can’t stay long because he has to take her garbage out? I stopped aski.g him questions, stopped calling and only text’d to a minimum, in order to analyze his actions, to put myself first and to give myself a self assessment. He’s not worth the sleepless nights, the urge tocry, the wasted time holding onto fairytales and rainbows. Im fed up and Im tired and I denied hos wanting to see me and told him it would be a great idea to break apart until he is single. And that may not even be a good idea because then I’ll have to worry about another woman feeling my vacancy of being the other woman. It’s just not worth it girl. Lately along with the analyzing, I’ve been out by myself, having fun and meeting others. You should do the same. I love me first, I know my worth and I know if I continue with this mess, it will damage me and my future relationships. Its just not worth it. Change your number, use the block list or just dont respond. You can do it!!!!!!!!!

  9. 49

    I’ve seen the situation in reverse actually.   HE was engaged to a woman and was dating me and sleeping with me.   I had no idea he was engaged.   However, when I found out and told his fiancé about him, she asked to stay with him.

    Madam, you are most welcome to a two timing SOB.

    So she got engaged and did he do it again with another woman? Yes sir!

    1. 49.1
      Karmic Equation

      She was a dummy. Or she didn’t care about his two-timing. Maybe what she cared about was that he was rich or status’d. Or she was addicted to his c*ck. Or maybe she two-times him on a regular basis.

      Some women don’t care as much about cheating as other women, depending on her own options, morals, or lack thereof.

      The only sad thing is if she believes that if she showers him with more love, that he will change. That’s not going to ever happen.

  10. 50

    Yes Karmic Equation – she was one sad woman.   And he still tries it on with me.   I told him basically to go fly a kite (I’m sure you know that expression) because he still wants me.

    I need him like I need a pain in the gut.


  11. 51

    How interesting you use a photo of a Black couple in the man sharing blog post

    1. 51.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      These are chosen by my assistant from a stock photography site. I would guess this post is probably 7 years old. And if you think that this is “interesting,” I think you should direct your energies to actual racism instead of passively-aggressively accusing me of some form of latent racism through my assistant’s somewhat arbitrary choice of photos that have accompanied these blog posts since 2007.

      1. 51.1.1

        Lol calm down. I was making a joke not accusing you of being racist. since man sharing is an issue in the Black community. geez lighten up.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          As a former comedy writer, thank you, Dee, for telling me to lighten up and illustrating how NOT to write comedy.

          Maybe a smiley face or an LOL might tip future readers off that you’re trying to be funny.

  12. 52

    If Terri had some self-respect, she would have kicked her boyfriend’s sorry rear to the curb a long time ago. The fact that some women don’t mind being a side chick and being used for a booty call doesn’t surprise me. Their actions reveal that they have low self-esteem.

  13. 53
    Kristy johnson

    I am in the same predicament as you are. But in this case — she wasn’t kept a secret. It was only a secret kept from me. All of his close female friends knew about it. He even talked key logging me and chatting with the other   man etc and that he’s stuck with me etc… But yet I’m still here.. It’ll be a little over a month still being there with him but I am planning to leave this weekend. I said i could of forgave the sex but I could not forgive and forget that from the proof of videos and pics I found, that he was truly in love with her. That hurted me to the core. I was strung along for 2 years and we been together for 6. He said it was 2 years but who really knew how long.

  14. 54
    Katie W

    I’m in a relationship where love with mine, in seperate bedrooms. For a long time I swore he was talking to another woman in his room. He would tell me I’m crazy. I vigilantly keep my eyes and ears open. They started playing psychological games on me. I caught her climbing out his bedroom window. He told me I was hallucinating. I started to believe that I was looking it until I talked to my friend.   He still denies it, but I clearly hear them talking.

  15. 55
    kha rafael

    Thank you very much for this article.. I am experiencing the same right now. My mind is telling me to give up as the situation does not worth the time and energy to think over and over again that I am on this bad relationship. I also had this realization that he is none other than a selfish man. I can say, I am not happy anymore..everytime we talk over the phone, I feel emptiness.. I feel anger.. I feel I am kind of losing myself.. That I always realize I was not born to stay in this kind of agony.. but i dont think i have enough strength and courage to say it out loud..to say that “I am giving up”.. my prayers is that I be graced with more strngth to let go..

  16. 56

    We all need a friend like you, Erik!

    I hope whoever reads this, realizes how much of a life saving favor it is for someone, like Erik here, to tell it like it is, bluntly. Just like this. No sugar coating. This is not Erik being rude or mean. It is him doing you the best favor you’ve ever received by genuinely trying to save you from your enemy; from yourself. I am an extremely empathetic person, and I feel for Terri (and anyone who has felt deranged and helpless like this). It is so sad that, essentially, your first and only relationship  experience/sexual partner/feeling of what you think is love was purposefully poisoned by someone else’s narcissistic and thoughtless actions. I’m sorry that happened to you. That said…

    DO NOT allow yourself to play the victim. Acknowledge and feel all of the shittiness that you feel from this period of your life. Realize this is a huge life lesson that most of (if ever) have experienced and learned, at least 25, if not 30 years earlier than you did. You are so fortunate to have had this spelled out for you here. Decide today (and hopefully this happened the very moment you read Erik’s opinion and advice) to leave, pick yourself up, and dust off the dirt. You don’t have to hold on to this shitty experience or the gut wrenching memories. Let go of what you thought love was. That was not a story of love. But this is still your love story, and it requires you to have a clear and profound realization–you are deserving of true love, one that you never have to question, because you know your worth. You just need to remind yourself! And get new friends who will call you out like Erik, and get real with yourself. You are already perfect–battle scars and all–exactly as you are. That’s real. All the best, sista <3

  17. 57

    hi the same thing happened to me. he cheated on me a few years ago and I found out after he broke up with me. I went through hell when I found out eventhough the relationship was over by then but the idea of him cheating on me while he was with me was so disturbing. I was so loyal and kind to him and he lied to me and cheated on me I guess just yo get laid and feed his narcissist ego. last year he came to my life again pleeding guilty and begging me to give him a second chance and he loves and wants to marry me . as i am coming from a middle east culture and respect marriage alot i thought he was geniune this time so I agreed to give him a second chance and fell back in love with him all over again. last week I found out he has a serious girlfriend who he also promised to marry. I didn’t blame him this time. I blame my self for being so naive and stupid . he is a cheater and cheaters never change. they all know that you will get hurt once you find out and they might try hard to keep it secret but trust me once they know you find out they give no shit about you and your feeling. and they might beg you to stay because they were enjoying the hide and seek game. cheating is fun for them. please leave him. and trust me if you don’t he will leave you. because he knows what a bad person he is and you staying with him makes him feel you are so low that you deserve a bad treatment.  so will look low on you. Run

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