DEAR NATALIE: I have been having an affair for about three years with a married man from my office and I am sick of the mind games he has been playing with me. He always talks to me about leaving his wife but he has yet to separate. I am tired of being “the other woman” and just want to be able to be together without all of the drama. I have threatened to tell his wife if he doesn’t do something. I am giving him two more weeks to let her know and then I am going to let her know what is going on. He is panicking. I don’t think he realizes that I am serious. What do you think I should do? I am sick of this and want to move forward with our life together. He promised me he would leave her. Any insight as to how I can get him to do something? —TIRED OF THE SECRETS
DEAR TIRED OF THE SECRETS: Isn’t this a tale as old as time? How many men really leave their wives — seriously? I want you to reevaluate why you are wasting your time dating a married man. Even if he left his wife, someone that is capable of being this duplicitous is going to behave like that with everyone in his life — yes, including you. Why would you want to build a life with someone who has so little regard for the people around him? Don’t make this worse than it needs to be. Just walk away. If he wants to live a life of lies, then let him find someone else to do that with. You won’t win in this scenario. If you did reach out to his wife, it would most likely make her turn on you. Who knows? He may then decide he wants to stay in his marriage, or they may divorce. Then he may be resentful that you blew up this perfect little world of having his cake and eating it, too. Find your own path. In fact, I would consider therapy to dig deep into understanding why you would put yourself in this kind of situation. What kind of partner do you want and what kind of partner do you want to be? What kind of person do you want to be independent of a partner? You have some work to do. And he sounds like a lost cause. Let him go and move on. You cannot build a house on sand.
DEAR NATALIE: My best friend is being so shady and I think she is cheating on her partner but I am not sure. She doesn’t talk about her relationship very much, but her wife is a really decent person that everyone gets along with. My friend has been taking all of these “solo trips” recently. She said it’s because Covid had her going crazy in the house and she needed time alone, but I talked with our mutual friend and they think she is cheating with random people that she is meeting online. I love her so much and just want her to be happy, and I’m really annoyed that she hasn’t clued me in with what is going on. Should I confront her about this? Not sure what to do? Any advice would be helpful. —SHADY LADY
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DEAR SHADY LADY: Regardless of what your bestie is doing, I have one question to ask: Why are you so concerned? This sounds like an issue between herself and her wife. The worst thing you can do is meddle and get caught in the middle. Your best friend will be angry that you are inquiring into something that she clearly wants to keep private, and you could end up ruining your friendship. It sounds as though you are annoyed that she hasn’t clued you in because there is this level of entitlement into her private life that you feel as though you are owed. I hate to break it to you, but people have secrets. Sometimes a lot of them. Now whether or not this disappoints you is one thing, but you can’t force her to explain herself or force her into sharing something that she isn’t interested or willing to divulge. The other thing to take into consideration is the fact that this is all hearsay. You have no idea if any of this is actually true or if it is just gossip. Instead, just try to be there for your friend. When and if she is ready to share, keep an open heart and mind until you find out exactly what is going on.