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Should Aussie ditch mate?

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  March 1, 2009 07:51 PM

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This letter is somewhat of a train wreck. It comes to us all the way from Australia (the e-mail address even ends with yahoo.com.au!). For effect, imagine the letter being read by Nicole Kidman. And for kicks, imagine my response being read by Hugh Jackman.

Q: Hi,
I have been in a relationship for the past year with a man who left his wife to be with me.
He has lied to me many times throughout the relationship -- to the point where there were so many different versions of things I felt like he was trying to drive me insane.

On the other hand, he is almost obsessive about me, gives me little time to myself, and can’t do enough for me. My instinct is that he has been having sex elsewhere, possibly with his ex-wife. Our sex life has dwindled off since we have spent the last three months arguing over his lies. He says this is OK, and that sex doesn’t matter much to him anymore, (he has 'changed' since being with me). Based on his honesty threshold, I do not believe this. In his marriage to his last wife, he had one affair he never told her about, and also lied to me and said he had never been unfaithful until he met me. I later found this to be a lie.

In February he told me he would apply for his divorce, and even though he has the application, he makes excuses and keeps putting it off. He tells me it’s going to cost way more than it actually is, and that he needs heaps of paperwork to finish it (he only needs to ask her for a copy of their marriage certificate). Recently, he has taken on their mortgage completely so he could pay her out more than her half of their martial property. There are a few other financial affairs and assets to sell as of yet, namely a rural property, which he cannot afford to buy outright in order to pay her half, and some vehicles.

Unfortunately, for me, I am trapped financially, I had quite a large sum of money last August, but having contributed to his standard of living, it has dwindled to nothing, plus I have no car to get to work in.

What do you think?? My plan is just to get proof of my suspicions -- instinct isn’t enough for me -- and just make the most of it, but stay emotionally detached, and least then I wont get hurt so badly if I am right.

-- Demelsa, Australia

A: Instinct isn’t enough for you, Demelsa?

Look, I know that leaving someone you love is easier said than done, especially when you're in the thick of a mess and have lost all perspective. That said, you’re broke because you live with a cheater who won’t get divorced. The nicest thing you've said about this cheater is that he smothers you.

He sounds like a real dill (that's Aussie speak for idiot!).

I’m not sure why you believe you need proof of anything to get out of this relationship. If you're really just sitting around waiting for evidence that he is betraying you, it's time to run. If you feel too broke to bail, find a friend or family member who will take you in.

There are probably positive attributes you've failed to mention about this guy – there always are – but frankly, I doubt any of the relationship's qualities outweigh the deceit, financial ruin, and neurosis. And what's this nonsense about his standard of living?

Unless you couple off in your early 20s, you can expect that every new partner will have a past life that may include children, pets, divorce agreements, mortgage payments, etc. In exchange for your tolerance, you have every right to expect honesty. Your bloke hasn't done much to put you at ease.

I’m pretty sure Boston.com readers -- even the ones who usually disagree with me -- will back me up on this one. Readers? Yes? Can you give this Aussie a talking to? Share your thoughts for Demelsa here. Submit a letter here. Read a letter about holidays here.

-- Meredith

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20 comments so far...
  1. Finally a semi-intelligent answer from Meredith...Dump him asap ad run as far and fast as you can. If you are too blind or stupid to see how much damage he has done to you then maybe you deserve it. Bottom line, get out, get a good therapist and move on in your life. There is no gray area here for discussion. Finances are no reason to stick with a relationship, if you aren't happy money doesn't matter.


    Posted by Rico March 2, 09 06:28 AM
  1. If he'll cheat WITH you, he'll cheat ON you! Get out!!! Now!!!

    Posted by MJ March 2, 09 09:14 AM
  1. DUMP HIM.....LOSER!

    Posted by Kylie March 2, 09 09:29 AM
  1. Here is what to me is the key statement: "Unfortunately, for me, I am trapped financially, I had quite a large sum of money last August, but having contributed to his standard of living, it has dwindled to nothing, plus I have no car to get to work in." He's left you with more than a dangling participle. Get out now before he leaves you with a kid that he won't support.

    Posted by Been there, done than March 2, 09 09:36 AM
  1. Lace up your sneakers and run, woman!

    Posted by Bobbe Anderson March 2, 09 09:40 AM
  1. Please note that I'm trying my best to not be too harsh, but it's really, really difficult.

    What proof are you looking for? The guy is still married. You gave him a bunch of money and gave you excuses as to why he isn't divorced. Now you have no car, no job, and a guy that is obviously trying to ditch you. I mean really, what else does he have to do to let you know he does not care? You are only "trapped", because you continue to devote time and money to him. Wake up.

    Posted by Hoss March 2, 09 10:01 AM
  1. Egads. Run, girl, fer cryin'out loud. How many more red flags do you need ?

    Posted by I'm_At_Work March 2, 09 10:09 AM
  1. I'm sorry, but this sounds awful. Cheating, lying...you trying to stay detached so you won't be hurt so badly...you think he is trying to drive you insane?! No sex life?
    And this is all in only one year?
    Find support and make a change. Friends, family or therapy can help.
    Also, there are some great books out there that offer solid advice/support. Try "What Smart Women Know" by Steven Carter.
    Good luck.

    Posted by pbp March 2, 09 10:13 AM
  1. My dear...he left his wife for you and you expected fidelity? That aside, you're being used. Meredith is right. Find a way out. Move closer to your job so you can walk or take a bus. Find a co-worker who needs a roommate and who will want to share gas. It will take you a while to rebuild financially, but emotionally, you'll be a lot healthier. He's a loser. You deserve better.

    Posted by Chocolate Chip March 2, 09 10:16 AM
  1. My Australian sister-in-law met a guy a lot like this one. Bad news all around. Could be the same guy for all I know. Don't know if their divorce came through. There is a rather lengthy seperation period to go through.
    Dump him quick, and get out. If the usual friends, relatives and church aren't available try social services. Police are good, they could tell if he is married and ask the wife direct.
    That ought to staighten things out, but honestly I think he is scamming her for the money.

    Posted by wainwright peregrine March 2, 09 10:26 AM
  1. Demelsa
    Your story earily mimicks my situation, here in MA. Speaking as the wife who was left for 'you' , the other woman, how do you know he's even telling you the truth about the divorce?? I filed for divorce over a year ago, after years of dealing with his constant infedelity. He's dragged his feet, for what purpose, I'm not sure, since there is no chance that we'll ever reconcile. My guess is that as long as he's still legally married to me, he doesn't have to make a real committment to the one he left for. He can keep the 'fun' of the affair because he's still bound to his former life. I finally had to tell him to leave our home and sons and stop the sham of a marriage due to his constant, never ending infedelity for 20 years - before and after we were married. I'm sure there were other affairs that I didn't know about. over the years, including the one he said was over years ago, but wasn't. And incidentally, that woman wasn't the one he left me for!! That one was a different woman, all of them working at the same place. She must be just thrilled that he moved in with someone else, NOT her!!
    I think you're being lied to about the divorce too. I understand your comment about his 'lifestyle' since I was left with a HUGE amount of debt, trying to pay off his way of life. He's since decided to kick in a lot more $$$ to live up to his obligations - as he should have last year. But you need to realize that he felt no remorse in lying to his wife, the woman he was legally bound to. What makes you think you'll be any different?? You're not. You should trust your instincts, don't wait for 'proof' and move on with your life. What's your incentive for being lied to and paying for his 'lifestyle'?? Realize you're getting played and move on. And for the record, you knowingly participated in the destruction of another woman's life and family, so you really don't deserve to have any consideration. You are only getting what was dished out - by you - so in a way, what goes around comes around. Now it's your turn to worry/question/wonder/stress. How does it feel?

    Posted by Fed Up Wife March 2, 09 10:43 AM
  1. You say he smothers you? Honey, that’s not love, that’s a man who is cheating, knows how its done and how to get away with it, and is making sure YOU don’t do the same thing to him that he’s been doing to you. You spent your money on him and the sex has dwindled? He got what he wanted out of you. You think if you love him enough he will change? Swing and a miss! Take a good, long look at him: this is what he will be like for the next 60 years if, by some miracle, he did actually get that divorce and marry you. Exactly like it is today. 60 years of feeling EXACTLY LIKE YOU DO RIGHT NOW. Sixty Years. Do you really want to spend the rest of your life living just like you are today….because you will. He’s a liar, cheater, and a user, and very, very selfish. No amount of stupid, standard romantic “you changed me” speeches or candlelight dinners or the classic: “I’ve never met anyone like you” line will be worth the year after year of physical and emotional infidelity, the crying jags, the depression….He is NOT going to change. Ever. EVER. EVER!!!! My advice would be to spend your time getting your next residence set up. Check with your local social services about housing and a job, pack what you want to take with you, and go. Nobody deserves this kind of treatment.yoshimi

    Posted by yoshimi March 2, 09 12:18 PM
  1. Good thing the sex has dropped to zero, because you won't get stuck with a kid by this loser. Have some self respect - and walk right out of there.

    I'm guessing you might be afraid of him, why else write for advice half way around the world. If so, get to the police or a social service agency ASAP.

    Posted by Red March 2, 09 12:56 PM
  1. RUN, MY DEAR!!
    Run very fast and very far. As far as the money goes.....well, it's only money and better to count your losses now rather than later.

    Posted by linda March 2, 09 01:01 PM
  1. I spent a lot of years wondering, "when is this going to get better?" I put up with the same things you have, more or less. Guess what? It never, ever got better. Despite apologies, flowers, romantic dinners, grand gestures (all of which I fell for), a leopard never changes his spots. It cost me time, money, dignity and self-respect, and it is costing you the same. Despite your financial straits, cut your losses and reclaim your life. I know that people can't make big changes until they are perfectly ready, but please take strength from all of these posters and know that this is the time. Waiting another minute costs you more and more and costs him nothing. You deserve better.

    Posted by Jetta March 2, 09 01:13 PM
  1. Honey, like they say You get what you deserve.... Shame on you going with a married man. What are you desperate.... The guy is obviously seeing exactly what I see, a chance to have a great time and a girl who is desperate enough to believe him. I Feel bad for HIS WIFE.

    Posted by woman of the world March 2, 09 01:26 PM
  1. Cut your loses and run!!! Your self-esteem and self respect is worht so much more.

    Posted by Michelle March 2, 09 01:48 PM
  1. Hi-
    Dearest Demelsa (Dementia in Aussie):
    I think you like playing the victim. True, the pain of being used is heartbreaking, but I think it’s a pattern you know well. I think the drama you have allowed in your life is intoxicating. Some may view it as payback for being an adulterer, but I believe the need to be self-important overrides any moral code you may have embraced at one time. You remind me of the character played by Carrie Fisher in “When Harry Met Sally”. She was always laying the misery of her adulterous relationship with the married guy on her friends and ended each musing with the line: “He’s never going to leave her, is he?” And everyone would answer: “Oh honey, no”. This went on ad nauseum. Now if you want to be in a movie, go join the Actor’s Guild. Otherwise, manifest Bruno Kirby and live happily ever after…if you can exist with significantly reduced drama. My guess is you need to do allot of work on yourself before that can happen.

    Posted by valentino March 2, 09 02:06 PM
  1. nice, really nice!

    Posted by arowboveTer April 17, 09 09:07 AM
  1. nice, really nice!

    Posted by arowboveTer April 17, 09 09:07 AM
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

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