Great chat yesterday.
As for today, just remember to be helpful. You can be critical, but please give advice.
Q: I carried on an affair with a man -- who later became my boss -- on and off for over two years. It is an extremely long story filled with unbelievable circumstances, so I will summarize the events.
This charming man has insisted to many, including myself, that he and his wife "have an agreement" that if she doesn't know, him having extramarital relationships is fine. I took this as truth, maybe because I wanted to, and have known others he has approached this way, though none that followed through. I had intended it to be a short-lived affair, and he is well-known as somewhat of a womanizer, which added to my belief in his claim. I met his wife on a number of occasions and based on things she said and allowed us to do as friends, I was pretty convinced they really did have the agreement.
When I showed no interest in "dating" him, he laid it on thick and seemed genuine; however, when I would show interest, he would disappear completely. This became a recurring theme. If I tried to talk to him about "us," he would often lose his temper, blame things on me, break me down, and claim he just wanted to be friend ... only to seduce me a short time later. He often accused me of having personal ads up and trying to "cheat" on him, which I later found out was something he had been actively doing to me.
Why did I carry on this affair? Because when he made me feel good, he made me feel like the only person in the world. It sounds pitiful, I am aware.
After two years of fighting, I finally had enough. I started encouraging him to leave me alone, be my friend, and be with his wife, but he was unrelenting. He wouldn't stop hassling me about getting back together. We finally had a huge fight and he became afraid I would tell his wife, so he told her. I did not believe he told her, as he often seemed to lie, and when he recounted what he said to her, he revealed he had lied at least about the length of the affair, so who knows what else. I believed him after she confirmed it in an email to me and asked me to cease all contact.
Still, we kept in contact. On and off, we were friends, but we often talked about getting back together (mostly fueled by him). We did not engage in sex, but he would still give me little presents and often made plans with me, which one of us would cancel. Over the last six weeks, he tried to come back to me multiple times, only when I wasn't interested, and when I finally became interested, he unloaded hell on me. I told him I couldn't handle the emotional strain of his mercurial emotions and to either come back or leave me alone.
Shortly after, he contacted me under innocent pretenses as a friend, and began the begging anew. I was resistant, but finally believed him again and wanted him back. A few days ago, we had a short phone conversation in which he accused me of being the juggernaut in this recent scenario (though I have emails that show otherwise) and was outright cruel. He claimed to me that he now honest and wants to work on his marriage (which he has claimed several times, only to come back to me), when just a few hours before he was trying to arrange a meeting with me. I am tired of him coming back. I feel gullible and stupid for believing him so many times and have told him to leave me alone multiple times.
I am considering "helping" him to be honest by contacting his wife with texts and emails, but there are literally thousands. I don't want to hurt her, I just need him to leave me alone and I think it's unfair that he broke my heart repeatedly, cost me my job and some mutual friends, and continues to wreak havoc on my heart whenever the mood strikes him. Should I send all of our communications and alert her to the reality of the relationship, or a select few showing that he has not kept his word and has been seeking me out repeatedly?
I am not malicious. There is something wrong with him and I have come to realize she lives in a bubble of her own denial. I want to be left alone and I want him to have no avenue whatsoever to come back to me, be it innocent or otherwise.
– Enough is Enough, Calif.
A: Do not send emails to the wife, EIE. And stop trying to be this man's friend. Change your email address and cell phone number so that only safe people know how to reach you. Cut him off.
You keep taking about his bad patterns, but you're the one who succumbs every time. His wife actually wrote to you and asked you to stay away, and you dismissed her request. You ignored her. She might be in a bubble of denial, but so are you. You started this because you thought he had an open marriage, but you continued it even though you knew you were the other woman.
My advice is to give yourself what you want. "I want to be left alone and I want him to have no avenue whatsoever to come back to me, be it innocent or otherwise." Fine. It's not that hard. You just have to change that phone number and go away.
This situation isn't out of your control. Everything that's happened to you has been a choice. Let this letter be the start of the rest of your life. Don't forward any emails. Just disappear from this man's world so that you can have a world of your own.
Readers? Why can't she let go? Is she addicted to this situation? How can she cut him off? Advice? Help.
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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 new novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith here and on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.