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He said he'd break up with her

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  December 23, 2013 08:55 AM

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Q: Dear Meredith,

I recently had a short fling on a trip with a guy who, while unhappy with his girlfriend who he's been living with for 10 years, will not split up with her. He describes their relationship as "fine," but since he wants a family and she doesn't, he sees no future with her. He has cheated on her twice (there was one before me).

He says he's been obsessing about breaking up with her for a year now, discussed it at length with all his friends, and can't concentrate at work.

To be clear, we never said we would get together when they break up, even though I also want a family.

But I would have never agreed to sleeping with him had I known it was just a side-step. I am not "the other woman." It was done on the explicit understanding that he would, to use his words, "uncomplicate his life".

I now feel used and upset. I have been off work with another bout of depression (I lean that way anyway, and this brought on another low of crying nonstop).

I can tell from Facebook that he has chosen now to give his relationship another go with a cutesy profile picture and posts of domestic bliss. I can't tell if this is directed at me, but I wouldn't put it past him.

Even though we agreed to stay friends, he has cut off contact and does no longer reply to even the most innocent messages from me.

I, therefore, wonder what to do. I don't understand why I should be the hurt one here when I have done nothing wrong.

I wrote a long piece about our fling in a blog and am hoping for as many comments -- good or bad -- to find closure and maybe even an answer. I would hugely appreciate your advice as well.

– Do I tell, NY


A: Let this go, please. No more messaging him. No more blogs (after today). You participated in a cheat and it didn't work out. You need to talk to your therapist (assuming you have one) about your depression and about how to stop obsessing over this guy, because he clearly isn't worth any more of your energy. He's not a part of your present or future.

The lesson here -- well, one of them -- is that unless someone is really single when you hook up with them, you should assume that you're a "side-step." There's no reason to get it on with a guy who has a girlfriend. If he's unhappy in his relationship and wants to make out, tell him to get single and then give you a call.

You must talk to a professional about why this incident triggered such misery. For whatever reason, you've let this guy symbolize something big, but he's really just one coward who makes bad decisions. Get some perspective and come up with a plan for coping with the sadness.

Readers? Why is she so upset? Should she tell his girlfriend? How can the LW let this go? Help.

– Meredith



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ABOUT LOVE LETTERS: Welcome to Love Letters, the place for love advice (giving and getting). Globe relationship columnist Meredith Goldstein and Boston.com readers are ready to take your letters and tell you what's what. Have a question? Click here to submit or email us at loveletters@boston.com.
Blogger Meredith Goldstein

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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