This past week I had a client who was relatively new to me. She is young, professional and seeking a relationship with a good guy. She wants a family and feels ready. She was all smiles this week, a change I noted immediately. When visiting with her more, I mentioned how happy she looked. She smiled coyly and told me she was in love. Being in love makes all of us happier. We feel cared for and euphoric with the idea that we matter to someone else. I asked her about the guy, and all of a sudden her expression, as well as mine, changed. This man who made my client so happy is married with three little kids at home. He told my client who “loves him” that he is married to a crazy woman. He said it has been bad for a long time, and he doesn’t want to lose his children so he stays married. This is a typical story, and therefore I was not impressed. I was impressed by the lust, infatuation, and addiction my client held. So much so, that she said she loved him so deeply she could not let him go. I asked her how many people she had loved in her life. She responded that she had never loved any man this profoundly, and knew he was the right one.
After exploring further, I found out that my client had been treated poorly by men in the past. They had ignored her and made her feel inadequate. She went on to say this man made her feel smart, sexy, adored and that he was so thoughtful (I wondered if he was thoughtful in regards to the lie that he would no doubt tell his wife). Telling this client, at this time, what I was thinking would not work. She was in lust, infatuation, and addicted, but she was not in love. Love doesn’t lie, cheat, and it isn’t always charming. Instead, I advised this client to consider the following.
Believing you are in love with someone who is married is common. I hear and see it all of the time. The problem is that it is like seeing only the trunk of the elephant and blinded to the rest of the elephant’s body. You cannot love what you cannot see. In other words, you love someone acknowledging their worse and best. If you don’t know their best or worse, have a couple kids and you’ll find out rather quickly.
Men (or women) who cheat have nothing to lose in the relationship. They have everything to lose if they leave their wives (or husbands) and families.
A cheating man (or woman) will tell their lover what they want to hear. It is very predictable for them to say that they will leave their spouse some day. They usually don’t. The statistics for you and them if they do leave are poor. Many of the remarried couples struggle with jealousy. They know that each other can and did cheat.
Once you cheat with someone married, no matter how this term affects you, it is adultery.
What should this client do to let go of this married guy?
She must focus on herself and get so busy that she cannot attend to him anymore. To help her do this, I reminded her to get into the head of the other woman and her small children. How would she feel in this other woman’s place?
Set up a support system of friends. Tell the friends what you have been doing. Ask them for their support in helping you let go. If you don’t have many friends, this may be another reason why the married guy likes you (easier to keep it a secret). Confide in a clergy person. Telling someone is going to help you hold yourself accountable.
This guy said his wife is crazy. She may be, but how do you know? She may be feeling vulnerable, and this guy may be totally self-centered. Watch him. Charmers are good at charming because they understand what people’s needs are, and they focus on fulfilling those needs. This guy cheated on his wife to be with you. What makes you so special that he won’t cheat on you when he sees someone else who needs him?
Our hearts alone don’t tell us who to love. It happens to all of us; we have a “crush” or feel an attraction to someone. This is the critical time to be honest, note it, and walk away. To become seduced by it when you have the potential of hurting a whole family and children is selfish and weak at best.