Dear Margo: When Mr. Wrong’s Time Is Up

How do I move on when my heart still belongs to Mr. Wrong?  Margo Howard’s advice

When Mr. Wrong’s Time Is Up

Dear Margo: I was in a relationship with a man who was separated and living alone. This lasted nearly two years. I felt he was the person I should have met 20 years ago, that finally everything made sense in my life. Then one day, without warning, he dumped me, saying he was going to try to reconcile with his wife. I was beyond devastated. I went crazy and tried for two years to get him back. He cheated on her with me, and I did everything wrong. I still love him. I have no history of this sort of behavior, but I do see a therapist and am on medication, which helps.

My dilemma is that I really miss male attention and have been advised to start dating other people. The idea is both intriguing and repulsive. My main concern is whether or not it’s really OK to try to form a new relationship when you are still in love with someone else. I don’t think I’ll ever stop loving this man, and I know I would cheat, given the opportunity. What can I do? — Ruined

Dear Ru: Well, good that you are seeing a therapist. I would try to work harder to understand why you wish to hang on to this man who is not available, does not reciprocate your feelings, and is not adding anything to your life except mental commotion. If he doesn’t put a high value on you, then you must put a high value on yourself. He is using you — with no concern for you as a person.

I think it a form of masochism to imagine you’ll never stop loving this man — an idea that works well only in poems and novels. I would definitely date new people and am betting you will be surprised. I can tell you, though, that you must be resolutely done, emotionally, with the Bad Boyfriend … for then and only then will you be able to be open to recognizing someone of quality. — Margo, historically

Diffusing an Uncomfortable Situation

Dear Margo: I find myself in an odd situation. A few months ago, I did not go to work. I was severely depressed and was involuntarily committed to the psychiatric ward in a hospital. What caused my depression was ongoing workplace bullying that my supervisors did nothing about combined with a high-stress and somewhat dangerous job. (I work with homeless, mentally ill and addicted persons.) I did not call my employer to say where I was because, well, I had no access to a phone for many hours after I was checked in. My employer called the police and my parents. By the time I managed to call my parents, 16 police officers had been out looking for me, and my apartment had been searched for any evidence of foul play. I was so embarrassed by everything.

Thankfully, I am on the road to recovery and am not ashamed of my hospital stay. It was something I needed in order to get back on the right path and find happiness again. All of my co-workers know what happened. I am going back to work soon and don’t know how to handle the questions and looks. Any advice? — Back in the Saddle

Dear Back: Because you say your co-workers know where you spent your “vacation,” I would go with humor. Something like, “It’s so good to be out of the bin, though it really was the pause that refreshes.” This will tell people you are not ashamed of your mini-breakdown and that it’s OK to talk about it. My hope is that your employer did something about the bullying. — Margo, restoratively

* * *

Dear Margo is written by Margo Howard, Ann Landers’ daughter. All letters must be sent via e-mail to dearmargo@creators.com. Due to a high volume of e-mail, not all letters will be answered.

COPYRIGHT 2011 MARGO HOWARD
DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM

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39 Responses so far.

  1. avatar Jody says:

    My perception in regards to LW#1:
    Even the fact that you chose the word “Ruined” as your signature says it all. Stop for a moment, take a step back, and look at the bigger picture here. The mellow-drama you are creating is all a picture you’ve painted on your canvass. This has not been done TO you. But, rather, you are creating it and find yourself a willing participant in the boyfriend.

    I believe it’s time to see NO ONE. You cannot fully enter a relationship right now in the frame of mind you are in. You’ve told yourself a story… that this man is for you… and believe it to the point where you will sacrifice your own happiness to keep the story alive. Only YOU can change this by LOVING YOURSELF FIRST. You have forgotten about yourself, what you want, how to care about you, how to give yourself what you throw away in giving to him.

    You deserve to be happy. He is toxic and cannot make you happy. You can only do that for yourself. There is something you are getting out of this or you wouldn’t do it. Put yourself in check and see what that is.

    You mistake obsession for love. IF you truly loved this man, you would be okay with letting him go. When you really love someone, you wish and want for their happiness over your own enough to LET GO. Stop being afraid. The love you seek is already yours. It’s within you, but you have to give it to yourself first before anyone else will.

    My heart goes out to you. This is a life lesson for you… a road less traveled… a journey of finding yourself. Take your time, it’s worth the trip.

    Many Blessings
    Jody

  2. avatar Deeliteful says:

    LW #1: Bless your heart (that’s what we say in the South). I don’t know how old you are, but you need to move on. I hope you remain in therapy and find a better place for yourself. I’ve been married, divorced twice, too many “unhealthy” relationships to count and as I approach my 60th birthday wonder what the hell was wrong with me. Listen to Margo and Jody, you owe it to yourself.

    I understand missing male attention, but take a break and get yourself to a “I love me” place. Any man can fill that void you are feeling, but don’t let it be just that. Best wishes to you.

  3. avatar Deeliteful says:

    LW #2:  Your friends will not ask for specifics and those who do don’t really matter. Say “In a former life…blah, blah, blah” whatever you want to say. You do not owe these people any explanation. Ignore their looks. Most folks are relunctant to bring up “emotional” problems because they are afraid it might be contagious. I applaud you for recognizing you had a problem and sought help for it. Best of luck to you. 

  4. avatar Lisa Cornell says:

    LW#1 Reading through this letter a couple of times, I don’t think she is ready for a relationship at this time. I think she still needs to continue working with her therapist and I think she needs to work on self-development. She needs to get out and develop a skill, a hobby or passion. She is completely self-absorbed and has zero self-esteem. To begin a relationship now, would be unfair to her and certainly unfair to any unsuspecting potential boyfriend. If she has a network of friends, now is the time to renew friendships. In the fullness of time, she will be ready, but personally, I think she would be far better waiting a while.

    LW#2 What this woman is describing is workplace mobbing. It is a toxic work environment and unfortunately is becoming very common. It flourishes in environments that have poor management, no strong leadership, and a sheep-like mentality by the majority, who follow the lead set by the bullies. I suggest before returning to work, this reader needs to contact a good employment lawyer and discuss what is going on in the workplace. He/she will help the reader with taking appropriate action in drafting a complaint to HR and management of this problem, thus putting the company on notice. The situation is dangerous, and could be illegal if the reader can establish an underlying discrimination or retaliation. In the meantime, the reader needs to consider her health. Perhaps she needs to consider dusting off her resume, looking for a new position elsewhere where she will be appreciated and can have a fresh start. This way, she need not ever discuss her personal life with her workplace colleagues and continue to heal and grow in a new and healthy work environment.

  5. avatar A R says:

    LW1: Some men (and women too) have a certain “hold” over others. Something about their personality and power for lack of a better word make others just quit thinking when it comes to being with them. They may not be the most handsome or most gorgeous, but they exude a charisma that makes it hard to walk away. Dunno why, but if I did, I’d figure out how to bottle it with a big warning label. (Maybe a skull and crossbones?)
    If she’s been with a guy like that, it’s hard to just stop thinking about him or walk away. It is quite possible, it just doesn’t feel good.

  6. avatar Katharine Gray says:

    LW#1:  I don’t know how long you have been in therapy but if you have been with a therapist for the 2 plus years since he dumped you, you need to see another therapist because this one is not helping you to move on.   If your therapy is something new, then give it a chance to help you.  I’m more inclined to agree with those commenters who suggest you are not ready to start another relationship.   

    LW#2:  You are not specific about the workplace bullying but I agree that you need to document future instances and make a report to your HR department.  Some of your co-workers may be genuinely concerned if they ask how you are doing and others may be insincere.  You probably know already who the sincere and insincere co-workers are.   The best approach is to simply say:  Thank you for asking, I’m much better now and eager to get back to the job.  Then let it drop.  If someone persists in their questions, simply say:  I don’t want to discuss this anymore, I need to get to work now, and walk away.

    Or, you may get no questions about your absence whatsoever.  I would not interpret a lack of questions as a lack of empathy or concern, as most people will realize it is not their business and act like nothing whatsover has happened.  That would probably be my approach to the situation unless we had a close relationship outside of the workplace.   

    • avatar Sandy B says:

      Katherine, I agree with your response about letter 1- completely.

    • avatar David Bolton says:

      I think part of the problem with K’s answer is that during the “post-dump” 2 years—the BF and LW continued to see each other, despite that the BF had allegedly dumped her. In actuality we don’t know how much time has passed since the last time LW got a booty call from BF. My guess is—probably not that long.

  7. avatar Barbara says:

    Margo said it well to LW#1. This is about you. You have to decide you are not in this fantasy romance world any more where you will love this guy forever and cheat on whomever you might have a future relationship with if only Mr. Wrong winks. If you tell yourself you will be forever under his spell, you will be. You need to have a stern talk with yourself to get a grip. Move on, grow up and then look for a real relationship.

  8. avatar sadrunner says:

    I’m going to disagree with the majority here. I feel that maybe a rebound relationship might help to provide a kick to end the cycle that LW1 is in. It might not be the perfect fix, but might be one more useful step in the process.

    I found this info in Psychology Today, and hopefully this link will work: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evolved-primate/200911/the-case-rebound-relationships

  9. avatar Amy says:

    Darn it Mina, you’re right. i need to stand up and stop denying it. My name is Amy Barklow, and I DESERVE CHEESECAKE!

  10. avatar htimsr40 says:

    Lw#2- “What caused my depression was ongoing workplace bullying that my supervisors did nothing about combined with a high-stress and somewhat dangerous job.”

    And you are going back to that same workplace? And you are worried about how to handle the questions and looks … presumably of those who allegedly bullied you so deeply that you needed to be involuntarily committed? And these people deal with homeless, mentally ill and addicted persons?

    Apparently your time spent being treated didn’t address your issues. Returning to an environment THAT hostile could not possibly be recommended. If the allegations are true, you need to take legal action against the organization, not return to work. Opening yourself to further abuse in order to document the abuse is bizarre.

    And Margo’s suggestion to use “humor” when confronting those who drove you to need commitment? Maybe she didn’t read your letter and provided advice from a pick list (Problem 2A: uncomfortable work situation – “use humor”).

    • avatar David Bolton says:

      I hear that—as I read this letter, it got more and more “out there,” to the point where I wonder if it’s even real.

    • avatar Katie themick says:

      Also, why does the whole office know? Can you say HIPAA violation? Your boss isn’t supposed to go around telling everyone your health business.

  11. avatar Kathy says:

    LW2 – Workplace bullying does not lead to involuntary psychiatric hospitalization.  Involuntary confinement doesn’t – can’t – happen unless there is some seriously erratic or self-destructive behavior.  Every workplace has its share of aggressive, rude or dismissive  people.  Most of us navigate around them.  It’s possible that due to her mental instability, she was unable to do this, and saw herself as being systematically victimized.  And while she believes her hospital stay put her “on the right path”, it’s not that simple.  She may have ongoing psychiatric challenges that will make it difficult for her in any workplace. 

    • avatar luna midden says:

      Sorry Kathy, did not see your reply, I was having computer trouble. Glad you picked up the Involuntary too, unlike MARGO. (Think along the way of Britney Spears chopping off her hair, bashing a car with a bat and being hauled off to the hospital, her father had her committed for 72 hours, she SUPPOSEDLY WAS ALERT through all that)  I would like to add, if she is ‘blaming’ workplace bullying, no matter how extreme on her breakdown, she is not ready to return yet to work. And she should NOT GO BACK TO THIS TYPE OF WORK. I cannot imagine any decent psychiatrist or psychologist telling her it is okay to go back to work in the same place. I would think they would ‘recommend’ that she seek a less stressful line of work. Training is available for people who have gone through hospitalization or disability. The gov’t pays for it. And yes, Kathy, she might find it difficult in any workplace. We do not know if there really was ‘bullying’ in her workplace, or she just preceived it. She should be able to qualify for disability or being retrained like I said. PLEASE DO NOT GO BACK!!!! I bet her bosses are equally surprised she is coming back and are wondering what to give her to do and what she can do.

  12. avatar MKE says:

    LW1: erm…I would expand on Margo’s last bit of advice about being done with Mr. Wrong emotionally before you can let anyone else in… the way you come across now tells me you shouldn’t be dating yet. Those poor men! You are a bit of a mess over “the love of your life”… you know, the one who is married and told you its over and he wants to get back with his WIFE. How unromantic. You have to get over this somehow, and however long it takes, before moving on to another guy. You need to get YOU straight first, then worry about dating. It sounds like you are on the right track though, I’d keep going to therapy….

    LW2: Wait, you are going back to work in the place where you were bullied so bad it got you commited? I’m confused, was it co-workers being bullies, or was it the emotionally/mentally unstable people you’ve been working with? eh, either way it sounds like a new job, if thats possible considering the economy, would benefit you greatly….

    • avatar luna midden says:

      I think you hit it on the head more than some other posters. We do not know the whole store with LW#2, but, having worked in not-for-profits before, and as a nurse before I became disabled, I think, and I may be wrong, the stress of the population she was working with drove her over the top more. Almost Everyone has workplace stress, but I have dealt with drug addicted, homeless, mentally ill people. While I think people who work with these people deserve a special place in heaven, IT IS NOT FOR EVERYONE and for most, they cannot do it long term. Yes, it is EXTREMELY STRESSFUL and co workers probably bring their frustrations back to their other coworkers. It is something other workers have to shake off and go on. When I did my jobs, yes, co workers did go off occaissionally on each other. Not right, it did happen, because you did not do it to a PATIENT, CLIENT. You have to find another way to blow off stress, without bringing it home either.  I would think, even though this woman (?) WANTS (?) to go back to this job, IT IS THE LAST THING SHE SHOULD DO!!! By the letter, she has been out for months. She was INVOLUNTARILY COMMITTED…. People missed that.. She had to be doing something along the way of HURTING HERSELF to have that happen! Esp. that they would not even allow her, or SHE WAS NOT CAPABLE of calling anyone from the hospital. ( Hours before she could contact anyone-meaning hours before the hospital could get any contact info FROM HER???) She was in really bad shape. I do not know what her pay is, if she needs that pay… but, please, she should consider another career path. She cannot deal with high stress. So few people can do that job and probably when she goes back (and they have to take her by law, I believe) she will be given very low stress patients and will not be pulling her weight. Is that far to the others there?

      • avatar htimsr40 says:

        Luna Midden – “workplace bullying that my supervisors did nothing about” does NOT sound like the stress of dealing with a tough population of clients. I think she covered that stress with the other part – “high stress and somewhat dangerous job”. The letter TO ME sounds like she is saying her colleagues bullied her … and now she is wondering what to say to them. This is NOT a situation she should be returning to if it was so stressful that it led to her involuntary commitment. It’s not a question of how to speak with those colleagues … it’s a question of how to find different employment. And whether to take legal action against a company when supervisory personnel allowed thing to develop to that extent. Assuming that her story is reasonably accurate in telling the facts.

  13. avatar Cindy Marek says:

    L #1: You’re only ruined if you believe you are. What he did to you was so wrong, and obviously painful. Unfortunately, it sounds as though you may be codependent. He is out of your life. You need to, for your own sake, move on. You’ve got to regain your sense of self-worth and purpose, and believe the right man IS out there, waiting for you.

    L #2: I’d say nothing. It’s no one’s business anyway. At the very least, say “I appreciate your concern (even if they’re simply being nosey), but would rather not talk about it. Thanks.” And that’s that.

  14. avatar R Scott says:

    LW1 – You don’t still love that guy. You said it yourself, “…you miss male attention…”. There you have it. Once you get some other guy sniffing you up you’ll be fine. I hope you and your therapist are working on that “male attention” thing. That’s kind of sad.
    LW2 – Don’t borrow trouble. Walk be into the workplace and honestly answer any questions and don’t be shy about pointing out the elephant in the room if that seems appropriate. You have nothing to hide.

  15. avatar David Bolton says:

    Lw1: If the idea of dating is both “intriguing and repulsive,” that’s a pretty strong indicator that you’re not ready to date. I don’t know who advised you to do so, but it sounds as if you’d just be setting yourself up for further failure.

    As far as your question about whether or not it’s possible to form a new relationship when you are still in love with someone else—it’s totally possible. It’s also unhealthy. Situations, attitudes and feelings DO change over time—if given the time. Keep that in the forefront when you start thinking about the permanence of your current mindset.

    Margo mentions that your former flame doesn’t put a high value on you. Apparently neither do you. If you want to try to hold on to something that’s neither attainable nor good for any party concerned—knock yourself out. It’s your time to waste (and the only one hearing those sad violins is you).

  16. avatar P S says:

    LW1 – Honey, you’re not in love. You’re obsessed, and it’s not a criticism or judgment against you – sadly guys like him have a way of digging into their partners’ brains and causing damage that way. I’ve been in your shoes and it’s an awful place to be.

    You need to, along with the continued therapy/treatment, find ways to get your mind off of him. In fact start asking your therapist for suggestions. I’d also examine the former relationship to see if maybe he’s traumatized you and whether he might be narcissistic since he had so little regard for you as a person.

    LW2 – I am hoping right along with Margo that your boss has stopped the bullying at work. If that hasn’t happened unfortunately there’s a risk of you being re-traumatized, especially if you’re still in a vulnerable place after your experience. I would talk to your boss about it and ask what provisions he/she is willing to make to protect you, and do so BEFORE you resume work. Maybe also have your doctor provide a letter saying how pertinent it is that you not be re-subjected to a hostile work environment. If your boss is not receptive then take it to HR, and again, preferably before your first day back.

    That is of course assuming you haven’t done so already. I apologize if I’ve made any wrong assumptions and you’ve taken measures proactively, in which case, good on you.

  17. avatar David Bolton says:

    LW2: I’m reading between the lines here and assuming that you had a breakdown and/or tried to harm yourself. If—as you said—this was brought on by “workplace bullying,” probably the LAST place you need to be is at your old job.

    That said, I’ll have to admit that your concern of “questions and looks” seems rather misplaced—and in all honesty makes me wonder if you have some sort of histrionic disorder, rather than a bullying problem. But let’s assume that the bullying does exist, and that your problem came about because of it. Here’s what you should do: go to the labor board immediately, as well as file a claim with Workman’s Comp. You should also get letters from your doctor/counselor/etc. stating the negative relationship between your work environment and your mental state. And then you should sue the pants off your employer.

    The only other question I have is whether or not the bullying came from co-workers or from the people you’re supposed to be helping. If it’s the latter—you need to find a new career.

    • avatar LCMom says:

      I agree with David 100%. A workplace is supposed to be free of hostility and as stress-free as possible. Given that it is naturally a high-stress environment, your employer should be taking steps to reduce the stress at work by having mental health days, giving plenty of other paid days off and providing good benefits to help offset costs of your life. Given that your workplace was hostile (created by employees and your employer alike) thus adding more stress to your already stressful job, I’d suggest speaking with the Labor Board and an attorney… or reconsider your career.

  18. avatar Debbie Ciaravino says:

    LW #1, I have to agree with Margo and add some personal insight. When my husband left me, I was devistated. Both for the lies that lead us there and for feeling like I was never going to be whole again. It took me 6 months of crying and some needed therapy to realize I was more in love with the idea of being married than I was with my husband. It also took me 3 years before I was truly ready to fall in love.

    However, my first marriage helped me figure out what I did NOT want the second time around, and what I was not willing to settle for. The 3 years in between helped me find myself again instead of the person I warped myself into trying to make my ex happy. Did I wait 3 years to date? No. You are not going to love every man you date. But, you will receive the male attention you are seeking as well as help yourself discover what you want.

    6 years after my divorce, I thank my ex for leaving. It was the nicest thing he ever did for me. 4 months ago, I remarried and I am the happiest I have ever been in my life. I can also say I am truly in love with my husband this time and not just an idea. It takes different amounts of time for everyone, but when you’re ready to move on, you will. Set out to see what other men can offer and worry about love later. And by all means necessary, cut this married man out of your life. What you are doing is not fair to you and it’s not fair to his wife.

  19. avatar bright eyes says:

    LW#2 – I wonder why if – just because she didn’t show up for work 1 day her boss called the cops and her parents. Why would 16 cops be searching her place just because she missed 1 day of work? If I didn’t show up for work – I’d get a phone call from my boss. If they couldn’t reach me, they might try my parents – but they definatly wouldn’t call the cops!

    • avatar David Bolton says:

      Yeah, there’s some inconsistencies here. If it were shown that the workplace was indeed the cause of the negative behavior/reaction—no boss or person in HR (or anyone in the legal department) in their right mind would allow an employee who has a history of mental disturbance back around other employees or clients. The more I think about it—the less I believe this letter is legit.

  20. avatar Belinda Joy says:

    Letter #1 – You say he was separated. That means he is married. You knowingly chose to fall for a man that you knew was married. Ugh! When will women learn that if someone is separated that means they are married. And before you get involved with them you need to ask “why” are they separated? I often use the old adage, “Remember how you got him, because that will be how you will lose him” and that is very true. If he cheated on his wife (which he did because he was married but living apart) with you, why would you be surprised that he left you for her or any other woman?
    It’s called karma, and it is a bitch.  

    Letter #2 – Humor is definitely the way to go in this situation. But not too much. People will label you as a loon.  I would also suggest that this letter writer use this incident as a learning tool and situation to open the discussion about the office bullying. Not necessarily to lay guilt on any of the co-workers that are engaging in it, but more so to put it on the table for conversation about the repercussions of hurtful words and actions.
     

  21. avatar D L says:

    LW#1 – I’m wondering what happened to this woman to make her think that male companionship is the end-all/be-all. Her comment of “missing male attention” is telling. You don’t need this man (or any man) to be happy. You created this fantasy in your head and now its time to come out of clouds. Continue with the therapy b/c I think you desperately need it.
    Have you told your therapist about continuing to love this man and how you will cheat to be with him? What does the shrink say?

  22. avatar CanGal says:

    LW2 – you say you work in a centre fo addiction and mental health. If they don’t understand they shouldn’t be working there.

  23. avatar Tiffany says:

    Most women I know who can’t let go of someone like this have one thing in common – zero self-worth. If he doesn’t want you, why would you want someone so stupid as to not take the love that you have to offer? Walk away and pity him his poor choices; don’t stand around like a dog waiting for its owner to pet her. There are maaaany other men out there looking for a good woman. Offer all you have to give to someone less stupid. And when he comes crawling back (because he will – exes, especially the bad ones, have a knack for knowing when you have moved on. It’s a huge blow to their ego to have someone stop pining for them) REMEMBER the way he treated you and REMEMBER that since he treated you like nothing that’s precisely what he gets from you – nothing.

  24. avatar Elizabeth L says:

    Great advice Margo but she also needs to see a lawyer about the workplace harrassement.

  25. avatar Baromomom says:

    LW1: My husband had an affair 3 years ago with a woman 10 years his junior who was going through a divorce (and completed it). We have since reconciled, as LW1’s ex-lover seems to be trying to do. Unlike this guy, however, my husband distinctly cut off the “booty call” availability, despite her still wanting to be available to him, and she would call him up periodically for more than a year after the affair ended to make the offer, despite being in a new relationship. She initially got with this second man in order to make my husband jealous and to get him to leave me. In the end, I felt bad for her, because I know he broke her heart, but I was astonished at the degree of denial and rationalization she engaged in.

    Here’s what made the difference between him staying with me and dumping her: 1) The reason for the affair: He was in mid-life crisis, his ego was flagging, and he liked how he looked through her adoring eyes. It wasn’t because I was cold in bed, it wasn’t because I treated him badly, it wasn’t because I was fat (I was none of those). His own admission was that it was because she was “new” and he liked confirming his ability to be “young” with her. He never stopped loving me, he just wanted the bonus of an extra woman. 2) When he asked each of us, individually, if we could move on if he left, my reply was that I would mourn the end of the marriage for a while, but that I wouldn’t put my life on hold, living in the past, and would hopefully find someone new to love. Her response: I’ll never love anyone ever again if you leave me. 3) Tricks: I lived my life; we went to therapy, had open discussions as to the repercussions of the affair, how to re-establish trust, and the reasons why it happened and why it might or might not happen again. When he was waffling, I refused to make the decision for him. She dug deep into her bag: 1)Ultimatum(s): By definition there should only be one. She kept making them, then withdrawing them or changing the drop-dead date effectively enabling him to ignore them, because he knew she wouldn’t stick to them. 2) Fake suicide threat: she made it, then went to the dentist. He was not amused. 3)Dangling a new man to make him jealous. His reaction: Eww. 4) Thinking that demoting herself from “wanna-be wife” to “booty call” would keep him interested enough, so that he would eventually leave me. 5) driving by our house. 6) Emailing him videos of love songs that reminded her of “us”.

    In the end, all it did was reduce his formerly high estimation of her character (he calls her crazy and dishonest now) and confirm his decision to stay with me. What did she end up doing? She married the new boyfriend last month. Whether she loves him, I have no idea.

    Bottom line: There is nothing you can do or say to get this man back. Neither you nor the wife have “magical powers” to control him, so don’t beat yourself up thinking, “I should have said this,” or “I should done that.” His choices are not your fault. For whatever reason, he chooses to be with her and keep you as an option. You need to love yourself enough to say, “I deserve a man who wants me and only me.” You deserve a man who is completely available, and to remove yourself from being his option. Live by the motto, “A married man is married until he isn’t.” That means, if he’s separated, in the “process” of getting divorced or living on the other side of the world from his wife, he is still not available, no matter how much he tries to convince you otherwise. Good luck on finding your self worth and finding a man who deserves you. This guy isn’t it.

  26. avatar Amber says:

    To LW1: The best way to get over one guy is to get under another one.

  27. avatar at8ax says:

    Word to the copy editor: “Diffuse” doesn’t mean what you think it means. “Defuse,” or perhaps “ameliorate,” though that lacks the preventative sense.