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Dear Lies People Tell,

I have a problem, and I am sure it is not unique, some validation would be so helpful:

I am a 34 year old woman (divorced) and living in a cohabitating relationship with a man I will call "B". We have been living together for a year and are planning a move soon to Pittsburgh for him to get his MBA (he is currently a physician). I am a nurse, so I will be working to help support us while we are there.

THAT is not my problem, though... B was married for 15 years to the same woman...but he had a mistress for 10 of those years and his ex-wife had multiple lovers for about 8 of those years as well. My marriage did NOT dissolve due to infidelity, but due to alcoholism and financial problems...just wanted to make that clear. This mistress was an "on/off" sort of thing, but she has emotional problems and became obsessed...sort of like a "fatal attraction" thing. He was not seeing her when we got together, and had not been for some months before... he swore he never wanted that kind of life and would never do it again. (He even asked me to MARRY him over the holidays!!)

Well, the mistress has continued to attempt contact through e-mails (which I saw) and notes/calls/etc. He swore he didn't contact her at any time while we were together. I was recently contacted by this woman (the mistress) and she informed me that B had been seeing her for the past 2 months...no sex, just kissing/petting/talking...because he told her he was supposedly "obligated" to me... I confronted him, telling him exactly what she had said, he denied everything, of course, saying that she was just trying to sabotage our relationship. My intuition says different. His behavior has changed radically as of late... he is argumentative, irritable, much "cooler" in the bedroom (if you get my drift), and distant. I have asked him several times if he thought I should leave, he always says "absolutely not...he loves me, etc" I know this ex-girlfriend has had a few suicide attempts because of B as well as therapy/meds/etc...and she probably WOULD lie to keep him, but why is my heart so reluctant to accept his words as truth? If he turned to her as a safety net because he fears our relationship is ending, then how will I ever know if he will stick around and try to work things out when we have disagreements or will he run back for an "emotional stroking" session with her? She also told me she would always be waiting for him...no matter what. This relationship is becoming addictive/toxic and I keep hoping that a move away will help things.

Everything used to be great...but I refuse to blame myself for all this...as I so often am inclined to do. Any information would be helpful...I appreciate your time and effort. Actually, Pittsburgh could be a great opportunity for me...with or without him...so going along might not be so bad. At least my eyes are open.




Dear Andrea,

Walking into the lion's den with your eyes open is still walking into the lion's den.

Here's the answer to your question: http://www.liespeopletell.com/askdave/howtotellif.htm

That link leads to perhaps the most profound words at Lies People Tell and it boils down to this: trust your guts, if you feel he's lying, he's lying.

I wish I could say this in a kinder way but well, this boyfriend of yours sounds self-centered to the extreme. He conducted a marriage for years, keeping a mistress on the side. I would say this alone should remove him from the pool of applicants to your heart -- unless of course you haven't suffered enough with other losers. He may have all the trappings of success and be incapable of intimacy. He may not like women at all and this is why he uses them. Who knows?

But he's not the problem in this situation. The problem is much closer than that. The problem, in my opinion, should be how quickly can you move out and get an unlisted phone number. But that won't make any sense. So you might want to look at why you would even consider playing any kind of role in the love hexagons this guy has created? You mentioned that the relationship is becoming toxic. It's not "becoming," it is toxic. A move anywhere with this guy is going to put the same play into action on a different stage, that's all.

I hope some of that is helpful.

-- Chris

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