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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5220
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology helping with relationships
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I have know this woman fleetingly for 10 years. She is very

Customer Question

I have know this woman fleetingly for 10 years. She is very flirtateous I have been divorced and without a girlfriend for most of that time. She came on to me last June and took up the challenge, She is an an unhappy marriage. She opened my heart up. She is 55 but looks 48 and i am 66. I told her i did not want to be in a triangle any more even though we have not been that sexual. She has 2 daughters 16 and 19. She said if the youngest was 18 she move in tomorrow. She said she did not expect to fall in love with me. I kow she has had previous lovers in her marriage.Do I wait?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 3 years ago.

Hi! I'll be glad to be of help with this issue.

I can imagine how difficult this situation must be for you. While the relationship is not that sexual it is, still, the first relationship you had in a long time. And it may have potential to be a lifelong relationship. But you imply you have some resistance.

The resistance seems to be that this is not the way a lifelong beautiful relationship should be conducted in your value system. It doesn't seem to feel right to you in your values. I agree. That she doesn't seem to take her current vows to her husband with loyalty is worrisome. She's flirtatious and has had other lovers. Will she be any more loyal to you once she's living with you than she is with her husband? Is it really her husband who is at fault here or is it she who gets bored and needs to flirt and bed other men occasionally to feel good and young and attractive?

These are good questions, but they are questions. They mean, therefore, that you are not ready to make a commitment but there is no need to completely give up on the relationship. You have time to decide here. So use it.

Whether you should have sex with her during this time until she divorces is again a question for you to decide based on your values. If your values say you should not, then stay with your values. Believe me: you will not be happy in the long run if you have to keep going against your values to maintain her interest in you. If she loses interest because your values are so different from hers, then that will let you know the answer to your question right there.

But if she is able to maintain the platonic friendship for these two years, then that's great. Now, at the same time, I urge you to keep dating single women. You two do not have an exclusive relationship; she's married, after all. And if another woman does come into your life who you feel you wish to enter into a long term relationship, then this is your right and it is worthwhile. That she will be hurt is not an oppressive reality here; she is not that emotionally exclusive in her feelings. So, to summarize, keep on with the relationship, perhaps setting better sexual boundaries that are appropriate to her being still married, and keep yourself available to other relationships that might present themselves.

Okay, I wish you the very best!

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Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5220
Experience: Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology helping with relationships
Dr. Mark and 2 other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

She says I dont want to be in the triangle any more because I dont really love her and she is the one that is hurt and not because of my morals. I am in a conflict because I have passion and care and excitment for her. How do I know what is true

Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 3 years ago.
Hi. I'm sorry that the system somehow didn't alert me automatically you had replied like it usually does. I only found it out now while doing a manual review. I apologize.

You know, there is something called bias. It isn't just groups. Individuals have biases. We are biased toward things that make us right, for example. If there are two possibilities and one of them would make us feel like we're in the right, then we're biased toward that possibility, right?

And when you are judging what people tell you, it is crucial to be aware of and factor in their bias. Here's what I mean:

She tells you that you're wrong. It's not anything about morals or values. It's because you don't love her. It's because you're not such a good guy after all.

But what's her bias here? If she would agree that you have a valid objection because of values, what position would it put her in? If she instead claims that you're not such a good guy but someone who's just excusing his rejecting her, what position would that put her in?

This is why I have to discount her evaluation of the situation here: it is self-serving. Therefore, I have to consider heavily the possibility that it's a product of her bias: she doesn't want to come out of this being the bad guy; she'd rather you are the bad guy.

So in the end, I can't tell you if she's right or you're right. But based on the biases present and the arguments made, I wouldn't spend too much time questioning your motives on this: you are uncomfortable with the relationship as it stands because of your values and she's uncomfortable with you asserting your values. That seems to be more consistent with what you've reported.

All the best,

Dr. Mark

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