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Ask Dr. Shirley Schaye Your Own Question
Dr. Shirley Schaye
Dr. Shirley Schaye, Doctor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1673
Experience:  PhD-Psych; Certif. Psychoanalyst NPAP& NYFS; Memb.APsaA;IPA; Pub.Author; Teach/Supervise Therapy
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Warning This is a doozy. I love my gf. Shes so warm and

Resolved Question:

Warning: This is a doozy.

I love my gf. She's so warm and kind and seems truly in love with me when we are together; sex is great; but she's leading a double life.

She 'broke up' with her boyfriend of 13 years (they met when she was 21) 2.5 years ago when he came out as gay. He's been in Europe all that time. Now he's returned to our city. On the day he returned she cried all day saying she felt like she was going through the breakup all over again. When she met his lover at a party, she burst into tears and left the party, and cried all the next day. Now that male lover of her ex is out of the picture. He's gone.

At this point, my gf's ex has moved 4 subway stops, 5 minutes away, from her. She's given him keys to her apartment. She IM's with him multiple times per day. They had 6 separate chats on Oct 28. He visits multiple times per week. She wants him to sleep at her apartment to look after her dog while she and I are away on vacation.

This past week he IM'd her these words. "I'm sleepy. I wish you could come over and wake me up," to which she responded, "LOL." She said a new food she tried was "sweet, like honey," to which he replied, "Sweet like you." He signed off with, "KISSES."

To be fair, this was when we were going through a hard time. He might have been trying to buck her up. He did actually suggest to her in that IM exchange, that maybe she could conform to get along with me more, rather than expecting me to change. So his words are not 100% geared toward getting her back. But any guy who tells my gf she's sweet like honey and says KISSES, has earned himself a bloody nose. I won't give him one. But I'd like to.

She told me she was putting up boundaries. They would never see each other alone. That has broken down. She sees him alone almost exclusively. She would stop giving him work (she farms out freelance work to him). She's gone back on that and is giving him freelance work again. She would never confide in him about me. But she's been doing that this week. She said she would take her keys back from him. A month later she hasn't done so. He is free to enter and leave her apartment at will. And he sometimes goes there to feed the dog, walk the dog, and for all I know to hang out and nap, when she's not there. It feels like he's incrementally moving in.

She has a 2nd Facebook account, that uses her pet dog's name, but with a last name that hyphenates her last name with her ex's. She said it was old. I asked her to change it. She refused. I friended her on it. She would not accept my friend request.

While we were away at a B&B she IM'd with a friend saying she felt depressed because she hadn't been in contact with her ex and so wasn't having a good time (for two weeks after she met the male lover of her ex, they did not speak). It was painful, she said.

She's told me she loves him, but not romantic love. But I also know this. She has this thing she does where she writes a sentence and repeats it to herself. She says she can tell if it's true or not that way. It's some flaky new age thing. Well, she wrote, "I have no more romantic feelings for Scott. I have moved on." She told her new age friend that she tested "weak" on that sentence, which means she believes it is a false statement. She is unaware that I know this. She is unaware of most of what I know. She sits beside me with her laptop and I can see everything. She's oblivious to this.

I told her on Sunday that I was fighting a losing battle, that she had two boyfriends but should only have one, and that boyfriend was Scott, not me. I said I released her and she should just go to him. She told me I was crazy and that I should get the notion out of my head.

I wonder if she is conflicted, or truly loves Scott and just uses me for the one thing Scott cannot give -- sex. Unfortunately in that department I -- not to brag, but I excel. I think this works against me, as it makes me very suspicious that she wants me for physical pleasure, and wants Scott for emotional love and closeness. I hope I am wrong. What do I do?

Our couples' therapist thinks I should back off and let her work her thing out with Scott completely on her own, that I should not ask or seek to know anything about her relationship with Scott. I believe this "black box" approach has helped her to backslide and go wild with her old flame, if only emotionally.

Please help. FYI, she is 37. I am 51 (a darned good looking 51, forgive the vanity. The number freaks me out. I look 42 tops. Women my age never approach me. It is always women in their 30s who judge me by looks to be in their ballpark age-wise). Though my gf, when she was 15, had a 30 year old boyfriend, so maybe she likes older guys? Don't know. At any rate, we are both working people. It's not as if she is in a different stage of life. Scott is 38, a perpetual Ph.D. student and penniless. I show my gf a good time dining and with theater - I'm an attorney. Scott can't do that.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr. Shirley Schaye replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for contacting Just Answer. Well, I don't know what is wrong with your couples counselor!!!!!!!! What planet is she on? That's unbelievable to me that she would not deal with that in the session. How shallow her training must be.
Well, clearly you see where I am coming from --- a very different place. Of course, your girlfriend cannot expect to be in a relationship with you and still maintain the relationship she has with Scott. That's absurd!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You need to tell your girlfriend that she is either in a relationship with you or with Scott. She cannot have it both ways. She and the couples counselor need to learn that a relationship isn't only sexual. If you are able to, you need to tell her that she MUST stop this or your relationship with her will end. If you cannot do that youi should see a therapist to help you get out of this pathological relationship. My mind is boggled by what that couples counselor is recommending. I wonder what training she has????????????????????
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If you want me to find someone for you give me your city, state and zip code and I'll be glad to help you find someone OR at least a couples therapist who has adequate training.
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