Dear Dr. Archer,
After two years of dating the man I wanted to marry I discovered he was living a double life. I found out he had another woman in his life who is married.
I trusted this man and thought he was the perfect man for me. He continued to lie, telling me it was over, but I recently learned he has her debit card and her name is on the lease to his apartment.
I'm struggling because I decided to move on without this man. When I start making the steps toward distancing myself from him, he sends flowers and gives me attention again.
Am I just obsessed with this guy? Why can't I walk away? Could he have manipulated me to this point in which he knows how to play me? I'm a strong woman, self supported and self sufficient. What's wrong with me?
Any time I confront him he turns the situation around. Could he be a sociopath? I'm feeling lost and hopeless. I've prayed and prayed and continue to be pulled back into this relationship.
I know he's still involved with this other woman. If you can offer any psychological help or words of wisdom, I'd welcome it! Thank you for listening.
Okay, what your ex did to you was bad, no doubt. It happens every day, and I know it hurts. But, hear this clearly -- he doesn’t have a magic way or special power over you that keeps you coming back -- stop that magical thinking now.
Your actions, Rhonda, are telling him that you know about his cheating with the married woman, and even though he cheats on you, even though he disrespects you, even though he lies to you, you'll take him back.
In other words, you're just encouraging his outrageous behavior. This is no longer about him -- it’s about you! You are choosing to accept this behavior, to live with a guy that is cheating with a married woman and seeing you on the side. If this is who you are then go for it. But quit whining about him, you are choosing this life.
Quit confronting him and expecting a different reaction. The best way to get over him is to NEVER, NEVER, NEVER take him back. Period! Tell him in no uncertain terms that you want nothing to do with him. Tell him he is a liar and a cheat and that you can NEVER trust him again.
Then, Rhonda, cut all contact. Quit confronting him, quit taking his calls, de-friend him on facebook, change your phone #, even move if you need to -- but get him out of your life forever!. YOU are the one who can end this and YOU are the one responsible for causing your misery.
Cut the ties, and spend time with your family and friends. Take care of yourself and you will start to feel better; time will heal your pain. As difficult as it seems, there will be better times, but you're going to be the one to make it happen, and there's no time like NOW. Good luck!