Q: “I met what seemed to be the man of my dreams at the time. He was everything I always wanted in a man and relationship. On our first date, we started to build a strong friendship and talked and shared so many special moments. Over the course of our relationship we spent many days and nights together. I fell in love with this man really fast and thought I met my soul mate, only to find out three months later that he had totally deceived me. I discovered he was married and had been for 12 yrs. This was the last time I ever spoke to him. I often ask myself, should I have contacted his wife? A part of me feels like she deserves to know the games her husband is playing with single women. I walked away from this situation and refuse to ever speak with him again. Should I contact her? -- Janeeka
A: It sounds like the man of your dreams was actually the man of your nightmares! Believe it or not, many women experience the same nightmare. It is unfortunate that once the nightmare is over, the pain and anger lingers. This is to be expected. When relationships start fast and intense, beware. It is important to get to know the person as much as possible before you allow your emotions to take control.
Once you are emotionally involved, it is easy to overlook telltale signs. For example, is this person only coming to visit or calling you at certain times? Does it appear that he has excuses to account for blocks of time that he is “missing in action”? Does he bring you around his family or friends? Do you know anyone else that knows him? Do you know where he works or what he actually does for a living? Is he always coming to your house versus you going to his? While these questions may sound as if you are playing detective, it is best to play “Columbo” on the front end rather than be the victim on the back end. Granted, you do not have to fire off these questions to him on your first encounter. However, integrate them into your conversations and observe his behavior.
You can learn a lot about a person by listening and observing. If emotions take control too soon, issues that are clearly warning signs are often overlooked. Once we find out the truth, anger and humiliation often set in. It is likely that it is anger that drives you to want to contact his wife. But, you must ask yourself, “What is the purpose?” You stated that you feel that his wife deserves to know the games that he is playing. What makes you think she doesn’t know? Many women know their husband is cheating on them and choose to stay. It is likely that letting her know is more about you than about helping her. You can tell her, but don’t be surprised if it backfires on you. It took a lot of courage to walk away and not get “messy” with him. I suggest you keep walking and consider it “a lesson learned.” — Dr. Sherry
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