This reader feels she needs to stand by a man who can’t stay true to her. Dr. Sherry explains why leaving him is long overdue.
You've seen celebrity clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake, author of The Single Married Woman: True Stories of Why Women Feel All Alone in Their Marriages, keep the Braxton sisters calm on the hit show Braxton Family Values. Now it's your turn to sit in her chair...
I have been in a relationship for a very, very, VERY long time. This relationship for me has been filled with nothing but hurt and pain. But yet I'm still here. When I became pregnant he was preparing to marry someone else, but I stayed – my first mistake. Over the years there have been other women but I have remained loyal to a man that can't be loyal to me. This has made me very insecure and has lowered my self-esteem. There's no validation or anything, yet I'm still here.
He says he loves me, but I often question that. We never go out – not even as a family. I've lied and defended this relationship for so long that I don't even know what is true anymore. I'm tired of being the only one defending whatever this is. People often said they want a relationship like ours and I tell them, “no, you don't, because you want something better.” I wore a ring to remind me that I deserve to be happy but now I look at it and get depressed. I'm writing you because I've tried to leave but can't. We share a child so that makes him part of my life forever. What can I do?
Dangerously in love
You definitely understand the issues and know the correct answers to any lingering questions. The problem is that you are afraid and do not want to face the truth. You are in love and committed to someone who has only given you "hurt and pain" in return. This is not love! You are living and telling a lie to prevent dealing with the reality of the truth. While you may be hurting from the relationship, you are not hurting bad enough. When you are hurt bad enough, you will leave. You are using your child as an excuse to stay. You do not have a healthy relationship with your child's father and he does not have to be a part of your life forever. Yes, you have a child together but his relationship with his child does not have anything to do with you.
For whatever reason, you are choosing to play the role of the helpless victim here. Remember, the key word is "choosing.” It is time for you to be honest with yourself and decide if you are going to choose something different. Individual therapy is recommended to help you understand why you continue to stay with this man. If you want something different, you must DO something different! – Dr. Sherry
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