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…
Over the last four years I have been going through a very difficult time. I recently began dating someone who was also dating someone else. No commitments. As time progressed, he would lie to her and say he “was behaving.” I have tried to move on and date other people, but he always interferes, and because I’m an idiot, I always fall back in. Last August I told her that he has been seeing me the entire time. She got upset with him but didn’t end it. I’m sure she believed he would end it with me. We did for about a month but than as soon as I was seeing someone else, he said he was going crazy and came back again. All I want is for him to be honest about himself. We have a strong emotional attachment and we’re both very attracted to one another and not married. Bottom line, I’m weak when it comes to him. Yes, I know I should tell him to go to hell, but I do and then I don’t back it up. I’m responsible for my behavior. The problem I face is that I want to tell her what’s happening between us again. To be honest, it comes from me feeling like I’m not invisible and he is not “your man!” It’s childish, I know, but that’s how I feel nonetheless. The last time I told her I was freed. I got it out and I was moving on, but I was still weak. This time, I’m not weak. I have tried to walk away but I can’t until I tell her, I know the truth and she knows the truth- my wellbeing relies on it. I have told him that I’m going to talk to her. He understands and doesn’t try to stop me. I’ve asked him to tell me to move on, but he won’t.
I’ve asked him to tell her about us, but he won’t. I hate to admit that I’m not big enough to just walk away. I have over a million times and I still go back. I feel that I need to tell her to end the relationship with him although it didn’t work last time. I suppose that’s why I’m writing to you. I really don’t know what the right thing to do is. Help!
The problem is not that you are not “big” enough to walk away. The problem is that you are not strong enough to stay away. While playing the game of friends with benefits for over four years, you have broken the number one rule of the game: Do not become emotionally involved. You stated and accepted the fact that there were no commitments and you were both dating other people while in the relationship. Now, you want to change the rules in the middle of the game. You want the rules changed because you have fallen in love with him. He has no reason to change the rules because he is not in love with you. He is just enjoying the game and he is winning by getting what he wants from you. You must stop and be honest with yourself.
The only reason you told the other women about the two of you is that you hoped that she would kick him to the curb and he would come running to you and want a committed relationship. That did not happen and will likely not happen in the future. The other woman understands the game and knows she is not the only one playing. She is not upset because she understands and has followed the number one rule. So, there is no reason she should kick him out. If you no longer like the rules or the game, stop playing. This is not about him or the other women; this is about you. When you get tired of being tired, you will end the game. It may be emotionally difficult but you must decide to walk away and not look back. He only comes back to you because you keep taking him back. If you truly want more, why are you settling for less? — Dr. Sherry
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