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Relationships Department

Please remember, this column is designed to help the consumer seeking behavioral-health information, and not intended to be any form of psychotherapy or a replacement for professional, individualized services. Opinions expressed in the column are those of the columnist and do not represent the position of other SelfhelpMagazine.com staff.


I have been involved with a married man for over three years. Many times we have tried to let go of each other as we both realized that it was not right since he was married and due to his religious beliefs and morals -- he felt that it was wrong to break a marriage no matter what problems there are. I had always accepted this and when I failed at other relationships we would see each other again. I know I am foolish to be involved in such a messy situation but I do love him and cannot let go. I do have other men interested in me, but I am not interested in any one else.


Your situation is very common, including the pain and suffering that you experience. Becoming involved with a married person to the point of considering a future together is a very dicey proposition. First of all, the relationship that is established is based on knowing the person as married, not as a single and available person. Thus the playing field is not level. The married person is dividing his/her emotions between two people. Secondly, there is the issue of trust. Namely, the married person is cheating on his/her spouse. What's to say that he won't cheat on you? Thirdly, you are putting yourself in the position of second class citizen, waiting for your lover to make a decision about who will be the benefactor of his affections.

Perhaps you should question your own psychological makeup. Why are you willing to accept being in such a precarious situation where you have to accept his excessive baggage? What damage does this do to your self-esteem? Are you afraid of intimacy with someone who is totally available? Are you so needy for a relationship that every time a relationship breaks up you fall back on the married man? Your relationship with him sounds like one based on neediness or dependency rather than on authentic love. Some of these relationships do work out, but then some people do win the lottery. Do you want to base your future happiness on a lottery?


Dr. Edward A. Dreyfus is a Clinical Psychologist, Marriage, Family, Child Therapist, and Sex Therapist. Dr. Dreyfus has been providing psychological services in the Los Angeles-Santa Monica area for over 30 years. He offers individual psychotherapy to adolescents and adults, divorce mediation, couples counseling, group therapy, and career and vocational counseling and assessment.His book, Someone Right For You, is available in the Amazing Bookstore Catalog.

Dr. Dreyfus can be reached at: (310) 208-5700.


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