I have an issue with my boyfriend that has been going on for months. I’m 28 and my boyfriend is 18 years older than me. He has two children and is divorced. We’ve been dating for almost three years.
About one-and-a-half years into the relationship, I visited his place and found a woman’s hair in his bed. When I confronted him about it, he denied everything. However I got a bad feeling about it and was also curious. So I did something I wasn’t proud of – I snooped around his phone to find out the truth. I found out that he was playing me with four other ladies in the past.
When I confronted him, he was so guilty and defensive. We almost broke up because I was so disappointed. But he begged me and I love him so much that I gave in. Months later, I saw in his phone that he had started dropping those ladies and was no longer responding to their persuading except for one woman whom he had started dating before me.
I felt that he was very attached to her. She’s married, with children. They had been seeing each other for some years. They’d meet up every week. So I confronted him and he said that the relationship would end like all the others. I felt hurt but decided to stay.
Months later, I got pregnant with him and he wanted us to have the child. Two months into my pregnancy, the other woman found out about it.
She also found out that I had met his children, whereas she hadn’t, and yet she knew him before I did. She got furious and kind of obsessive and would throw tantrums and make threats. She left her house and told my boyfriend that she must stay with him.
At that point, my boyfriend wanted to leave the country and was assisted by her with the connections. They stayed together for a week. Eventually she moved back to her house.
Since then, she has been making threats. I told my boyfriend that I wouldn’t continue with him if he didn’t choose who to keep. I was so tired of the situation but I was pregnant.
Every time she attacked me, my boyfriend attacked her back and told her off.
I threatened that if he didn’t end the relationship with her, I would leave him for good. He pleaded for more time. Sometimes he’d lie and say that it had ended, until I found out later that he was lying. He also kept saying that there was no future for him with that woman because she’s married.
He wanted to leave the country with me but as I was pregnant, he left alone. I felt relieved because I was sure this woman wouldn’t attack me anymore. However she was still envious about my pregnancy. She took my panty and brought it back weeks later and kept talking ill of me.
When delivery time came, my baby died at birth, and my boyfriend was not in the country. He really loved the baby and was hurt by this.
When he asked me how he died, I told him the cause could be that panty, because the doctors didn’t find anything. He refused to believe it. I asked him if he was still in touch with that woman and he just kept silent. I knew that meant yes.
I asked him why he couldn’t end that relationship, up to now, if he kept on professing his love for me and saying he wanted to talk to my family about how serious he was with me. I’m tired of her being part of the relationship, yet I love this man so much. His failure to make a choice is destroying us. I feel it’s killing me. What should I do?
I’m so sorry about your baby. What an absolute tragedy. My deepest condolences.
About your situation, let’s simplify the issue. Your boyfriend’s actions show he wants to have sex with several women at once. If you stay with him, you can expect him to continue this behaviour.
From your letter, you want to be in a monogamous relationship. That tells us that you two are fundamentally incompatible. As the relationship has made you miserable and is unlikely to change, I strongly suggest you break it off. You cannot ever be happy with that man.
You write that you are concerned for his feelings. Let’s speak plainly here. It is not right of him to demand that you stay in a relationship that makes you unhappy.
As for his needs, there are plenty of people who are happy in an open relationship or in a polygamous or polyandrous marriage. If that’s what he wants, he should go and look for suitable partners.
Given he is 46 years old, and has lied to you repeatedly, and to the other lady too, it’s clear he’s a thoroughly bad lot. His actions show he is a manipulative liar who will say whatever it takes to get his hands on as many women as he can – and he doesn’t give a toss whether it makes them super unhappy or not.
There is no point in being in touch with a person like this. Don’t just dump him; block him and block the other woman too. Don’t think about either of them for another second. Let them sort themselves out.
As for you, get yourself a mental health practitioner who can talk you through this sensibly and without judgement.
You need to consider why you chose to stay with a man who can’t make you happy and who lied to you repeatedly.
I expect that you will also have emotions regarding your stillbirth. If you’ve not already addressed that, be certain to include it. Talk it out, grieve, and be gentle with yourself.
In addition, I urge you to remember some common sense: sometimes, terrible things happen for no particular reason. It’s sad that your baby died, but it’s important that you don’t fixate on blame.
Finally, have a good discussion about power in relationships, gaslighting and manipulation.
Make a list of all the red flags you ignored or didn’t understand. When you are ready to date again, use them to avoid being caught up making the same errors.
You want a man who is honest, respectful and who takes active care not to hurt his partners. That’s not a crazy standard, and there should be good men out there looking for a girl to forge a happy partnership with.
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