A Matter of Convenience
I am an avid reader of your column and I need advice.
I met a man from the UK a couple of years ago. He was married at the time and just had a child. He told me his relationship was unhappy and virtually dead on both sides.
We pursued a brief fling, after which he returned home. Next time we saw each other, we had another brief liaison, after which his wife found out. She was unaware that their relationship was not smooth. This man and I continued our relationship—yes, I was available for him—but ultimately he made the decision to leave his wife and child when he continued our tryst.
His wife filed for divorce. At the time, he was keen to move overseas with me, start a relationship with me, and set up house. We moved, set up house, and had children. Now he says he thinks about his child in the UK all the time, wants to see him, and wonders how to be there for him as a father.
However, his child was already born when he chose to discontinue the relationship with the child's mother! Are his feelings not out of guilt? We have children as well, yet every chance he gets he goes to the UK to visit the child.
He works away a lot so I don't see him more than half the time anyway. It feels like his first priority is to see the child from his previous relationship. What is going on?
Mia, you want to believe it's guilt. You want to put a good spin on it. But in the back of our minds we hear Chubby Checker singing your husband's old theme song. "Let's tryst again, like we did last summer. Let's tryst again, like we did last year. Do you remember..."
You don't want to think about what he might be doing, though you know he is capable of using a child as a cover story, just as he told you his relationship was unhappy and "virtually dead on both sides." He is the sort of man who will cheat on his wife and child. You know that.
Why would you believe the lies have stopped?
Your relationship started in a lie. It was convenient to believe what he told you, and you chose to turn a blind eye. You did not care about his infant or his wife and what would happen to them when their father and husband was gone. Then you made this liar and cheater your husband.
His wife was caught unawares. Now you are the wife with kids on the ground and he is doing—what? Telling someone else your relationship is dead on both sides. You want to believe he is desperate to visit his child in the UK, but at the very least, he is getting back with his ex whenever it is convenient.
What is most plausible? He's telling his ex they would still be together if it weren't for that other woman, you. "She pursued me and pursued me and pursued me," we can hear him saying. Either that, or he is visiting a new woman and recycling the story he first told you.
The journalist Sydney J. Harris said, "History repeats itself, but in such cunning disguise that we never detect the resemblance until the damage is done." What he did with you, he is doing to you. If we liked to bet, that is where we would place our bet.
It would be snide to suggest that you should ask his ex for advice on what to do when this happens. Instead, we suggest that you prepare for a future on your own. You took a risk with him. It is only prudent to prepare for a future without him.
Wayne & Tamara
Email Wayne & Tamara: DirectAnswers@WayneAndTamara.com