Q. I’m a 50-year-old woman and I’ve been separated for approximately four years (that’s a whole other story). I have met several individuals since becoming separated — nothing serious. I’m writing about this one man I met online about 2½ years ago. We agreed we didn’t want anything serious. I wasn’t sure about my marriage, and he had a long-term girlfriend he was living with in another state. He was only in my city for work.
Now the situation is that every time he travels for work, I’m there. We spend more time together than he does with the girlfriend. We behave like a serious couple. He pays some bills for me, although I have a career. He cooks for me and caters to me when I’m with him. He says he loves me but I can’t say the same because he keeps saying, “You know my situation, right?”
At this age I feel this is a dead end, and when I try to cut it off he gets really defensive. He’s 52 and I have no time for the games (although our life and chemistry are crazy). My best friend is telling me that the “girlfriend” should know, but I just feel like she will find out eventually. What should I do? Walk away and just be quiet? Or tell her and make sure this is over?
This is not his first time cheating on her — other women did get in touch with her and told her. The difference is that I know I could never trust him, so I really don’t want to be with him permanently. Meredith, what should I do?
— My Situation
A. End this relationship and move along. Don’t talk to this woman.
I could make a case for contacting her, but if she’s already been told about his behavior, I’m not sure the risk is worth it. By telling her, you’d be involving yourself in their drama. You might have to deal with his reaction, which probably wouldn’t be pleasant.
You say you have no time for games, so don’t play them.
I won’t get into a big speech about why you dated this man. You didn’t ask for my thoughts on why you were open to a casual relationship at a stranger’s expense, or why you allowed that connection to turn into something so serious. (I know sex is part of the appeal here, but there’s more to it than that.)
All I’ll say is that your goals might have changed over time. Maybe you’re looking for something more significant and better for you, where there’s real trust. Use your time without him to think about that.
Get this done soon. You know it’s time to let go, so please don’t wait.
At least be honest: Telling the girlfriend is a revenge move. ZEPTEMBER
Since you don’t want to be with him permanently, what’s the issue? You know what he is and who he is. Sit back and enjoy the ride. FLORIDACYNIC
“He’s 52 and I have no time for the games.” Apparently you do. PEREAGAIN
You’ve been playing house with this guy — that’s a game. You’re toying with the idea of telling the girlfriend — we call that game Kiss and Tell. You should just finish this off with one other game: Hide and DON’T Seek. And seriously, letter writer, get [yourself] together. Your actual husband got barely a mention here. HIKERGALNH128
You’re assuming there is a girlfriend. He could just be saying that to keep you at arm’s length. DANGLEPARTICIPLE