Home General She wants married boyfriend to change.

She wants married boyfriend to change.

by Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I’ve been seeing my married boyfriend now for 2 years. At first, he wasn’t interested in actually leaving his wife and I wasn’t interested in seeing someone who was married. But despite these things, we became closer and closer over time and here we are, seriously trying to make our relationship happen. No, it’s not the way I would have liked things to happen, but I care about him.

The problem I’m running into is that A.) I don’t know if he’s actually going to leave because there’s a mountain of things that need to be done first and B.) he’s lived his whole life only thinking about his own feelings for the most part.

As far as him leaving, he’s currently been running his own business for the past ten years which hasn’t been successful, but yet he’s been able to continue with it anyway because his wife’s a psychologist. So money and finding a job that he likes are very important to him prior to divorcing. He also has sleep apnea, which he hopes to get remedied under his wife’s health plan before they split. He wants to speak to a lawyer and figure out all the logistics of how to do everything and how to handle his very sensitive (*cough* spoiled) eight year old son. All these things he wants to “have worked out to make the transition easier for everyone.” Ways I know he’s serious about leaving, though, are that he told his wife he didn’t want to have another baby even though he does, he constantly risks his marriage to be with me, and he’s been there for me on several occaisions when he could very easily have gotten caught. Nonetheless, I’m going to put my foot down in a few months and if he hasn’t gotten divorced by then, we’re done.

The other thing I’m worried about is that he can be very self-centered at times. He was raised an only child, with two very negative, narcissistic parents. His mother doted on him constantly and gave him anything he wanted. To this day, she comes over to watch his son three days a week and cooks and cleans while she’s there. One of my biggest complaints is that he brings up his wife in our conversations. It’s not to the point where it’s constant, but it’s enough to where it’ll ruin a moment. He doesn’t talk about intimate things or anything like that because I broke him of that a while ago, but he still brings up things they’ve done together or what she said the other day, and things like that. A few examples are that Christmas time I showed him a book that I thought he would really like, and without thinking he said “Oh, yea. I got that for my wife for Christmas.” I told him it kind of hurt my feelings that he said that, and his reaction was to be indignant and that I was making a big deal out of nothing. Today we played chess together for the first time (which I thought would be very fun and special since we both love chess) and he said “Man, I think the last time I played chess was about nine years ago with my wife. I ended up kicking her butt!” I debated with myself whether it was worth bringing up again, and in the end I decided to give it a shot to tell him it bothers me when he brings her up or brings up things they’ve done together. It makes me feel like everything we do has already been done by him and her. Yes, it may be true, but I don’t want to think about it! So he got really mad at me and said that I was making a big deal out of nothing and that she’s a part of his life and it’d be “impossible” not to talk about her. I explained, calmly and rationally, that he could tell me the info without mentioning her. “Last time I played chess was nine years ago and I really beat the person I played against.” It isn’t necessary to bring her up. He then called me ridiculous and that I was a big baby and he was sick of this conversation. I explained that I just wanted to talk about it, I wasn’t upset, and that I didn’t understand why he was being such a jerk. And he then responded that “One of us is being a jerk.”

I really try to reach out to him because he can be very understanding when he’s calm, but due to his past and his family he has a tendency to look at things only from his point of view, which can be very tough given the situation we’re in.

I just wondered what your thoughts are. Thanks.

My thought is that all the women in this man’s life are giving more than they are getting. His wife, his mother, and you all deserve better. All of you are putting up with him so he has no reason to change. From his point of view, he has a wife who supports him, a mother who provides a free cleaning and daycare service, and a girlfriend he can play with. You are only 21. Rather than spend your time “breaking” this guy of being an inconsiderate narcissist, why not put your energy into finding someone who can truly love you and cherishyou without all the obstacles, heartache and hard work?
I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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