Ellen is the “other woman”. She thinks she is getting married soon because her “boyfriend” tells her every day that he will leave his wife and kids any day now so he can marry her. He has been promising this for two years, and it hasn’t happened. Yet she won’t leave him because she loves him.
Her friends tell her to let go of this guy. He is a rat and she doesn’t deserve that. She can’t see their point of view. To her, he is the most wonderful man on Earth and they are so in love!
She says he is good to her and he respects her because he visits her a couple of times a week so they can be intimate. Then he tells her he loves her and he leaves.
He gets jealous whenever she dates someone else. She thinks that’s cute and waits around for him to call her – every night.
She is getting anxious. It’s been two years since this started and she can’t wait any longer for him to tell his wife that he is leaving her. Ellen is positive that he will bring the kids to live with them when they get married. She doesn’t have kids and is excited about this.
Kristin is a friend of Ellen’s. She is disgusted by this behavior. In fact, she and Ellen have not seen each other in several months because Ellen is afraid that if she leaves her house, her boyfriend will call or come over and she won’t be there. Kristin is sick about this situation.
She loves Ellen but thinks she is living in denial. She knows the boyfriend will never leave his family. Ellen tells her that he and his wife don’t even sleep in the same bed anymore. Kristin is sure that’s not true, because her sister works with the wife and the wife never says anything bad about the husband. They seem to have a good relationship, according to her sister. Whenever Kristin tells Ellen this, Ellen tells her she is wrong. Her boyfriend said so and he would never lie to her. It’s not in his nature to lie.
We all know someone who lives in denial. They live by their wishful thinking for so long that it becomes a reality to them. This seems to be more common for women than for men. The hard part for them is to face the truth and start looking at the reality of the situation.
How do they do that? In Ellen’s case, it would involve looking at past history in her relationship and figuring out the odds of her boyfriend really leaving his family. She says it’s not in his nature to lie, however, he is lying to his wife. This would be one of several avenues to explore. She could use coaching or therapy from a professional to guide her through this process.
The next step for Ellen would be to go through a series of questions relating to her satisfaction in life and her happiness. Then she could look at how satisfied she is with this relationship. If it turns out that she is happy with this situation, that it’s other situations in her life that make her unhappy, then she would work on those situations and keep the relationship as it is. (Yes, it is surprising that any woman would put up with that kind of behavior from herself or from any man, but many do. This is a common situation, believe it or not. )
If it turns out that she is unhappy with the relationship, then she would need to find a solution to that situation. Hopefully, that would include a solution that is in the best interest of everyone involved, meaning the wife and children, too.
As long as Ellen lives in denial, though, the situation will remain the same. The chances of her boyfriend leaving his wife for her are very few if he doesn’t really want to leave his wife. (Of course, that relationship also needs help if he is seeing another woman. )
We all have different perceptions of our life situations because we all have different life experiences. What one person deems sickening, another sees as wonderful. It’s all in the eye of the beholder.
Wendi Moore-Buysse works with business professionals who want to learn how to market to women. She coaches, teaches, and consults with women who want to develop intuition and who want to develop leadership skills. Her books from the Life’s Little Cheat Sheets Series, including “Shifting Gears: Get Moving in the Right Direction", are available through her website and events. “Shifting Gears" includes ways to shift your focus from what you don’t want to what you do want. Visit http://www.wendimoore.com for more information and to read her Life's Little Cheat Sheets blog.