What to do when you find out you’re the “other woman” (or man)

Sphumelele asks: Remember the family friend I told you about? Well we’ve started and it has been awesome he’s a great guy but what recently broke my heart is that I saw recent pictures of him and his baby mama on Facebook declaring the love they have for each other. Now I don’t know where I stand. He doesn’t know that I’m the baby mama’s friend on Facebook. I asked him if they are still together or not but he dismissed it saying we’ll talk about it when we meet which is still 3 weeks away and it’s slowly breaking me. I want to know how do I go about finding the truth? The thought of him telling her that he loves her kills me slowly and I can’t handle it no more. How do I ask him this without seeming desperate? And also am I allowing guys take advantage of me? Am I the one allowing them to break or play with my heart?? Shirelle please help I’m so confused right now.

Hi Sphumelele –


Your situation is reminding me of a painful time soon after I first came to live with Handsome, my human.  He had fallen in love with a woman who was involved with another man.  At first they were just coworkers and friends, but eventually he and she got involved, as she was saying she wanted to get out of that other relationship.  He did everything he could to help her out, and they’d have a great time when they were together, but then she’d go back out with the other guy and disappear for a while, which just ripped Handsome apart.  (I tried over and over again to get him to realize he could have so much more fun with me than sitting around moping about her, but he was too sad – or stupid – to accept my love in her place).


Eventually she broke things off with him, to stay with the other guy.  And while it ripped Handsome up something awful, eventually he started talking to me about a big question: whose fault this was.  Or rather, who was the villain in this story?


Was it the boyfriend, who had been pretty rotten to the woman in a lot of ways, making her want to look elsewhere?  Was it the woman, for stringing Handsome along when she wasn’t sure she wanted to leave the other guy?  Or was it Handsome, who could be seen to have taken advantage of a tough situation the couple was having?


The answer is all of them.  Or none.  Everyone was at fault, and none of them was innocent.


So to go back to your question, is she the victim here, who’s going to be hurt badly by finding out about you?  Or are you being taken advantage of?


There’s no good answer.  But there is one thing you can do – the thing Handsome didn’t do, which would have changed everything.


You could tell this guy that you will not get involved with him unless he completely breaks things off with the other woman, and says so publicly.


You see, he might be playing a “player” game, knowingly juggling two women at the same time.  Or he may be really confused and not sure of what he wants.


But either way, you’re putting yourself into the same situation Handsome was in, if you allow the relationship to move ahead without him making a clean break from her.


So in other words, my advice is not to worry about who the bad person is, who’s the victim, who’s beloved, etc.  Because those are questions you simply can’t answer.  And instead, to state your boundary, based on a sense that YOU ARE WORTH IT, and then see what he does.


And with that, no matter what he chooses, you will have done the right thing.


Best of Luck, Regardless!


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