Dear Cheryl: I have a problem, and I probably know exactly what you’re going to say, but here I go anyway.
Two and a half years ago I cheated on my boyfriend Chance with a married man I worked with. Chance and I had been together for four years with no engagement, not even any serious talk of marriage. In fact, things were really going downhill when Scott started working at my job.
He was attractive and nice, but most of all he paid attention to me. After months of being friends, Scott made a pass at me and I went along, but I always felt guilty.
After a few months, Chance found out. After begging, crying and doing everything possible to get him back, I kind of did, but not really. He never got over it. He moved to California, but he still called every day and stayed with me when he came home. Then, without telling me, he met someone.
I went to California to visit him and look around because I was going to move there. I went to his house and saw a card that said, “You mean the world to me. I love you, Callie.” Well, needless to say I flipped out. He made up some stupid story. I wanted to believe it, but I never could.
I tricked his friend into admitting that Chance and Callie were together. I went home and literally had a mini nervous breakdown. I lost 20 pounds, threw up every morning, and started counseling. The therapist wanted to put me on medication, but I refused. I have to work and function. I have two teenagers to support.
I contacted Chance again and he said he wasn’t seeing Callie anymore. I went to California again. This time I really believed him. But he was lying again. All hell broke loose when Callie found out about me, because she had no idea he was still involved with me. She’s no longer in the picture.
Chance and I are now living together in California and trying to have as normal a relationship as we can. I know I started the cheating, but when confronted, I admitted it. He did many horrible things that I’m not writing because this email would go on forever. Still, I feel I need him in my life. Why? What do I do? I do love him, and he’s been in my life for seven years now. My kids love him, too. I’m so confused.
FLUMMOXED IN CALIFORNIA
Dear FLUMMOXED IN CALIFORNIA: I’m going to ignore almost everything you’ve written and focus on two things: You’ve taken your kids from their home and moved them to California and they love Chance. It’s time to make your kids your priority, not your libido.
You and Chance obviously have a connection, however twisted. This is what you have to build on. You need to commit to one another and to making the stable home and loving family your kids deserve. You both have to promise to stop your destructive habits. As of today, no more cheating, no more lying, no more hysteria and drama. No more dwelling on the past and who did what to whom.
If you need counseling to do this, get it.
Remember, you’re not just two individuals who have the right to screw up your lives any way you want. You’ve involved two innocent children in your shenanigans and they deserve better.
(Is this what you thought I’d say?)
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