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Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities – 1/01/10

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Dear Rachel,

I can’t believe I am writing to you but I am desperate. My friend is a divorced 40-something year old with two young adult children. She has been divorced about ten years. She was always heavy until two to three years ago when she lost a lot of weight (approximately 90-100 pounds). She looks fantastic!

She began dating different guys every week. These were mostly men she met through the Internet and most of them were weird or had something seriously wrong with them, but she didn’t see it. She was so excited to finally have men interested and paying attention to her.

About nine months ago she met a man who swept her off her feet. He is rich, he is charming and he courted her. After knowing her for a short while, he invited her to go on a cruise with him. She was convinced that he was “the one” but hesitated to go as she is strictly orthodox (yeshivish) and this is certainly not acceptable in our circles. Thank G-d she didn’t go and he went off by himself.

While he was away she discovered that he is MARRIED! He lives with his wife and two kids. My friend spoke to another woman whom he had invited on a cruise six months earlier, and to whom he had proposed marriage. When this other woman found out that this man was married, she had the sense to drop him immediately. She told my friend that he is a psychopath and that he had been in jail, among other details that verified his unscrupulousness.

Common sense would dictate that my friend should drop him, but unfortunately she seems to have lost her common sense. She is convinced that this creep loves her and that he will leave his wife for her, even though he has not left his wife for anyone else whom he has proposed to.

My friend spends almost all her free time with him and he often comes to eat Shabbos meals with her in her house. She has become secretive and has stopped confiding in anyone. She goes all over with him and thinks that only one or two people know what’s going on, even though they are seen together and he is seen entering and leaving her house.

My friend is blinded by this infatuation and doesn’t see that she is doing anything wrong. This guy told her that he spoke to a lawyer and she is convinced that this means that he will leave his wife for her, although it’s already been nine months and he still lives with his wife and kids.

My friend does not confide in her family and wouldn’t listen to them anyhow. (Her parents don’t know because nobody wants to hurt them. They are not well and this knowledge would destroy them.) Some close friends have tried reasoning with her but she refuses to listen and is convinced that he is the only one for her and that he will leave his wife and marry her.

Her own daughter has begged her to drop this loser but she won’t listen. I know that my friend reads your column and respects your opinion.

Rachel, please help her come to her senses before it’s too late.

Fearful for my friend

Dear Fearful,

Why any woman would choose to be in a relationship with a married man is beyond baffling. As blind as love may be, is it really possible to ignore the fact that there is another woman in his life – who just happens to be his wife?

Is it really possible for your friend to be naive to the fact that he spends the nights (and days) she does not get to see him with his wife and children?

Does your friend actually believe that a man who so readily and easily cheats on his wife will remain faithful to his mistress, to whom he owes nothing – as he has not committed himself to her in any moral, legal or binding way?

Dear “friend”: You haven’t had an easy life and you’ve long craved the attention you are now basking in. But ask yourself in all sincerity: Is this real? Can it last? Does he respect me, or is he using me as his personal plaything?

How many times has he assured you that you are the love of his life and that he will prove it to you, and yet time and time again he cunningly makes excuses for the delay?

To face reality is painful, but to ignore it may prove excruciatingly so. The reality is that you have no real support and no real security. And are you aware that statistically most men do not end up leaving their wives for the woman they cheat with?

Ah, I said the magic word – “most” – and you consider yours to be an exception to the rule. Maybe… though the odds are not in your favor. But there is a way for you to find out and preempt unbearable heartache. (Trust me that for as long as he can have both of you there is no need for him to “rock the boat” and leave his wife.)

By telling him that you can no longer see him or talk to him while he is still married, you will be doing yourself a great kindness. And if he is serious about you, he will surely do the right thing: divorce his wife (and provide solid proof thereof).

If you do this and mean it and stick to your guns, you will gradually experience tremendous relief as you release yourself of a physical and emotional burden and start seeing things clearly.

If you choose not to, you will crash land sooner or later and suffer devastating heartbreak along with a crushing blow to your self-esteem.

No one but you can make this decision.

You can e-mail me to Rachel@JewishPress.com for further confidential assistance.

About the Author: We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories via email to rachel@jewishpress.com or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 4915 16th Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11204. If you wish to make a contribution and help agunot, your tax-deductible donation should be sent to The Jewish Press Foundation. Please make sure to specify that it is to help agunot, as the foundation supports many worthwhile causes.


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