Ask V,  Love & Sex

Ask Dr Venus : I’m the “Other Woman”

Dear Dr Venus,

I’m a 25-year old woman and have recently been involved with a man who is already in a relationship with another woman. They are going through a long-distance relationship and he sees her perhaps once every two months. I guess the distance is putting a toll on their relationship, because I know he still loves and cares for her – but we also connect on a different level all together. I have a medical condition that most other men would find disgusting or embarrassing but he does not seem phased by it and always supports me whatever way he can. This is a support system I thought I would never experience but even though he makes me so happy, I understand that this is no way to start a relationship. The relationship has gone physical, but I have tried ending it. I always pride myself on doing the right thing and I don’t want this burden on my shoulder. I want to do the right thing, but I also care for him deeply. I guess I’m just looking for a definite sign that I should end this, even though my heart tells me we are meant to be together.


Desperate for a Solution


Dear Desperate for a Solution,

You’ve probably asked friends and family for advice, and when it comes to being the “other woman” people are quick to be judgmental and immediately tell you to “forget about him”, “move on”, and the ultimate favourite response, “if he could do it to her, he could do it to you.”  While these responses seem to be the accurate thing to do, they really do not address how you feel as a person and kind of just shuns you in to a deeper spiral of self-loathe and possibly depression.

In your case, there are two things to look at: Firstly, to address your self-esteem in regards to your medical condition and secondly, how to address this relationship issue.

As with most relationships, each one is different and each one comes with its own set of intricacies. First and foremost, while we understand that you’ve connected with this guy on a deeper level with your medical condition, don’t ever think that you will not be able to find someone else who will love and appreciate you regardless of your condition – no matter how far-fetched that may seem. There’s seven billion people on the planet, trust me when I say, if you managed to find one guy who’s OK with your condition that there’s bound to be many more out there like him.

If anything, consider yourself lucky to that you get to weed out characters who only want to be with you for the good times, and not for the inevitable health problems that us “normal” people will eventually have to face. Once you get over that, then you can start looking at the relationship objectively without feeling like a victim who should just accept whatever she can get.

Next, in terms of your relationship with this man at the end of the day, it is his choice to make.  While we agree that what he is doing isn’t right, it doesn’t make him a bad person (unless he is a serial cheater) – just someone who has made poor choices in this occasion. Bear in mind that the situation would be a lot different is he is already married, with kids, etc.

For now, there are many questions to ask before either party can decide what to do next – does he want to continue this long-distance relationship with his current girlfriend, what are their plans – will she be moving back here, is he considering moving there, how is their relationship – is it a mutual feeling or is she oblivious to the fact that they have a problem?

I’m sure you have spoken to him about this situation, and you’re right in saying that you want to do the right thing and end it. When I say end it, I only mean to end it on your part until he makes his decision. Tell him that this situation makes you uncomfortable, and that you want to do the right thing. If he is a decent man, he will most probably be feeling guilty as well having to juggle both relationships and so this would give him some space for him to think and consider all options.

Also, you do not want him to think that you are without morals as well. By doing the right thing, it shows that you respect the girlfriends feelings and would rather he solved his problems with his girlfriend first. If for some reason they decide not to continue with the relationship, then you can revisit your relationship and decide if it’s something you want to pursue.

For now, I would recommend that you tough it up as much as it hurts and try to keep a distance. I know it’s hard, but it’s better to hurt now than get too involved and end up hurting even more later.

At the end of the day, you need to look after yourself first and self-preservation is always a good step in that direction. You can’t keep giving him what he wants, and not set some boundaries otherwise he will never confront this issue with his girlfriend.  As the saying goes, don’t let him have his cake, and eat it too.

If he really feels for you, then he needs to know how life would feel like without you. If he’d rather not break her heart and chooses to break yours – at least you know where you stand, and you can start on your moving on process. But if he cannot live without you, this will help him to make his mind up and do the necessary break up with his girlfriend.

If he does break up with his girlfriend, he will need his recovery period as well. You need to be there as a friend, but still set your boundaries because the last thing you want is to be a rebound girlfriend. Give him a mourning period, and if you’re serious about being with him, just be there for him and do not pressure him to move on or to start acting like your boyfriend. Let the process happen naturally, you will know when he is ready and then you can work to starting the relationship off on a positive note.

The work does not end there though, and once the two of you have started a proper relationship together you will need to work on whatever trusts issues you may have. Always communicate with one another, and try not to bring up things in the past that he may have done. If you don’t think you can get over his past, then maybe you should reconsider pursuing this relationship.

I hope this helps, and all I can say is be strong. If you take all the right precautions and do everything with the relationships best interest at heart, this could be the start of a beautiful and well-worth it relationship. All the best!


Dr. Venus

(Disclaimer : Dr. Venus is not a doctor nor a certified psychologist or counsellor. All love advice dispensed is purely from the depths of her heart.  Advice given is taken at your own risk, Dr. Venus and bears no responsibilities)

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