The Question: I’ve been with a man for three months, and am finally coming out of the honeymoon stage of our relationship and starting to think clearly. For starters, he’s “separated” from his wife, but still married. He told me that he lived with a guy friend and only stayed at his house sometimes. Turns out he lives at his house full time, but he swears he’s not sleeping with his wife and that they live in separate quarters. He also hit on a co-worker a few days before meeting me. I found out about it after he declared his love for me, so I dismissed it.
I just don’t know what to think. He calls me three times a day and takes me on extravagant dates; most include a helicopter or plane ride. But he lives out of town and my gut feeling is that the guy’s a serial cheater. Still I’m fascinated by everything about him. He is coming to see me this month for ten days, and is even spending a major holiday with me. What do you think? I know he’s been unhappily married for a long time, at the same time, I also know that he’s been with other girls before me. I’m just scared.
Unless you have a history of self-sabotaging relationships with possessive inclinations, your gut feeling cannot be ignored. While he may not be cheating on you, your gut is telling you that something isn’t right. In our book, The Little Black Book of Big Red Flags, we really encourage women to listen to their intuition, which seems so simple, but for whatever reason––we’re in love, we’re fascinated, we don’t want to be alone, we really like the guy––we push that little voice aside only to realize later that we should have listened.
The fact that he’s asked you to marry him, after only three months, and still lives with his wife and son is perhaps the biggest red flag of all. Let’s say he actually proposed, ring and all (because if he didn’t, he’s only telling you what he thinks will make you stay with him). After being in such an unhappy marriage for so long, you must seem like a ray of sunshine and he’s attaching his happiness to you. While I’m sure that feels awesome, in the long run his existing problems will surface and what then? This situation is also extremely unfair to you. When you dreamed of getting engaged, was it to a married man? If he were a gentleman, and considered your feelings, he wouldn’t put you in this position.
You need to evaluate the reasons why he wants to marry you. Has he given you any concrete evidence that YOU are the one for him, or is he busy telling you all of the things that any girl would love to hear? For example, if he says, “I’ve never meet someone like you,” but doesn’t back it up with what it is exactly he likes about you, this is a bad sign. Because, as far as we’re concerned, this guy falls under the red flag in our book: he’s too good to be true.
From an outsider’s perspective, it seems like he’s whisked you up and away with extravagant dates, whispers of ‘I love you,’ and empty promises. What your gut is telling you is that he’s a player, and all signs point to yes.
Now here’s the hard part: You have to decide if going along for the ride is worth possible heartbreak. He sounds like a wonderful time and the fact that he is spending a holiday with you is a good sign, but if he’s so concerned about his son––why isn’t he spending the holiday with him? These are the types of questions you should be asking.