I'm the Other Woman

Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Female
Most people (especially women) would hate me for what I've been doing. In the past two or three months, I've become "the other woman". I'm sleeping with my roommate, whose girlfriend is very sweet, albeit very overbearing and naive. The roommate's and my relationship began as a very quick, close friendship and advanced rapidly from there. Now, we're to a point where the sex is only a small part of what we have. Even when his girlfriend is around, he juggles it so that I'm there too. I don't mind being around the two of them because I know my place and am not in compitition.

Everyone around us, except his girlfriend, knows what has been going on. They are all supportive, mostly because they feel (and vocalize) that the relationship he's in stopped being healthy some time ago. He says he wants to end it, but every sign points to him being spineless in action. I'm not interested in being the next girl he cheats on, so I don't really care if he ends it with her or not. But, I do feel like he's being very unfair to her and am worried as to what will happen if she ever finds out. Its not just him thats betraying her...its all these people that she believes are her friends, and are otherwise really awesome people.

In the beginning, I assumed someone would tell her, but it seems that, even though no one particularly likes her, no one is willing to clue her in. I have started feeling very sorry for her. I think that if the tables were turned, I'd be better off knowing early on.

Should I stop worrying about her and commit to the evil I'm participating in? Or, should I try to make it so she finds out? I'd hate it if I were in her situation, and I now understand why so many women live in perpetual fear that they might find themselves in one similiar.

My roommate is a smart, funny, sensitive, attractive guy. He just lacks the balls to own up to not wanting to be with her any more. She's been an important part of his life for a long time, and I don't think he knows how to accept that sometimes, relationships that were good don't last. We all grow up and change, right?

(One thing for him though, is the fact that he's told her from the very beginning that they shouldn't be exclusive, and he's not completely comitted. He just didn't live up to the not being exclusive part until two years in.) I'm also worried about what would happen to our relationship if his girlfriend found out. He's very important to me, and I don't want to see him hurt.

So, you see, it can't really be me who does any talking. He is my friend, whereas she's just someone I feel bad for. Again, I'm not looking for anything more from our relationship...even if he had been single when I met him, I wouldn't want to be in a relationship with him (or anyone) right now. I just don't like to see people get hurt, and the actions have already been taken toward hurting this girl. Short of giving up my friend, what would you suggest?

RomanceClass.com Advice
I think the key mistake you and he are making is that this sweet girl only deserves a *harmful* boyfriend. You feel she doesn't deserve a real, full boyfriend who would love her and maybe want to marry her - so you guys are in essence forcing her to "make do" with this guy who is lying to her, betraying her trust and happy to cheat on her. Doesn't she deserve a real, normal boyfriend in her life?? Just what evils has she done that you guys are *continuing a charade* so that she will think she's satisfied with what this guy is foisting on her?

The guy here isn't only being spineless - he's being completely selfish. He doesn't want her to yell at him! He wants to keep her around as a fun friend who likes him, AND he wants to keep you around to play with too. He doesn't want to have to choose, and he doesn't want to take responsibility for his actions. It's time for him to grow up and stop acting childish.

One of THE most important things in any friendship or relationship is trust and honesty. So if all of those "friends" are willing to lie to her because it's easy - and if you're willing to sit there and actively lie to her - you're causing a huge amount of damage to her every day that could easily take her years if not a lifetime to recover from. Also, the more you actively lie and think it's OK and normal, the less likely it is that *you* will have a trusting, healthy relationship in the future, because if you know you are capable of such deceptions, you will always assume those around you are equally capable, and have serious trouble trusting anybody.

Really, for *everyone* concerned, this continual lying has to stop, and stop now. You say you only care about the guy - but *especially* if you care about him, now is the time to get him to stop and to tell the truth. If he was doing heroin, you wouldn't bring him his drugs and watch him die. To watch him destroy another person's life and think it's just "casual fun" on his part is sort of like watching him buy a kitten and then torture it slowly over the weeks and months because it's "fun". That's simply not a sign of a healthy way of looking at life. It is MOST certainly not the mark of someone who is sensitive in any meaning of the word. He is probably the last person on earth this nice girl needs to be around. She needs someone she can *trust* and believe in, not someone who is actively causing what could be the worst situation in her entire life.

Tell Her. And if YOU can't take responsibility for what YOU are doing here, you really should evaluate just what your own sense of responsibility for your actions and your ability to face the music is.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at RomanceClass.com

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