Ask Dr. NerdLove: My Friend's Beautiful Wife Just Made A Move On Me

Ask Dr. NerdLove: My Friend's Beautiful Wife Just Made A Move On Me

Hello, Internet! Welcome to Ask Dr. NerdLove, the first dating advice column to survive the Battles of Yavin, Hoth and Endor.

This week, we're talking about doing the right thing, even when every cell in your body is telling you to do something else. Whether it's recognising a deal-breaker when it's presented to you or recognising that what you want would be the worst thing that could happen, sometimes you need to recognise that you're about to walk right into that buzzsaw.

Let's do this thing.

Dear Dr. NerdLove,

I'm a guy in my early twenties who has had a pretty much non-existent love life after having broken up with my first long-time girlfriend about 3 years ago. I'm overweight with some pretty serious confidence issues, so it took me way longer than I would have liked to get back up on the horse. However, a few months ago I decided that it was finally time to get back into the dating game and look for a girl. A few weeks after that decision I started a new job and met the most amazing girl. We hit it off instantly and I knew right away that I was into her. She's cute, funny, and she laughs at my jokes. Jackpot. We started chatting more at work and soon enough we were texting and talking outside of work hours. Then she tells me that she has a crush on me and I tell her I feel the same. We quickly became infatuated with each other, have hung out a few times, and it's looking like there's a really promising relationship on the horizon. I haven't felt this happy in years and I love that she makes me feel this happy.

But here's why I'm writing to you. Ever since she told me she was into me, she's been warning me that I shouldn't fall for her and that she always ends up breaking people's hearts. We were chatting

tonight and I pressed the subject and she finally told me that she has pretty much cheated on every guy she's ever been in a relationship with (she's two years older than me so she's the more experienced in terms of relationships). Now I've never cheated on a partner or been cheated on, but I've always found even the thought of it to be reprehensible, so much so that just thinking about being cheated on puts a knot deep in the pit of my stomach.

She says that she cheated because she has a short attention span or because she gets hurt and wants to hurt back. I don't want to sound like a hopeless romantic, but she tells me that our budding relationship is like nothing she's ever experienced; I make her laugh more than anyone has and I'm not like any of her previous love interests. But what I found bizarre was that she cheated on her old boyfriends as a child of divorce after her mother cheated on her father. I can't understand how someone who was hurt so bad by infidelity as a child can practice it herself.

I guess what I wanted to ask you Doc is what should I do? Is this a deal breaker? Am I an idiot to assume that our relationship won't end the same way her previous 4 or 5 have? Can I make her change? If we give it a run and it doesn't work out, that's fine by me. But just the thought of it ending by being cheated on makes me feel ill. I've never felt so suddenly into someone as I have with this girl, but I'm questioning whether I should even bother giving it a chance. Please help me out.

Sincerely,

Sick to my Stomach

Before I get into the weeds, StmS, let me start off with this important piece of advice - one that will serve you well in your dating adventures and something that I wish people had told me back in the day: you can't make anyone change. If your future happiness is dependent on making a radical change in the other person's personality, then that relationship will not work and you will only be contributing to your own broken heart.

Now with that out of the way, let's get to it. Because there's a lot to chew over in your letter.

First: when someone tells you that they're trouble - not in that "James Dean" way or the "Bad-Girl-With-A-Heart-of-Gold-Who-Mostly-Just-Smokes-Weed-On-Occasion-And-Listens-To-Emilie-Autumn-And-The-Birthday-Massacre" kind of way - believe them. Your crush has laid out, in point-by-point fashion, just what's likely to happen when the two of you date. She's not asking for someone to save her from herself, she's trying to let you know that in all likelihood, she will cheat on you if you ask for a monogamous commitment from her.

Why? Well, that's a good question, but ultimately an irrelevant one. Maybe she has a self-destructive streak and pushes away people because she doesn't believe she can be loved. Maybe she's modelling her parents' relationships. Or maybe she's just one of those people who's not monogamous, but still keeps trying to force herself into the traditional relationship mould because social conditioning is a motherfucker.

But for your purposes it doesn't matter because you are not her therapist. You are not here to "fix" her (whether or not she needs fixing in the first place), nor do you have the tools to do so even if you were. Trying to do so is only going to hurt you both. She's going to feel like you're judging her (and to be fair, if you try to change her, you kinda are) and she's going to be hurt and, by her own words, act out in return.

You're exhibiting the same logic that leads to people dropping hundreds of dollars on Powerball tickets with the same result: someone may win eventually but it's almost certainly not gonna be them. You are going to end up getting hurt because she has a pattern to her relationships and you're banking on being an exception.

You almost certainly aren't going to be that exception.

Now here's the thing: the fact that she's told you all of this means that she really does like you. She's self-aware enough to recognise this behaviour in her and to know she's not in a place to change it yet. She doesn't want you to get hurt and the odds are that this is exactly how it's going to end if you two date.

Should you date her? Well, that's up to you. Personally, I wouldn't, were I you. Even if you go in knowing what she's like and what's likely to happen, it's going to take some serious emotional fortitude and a willingness to take a lot of emotional gut-punches in the process. Even if she makes the effort to change while you're together, you're still going to go through a lot of pain and conflict.

You have to decide whether or not what you have and the way you feel over the course of things is worth the price, which may wind up involving her cheating or otherwise self-destructing the relationship. Is a relationship worth it for you if 90% of it is happy but the last 10% isn't?

Now there is one possible way to thread this needle. I wouldn't necessarily recommend it for you because it won't work for a lot of people: you date her without an expectation of sexual monogamy. One person can't cheat if the two of you aren't exclusive. If and only if you can handle the fact that she's not monogamous with you, then you might be able to give it a try. Books like Opening Up by Tristan Taormino and More Than Two by Franklin Veaux and Eve Rickert can provide some guidelines if you want to go that route. But if the thought of her being with someone else causes you physical pain… then yeah, that's going to be a deal-breaker.

Regardless of what you decide, remember: you can't make someone change.

Good luck.

Hi Doc,

Let me preface this by saying I am not an attractive man. And I mean that in all senses. I'm fat, ugly, self-loathing, milquetoast, and have absolutely no confidence. I'm in my mid 30s and have long ago (mostly) made peace with the fact that I will never have a fulfilling love or sex life.

So anyway I met L a few years ago and we became close friends. Smart, funny, sweet, kind and beautiful. She also had a fiancé, J, who's a pretty great guy. At first I crushed on her hard, but I've gone through the whole fall for an unattainable woman thing before, with predictable and unfortunate results, so I quickly let those feelings go and made sure to only think of her as a friend. She didn't make it easy because she's a very touchy-feely person and I'm not accustomed to the casual touch of attractive women, but I persevered. When she and J got married, I had a blast at their wedding, made a fool of myself on the dance floor, and was genuinely happy for them.

L had mentioned several times that she thought I was good looking, often loudly to friends and complete strangers alike. She even told me once that if she had met me before J, things may have gone differently. I always just thought she was just saying stuff like that to try to boost of my self-esteem.

Cut to the other night. I went to a buddy's house for game night. L and J were there too. At the gaming table I sat next to L with J on the other side of her. Beer was flowing generously, though I was the only one not drinking. At one point my buddy's cat jumped on to my lap. I petted him for a bit and so did L. Eventually her hand slid off the cat and onto my thigh. At first I thought the alcohol had made her extra touchy-feely, but then after the cat jumped off, her hand slowly moved up my leg. I froze. I didn't know what to do. She slipped her hand underneath my shirt and started raking her nails across my back and side. And it felt good. Really good. I had no idea I was into that kinda thing. Look at me learning about myself. Anyway, her turn comes around and she retrieves her hand much to my relief and disappointment.

A little while later we all decide to take a to pause the game for snacks and restrooms. It's customary for L and I to take a smoke break during these pauses. We stepped out, but instead of standing on the back porch in front of the sliding glass door like usual, she walked to the side of the house away from doors and windows and prying eyes. I followed but kept my distance, and asked her what was going on. She was evasive and wouldn't directly answer any of my questions. Instead she asked me if I've ever had a woman take control, and then pressed her body to me. My previous train of thought derailed, and I instinctively put my arms around her and held her tight. We were millimetres from kissing, but then I had a sudden thought of J inside the house not 15m away. It was difficult as hell, but I pulled away. She was grinning.

We went back inside, and the rest of the night passed quickly. She would sneak in a touches and gropes whenever she could. I could have stopped her, but I didn't, and I liked it. At the end of the night, as the three of us were walking out together, a very drunk J realised he forgot his jacket and ran back inside. The moment he turned his back, she quickly drew me in and licked my cheek. Turns out I don't find that hot. More learning there. But the intention was clear. Then we parted ways.

So, yeah, I have no idea what to do now. I mean I know I should try to get some answers from her, but I'm not sure how to go about it. Her friendship very is important to me, and I don't want to damage it. And I definitely don't want anyone else to get hurt. Maybe it was a one time thing. Perhaps she was just teasing me, and so long as I don't bring it up, it won't be an issue. Or maybe they're opening up their relationship and she wanted to test the waters. Probably wishful thinking on my part.

But what if she simply wants to have an extramarital affair behind her husband's back? I've made so many mistakes through inaction in my life, maybe just this once I should do something wrong on purpose, eyes open. I will never have the chance to be with a woman this gorgeous again. I could live in the moment as hard as I can, then bear with inevitable disastrous fallout.

And that, of course, is a terrible idea. So I guess my question is, if I find myself in a situation with her that is heading for a place I know is wrong, but every cell in my body demands I go with it, how do I generate the willpower to say no? Greater men than I fail at this all the time.

Thank you,

Discombobulated

Hoo boy, Discombobulated, I'm glad you've written to me before you've done anything, because right now you're on the path to sticking your dick in a buzzsaw. Not that I don't doubt that the sex would be great and she's an amazing person, but the likely fallout would be far worse than you realise.

Now in general, I don't believe that sex necessarily ruins a friendship, but in this case, we're talking about consequences that go beyond just the two of you.

Let's game this out a little so you understand where I'm coming from here. You hook up with her. In all likelihood, she does not have an arrangement with her husband for a little off-leash time which means that she's just cheated on her husband with you. If and when this comes to light, then you will have seriously hurt J, someone who trusts you and who has been a friend to you. That's a pretty shitty thing to do to somebody you think is a great guy.

Then there's the fact that you have overlapping social circles. This is the sort of gossip that shoots through like wildfire and people will have very strong opinions about who was in the right and who was in the wrong. You will more than likely find a whole bunch of your friends do not appreciate you being instrumental in damage to L and J's relationship.

Now let's say that through all of this, L and J manage to pull through L's infidelity and make things work. One of the things that would almost certainly be part of their reconciliation is ensuring that she wouldn't make the same mistake again. That means never seeing you again… which in turn would likely mean you being exiled from the social circles where they are fairly prominent.

That's more than just ruining a friendship, that's ruining many friendships, potentially a marriage and needlessly hurting more than a few people in the process.

And let's say that, unbeknownst to you she's having problems with J.Then you're less a sex partner and more the hammer she's dropping on his nuts. Trust me: the sex ain't worth it if you can't live with yourself afterwards.

Now, odds are that she was drunk and feeling a bit horny and she decided that maybe a little naughty fun was in order. Even so: that's the sort of behaviour that can strain any friendship, especially when the potential fallout is pretty damn immense.

So what do you do? Well to start with, I'd say jerk off. Horniness has a tendency to suck all the blood away from your brain and suddenly your balls get veto power over the rest of your decision-making process. It's a lot harder for your dick to make stupid decisions when your brain isn't floating in a pool of sexual frustration.

Next, you lay down some boundaries with L. You tell her, "Hey, I don't know what was up with the other night, but that made me really uncomfortable. I like you, but you're married to J and the way you were acting made me feel awkward around both of you. I don't appreciate being teased and I don't want to end up being part of a problem between the two of you."

Now the ball's in her court. She may pretend she doesn't remember; you pretend to believe her. Same with if she says it was a joke, you were mistaken or any other variation of "it never happened." Just go with it. Being "right" in this case is less important in making it clear that you don't appreciate being put in that position.

And then… let it drop. If she's as cool a person as you say, she'll realise a line was nearly crossed and be careful not to do it again. If she gets a little buzzed and handsy again… well, put some distance between the two of you, make sure you're not left alone together and try to avoid hanging out with her when alcohol is involved.

I realise what you want is incredibly powerful, especially when it drops into your lap and starts to wriggle. In other circumstances, I'd tell you to go for it. And who knows, maybe in the future circumstances will be different. But right now, if you did give in, you'd regret it far more than you'd enjoy it. Trust me: I have been there, done that and printed the t-shirts.

As hard (fnar) as it is, maintaining some boundaries is the best thing you can do here.

Good luck.

Ask Dr. NerdLove: My Friend's Beautiful Wife Just Made A Move On Me

Have you had to say no when you really didn't want to? Have you ever walked into a dating mistake with your eyes open? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments and we'll be back in two weeks with more of your dating questions.

Ask Dr. NerdLove: My Friend's Beautiful Wife Just Made A Move On Me

Ask Dr. Nerdlove is Kotaku's bi-weekly dating column, hosted by the one and only Harris O'Malley, AKA Dr. NerdLove. Got a question you'd like answered? Write [email protected] and put "Kotaku" in the subject line.

Harris O'Malley is a writer and dating coach who provides geek dating advice at his blog Paging Dr. NerdLove and the Dr. NerdLove podcast. His new dating guide New Game+: The Geek's Guide to Love, Sex and Dating is out now from Amazon, iTunes and everywhere fine books are sold He is also a regular guest at One Of Us.

He can be found dispensing snark and advice on Facebook and on Twitter at @DrNerdLove.

Top image via Shutterstock.

http://www.amazon.com/New-Game-Geeks...


Comments

    I really feel for the first writter, its not worth being around someone who is going to hurt you in the long run, even if on some level they cant help it.
    i still think about my last girlfriend every day and its been a year. its a hard life my friend, im almost crying thinking about it :(
    *bro hug*

      Hang in there buddy, it does get better over time. I was in a 13 year relationship (5 years married) and have a 3 year old son from it and it almost destroyed me when it ended. The first year apart was the toughest year ever. Counseling helps a lot and I recommend you give that a try.
      Best wishes!

        It never goes away entirely either - I STILL get the sads very occasionally about the split with my fiancee 20 years ago and I've been married, divorced and just married again since!

        But it gets less and less frequent, and hurts less each time. :)

        Last edited 04/02/16 4:11 pm

          Yeah you're right about that, you always have the memories that bring back sadness and make you wish things had turned out differently or things you have learned since that you wish you could have applied to the failed relationship. Still, it makes you grow as a person that's for sure!

      i second Haggis - not enough can be said for the benefits of counselling and psychology. nothing to be ashamed of. our worst enemy is our own mind, and our emotions cloud logical thinking and coping processes. having a professional guide you through your emotions and the why behind the whats is very beneficial, and they will give you tools that you will carry for the rest of your life, not to mention you will be much more self aware of your own emotions and why you react to certain things and you will be able to self regulate after a bit of practice to help prevent dropping into bad low points.

      time does heal all wounds, but if the wound is infected, you may react harshly to the wrong triggers down the track, not to mention prevent yourself from being able to experience the highs in life and the things that bring you joy. think of mental health practitioners as doctors that help you clean out the wound before getting on with the healing.

      *bro hug back*

        thanks fellas, feeling some love :)

    Scenario 1: Don't date her. It's not worth getting hurt which seems almost guaranteed as she clearly has issues she hasn't dealt with yet. There are plenty more fish in the sea.

    Scenario 2: Don't do it. Getting laid with a hot chick isn't worth it and you will destroy friendships and relationships just to get lucky.

    Scenario 1: Cheat on her. Why not? Maybe it is Maybelliene my home dog. Scenario 2: Lead her on a bit and get some nudes. Once the wank bank is filled with vivid content, snitch on her to your friend. With any luck she might still be into you, snitching can be sexy if done right.

    Really? Advise to writer 1 is don't take a shot because it could fail spectacularly? What the hell people?

    I've seen the perfect relationships where both parties are up front about commitment devolve into complete messes in a few years. And I've also seen the exact opposite where a completely non-monogamous fun filled interaction turns into something serious that lasts.

    Relationships aren't fricking laws of physics. The fact the person you're dating is being honest and open with you from the get go is a positive sign. If you're trying to look at a relationship at the start and figure out it might end well buddy I've got news for you. Every single relationship since the dawn of time ends. Stop thinking about the epilogue and focus on the here and now and if it's good and you're happy that's what matters. If she cheats then dump her; remember the good times; cry for a few nights and pick yourself back up. If she doesn't hallelujah something more awful is likely to come along and end the relationship instead (you know like age and death).

    Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Or you know you could listen to the author who I've never seen write a single decent word about long term relationships and how to actually make them work.

    Edit: Every long term relationship I've had starts with the best intentions and it sucks when it falls apart. But after a few years I know I treasure the memories of a failed relationship more than a non-existent one.

    Last edited 04/02/16 1:01 pm

      Totally agree on the "nothing ventured, nothing gained". The author makes a good point on not focusing too heavily on trying to change another person, but you can change yourself. Start a relationship without exclusivity, or take steps to not be too serious about things, or just be fuck-buddies, whatever - and if it turns out that you can't handle that a few months down the line, then tackle the problem then. Take the leap.

      As for #2. Yeah, nah.

      Last edited 04/02/16 1:10 pm

      I'm not sure I agree with you there, it's seems clear to me that that lady in #1 has previously unresolved issues that are affecting her to the point where she does cheat on her partners. I find it doubtful that it won't happen again if she hasn't dealt with the core issue that is making her do that.
      If she has dealt with it then sure go for it, but I wouldn't if she hasn't, and this makes me think that she hasn't:

      She says that she cheated because she has a short attention span or because she gets hurt and wants to hurt back.

      There are lots of ladies out there that you can have relationships with that are way less risky. Being hurt and coming out with issues of your own (especially trust issues if she does cheat on you) will make things a lot harder in the future.

      Last edited 04/02/16 1:13 pm

        If we waited to run into a human being that has resolved all their various issues before dating them we'd go extinct as a species. Sure she has unresolved issues; heck my pile of unresolved issues grows over time because I usually have more issues cropping up faster than I can come to terms with them.

        The beauty of a relationship is it's based on mutual attraction and a good relationship is finding someone who can tackle that journey of resolving both of your issues together. It's not about gauging risk so much as being happy with someone for however long that may last.

        Edit: Also I question the concept of worry about possible trust issues you might have if he decided to pursue the relationship and got cheated on. You could use that same strain of logic to ask whether it's worth getting out of bed in the morning out of fear of falling down the stairs or playing a rough sport for risk of injury. We can't prepare for every eventuality but sometimes the experience, good or bad can be worth it. In this instance he won't know if it was or wasn't unless he tries?

        I should note I don't think there's such a thing as bad experiences. Negative experience is just as important to a person's growth as positive ones.

        Double Edit: Also fair warning I am also a cynic turned hopeless romantic through various failed relationships =P

        Last edited 04/02/16 2:14 pm

          You definitely have some good points, but when someone tells you they'll probably cheat on you if you end up in a relationship, you'd have to be an idiot not to take that into account. If someone says that there's a good chance that they might fire a shotgun in a random direction when I'm hanging out with them, I'm sure as hell not going to put myself in a situation where I might get shot in the face.

          You can argue that, hey, it's a learning experience. But I've also seen getting cheated on utterly destroy people, even when they knew there was a chance of it happening. Certain risks just aren't worth it, particularly when the chances of that risk backfiring are high.

      Completely agree. Let him fall in love, enjoy his time with her, learn from the loss when she (almost inevitably) pulls away. That's just life. You'll get to 40 and be like "GODAMMNIT" if you didn't take a shot.

      If you're in your 20's and not taking a shot with romance, you're not living. She's being honest... jesus, I wish girls when I was 20 were more upfront with what they wanted... I wish I had been more upfront with what I wanted.

    scenario 1: proceed with caution.
    set up some healthy boundaries. if you are not sure how. seek professional counselling. counselors are good at a) helping you deal with your own insecurities/short comings/self doubt, etc etc, and b) give you tools to improve your quality of life in your own mind - helping you to protect yourself from overwhelming damage, but not shutting out the possibility of positive interactions.

    Before I get into the weeds, StmS, let me start off with this important piece of advice – one that will serve you well in your dating adventures and something that I wish people had told me back in the day: you can’t make anyone change. If your future happiness is dependent on making a radical change in the other person’s personality, then that relationship will not work and you will only be contributing to your own broken heart.

    This is kind of a deficit model approach to life, like it's a convenient little sentence that simplifies the complexities of human interaction. Why would Kotaku focus so heavily on racism and gender roles if people couldn't change? How is it bad to help someone develop or get in touch with their own empathy, especially if they ask for it? In that sense, isn't it her who's initiating her own change by opening up?

      People can change how they feel about other races and genders. But if someone has an expressed tendency to cheat, then in relationship terms it is highly unlikely that they'll stop cheating. Likewise all those little traits that make us human are unlikely to change (and certainly in my experience and that of most everyone I know).

      Why bother trying to change them? So they can be better partners? But changing people's attitudes to race and gender, that shit is important as it affects all humanity.

      More directly to your last question though... in my experience you're better off continuing to look for the best fit if the person your faced with is so far outside your comfort zone or sphere of experience. That girl that gets bored would be better suited to someone of equal temperament. Experience tells me that by trying to change her, it will push her away or cause her to become bored even sooner. With that said, it sounds like it would be a hell of a good time so the letter writer should absolutely dive right into the experience... you're only 20 after all!!

      Last edited 04/02/16 2:53 pm

    For the second scenario I hope to hell that guy doesn't sleep with his friend's wife. My wife cheated on me with one of my groomsman all of a few months after we got married. I found out 4 years later (about 3-4 months ago form today) and I still have doubts about whether or not I fathered my oldest son.

    Our relationship is still going, we haven't split up but it's changed everything at a fundamental level. I can no longer freely trust my wife, can't trust her to have any male friends. On top of that I've started getting mood swings that last a week or so where I get grumpy and angry, get a real short fuse with my temper and it's all due to thoughts of her with him swimming around my head.

    So tl;dr...don't screw another guy's wife.

      Holy balls. Still together? I mean, that must be insanely difficult. I know I am some random internet dude out there but please, if you are seeking to continue this go to a marriage counselor. Something like that continually dripping in your life will eventually yield mold unless treated.

      Best of luck.

        Yeah, we have 2 kids and I really wouldn't want to screw their lives up by splitting up the family. This also happened 4yrs ago and I believe her that nothing has gone on since then.

        In the end I've made up my mind that I'm not going to leave for various reasons, the issue is just dealing with it emotionally which is something that I, along with many other men find hard to do. She's been seeing a counselor for the last few months, I've always hated that sort of thing and it hasn't helped me in the past but we're going to go to one of the sessions together.

          My ex split with me when our boy was 1 and from my point of view it was devastating but I guess if someone isn't happy in a relationship then it's best for the kids as they are smart little buggers and can see that something is happening. Often it makes it worse if you stick together just for the kids.
          Hopefully it works out for you mate, best wishes if you decide to stick it out and it works out for you guys.

            Our relationship in general is pretty good. We went through a rough patch for a year or so but it got to a point that I couldn't take it anymore as we were headed for divorce so I confronted her and we got everything out on the table. Since then we've dedicated spending time with each other every week which really helped.

            It was part way through our relationship getting back on track that I discovered she cheated on me. I'm at the stage where I've accepted that it happened, am confident that it won't happen again and want to move on. that's the logical side though, emotionally it takes longer to get there. In general we're doing pretty well now, it's just the times when my emotions get out of control that I'm finding tough.

            Thanks for the support.

    My advice for the first letter.. enjoy your time in the hot seat.. have fun, continue enjoying but now that you're aware of the possibility of the relationship being terminated via a "short attention span", keep things light.. if you get to the point where you are "loving" her.. uhm.. time to go on a holiday.

    Scenario 2:

    If shes as great of a friend as you think she is, then ask her if her husband knows and is cool with the idea. If he isnt it, then might make her re-think her advances on you and her actions.

    If she says yes, then confirm with the husband as well. If he says no and shes lying, it'll come out and thats that. At that point you haven't done anything wrong and you've approached him about it before anything happened making it easier for them to work out between them aswell.

    But if he says yes its cool, then I guess they have an open relationship and the rest of the decision is up to you.

    OR

    If you dont wanna ask, then dont bang her.

      Interesting suggestion. She probably would lie if she's willing to cheat...that's dangerous. Because when old mate from scenario 2 asks him and Hubby inevitably says 'No, why would that be ok!?' only for old mate to respond 'she said so' not only will that have the potential to backfire on him because Hubby will ask Wifey and Wifey's already cool with lying to get what she wants, so I'd say she's cool with lying to get out of trouble. Without any solid proof of her saying yes to old mate, I'd put a solid bet on Hubby siding with her rather than him. Resulting in exile from social circle when it also hits the group of friends.

      I'd stick with the don't ask, don't bang option. But definitely let her know it was appreciated but unwelcome.

    Allow me to provide you with a gem of wisdom that answers these and all future questions:

    - Get your head together so that you only date people who also have their head together.

    If you're even contemplating a relationship that has a question mark over it, get your ass into counselling.

    And as living proof of someone with an ideal partner, don't try and tell me that 'settling' is an acceptable or wise move as that perfect person isn't out there/too hard to find.

    Get yourself together and you will find them soon enough. Spend your time dithering around toxic relationships and you just rack up more damage that prevents you from finding that person.

    Or be like me as an asexual and you'll never care, be hurt or be sad.

    StmS - Go for it, but take her warning at face value. She isn't looking for a knight-in-shining-armour...it wasn't a challenge to "tame her"...it wasn't a "if only I could find the right man"...

    I have been in a similar situation (and I tried to change her). I was more concerned with societal norms and what my friends and family would think, and lost sight of the fact that being with her was the happiest most fulfilled I have ever been. She was polyamorous...it didn't mean she loved me less, it didn't mean she was a slut, it just meant she loved more than one person.

    Discombobulated - after my words above, you might think I would say "go for it". But in this case...
    Run!

    You need to keep space between you and her. If it happens again, you need to talk to J. If they are open he'll confirm it. If they aren't, he'll be pissed, but will one day thank you for the heads-up.

    I'm the last person in the world to be giving relationship advice... so I'll just say what I would do.

    Sick to my Stomach - she's already told you how the relationship between you and her is going to end. Either accept that and enjoy what time you have together or leave it and just be friends.

    Discombobulated - nothing good will come of this. Maintain a healthy physical distance and avoid being alone with her. Any time there are any advances made by her, move into full view of her husband and gain his attention. If there is any issue, it should become clear pretty quickly with no wrong doing.

    It's kind of funny seeing all the relationship advice in the comments on what is an American Gawker article most likely posted months ago.

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