I’ve been dating a guy for almost two years and just found out he’s married. He lied about being married and I’ve already fallen in love with him. He says he loves me and I’m feeling uncomfortable and don’t know what to do.
I’m terribly sorry to hear that you were lied to and manipulated for almost two years. That’s a long time to give your life to someone and then learn a crucial piece of information that would have totally changed things for you. Please recognize that it’s not your fault that he lied to you. It’s normal to feel stupid after something like this and believe that you somehow should have known. While there may have been signs you can now see clearly, the truth is that he didn’t want you to know. Let’s talk about how you can move forward.
Of course, from the outside, everyone would tell you you’re crazy to stay with him. What others may not recognize, though, is that your heart became attached to him under the guise that you were his only love. It’s extremely difficult to let go of a relationship you thought was exclusive. We don’t let go of our bonds very easily, so please be gentle on yourself as you sort through this.
Your situation is extra challenging due to the amount of time that has passed which allowed you to let down your guard and fall in love with him. He manipulated the conditions so you would believe that this relationship was exclusive. Now, you are in a battle between your head and your heart as you sort through the facts and your feelings.
However, for your long-term safety and sanity, it’s important to let your head prevailed in this situation. Even though you ultimately must live with your own choices, please know that the odds of a stable long-term marriage with him are not in your favor.
When you build a relationship on a lie, it can’t succeed. In fact, marriages that are the result of an affair have a high divorce rate. Simply put, if he loved you, he wouldn’t have lied to you and manipulated you for two years. Now that you know this information, you understand his values around commitment. He lied to his wife about you when he was supposed to be faithful to her. He led you to believe you guys were in a committed relationship as well.
Of course you are sad and confused! You are grieving the loss of this relationship. You had no reason to believe this man was married. You deserve to be in a relationship with someone who keeps their promises. If he truly cared about you, he would have arranged things in his life so he could fully commit to you. However, that is not what happened. He was living in two worlds thinking he could have it both ways.
You obviously have to make a decision about what you will do. Or, the decision might be made for you as he goes back to figure things out in his marriage. Either way, please make sure you have support. It’s common to make impulsive and unhealthy decisions in this state of vulnerability. Reach out to trusted supports who can allow you to talk through this without judgement. Give yourself time and space to heal.
It’s normal to not trust your own feelings when you’ve been lied to like this. However, you are feeling uncomfortable and you can trust that. He has put you in an impossibly uncomfortable situation. You have access to the Holy Ghost who will help you “see things as they really are”.[i] Pray for that clarity and make the courageous decisions that will protect your sanity and safety.
Geoff will answer a new family and relationship question every Friday. You can email your question to him at [email protected]
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About the Author
Geoff Steurer is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice in St. George, Utah. He is the co-author of “Love You, Hate the Porn: Healing a Relationship Damaged by Virtual Infidelity”, host of the podcast, “From Crisis to Connection”, and creates online relationship courses. He earned degrees from Brigham Young University and Auburn University. He is married to Jody Young Steurer and they are the parents of four children.
[i] Jacob 4:13
ShaliApril 2, 2022
I appreciate the way this advice was given, caring and without judgment. I chose to step away from a situation exactly like this, not because I didn't love him but because I couldn't see myself spending the rest of my life with someone who thought it was ok to not share something so important. I hope whatever decision you make, it will turn out to be the best one for you.
Douglas E NadybalApril 2, 2022
As bad as the "boyfriend" lying is, he is also an adulterer. Assuming the relationship did not devolve into illicit acts, the only eternal consequence in this situation is the state of this mans soul should this behavior go un-repented, he will eventually suffer the judgment outlined in the bible. If this reality is not enough to prompt the victim into dealing with reality, going back to him would then become a willful transgression. He is an adulterer. She should know that the pain in going back into this would be far worse than the first because she could no longer claim ignorance.