Q I’ve been very stupid. I’ve been in a long distance relationship for the last six years. We connected online, and he visited me six or seven times a year. He claimed he was looking to move to California when the right job opportunity came around. Until then we enjoyed our time together. He hit every mark for me, intelligent, funny, sexy and handsome. He claimed he didn’t have a close family and lived a very work orientated life, he said I was the best thing to have happened to him. I believed him.
We kept in regular contact, calling each other a couple of times a week, sending emails and what not. He claimed he wasn’t on facebook or social media, he didn’t like that sort of thing. Last week he sent me his regular email message, updating me on his week, but he sent it from a different email account he’d not used before. I questioned this and he said it must have been an old one, as he’d just upgraded his computers email client. I took this as read, but later that night I put it in a google search.
Up popped his twitter and facebook accounts. He’s married, and has a family with three kids: ten, six and four years old. He’s got three sisters and two brothers, and his family all live within a few miles of each other. So much for not having a close family!
I’ve not replied to his emails or phone calls since. I feel so stupid, he always visited me, and I’d never been up to his area. We used to take small holidays together, he always claimed he’d prefer to be away from his home on his time off. I didn’t question this.
What should I do? Part of me still wants him, and part of me wants to show up at his home and blow the secret to his wife. However, it seems stupid to ruin his kids lives, I come from a broken home, and it wasn’t fun at all.
Contact him, ask for an explanation just for your own peace of mind. Then conclude and draw a line under this situation. Be done. Avoid having a confrontation with his wife. Your thought process about thinking about the children is a wise one, and you don’t want to be responsible for causing hurt and possible irreversible emotional damage to the innocent people he’s been hiding. If his relationship with his wife does eventually end, you should not have anything to do with causing this (by your own actions).
For you at this current time, you will go through the period of mourning the loss of a relationship. This is a standard process, not necessarily easy, however, vital for you to re-build your life and re-align your personal goals and aspirations. Grief over a loss of a relationship, especially one that has run so many years, is perfectly normal. You’ll go through a period of emotional ups and downs. Just expect it, know that it’s okay, and that you’ll get through it.
I would dismiss any thoughts that he will leave his wife and kids for you. He’s got a growing family that has grown and increased even while you have been together. If he was even contemplating leaving them and setting up home with you, this would have happened before now.
My heart goes out to you. Being the unexpected man-on-the-side is never a nice situation. Neither is being lied to. I can fully appreciate the level of hurt you feel as you felt this relationship was going somewhere. Long distance relationships can and do work; however, for many they do not. Sometimes no matter how hard you try to be in each others lives it’s challenging, especially if you’re not physically there.
Allow yourself some time for recovery here. What the guy did to you — and to his family — is inexcusable. But perhaps in time you can forgive him. Letting him go will help speed your own healing process.
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JONATHAN WELFORD heads up GayDatingExpert.com, a relationship and dating coaching practice. He was awarded the accolade of being one of the top 10 Gay Relationship Bloggers for 2013. He writes gay agony uncle columns for numerous publications in both the UK and USA, and is also a regular columnist for DatingAdvice.com. He lives with his Scottish husband in Manchester, UK.